Nootropic Herbs Vs Psychedlic or Psychoactive Herbs 

How Ayurvedic Nootropic herbs & Adaptogen Herbs Provide Mind Health Related Benefits without Undesirable Effects of Psychedelic / Psychoactive Herbs / Substances

The vast majority of herbs are consumed as herbal food supplements all over the world. The golden rule or triad that we follow at Holistic Herbalist in our products is here ….Natural - Safe - Effective. You should focus on all the 3 aspects.

When it come to effects of herbs on mind health, there are two distinct categories - Nootropics and Psychedelic or Psychoactive Herbs.

Nootropics and psychedelic herbs are both substances that can be consumed for their cognitive effects. However, they differ in their mechanisms of action and potential risks.

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics are a class of substances that are believed to improve cognitive function, particularly memory, creativity, and focus. They are often referred to as "smart herbs" and are commonly used by students and professionals to enhance performance. Some common examples of nootropics include Bacopa, Gotu Kola, Ashwagandha.

Nootropics work by increasing blood flow to the brain, stimulating the production of neurotransmitters, and enhancing brain plasticity. They are generally considered safe when used as directed.

Psychedelic or Psychoactive Herbs / Substances:

In contrast, psychedelic herbs are substances that induce altered states of consciousness, often characterized by vivid sensory experiences, altered perception of time and space, and changes in thought patterns. Examples of psychedelic herbs include opium, cannabis, psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, and peyote.

Psychedelic herbs work by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain, leading to changes in mood, perception, and cognition, but they also carry significant risks. These risks include the potential for triggering psychological distress, inducing flashbacks, and exacerbating underlying mental health conditions.

Overall, nootropics and psychedelic herbs are fundamentally different in their mechanisms of action and potential risks. While nootropics are generally considered safe for long-term use, psychedelic herbs should be approached with caution and only used under the guidance of a trained professional. 

I will consider the example of Cannabis, with several studies that evaluated its negative aspects...

Cannabis as Psychedelic and Psychoactive Herb:

Cannabis is a plant that has been used for both medicinal and recreational purposes for centuries. While it is often categorized as a psychedelic herb, its effects can vary widely depending on the strain and method of consumption.

Some strains of cannabis have a high concentration of THC, the psychoactive compound responsible for the plant's euphoric effects. These strains can induce altered states of consciousness and are often used recreationally.

However, other strains of cannabis have a high concentration of CBD, a non-psychoactive compound that has been shown to have medicinal properties. These strains are often used to treat a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and epilepsy.

Overall, while cannabis can be consumed for its psychedelic effects, it also has significant medicinal potential. However, as with all psychoactive substances, it should be used with caution and only under the guidance of a trained professional.

Negative Aspects of Cannabis Popular Usage:

A study published in JAMA Network Open reports a significant increase in suspected suicidal cannabis exposures reported to US poison control centers over the past 13 years, with the highest increases among children and female persons.

The pandemic may have played a role in the increase, and there was a statistically significant increase in cannabis poisonings in young children during the pandemic compared to a prepandemic year.

Nearly all cases involved more than one substance, and nearly 1 in 10 exposures resulted in death or other major outcomes. The researchers caution that they could not identify a causal association between cannabis use and suicide attempt.

According to Paul Riggs, Director University of Colorado's division of addiction science, prevention, and treatment….Cannabis products is linked to Suicides and other conditions.

High-potency cannabis products, particularly concentrates like dabs and waxes, are linked to an increase in suicidality, generalized anxiety disorder, tobacco and other illicit substance dependence, and first-episode psychosis in young people.

The use of high-potency products has also been associated with a 170% increase in youth Emergency Department visits for marijuana-related illnesses and a 148% increase in marijuana-related hospitalizations.

Clinicians should ask patients about the potency of the products being used and understand that the earlier the initiation of marijuana use, the greater the potential for first-episode psychosis.

Ayurvedic Perspective of Safer Nootropics Herbs:

At Holistic Herbalist, we have a range of Nootropic Herbs…

  1. My Joyful Mind - Multiherbal formulation
  2. Ayur Ananda - Multiherbal formulation
  3. Bacopa - Single Herb
  4. Gotu Kola - Single Herb
  5. Ashwagandha - Single Herb

Special consideration is kept for multiherbal formulations so that these provide you great benefit of Nootropics, Adaptogenic (Stress Buster), Cognitive Wellbeing (Improving Focus and Memory), Nervine Tonic and Antioxidant together.

That is why these have been designed right from the formulation so that these could be used as main herbs for mind healthh and as adjuvant in chronic disorders / autoimmune disorders.

And when there is specific need for support, we do have others here.

For example…

  1. Bacopa for Cognitive Wellbeing, Nervousness
  2. Gotu Kola for Cognitive Wellbeing, Improving Microcirculation
  3. Ashwagandha as Adaptogen for Stress and as Nervine Tonic

Is Ayurveda against Psychodelic or Psychoactive Herbs?

Definitely not! Rather, Ayurveda is the first ancient system that told the properties and activities of many such psychoactive herbs.

There is detailed procedure of purification so that the harmful elements of these herbs are minimized before human consumption.

Additionally, there is mention of measures to take care of their adverse effects in short term as well as to overcome long term dependency.

The best practice is to use Psychodelic herbs, if required, only under qualified supervision for short term relief and management.

For mid to long term management, there are plenty of herbs and herbal products in Ayurveda and at Holistic Herbalist for each category of benefits of Psychodelic and Psychoactive herbs.

You should give a try and use a balanced and synergistic mix of natural, safe and effective combinations of Ayurvedic herbs that are readily available with Holistic Herbalist.

And don’t hesitate to schedule an online consult for knowing exactly what you do need to take if you have any chronic disorder or autoimmune disease.

Take Home Points:

  1. Always prefer / Use Ayurvedic Nootropic Herbs / Adaptogenic Herbs / Rasayana & Medhya Herbs over Psychoactive / Psychodelic Herbs or Substances
  2. Only take Psychodelic / Psychoactive Substances under Qualified Medical Supervision, for short term if really required
  3. Ayurvedic Nootropics could be used for long term without risk of developing dependency or habit
  4. Ayurvedic Nootropics do have benefits for cognitive, affective and behavioral wellbeing
  5. You have plenty of Choices according to general or specific requirement.

You are welcome to share your view / feedback about this page...

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