Is Ketamine a Psychedelic?
Christopher Fischer, MD, psychiatrist
Although ketamine is commonly described as a psychedelic and sometimes placed in the same category as psilocybin and ayahuasca, technically ketamine is not a psychedelic and is best classified as a dissociative anesthetic. However, ketamine does possess some psychedelic properties as it can induce visual hallucinations and “out of body” sensations during its administration. Often patients will describe their ketamine journeys as profound experiences. These journeys may involve different physical sensations, colors, sounds, thoughts, emotions, and insights. These insights can help guide patients and stimulate a shift in perspective, break negative thinking patterns, and help patients overcome mental roadblocks to their recovery and healing.