Psychedelic Science Review (PSR) was founded in 2018 by a small group of scientists committed to improving the quality of and access to scientific information about psychedelics. Concerned about the dearth of accessible and reliable scientific information about psychedelics, widespread misinformation, and poor analysis and conclusions drawn from otherwise high-quality research, our team set out on a mission to address these concerns.
In 2019, we launched PsychedelicReview.com, a website free for all to access. At PsychedelicReview.com, we discuss scientific research and knowledge about psychedelics, from chemistry to psychology. Our science writers break down complex topics, offering context and connecting important concepts in the literature to familiar examples. PsychedelicReview.com also offers background information about psychedelic compounds, an ever-changing history of events surrounding psychedelics, and the organizations and people involved in progressing this resurgent field.
Psychedelic Science Review provides an exclusively scientific perspective on psychedelics. We are not proponents or opponents of political or social change, nor do we offer moral commentary. While there is a place for those voices, our goal is to offer factual information on the basis of scientific relevance.
“Scientia nihil aliud est quam veritatis imago.” Science is but an image of the truth.
~ Sir Francis Bacon (22 Jan 1561 – 9 Apr 1626)
The term psychedelic was created by English psychologist and researcher Humphry Osmond. Osmond derived the term from the Greek words for mind or soul (psyche) and show (deloun) to describe the effect LSD had on the mind. A psychedelic experience is characterized by changes of perception, synesthesia, altered states of awareness or focused consciousness, variation in thought patterns, trance or hypnotic states, mystical states, and other mind alterations. For some people, the psychedelic experience can invoke newly formed understandings, revelations, or enlightenment.
Psychedelic experiences are typically, though not necessarily, produced by the use of psychedelic drugs. Psychedelic drugs are compounds which (when consumed) produce psychedelic effects and include many tryptamines and ergotamines. Typically, these drugs are believed to produce psychedelic effects by activation of a subtype of serotonin receptors (5-HT2A) in the brain.
Although the term “hallucinogen” is often used interchangeably with “psychedelic,” the former term best describes a substance that causes a user to perceive something that is not objectively present. By contrast, the term “psychedelic” best describes a substance that invokes a change in the perception of things that are objectively present.
At a high level, the word science refers to the collaborative pursuit of knowledge through carefully recorded observations, the formation and testing of hypotheses, and the objective reporting of observations. This pursuit involves conducting experiments and reporting the methods and results to peers for further critique, testing, and investigation.
Review is the process by which information is analyzed and summarized. A review does not present new information, but instead collects, assesses and presents existing information in a way that is critical, contextual and digestible. Reviews beneficially offer a perspective that is both free from the biases of the original sources of information and complete in the breadth of available information and its weight in consideration of the subject at hand.