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Other Names for Psychedelic Drugs

People who use illegal drugs often refer to them by other names to keep their use secret. Psychedelics have many different slang and street names, and these can vary by region.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a psychedelic is any drug that causes you to hallucinate and provides a real or imagined expansion of consciousness. There are many names for psychedelic drugs. Most of these are the names of individual drugs such as LSD and Peyote. Psychedelic drugs come in four types, naturally occurring, serotonin releasers, cannabinoids, and dissociatives. Each of these has a slightly different origin and effect.

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Naturally Occurring Psychedelics


People often refer to psychedelics by a variety of street names.

These psychedelics are ones that occur in nature and have all of their properties without refinement or human interference. Ancient people used these is religious ceremonies for centuries before they became recreational drugs.

  • Ayahuasca – the primary psychoactive substance in this is DMT. Street names for DMT are:
    • business man’s trip
    • fantasia
  • Psilocybin mushrooms – these mushrooms are found all over the United States. The street names for psilocybin mushrooms are:
  • Bufotenin – produced on the skin of the Colorado River Toad. This is where the psychedelic experience of toad licking started. The street name for bufotenin are:
    • toad venom
    • bufo
  • Ibogaine – a product of the Tabernanthe Iboga, an Africa tree root. Although this is not a commonly abuse psychedelic it is gaining prominence. There are no current street names in the United States.
  • Lysergic acid amide – this is the primary active psychedelic in morning glory and other psychedelic plants. The street names are:
    • LSA
    • Ergine
  • Ergonovine and Ergometrine – these are the psychedelics found in rye bread and responsible for ergot poisoning. This particular psychedelic is rarely used because of its dangers.
  • Mescaline also known as peyote – a popular psychedelic found in certain cacti. This is an extremely popular psychedelic with street names like:
    • mesc
    • cactus
    • buttons
  • Salvia – a popular legal hallucinogen with an extremely short half life.
  • Myristicin – psychedelic found in common nutmeg.

Many ancient religious groups use natural psychedelics in ceremonies today.

Serotonin Acting

The majority of the serotonin releasing or serotonin acting psychedelics are purely synthetic. Manufacturers cook them up in labs all over the world. The two most popular serotonin releasers are:

  • Lysergic acid diethylamide – this is one of the most popular psychedelics throughout history. The street names for it are:
    • LSD
    • Acid
    • Dots / Microdots
    • Tabs and
    • Many others including those specific to the type of LSD
  • MDMA – a synthetic commonly described as both an amphetamine and hallucinogen. Some of the popular street names are:
  • MDA – a synthetic hallucinogen. The common street name for MDA is Sally.

These two drugs are particularly popular with the younger crowd. Enforcement agents see them in clubs, schools, and colleges. These synthetics are sometimes very dangerous depending on how they are made and what they are mixed with.

Dissociative Drugs

Dissociative drugs are drugs that make you feel otherworldly or beyond your body. Many of these cause extremely high-risk behaviors because of this out of body feeling.

  • Phencyclidine – originally an anesthetic Phencyclidine became popular in the late 50s and early 60s. It is called Angel Dust and PCP on the street.
  • Eticyclidine – a more potent form of PCP developed as an anesthetic in the 1970s. It is rarely found on the street and is nicknamed PCE.
  • Ketamine – a popular veterinary anesthetic. Ketamine has many street names, the most popular of which is Special K.
  • Dextrorphan – one of the key ingredients in cough medicine and using it is often called robo-tripping.
  • Nitrous Oxide – a gas used in aerosols and as a sedative for surgery. The street names of nitrous oxide are laughing gas and whippets.

People often use dissociative drugs because they want to escape. This is part of what makes them so dangerous. They allow a person to shut down, which is why doctors use them as anesthetics for surgeries.

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Cannabinoids are associated with both naturally occurring and synthetic marijuana. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the primary cannabinoid, THC is the most abused drug in the world.

  • Marijuana is a simple plant with a lot of controversy. People smoke the buds and leaves of the plant. The active ingredient in marijuana is THC and it is the THC that is considered a psychedelic. Marijuana has many street names including:
    • weed,
    • reefer,
    • pot, and
    • variations of its name.
  • Abnormal cannabidiol or synthetic THC. Due to the legalization of medical marijuana, synthetic THC is being manufactured. Synthetic THC is very dangerous and can cause adverse reactions. These reactions when experienced often lead to death.

Psychedelics have many names. For the most part these names are associated with specific drugs. It is important to remember that the names of these psychedelic drugs change with the region and time period. Each of the psychedelics causes hallucinations in some form or another.

Doctors and researchers are currently studying the effects of psychedelics for use in treating mental illness. Remember that one of the primary effects of psychedelics is to expand the consciousness. This promotes different or unusual ways of thinking and can help a patient identify and solve a problem in a way that they ordinarily would not.

Although some of them are relatively benign, some of them are highly addictive. When you decide to stop using them, it is important to speak to a doctor to find out if you need medical treatment or not.

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