Miscellaneous Effects of Psychedelics
This article breaks down the subjective miscellaneous effects of the psychedelic experience into simple and easy to understand descriptions with accompanying image replications. This is done without resorting to metaphor, analogy, or personal trip reports.
These descriptions are not specific to any particular substance but are applicable to the effects which commonly occur in various forms under the influence of almost any psychedelic compound. This includes, but is not limited to, both classical and research chemical psychedelics, such as:
LSD, Psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, Ayahuasca, Mescaline, 5-MeO-MiPT, 2C-B, LSA, AL-LAD, ALD-52, 1P-LSD, 2C-B-Fly, 2C-C, 2C-D, 2C-E, 2C-P, 4-AcO-DMT, 4-HO-MET, 4-HO-MiPT, 5-MeO-DMT, DPT, and DOC.
The article begins with a description of the simpler effects and works its way up towards more complex experiences as it progresses. Individual effects are also summarized with a link to their full article.
Auditory effects are any subjective effect which directly alters a person's sense of hearing.
An auditory distortion is the experience of perceived alterations in how audible noises present and structure themselves.
These distortions can manifest in many styles, but commonly take the form of echoes or murmurs that arise from sounds and are accompanied by fluctuating changes in speed and pitch. This can intensify to the point where sounds are consistently followed by continuous reverberation, often rendering the original sound completely unrecognizable. However, it often quickly resets to base level and starts over if the source of noise is stopped or changed.
At lower levels, auditory distortions consist of subtle and spontaneous reverberations, echoes, and changes in the pitch of noises within the external environment. They are fleeting, low in intensity, and easy to ignore. However, at higher levels, auditory distortions become consistent and intense enough that they are impossible to ignore. The complexity of these resulting alterations can quickly render the original sound as unintelligible.
Auditory distortions are often accompanied by other coinciding effects, such as auditory hallucinations, auditory suppression, and auditory enhancement. They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, 5-MeO-DiPT, and DMT. However, they can also occur less commonly under the influence of dissociatives, such as ketamine, PCP, and nitrous.
An auditory enhancement is an increase or improvement in the detail and clarity of sound. This can result in the person becoming extremely aware of all the sounds around them with an enhanced ability to comprehend multiple layers of sound and better identify their direction and location.
The most common manifestation of this effect is a greatly enhanced appreciation of music. This can allow people to experience music in a level of detail that is unparalleled during everyday sober living.
Auditory enhancements are often accompanied by other coinciding effects, such as auditory distortion and auditory hallucinations. They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, they can also occur less commonly under the influence of stimulants, cannabinoids, and dissociatives.
An auditory hallucination is the experience of hearing spontaneous and imaginary noises. The most common examples of this include hearing clips of sound such as imagined music, voices, tones, popping, and scraping, but can also be an infinite variety of other potential noises that are stored within one's memory.
In terms of their behavior, these sounds will often be based on noises that were expected to occur or have been genuinely heard on a frequent basis within the external environment. For example, a person may repeatedly hear a knock at the door when they are expecting a visitor or hear music they were listening to earlier on in the day. However, at other times, auditory hallucinations may also present themselves as completely new or unusual sounds unlike anything that could currently occur within the external environment.
Auditory hallucinations are often accompanied by other coinciding effects, such as auditory distortion and auditory enhancement. They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics, deliriants, and dissociatives.
Tactile effects are any subjective effect which directly alters a person's sense of touch.
Spontaneous tactile sensations
Spontaneous tactile sensations are the experience of sensations across the body occurring without any obvious or immediate physical trigger. This results in feelings of seemingly random yet distinct tingling sensations that occur across the skin and within the body. The styles of sensations felt vary greatly depending on the psychoactive substance consumed.
At lower levels, the sensation of this effect can be described as subtle and fleeting tingling sensations throughout the body. These sensations do not impair physical motor control and can essentially be ignored if one wishes to do so. However, at higher levels, the tingling sensations increase enough to become a powerful, uncontrollable focus point of the person’s attention. This can feel completely overwhelming and heavily impairs a person’s motor control, leaving them either lying or sitting down, incapable of standing up due to the all-encompassing sensations.
Spontaneous tactile sensations are often accompanied by other coinciding effects, such as tactile enhancement and physical euphoria. They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, they can also occur under the influence of stimulants, cannabinoids, and dissociatives.
Tactile enhancement is an overall increase in both the intensity of a person's sense of touch and their awareness of the physical sensations across their body. At its highest level, this becomes extreme enough that the exact location and current sensation of every single nerve ending across one's skin can be felt all at once. In contrast, most people can only maintain awareness of the tactile sensations that are relevant to their current situation in their sober state.
This effect can result in tactile sensations such as touching, hugging, kissing, and sex becoming greatly enhanced in terms of the pleasure they induce. However, it can also result in an over-sensitivity of the skin, which causes the same sensations to become uncomfortable and overwhelming.
Tactile enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects, such as spontaneous bodily sensations and physical euphoria. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it can also occur under the influence of stimulants, cannabinoids, and certain dissociatives
Multisensory effects are any subjective effect which directly alters two or more senses simultaneously.
