Psychedelics can’t be tested using conventional clinical trials




"....Neuropsychopharmacology learns about drugs through a simple experimental paradigm: the placebo-controlled trial. While all other conditions stay the same, test subjects either receive a pharmacologically active drug or an inactive placebo. The underlying assumption is that all psychosocial and cultural factors are also at work when the placebo is given. Hence, when comparing the effects of the actual drug to those of the placebo, the drug’s own activity will come to the fore.

But here is the rub. In the late 19th century, experimental psychologists gave the mescaline-containing peyote cactus to Euro-American test subjects in the laboratory while anthropologists observed its ingestion by Native Americans in religious rituals. These two groups reported very different experiences. Western test subjects were often haunted by horrible visions and gloomy depression whereas the participants of Native American peyote ceremonies expressed religious enthusiasm about contact with a higher order of reality...."