Want to, Like, Really Connect With Nature? Try Some LSD
Ever wonder why hippies love trees so much? It might be thanks to that handful of
It could be the other way around, though: the study doesn't rule out the possibility that eco-friendly individuals are more likely to try substances like
The authors of the study, Matthias Forstmann and Christina Sagioglou, think there's reason to believe psychedelic substances help people to appreciate nature. Psychedelics like psilocybin (the psychedelic compound found in over 200 species of mushrooms), found to alter connectivity between brain networks, are also associated with the "ego-dissolving" effects responsible for the feelings of connectedness with the natural world, though the researchers were unable to conclude that environmentally conscious individuals were simply more likely to eat some shrooms.
The study relied on a survey using self-reported results from over 1,400 people, questioning them about their closeness with nature, their ecological behavior, and their experience with psychedelic substances like LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin.
"The more people had experience with classic psychedelics, the more they enjoyed spending time in nature, and the more they construed their self as being a part of nature," they said in the study. The increased relatedness felt toward nature also meant participants who have used psychedelics were more environmentally conscious, and engaged in more eco-friendly activities, like water conservation and recycling.
Not every psychoactive substance was associated with an increase in nature relatedness. Substances like cannabis, while traditionally associated with pro-environmental groups, did not have a strong enough effect on a person's feelings toward nature. As for nature's effect on one's likelihood to consume psychedelic substances, the authors proposed a more long-term study tracking people's views on nature as well as the effects psychedelics have on their ecological behavior over time.