from treating depression all the way to helping to manage alcohol addiction, research suggests legally-approved medical “magic mushrooms” offer many advantages.
Soft lighting. The furniture is comfortable. Wall art to decorate the space.
To the untrained eye this space appears to be an open-plan living room. But it’s actually not. It’s a research center specially designed to inspire relaxation and comfort.
A psilocybin treatment session is underway.
On the couch is the patient. They wear eyeglasses and headphones. Music is played softly. Researchers from two different teams are on hand to assist in guiding the session throughout the eight hours. The majority of the time will be spent in silence contemplation.
A medical professional is on-site in the event of any unexpected events.
Despite the stigmas associated with normality the therapy session here is anything but normal.
Psilocybin the active ingredient that is found within “magic” mushrooms also known as “shrooms,” is a potent psychoactive.
Although it’s 100 times less powerful than LSD It is capable of altering perceptions of time and space, creating the appearance of visual distortion, feelings of euphoria and mystical sensations.
In contrast to marijuana that has witnessed significant changes both in the realm of legalization as well as recognized medical applications or MDMA that has made media attention recently due to its potential for treating PTSD (some researchers believe that the drug may receive Food and Drug Administration approval within 2021) Psilocybin, however, does not have the same amount of cultural significance.
One could be excused to think about “shrooms” as just a leftover from the excesses of the 1960s’ psychedelic decade.
However, don’t be fooled: Psilocybin has a number of possible medical benefits.
Studies have shown that psilocybin may be a potential treatment for various psychiatric and behavior disorders, though it’s still waiting for FDA acceptance for any treatment.
Its possible signs may include depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder quit drinking alcohol, smoking and headaches caused by clusters, cocaine addiction and other cancer-related emotional distress at the end of life.
A number of high-profile initiatives have also come up in the past few time throughout Denver, Colorado, and Oregon to make psilocybin mushrooms illegal.
But experts believe they’re not likely to pass.
Psilocybin mushrooms are still an Schedule I drug according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, meaning they’re classified as having “no medically accepted use at present and high potential for misuse.”
Others Schedule I drugs include marijuana, MDMA, and LSD.
Yet, despite the stigma of social media and legal red tape researchers are advancing clinical trials to get FDA approval.
“Dr. George R. Greer co-founder and president of Heffter Research Institute, co-founded and president of Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit research centre which focuses on the therapeutic applications of psychedelics and psilocybin in particular and explains his motives:
“Our goal is to accomplish two things: first, to conduct research to help us better understand the brain, the mind and how it all is working, and then helping to alleviate suffering through the therapeutic use of psychoactive drugs.”
The institute is currently focusing on two areas of research in psilocybin addiction and cancer-related psychiatric diseases. Psilocybin therapy for cancer is thought to be as one that is among the most hopeful areas of study in the field of this drug.
Visit this website for help in where to find magic mushroom in the UK.
But, when considering the huge variety of possible indications for psilocybin, it’s essential to be aware that the research conducted can vary widely, ranging from single pilot studies , to the phase II and III approval trials conducted by the FDA.
This is what current research indicates about the use of psilocybin for a few possible indications.
Depression is one of the most studied reasons for using psilocybin therapy. As Healthline earlier reported in the year, the psilocybin treatment has been granted “breakthrough therapy” designation (a review speed route) from the FDA to treat depression.
The Usona Institute, a psychedelic research institute, is working on the preparations for the phase III trial which is likely to start in the year to come.
Addictions such as smoking cessation and alcohol addictions
In a pilot study of a limited size at Johns Hopkins University, researchers found that psilocybin therapy dramatically reduced smoking during 12 months of follow-up.
Matthew Johnson, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry, behavioral and clinical sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who was the study’s leader.
As per his research, psilocybin could be used to treat other disorders of substance use like cocaine and alcohol addiction.
“The general concept is that the root of these conditions is a narrowing of the behavior and mental repertoire,” he told Healthline. “So that psilocybin, when well-planned sessions have the capacity to take someone away from their routine, giving them the possibility of seeing a larger image and to create a mental flexibility that people are able to step out of the problems.”
In actual fact, a brief open-label research on psilocybin’s effects and alcohol dependence revealed that after treatment both drinking and heavy consumption of alcohol decreased.
Researchers from Alabama are conducting research on Psilocybin therapy for addiction to cocaine.
Psychological distress resulting from cancer
“There’ve seen some promising initial results in these areas, like the treatment of intense anxiety and depression in those who are nearing death, or are diagnosed with advanced stage cancer.” the Dr. Charles Grob Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine said to Healthline.
Grob who is also affiliated to The Heffter Research Institute, has been studying psilocybin for a long time and has written research about the subject, which included among other things the pilot study that was conducted in 2011 that focused on the use of psilocybin for anxiety among patients with cancer.
A double-blind, randomized trial conducted by Johns Hopkins during 2016 showed that a single dose Psilocybin significantly improved the health and quality of life. It also reduced anxiety and depression in patients suffering from cancers that are life-threatening.
“The one thing has the most evidence for is the cancer-related depression and anxiety. This seems to be very strong and I’d be astonished that those findings didn’t stand for long,” Johnson said, who was involved in that study.
Although promising, research suggests still no timetable for when, and if, Psilocybin could ever be recognized through the FDA.
The three professionals interviewed by Healthline emphasize that the drug is a risk for a variety of causes if used incorrectly.
“It is only administered with specially trained and certified doctors, therapists and therapists. It’s not available in the streets where people are able to sell it or consume too much or consume too many pills with a prescribing physician,” Greer said.
Psilocybin can affect the cardiovascular system, and may cause an increase in blood pressure and irregular heartbeats.
It could also be a way to cause permanent and serious mental health issues.
“Psilocybin is much more dangerous psychologically than cannabis. It’s especially hazardous for a small percent of people who’ve had an episode of schizophrenia, manic episodes, mania or even, say the close family member who has had these issues, as it could cause a manic or psychosis episode in someone who is susceptible to it,” Greer said.
There’s always the risk of having a “bad journey,” or negative experience when taking the drug. There are a few, but well-documented instances of people who jump into their death or behaving in an erratic manner that puts themselves in danger and others around them.
In the words of Grob states: “Taken in uncontrolled settings In reality, all wagers go out the window. You never know what you’re getting.”
However, psilocybin therapy isn’t like having mushrooms at an event. It’s designed to be a carefully controlled space to make sure that no unexpected events occur.
“You can identify the risk and we have great ways to address the issue,” Johnson said.
He also explained that “There are dangers, but they are significantly reduced in research conducted by medical professionals and possibly in medical applications I believe that these risks and our capability to deal with them are very reasonable in comparison to other procedures used routinely in the field of medicine.”
But the effectiveness and safety of psilocybin therapy must be proved in a satisfactory manner to the FDA however, and so up to now, hasn’t been.
Although some believe that psilocybin will follow the steps of MDMA therapy and could receive approval in the next 5-10 years, the route to be taken isn’t crystal clear and is highly uncertain.
If asked about an acceptable timeframe to get acceptance, Grob told Healthline, “I do not think so. While the research that we’re discussing has been extremely positive and encouraging however, there’s been a lack of research.”
“There is a need for more FDA-approved clinical research on psychoactive substances,” he said, “exploring both how to maximize their therapeutic effects, and also attempting to gain more understanding of the variety of effects that medical drugs can have, which could be challenging… There are some issues that require to be addressed.”