Maybe you’ve noticed taking psychedelic substances – ayahuasca, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, DMT – to name just a few, is all the rage these days.

And whether people are “journeying” to pursue mind expansion or trying to dump painful emotions –  either way, the idea of what’s called a “difficult trip” during psychedelic journeys looms large.

A “difficult trip” has become lore in psychedelic circles and is explained as often simply part of the experience. However, in working with cannabis, I have a different take on this, which I explain in this week’s video.

I get the opportunity to talk to a lot of people who come into my world looking for emotional healing – because I do cannabis-assisted emotional and trauma recovery work. And as a trained clinician, with everyone I work with, I do what’s called a client intake, which includes a questionnaire and an interview to find out if working together will be a good fit for both of us. Included in that, I ask about their history with psychedelics.

And more than 50% of the people I work with have experimented with psychedelics in their search for relief from their struggle with difficult emotions… anything from weekend gatherings doing acid or magic mushrooms to trips to the Amazon for ayahuasca retreats.

And essentially, they’re coming to me because either the substances didn’t work for them or their experience resulted in one of those “difficult trips” and they don’t ever want to experience anything like that again.

There’s an entire ethos in the psychedelic community about “difficult trips”… and it goes something like this: In a comfortable environment with a skilled facilitator, you take the psychedelic medicine and, essentially, let it have its way with you. It could be a lovely pleasant and inspiring psychedelic journey or it could be a hellish ride where a person might think they’re going crazy… losing their mind and feeling like the trip’s never gonna end. Old traumas, the memories of earth-shattering experiences can percolate up and cause what’s called a psychedelic crisis.

However, psychedelic facilitators most often explain that in going through this, it’s an opportunity for powerful releases that can lift trauma and create life-changing shifts in perspective. I do know that that is the case. I have no argument with that point of view. Personally, in my psychedelic experiences, which I did a few years ago, I had intense trips but nothing that ever made me feel like I was going crazy. Yet, we know that a difficult trip can be excruciating. And, having said that, it’s my firm belief, that a person doesn’t need to do that to have life-changing shifts in perspective.

I believe – and this is what I do – that we can use particular methods that include cannabis that make for an easier time of releasing what might be haunting our psyche. Working with cannabis offers more efficient integration with what comes up and the ability to recover in a shorter period of time.

Now, of course, any time we’re doing what’s called “shadow work” – that is bringing up traumatic events that are often hidden in the nooks and crannies of our psyche, it is heavy emotional lifting. But cannabis is a more malleable and easier-to-work-with-substance that still gets the job done… and without the specter of difficult mind-blowing trips… no “difficult trips.”  Soul searching is never an easy lift but we don’t have to take the chance having one of these excruciating “difficult trips.”

And one of the other big pluses in amplifying with cannabis in our Emotional Liberation work is that you can do it more frequently on an on-going basis… so you can keep the momentum going. With psychedelics, you gotta wait a while between sessions so you can land well and get good grounding. And that takes time. Cannabis is more efficient and, in my experience, just as effective. In my master courses, it can be used on a weekly basis, although it’s always a matter of personal choice among students.

Over all, I believe, cannabis is an optimal choice for inner exploration when paired with a spiritual framework that allows us to go deep.

The medicine’s strong safety profile is undeniable. It’s legal in most of the U.S. and increasingly easier to get your hands on …unlike psychedelics. And in most places, where legalized, cannabis is tested for toxins and contaminants, which is continually a big issue with sourcing psychedelics.

I want to add that working with cannabis intentionally is a far cry from getting stoned to numb and escape emotional pain. In order to release we need to go toward the emotional pain in order to release it.

What’s your take on what I’m saying? Have you had a difficult trip on psychedelics and have some thoughts on this? What’s been your experience. Drop down to the comments section and let me know!

I’m Becca Williams and I want you to lead your most magnificent life… and I want to help you do that.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: Psilocybin is a largely illegal substance and we do not encourage or condone its use where it is against the law. However we accept that illegal drug use occurs and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason this information is designed to ensure the safety of those who decide to use plant medicine.