In today’s data-driven world, understanding search trends can provide invaluable insights into the evolving interests and preferences of the public. By harnessing the power of Google Trends, which offers data from trillions of searches worldwide, we can witness the trends and patterns within the psychedelic industry. This analysis will decipher the search trend data and shed light on the surges in interest surrounding psychedelic topics in the United States.

Google Trends offers data obtained through the search engine, which has trillions of searches executed around the world every year. It is a valuable tool to assess the popularity of different subjects and the most often searched subtopics within topics such as psychedelics. 

The data tells us when searches for psychedelic topics surge so that the industry can assess which events and publicity increase exposure. It also shows what about psychedelics the public is most interested in and which trends are increasing in popularity. 

Google only includes topics with a significant number of searches, and the program indexes the topics to 100— this means that 100 represents the maximum search interest for the time period and location represented.

Psychedelics are Trending in the US   

Search popularity for the term “psychedelic” has steadily increased for the past five years— from just below 50 on the index in mid-2018 to its all-time high in July and August of 2022. The influx of searches at that time is likely due to the release of Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind documentary on Netflix. Some of the other significant psychedelic-related news during that time include:

  • Eight Canadian citizens filed a lawsuit against the government for access to psilocybin 
  • The Biden administration came out in support of psilocybin and MDMA treatment for PTSD and Depression
  • The Right to Try Clarification Act introduced to the Senate as a bipartisan bill
  • Colorado Prop 122 qualifies for November Ballot

July and August were full of good news for the psychedelic industry. Still, it is reasonable to assume that the Netflix documentary was primarily responsible for the influx of interest in psychedelics.

Geographical Trends

The five US states with the highest search volume for the term “psychedelic” over the past 19 years were Oregon, Colorado, Vermont, Washington, and Utah. The ranking of these five states has changed over the past 19 years, with little change to the states in the ranking. The only outlier was in the 5-year trend report when Utah was ousted from the rankings by California. 

It is no surprise that Oregon and Colorado took the lead for most searches related to psychedelics, considering that the two states have both passed legislation legalizing psilocybin. While these two states continue to have the most search volume, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine have risen into the top 5 list in the past 90 days.

Trending Psychedelic Topics & Queries

There are two things to look at in this area of the psychedelic trends report. The first is the top related topics to the search term “psychedelic.” We looked at this data for the last 12 months and 90 days, and the results are essentially the same; psilocybin mushrooms are the most popular psychedelic-related search topic. 

Psychedelic therapy is another popular topic, particularly in Utah, Minnesota, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. It is not particularly surprising that Utah, Minnesota, and Arizona are the States with the highest search volume for psychedelic therapy. Other data collected within the industry suggests that rural areas, especially in the Midwest, have a high demand for psychedelic therapy. 

The other data point you’ll want to be aware of is rising related topics; it outlines the search trends that had a significant increase in interest during the time period. Again, we will look at the data from the past year and the last 90 days. 

The past 90 days show nothing particularly interesting for the industry regarding rising topics. Nearly all trends in this section are related to a New York Times crossword puzzle clue that asked for the name of a Grammy-nominated psychedelic music act with an animal in its name, to which the answer was “Tameimpala.”

The only breakout trend of interest is “San Pedro Cactus Psychedelic Effects.” San Pedro is a psychedelic cactus that contains mescaline and is popular in South America. Though the consumption of this plant medicine is illegal in the US, the cactus is not, making it an easy way for people to access mescaline. That is perhaps why it is gaining popularity.

Aaron Rodgers was the top-rising related topic for the term psychedelic in the past twelve months. The NFL quarterback has been publicly speaking about how his use of ayahuasca helped him have the best football season of his life, and as a result, he has been driving up interest in psychedelics.

Salvia, a hallucinogenic plant native to Central and South America, has also become a breakout search topic. In addition, more people have been searching for psychedelic conferences in 2023— indicating a surge of people interested in not only taking psychedelics but getting involved in the industry. 

The top and rising topics related to psychedelics tell us that celebrities and major media outlets, such as Aaron Rodgers and Netflix, significantly influence public interest in psychedelics. The term “psychedelic” and other related search terms are gaining popularity, though searches have not been as high as when they peaked nearly a year ago. 

The trend data for psychedelic topics reveals a growing interest and curiosity from the public. The data from Google Trends provides valuable insights into the popularity and geographic preferences surrounding psychedelics. It shows that searches for psychedelic topics have been increasing steadily, with notable spikes during significant events and the release of influential media.

Geographically, states like Oregon and Colorado have consistently shown high search volumes, likely due to their progressive stance on psilocybin. However, other regions also have emerging trends, indicating a wider spread of interest in psychedelics. The most popular topics include psilocybin mushrooms and psychedelic therapy, showcasing the public’s fascination with these aspects of mind-altering experiences. Overall, the analysis highlights the growing significance of psychedelics in popular culture and suggests a continued upward trajectory in public interest.