Classical psychedelics are substances that induce hallucinogenic effects. Sometimes, classical psychedelics are referred to as classical hallucinogens or tryptamines.

These psychoactive compounds generally act upon serotonin receptors in the brain. The classical psychedelics include:

  • 5-MeO-DMT
  • Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
  • Mescaline
  • Psilocybin

Ayahuasca is sometimes referred to as a classical psychedelic, but the active psychedelic ingredient is DMT. Ayahuasca is a brew containing DMT and other ingredients.

Some classical psychedelics, notably DMT, mescaline, and psilocybin, have been used therapeutically for millennia. Many Indigenous cultures use these naturally occurring substances medicinally and incorporate them into spiritual and healing ceremonies.

LSD was synthesized from a fungus that grows on rye in the late 1930s. Despite its young age in comparison to other psychedelics, LSD is still considered a classical psychedelic because it acts on serotonin receptors. LSD has also had a large impact on contemporary culture and is considered historically significant.

Classical psychedelics can produce changes in your state of consciousness. They may also cause a myriad of reactions in the body, including hallucinations, feelings of euphoria, and mystical experiences.

What Are Other Psychedelics?

There are other psychedelics that aren’t considered in the “classical” category.

These may include:

  • Ketamine
  • 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Salvinorin A

These psychedelics have different mechanisms of action compared with classical psychedelics, so they are not considered classical.