The use of mushrooms by man for practical, culinary or recreational purposes is said to date back to at least Paleolithic times, with perhaps the best-known variety in recent times being Amanita muscaria or Fly Agaric. Nibbling on one side of this fungus made Alice grow in size and the other made her shrink, leading to some rather bizarre adventures and inspiring one of my favorite songs – White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane. The favored psychoactive mushrooms of the drop-out 1960s, though, were members of the Psilocybe genus. Researchers now believe that they have found the optimum dose of the pure chemical found in those so-called magic mushrooms, a level which offers maximum therapeutic value with little risk of having a bad trip.
Psilocybin is produced by over 200 species of fungi and its hallucinogenic, often spiritual, influence has long been well known. It’s said to lead to a feeling of oneness with nature and the universe, of a great inner peace and calm. But, as if proof of the old adage, too much of this good thing can also result in powerful negative episodes marked by fear and anxiety, and has led to strict regulation or outright prohibition in many countries throughout the world.
The latest Psilocybin study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine set out to discover the “sweet spot” dose of pure chemical Psilocybin that would offer users all the positive benefits while minimizing the negative effects. Researchers screened volunteers between the ages of 29 and 62, ensuring that they were of sound mind and body (as the saying goes), and chose 18 to undergo five sessions lasting eight hours each and timed a month apart. At four of these, the volunteers would receive varying doses of the chemical and a placebo (no drug) at the remaining session.
Lie back and look inward
In common with other studies at Hopkins, volunteers in this one were settled into a comfy couch in an aesthetically-pleasing, living-room-like environment during each session and were accompanied by trained monitors. The subjects were encouraged to lie back and relax, with mood-complementing classical and world music being played through headphones. Neither the volunteers or the monitors knew beforehand how much Psilocybin they were to receive at each session but subjects were given preparatory guidance and coaching.
The Latest on: Psilocybin
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The Latest on: Psilocybin
- 2 Drug Legalization Measures on Oregon Balloton October 16, 2020 at 10:06 am
War veterans with PTSD, terminally ill patients and others suffering from anxiety are backing a ballot measure that would legalize controlled, therapeutic use in Oregon of psilocybin mushrooms.
- Oregon measure 109: Voters to decide fate of 'magic mushroom' therapyon October 13, 2020 at 9:19 am
Measure 109 would make Oregon the first state in the nation allowed to manufacture, deliver and administer psilocybin products and psilocybin-assisted therapy at supervised and licensed facilities.
- Havn Life Applies for Licence to Produce and Sell Psilocybinon October 13, 2020 at 5:00 am
The Controlled Drugs and Substances Dealer’s Licence will allow Havn Life to supply naturally-derived psilocybin globally to universities, clinical researchers and companies. VA ...
- Elections 2020: With Measure 109, voters to decide fate of psilocybin mushroom therapyon October 13, 2020 at 12:56 am
Supporters of Oregon's measure argue it has unparalleled therapeutic benefits. However, some physicians and psychiatrists don't think it's ready yet.
- What If a Pill Can Change Your Politics or Religious Beliefs?on October 11, 2020 at 9:00 am
Psychotherapy assisted by psilocybin, the psychedelic compound in “magic mushrooms,” seems to be remarkably effective in treating a wide range of psychopathologies, but also causes a raft of ...
- Editorial: Vote no on Measure 109on October 10, 2020 at 9:17 pm
Oregon voters are being asked to decide whether or not to legalize psilocybin — also known as magic mushrooms — with very specific rules, restrictions and timelines. Psilocybin is a compound ...
- What Psychedelic Mushrooms Are Teaching Us About Human Consciousnesson October 9, 2020 at 5:03 pm
Dozens of clinical trials are underway, the majority investigating the therapeutic effect of psilocybin, the active component in so-called magic mushrooms. This natural compound belongs to the class ...
- The case for funding psychedelics to treat mental healthon October 9, 2020 at 10:48 am
Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is being investigated as a potential treatment for depression. Over the past decade, a few studies have investigated the effectiveness of ...
- NeuroPharm files provisional patent for Psilocybin in psychiatric disorderson October 7, 2020 at 6:00 am
"By reducing the enzymatic breakdown of psilocin, we may be able to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of psilocybin at lower dosages," commented Josh Bartch, CEO of Mydecine. Dose reduction may ...
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