For many years, psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in magic mushrooms, was considered too dangerous for consumption. But recent studies on its effects have shown no long-term damage from its use, and the FDA has now classified it as a “breakthrough therapy” for depression.
In phase one of the largest ever controlled study on psilocybin, 89 healthy participants were given either 10mg, 25mg, or a placebo of the drug. Over 25 dosing sessions, the participants would go through therapy sessions in groups of six for a period of 12 weeks.
“The results of the study are clinically reassuring and support further development of psilocybin as a treatment for patients with mental health problems that haven’t improved with conventional therapy, such as treatment-resistant depression.” – KCL’s Dr. James Rucker, the study’s lead investigator
Phase two of the study is currently underway while researchers attempt to discover whether 216 volunteer patients will see improvements in depression where conventional treatments have failed them.
“We are focused on getting psilocybin therapy safely to as many patients who would benefit from it as possible [and] are grateful to the many pioneering research institutions whose work over the years has helped to demonstrate the potential of psilocybin in medicine.” – Dr. James Rucker
Magic mushrooms are the opposite of antidepressants, notes leading psychedelic researcher Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris. Where pharmaceutical antidepressants leave emotions “blunted,” psilocybin brings them out for the patient to deal with and move past in a healthy manner.
After the study of psychedelics was legalized in recent years, research has consistently pointed to the notion that psilocybin can help patients overcome depression. According to the Centre for Psychedelic Research at London’s Imperial College, magic mushrooms could replace antidepressants altogether within 5 years due to a low rate of adverse effects compared with pharmaceuticals.
“The implications of that are actually frightening to me, thinking of the power and influence of big pharma… What are they going to do with that if there’s this big public demand for the ‘mushroom therapy’, and not the Prozac?” – Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris
Although magic mushrooms are showing much promise while used in a controlled setting, I do not recommend that anyone go out and take this drug without knowing that it is safe and legal to do so.
If you do find yourself under the influence of psilocybin, make sure that you do not operate any kind of heavy machinery, such as driving a car. If you start to get anxious or paranoid, remember that the effects only last a few hours and you will be completely back to normal within a few days.
A study from PLoS One in 2013 reported no increase in mental health problems for lifetime psychedelic users (such as persisting hallucinations, panic attacks, or cognitive decline).
“We did not find use of psychedelics to be an independent risk factor for mental health problems… Rather, in several cases psychedelic use was associated with lower rate of mental health problems.” – Teri S. Krebs, Study Author
However, in extreme cases you may need to take a trip to the emergency room. Make sure to always trip with someone who is sober and informed about what to do in a situation where you may need medical attention. Also, do not take psychedelics if you have a prior history or family history of mental illness as no research currently exists showing the drug won’t exasperate those symptoms.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, accidentally eating a poisonous or moldy mushroom by mistake can result in muscle spasms, confusion and delirium, as well as gastrointestinal illness. If you experience any of these in the extreme, get medical attention immediately.
Make sure you understand the safety precautions needed before taking psychedelic mushrooms because you don’t want to turn a $20 bag of mushrooms into a $2,000 hospital trip, or worse. That being said, only 0.2% of almost 10,000 people surveyed needed emergency medical treatment after consuming psilocybin mushrooms, according to the 2017 Global Drug Survey.
Magic mushrooms are not habit forming, however they are still illegal. Make sure to only take them if you know they are safe and you are using them in a safe and legal space, such as a controlled laboratory setting or with a trusted and informed friend in a country in which they are legal.
About the Author
Phillip Schneider is a student as well as a staff writer and assistant editor for Waking Times. If you would like to see more of his work, you can visit his website, or follow him on the free speech social network Minds.
This article (Largest Study Ever Conducted Using Magic Mushrooms Finds Psilocybin Completely Safe and “Breakthrough Therapy” for Depression) as originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Phillip Schneider and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.