Parosmia is a condition where one experiences delusions or hallucinations while under the influence of certain drugs. These are not always negative and may include feelings of love, hope, joy, euphoria and other positive emotions. However these are usually short lived and do not last long enough to cause significant problems. They tend to occur when the drug wears off quickly or if it was taken too late into the trip (after a few hours). If they persist then they could indicate psychosis or even schizophrenia.
The most common drugs which cause parosmia are psychedelics such as LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline and DMT. Other substances commonly associated with parosia include alcohol, benzodiazepines (benzos), barbiturates (such as ketamine) and opioids.
There have been cases of people having hallucinations from cannabis but this is rare.
How does Parosmia happen?
There are several possible causes of parosmia. Some of them are:
Dose Dependence – The person takes the drug at a high dose and experiences hallucinations due to the large amount of serotonin being released in their brain. This is the most likely reason why some people get very paranoid when taking hallucinogens like LSD or magic mushrooms.
When people take low doses, they experience less hallucinations than others do.
Set and Setting – The person’s mindset (or “set”) and the environment they are in (or “setting”) can cause different effects. For example, a person who is depressed may see the world as a depressing place and this might cause them to have negative hallucinations.
A person who is generally happy may experience more positive hallucinations.
Sources & references used in this article:
Parosmia by K Zilstorff – The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 1966 – cambridge.org
Parosmia and hyposmia induced by solvent exposure. by EA Emmett – British journal of industrial medicine, 1976 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Parosmia by K Zilstorff, O Herbild – Acta Oto-Laryngologica, 1978 – Taylor & Francis