Can Psychedelics Reduce Color Blindness?
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
The reports of altered color vision under the influence of psychedelics date as back as the use of psychedelics. But what happens when a colorblind individual takes a psychedelic substance? PsyPost reported "A new report published in Drug Science, Policy and Law suggests that psychedelic drugs may improve symptoms of color blindness. The study discusses 23 anecdotal reports describing improved color blindness after taking drugs like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin (also known as “magic mushrooms”)." In a previous research project, researchers had received reports from participants who described changes in their color blindness symptoms following the use of psychedelics. "Motivated to explore whether experiences like these are common, the researchers analyzed responses to a large-scale annual drug survey — the 2017 edition of the Global Drugs Survey (GDS)." About 50% reported that they did experience improvements in color blindness after using a psychedelic and about half did not. The substances most commonly associated with positive changes in color vision were LSD and psilocybin. About 39% of those experiencing vision changes said these changes persisted anywhere from three days to years after the experience. "The reason why psychedelics might affect color vision is not clear, but the authors say it may have to do with activity involving the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor. They say that psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin are known to activate the 5-HT2A receptor, which can lead to enhanced neural plasticity and allow for new connections between cortical regions."