An investing gold rush is coming for psychedelics. One line from a neuroscientist on their life-changing power explains why.

Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

Psychedelic comes from the Greek for “mind manifests.”

Signs point to a whole lot of minds manifesting soon.

The first-ever venture capital firm dedicated to psychedelics just launched. Investors claim it’s the “next wave” after the cannabis boom, which has quickly turned into a $US50 billion industry. Often thought of as a party drug, a wave of research is finding that in clinical settings, the hallucinogens can be tremendously therapeutic in the way they reshape (self) perception.

A while back, I interviewed Enzo Tagliazucchi, now at the Goethe University in Germany, one of the neuroscientists driving the research revolution in psychedelics.

He explained to me that a psychedelic experience, like with LSD or psilocybin (the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms”), has the power of “extracting the patient from his or her usual patterns of thought,” which in turn allows them to contemplate “them from a vantage point.”

Read more: The first employee of Andreessen Horowitz – the legendary early investor in Airbnb and Facebook – explains why he actively looks for ‘egomaniacal’ founders

The category of drugs has been used with many clinical populations, including people with substance dependencies or mood disorders. Perhaps most poignantly, it’s been shown to be a powerful treatment for people facing terminal cancer, research that reveals one of the key mechanisms by which the drugs help people. (Still, research in the US remains woefully slim – the government lists psychedelics as Schedule 1 drugs, making them illegal for consumption, possession, or medical study.)

Patients go through what’s technically called “ego dissolution,” and it’s a life-changing experience.

Tagliazucchi continued:

The user feels the boundaries between his or her body and the rest of the universe dissolve, and becomes ‘one’ with the surroundings … This might lead to feelings of transcendence or permanence in the patients, making them realise that even after their death they will still be part of something ‘larger.’

And with that, everything can change.

Anxiety abates.

Smoking cessates.

Depression lifts.

How to change your mind, indeed.

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