Handbook of Medical Hallucinogens

Edited by Charles S. Grob and Jim Grigsby

Hardcovere-bookprint + e-book
March 9, 2021
ISBN 9781462545445
Price: $75.00 $56.25
582 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
January 29, 2021
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $75.00 $56.25
582 Pages
print + e-book
Hardcover + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $150.00 $82.50
582 Pages

This handbook reviews promising applications of psychedelics in treatment of such challenging psychiatric problems as posttraumatic stress disorder, major depression, substance use disorders, and end-of-life anxiety. Experts from multiple disciplines synthesize current knowledge on psilocybin, MDMA, ketamine, and other medical hallucinogens. The volume comprehensively examines these substances' neurobiological mechanisms, clinical effects, therapeutic potential, risks, and anthropological and historical contexts. Coverage ranges from basic science to practical clinical considerations, including patient screening and selection, dosages and routes of administration, how psychedelic-assisted sessions are structured and conducted, and management of adverse reactions.

“If you’re looking for a comprehensive work on hallucinogens, this is it! This book can benefit all, from novice to expert. Grob and Grigsby take the reader on a journey through all aspects of medical hallucinogens, including their neuroscience, therapeutic considerations, and more. The book dives into individual hallucinogens and incorporates contributions from leading experts in the field. This is the ideal reference and text for the current renaissance of psychedelic research.”

—Rick Doblin, PhD, Executive Director, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies

“This volume is a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art overview of the powerful and curious chemicals variously known as hallucinogens, psychedelics, and entheogens. The Handbook surveys their history, cross-cultural use, therapeutic potentials, and implications for our understanding of human psychology and mental health.”

—Roger Walsh, MD, PhD, DHL, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Philosophy, and Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

“This fantastic book has managed to thoughtfully address literally every aspect of psychedelics and psychedelic medicine in a single volume. Following an in-depth history of these medicines, with special attention paid to cultural and ecological aspects, chapters examine the major psychedelic compounds, neuroscience, psychotherapeutic elements, and specific clinical indications, before concluding with explorations of philosophical and existential implications. A superb addition to the field, this is an excellent resource for both the newcomer looking for a thorough introduction to psychedelics and the experienced clinician who seeks a deeper understanding of these substances' history and psychotherapeutic potentials.”

—Franklin King IV, MD, Director, Training and Education, Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics, Massachusetts General Hospital; Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Table of Contents


I. Overview of Hallucinogens

1. The Pharmacology of Psychedelics, David E. Nichols & Charles D. Nichols

2. Plants for the People: The Future of Psychedelic Therapies in the Age of Biomedicine, Dennis J. McKenna

3. Anthropology, Shamanism, and Hallucinogens, Michael Winkelman

4. A Short, Strange Trip: LSD Politics, Publicity, and Mythology—from Discovery to Criminalization, Maria Mangini

5. History of the Use of Hallucinogens in Psychiatric Treatment, Torsten Passie

II. Neuroscience of Hallucinogens

6. Human Neuroimaging Studies of Serotonergic Psychedelics, Enzo Tagliazucchi

7. Memory Reconsolidation in Psycholytic Psychotherapy, Jim Grigsby

III. Individual Hallucinogens

8. LSD, Kristine Panik & David E. Presti

9. Psilocybin, Stephen Ross, Silvia Franco, Collin Reiff, & Gabrielle Agin-Liebes

10. Therapeutic Potential of Fast-Acting Synthetic Tryptamines, Rafael Lancelotta & Alan K. Davis

11. Mescaline, Will Van Derveer

12. MDMA, Michael Mithoefer & Annie Mithoefer

13. Therapeutic and Social Uses of MDMA, Scott Shannon, Rob Colbert, & Shannon Hughes

14. Biological and Psychological Mechanisms Underlying the Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca, Dráulio Barros de Araújo, Luis Fernando Tófoli, Stevens Rehen, & Sidarta Ribeiro

15. The Ibogaine Project: Urban Ethnomedicine for Opioid Use Disorder, Kenneth Alper

16. Salvia divinorum, Ana Elda Maqueda

17. Ketamine, Gary Bravo, Robert Grant, & Raquel Bennett

IV. Therapeutic Considerations

18. Set, Setting, and Dose, J. C. Callaway

19. The Use of Music in Psychedelic Therapy, Mendel Kaelen

20. The Role of the Guide in Psychedelic-Assisted Treatment, Mary Cosimano

21. Comparative Phenomenology and Neurobiology of Meditative and Psychedelic States of Consciousness: Implications for Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy, Milan Scheidegger

22. Adverse Effects, Kelan Thomas and Benjamin Malcolm

V. Indications and Purpose

23. Utility of Psychedelics in the Treatment of Psychospiritual and Existential Distress in Palliative Care: A Promising Therapeutic Paradigm, Anthony P. Bossis

24. Classic Psychedelics for Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder, Michael P. Bogenschutz & Sarah E. Mennenga

25. Psychedelics in the Treatment of Addiction, Matthew W. Johnson sample

26. The Treatment of Depressive Disorders with Psychedelics, Dave King & Jonny Martell

27. Hallucinogens in Headache, Emmanuelle A. D. Schindler

VI. Mystical/Religious Experiences and Philosophical Considerations

28. Mystical/Religious Experiences with Psychedelics, William A. Richards

29. Philosophical Considerations Concerning the Use of Hallucinogens in Psychiatric Treatment, Candice L. Shelby

About the Editors

Charles S. Grob, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Harbor–UCLA Medical Center. He previously held faculty positions at the Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Grob has conducted approved clinical research with psychedelics since the early 1990s and has published numerous articles on psychedelics in the medical and psychiatric literatures, as well as several books. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute.

Jim Grigsby, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Psychology, and in the Division of Health Care Policy and Research of the Department of Medicine, at the University of Colorado Denver. His research and over 250 publications have focused on neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, telemedicine, and other areas of health services research. His work in neuroscience includes extensive research on executive functioning and on the clinical phenotypes of fragile x-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), of which he was a co-discoverer. Dr. Grigsby's current research interests include the the therapeutic use and mechanisms of psilocybin and MDMA.


Clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, and other medical and mental health professionals.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses.