Speaking last Friday at the Psychedelic Science 2023 Conference in Denver, Jaden Smith credits psychedelics with improving relationships with his family members, USA Today reports. The actor and rapper, 24, is the son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, brother to Willow Smith, and half-brother to Trey Smith. Despite being what the kids like to call a “nepo baby,” Jaden has created a name solely for himself, largely thanks to his non-binary icon status. Jaden is known for his gender-defying fashion and helped cement the Smith family’s progressive reputation. His comments on psychedelics only further associate the Smith family name with being ahead of the curve. But Jaden wasn’t trying to pay lip service to the psychedelic movement to score cool points. He described, in relatable detail to anyone who’s gained clarity from a trip, how by increasing empathy, psychedelics help him rise above any pettiness and find peace with his loved ones.
“Siblings can argue so much and fight so much, and lord knows me and my siblings have done so much of that in the past,” he said. “But the level of love and empathy that I can feel for them inside of the (psychedelic) experiences and outside of the experiences has been something that’s profound and beautiful,” Smith said at the conference. This point is crucial because it demonstrates that healing doesn’t end when a trip does. Through integration, one can continue implementing the wisdom gained during a psychedelic experience into daily life.
Furthermore, Smith says that his mom introduced the family to the benefits of psychedelics. “I think it was my mom, actually, that was really the first one to make that step for the family,” he said of Jada Pinkett Smith introducing psychedelics to her kin. “It was just her for a really, really long time and then eventually it just trickled and evolved and everybody found it in their own ways.”
Science backs up his mom’s wisdom. As a 2020 study shows, psychedelics such as psilocybin, ayahuasca, LSD, and mescaline can increase emotional empathy. The research suggests that improved empathic functioning can bring about more openness, increased social connectedness, and prosocial attitudes.
For instance, Jaden Smith described how his family members would fight and then make up after taking psychedelics and experiencing a new perspective. “It will actually help us to open up our minds to get out of the old ways of thinking that got us into lots of these arguments and open it up so that it just releases and makes room for you to work it out and massage it out until it’s completely gone,” Smith said.
From sex-positive conversations on the talk show Red Table Talk, starring Jada, Willow, and Jada’s mom, Adrienne Banfield-Norris (and never-ending speculation over her open relationship with Will Smith), it doesn’t come as a surprise that Jada would be down with something as progressive as taking psychedelics with her family. While science is on her side, too many moms would still clutch their pearls at the idea of introducing their family to psychedelics.
However, this could be changing. A poll from the University of California, Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP), also presented at the Psychedelic Science 2023 Conference, shows that 61% of Americans support legalizing psychedelic therapy.
One of the biggest hurdles the psychedelic industry faces are limitations imposed by the federal government. Due to scheduling, it can be tricky to get solid research on these promising treatments. However, in more good news, the FDA, also on Friday, issued the first-ever guidance for clinical studies on psychedelics, suggesting that before you know it, your mom may be into bonding through tripping, too.