Although some hallucinatory effects may affect multiple senses at one time they are usually not categorized as 'multisensory effects' unless they do so consistently. For example, while experiences with autonomous entities may sometimes have a tactile component to them, more often than not they are primarily a visual experience and are therefore classified as such.
Memory replays are a multisensory subtype of internal hallucinations that result in a person reliving memories through the experience of vivid daydreams, reoccurring emotions or sensations, and hallucinations. At higher levels of intensity, these are often referred to as "flashbacks". The memories themselves can be significant life events with high levels of personal meaning attributed to them, generic recent occurrences, or long forgotten experiences from childhood.
Memory replays are often accompanied by other coinciding effects, such as scenarios and plots, internal hallucinations, and introspection. They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. However, they can also commonly occur during sobriety as a result of traumatic experiences, particularly when the person suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Scenarios and plots
Scenarios and plots are the situations, stories, and events that occur within both external and internal hallucinations. These behave in an almost identical fashion to the plots and scenarios that occur during ordinary dream states and often include cognitive delusions that result in one accepting the plot as a real-life event. On rare occasions, however, they will be immediately recognized as a mere hallucination and not a real-life event.
During this effect, the typical components that comprise standard hallucinatory states (settings, sceneries, and landscapes and autonomous entities) begin behaving and co-operating in a manner that results in the experience of events occurring within the hallucination itself. These are often perceived as linear and coherent plots that occur in a logical sequence by leading into other events through normal cause and effect. However, they are equally likely to present themselves as completely nonsensical and incoherent. For example, they may consist of nonlinear or spontaneous events that are capable of ending, starting, and changing between each other repeatedly in quick succession.
Scenarios and plots are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. However, they can also occur less commonly under the influence of stimulant psychosis and sleep deprivation.
Synaesthesia (also spelled synesthesia or synæsthesia) is the experience of a blending, merging, or mixing of the senses. For example, a person experiencing synaesthesia may begin seeing music, tasting colors, hearing smells, or any other potential combination of the senses. At its highest level, synaesthesia becomes so all-encompassing that each of the senses become completely intertwined with the rest of one's senses. This is a complete blending of human perception and is usually interpreted as extremely profound when experienced. It is worth noting that a significant percentage of the population experience synaesthesia to varying extents during everyday life without the use of drugs.
Synaesthesia is commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it is seemingly most commonly experienced under the influence of stimulating psychedelics such as the 2C-x, DOx, and Nbome series.
Physical effects are any subjective effect which directly affects an aspect of a person's physical body.
Although many uncomfortable physical effects also technically fit into this definition, they are excluded from this category of effects as they have their own defining qualities which standard physical effects do not.
Bodily control enhancement
Bodily control enhancement can be described as feeling as if there has been a distinct increase in a person's ability to control their physical body with precision, balance, coordination, and dexterity. This results in the feeling that they can accurately control a much greater variety of muscles across their body with the tiniest of subtle mental triggers.
The experience of this effect is often subjectively interpreted by people as a profound and primal feeling of being put back in touch with the animal body.
Bodily control enhancement is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of stimulating psychedelics, such as LSD, 2C-B, and DOC. However, it may also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of other compounds such as traditional stimulants and light dosages of stimulating dissociatives.
Laughter fits can be described as the experience of uncontrollable, intense, and spontaneous laughter which continue to occur despite a lack of any identifiable trigger or a feeling of humorousness. The physical action itself typically consists of rhythmical, often audible contractions of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system. At higher levels, laughter fits can make it extremely difficult to function due to crying and a difficulty talking or keeping one's eyes open.
Laughter fits are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as an increased sense of humour and emotion enhancement. They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic and dissociative compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and nitrous oxide.
Pupil dilation (also called mydriasis) can be described as the enlargement of the size of a person's pupils under normal lighting conditions. Normally, the pupil size increases in the dark and shrinks in the light, however, a dilated pupil will remain excessively large even in a bright environment.
Pupil dilation is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of a wide variety of serotonergic compounds, such as psychedelics, dissociatives, deliriants, entactogens, various stimulants and some antidepressants.
An uncomfortable physical effect is any substance-induced alteration of a person's physical state which is unpleasant, undesirable, painful, or otherwise a source of distress. In most cases they indicate a temporary part of a substance's interaction with the body. However, in certain contexts, they can also indicate the need for attention or even medical treatment if they become dangerously severe.
Nausea can be described as a sensation of unease and discomfort in the upper stomach combined with an involuntary urge to vomit. It often, but not always, precedes vomiting. This effect usually occurs at the onset of the experience and dissipates as the peak takes its toll.
In the context of substance usage, nausea and vomiting can occur as a result of stomach irritation through the consumption of materials which it is not used to digesting. These materials can include things such as chemical powders or plant matter. Alternatively, nausea may occur as a direct pharmacological result of how the particular substance affects the brain. If this is the case, the nausea is therefore inseparable from the experience itself and will likely occur to varying extents regardless of the route of administration.
Nausea is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as stomach bloating, stomach cramps, and dizziness. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of a wide variety of compounds, such as psychedelics, opioids, GABAergics, deliriants, dissociatives, and stimulants.