Millennials were the only ones experimenting with magic mushrooms. In recent years, psilocybin has become very popular, and now scientists are looking at its effects on patients with cancer.
Psilocybin Could Benefit Patients With Cancer
Centered on two new analyses, magic mushrooms, or perhaps the psychedelic drug psilocybin, could significantly benefit patients with cancer tumors experiencing anxiety and major depression.
According to a new study led by researchers at New York University, a single dose of psilocybin found in psychedelic mushrooms has been found to significantly reduce anxiety and depression in patients with cancer for up to several months.
The findings show that a one-time treatment of psilocybin, whose use required federal waivers because it is a banned substance, brought instant relief to cancer patients.
The effects lasted for more than six months in 80 percent of the 29 study subjects monitored. This data was based on clinical evaluation scores for anxiety and depression.
All patients in the study, primarily women from the ages of 22 to 75, were patients at the Perlmutter Cancer Center of NYU Langone. They had either advanced breast, gastrointestinal, or blood cancers and were diagnosed with severe psychological distress.
All patients were counseled by psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, or social workers and were monitored for side effects and improvements in their mental state.
Our results represent the strongest evidence to date of how beneficial psilocybin therapy has the potential to heal patients with cancer-related psychological distress.
Stated the lead investigator Stephen Ross, M.D., director of substance abuse services in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone.
If larger clinical trials are also proven to be successful, then we could ultimately have a safe, effective, and inexpensive way to alleviate the distress that increases suicide rates among cancer patients.
Said Ross, also an associate professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.
Study co-investigator Jeffrey Guss, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone, states that magic mushrooms have been studied for decades and proven effective. He adds that none of the study participants experienced any serious adverse effects, such as hospitalization or other severe mental health disorders.
Although magic mushrooms’ neurological benefits are not entirely understood, psilocybin has been shown to activate parts of the brain also affected by the neurotransmitter serotonin, which regulates our anxiety and mood. Depression has also been linked to serotonin imbalances.
For the study, half of the subjects were randomly given 0.3-milligram doses of magic mushrooms, while the rest of the patients received a placebo (250 milligrams of niacin).
About halfway through the study’s monitoring period (after seven weeks), all participants switched treatments. Those who were initially given magic mushrooms took a single dose of the placebo, and those who first took the placebo then received magic mushrooms. Neither the patients nor researchers knew who had first received the psilocybin or the placebo.
The placebo control, randomization, and double-blind procedures maximized the validity of the results of the study, said Guss.
One significant finding was that reductions in levels of depression and anxiety lasted for the remainder of the study’s extended monitoring period, eight months, for those who took magic mushrooms first.
Co-investigator Anthony Bossis, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone, said that the patients who took magic mushrooms also reported improvements in their quality of life.
They went out more, had tremendous energy, got along better with family members, and did well at work. Several other patients also reported an increase in altruism, peacefulness, and spirituality.
Bossis stated that the study showed that psilocybin facilitated experiences that drove psychological distress reductions. He also mentioned that if it’s effective for cancer patients, then it may also be effective for everybody.
However, Bossis cautioned that patients should not consume psilocybin independently or without supervision by a physician and a trained counselor. He also said that magic mushroom therapy might not work for everyone, and people with schizophrenia and adolescents should not be treated with psilocybin.
The NYU Langone-led study, appearing in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, was published side by side with a similar study from Johns Hopkins. This study was also endorsed in 11 accompanying editorials from leading experts in psychiatry, addiction, and palliative care.
Based on experts, magic mushrooms ease stress, anxiety, and depression.
The common effects magic mushrooms had on many patients were a sense of love and being “one” with everything. It caused a change in the brain or neuroplasticity.
Studies using MRI imaging show psilocybin altering the brain to action, allowing for communication with regions in your brain that typically do not connect. The study shows a breakthrough for psychotherapy and researchers alike.
Profound Change on a Patients Life
In the Time Journal article, Dinah Bazer explains her experience going with a single dose of psilocybin in an analysis of NYU Langone hospital.
Dinah said that she felt scared and was initially “tumbling through space.” Right after being calmed by the researchers guiding her, she could relax and see her fear as a dark object inside her body. She took control and ordered the black muscle to go away, and it faded.
After that, she started to feel unusual. My spouse and I felt overwhelmed, at peace, and euphoric. The feeling of immense light lingered on for weeks, and after four years, I still feel the same effects at times.
My fear and anxiety had been removed, and it hasn’t been back. The experience changed how I viewed life. I used to imagine what the idea will be like if the tumor came back, although I no longer think about it the same way as I did years ago. When My spouse and I don’t feel well, thought processes of a recurrence creep in my mind; however, I no longer have anxiety.
The Benefits of Magic Mushrooms are Promising
The benefits of magic mushrooms look promising. Many individuals have experimented with psilocybin, and now, most of us trust this mind-altering drug that affects our emotions in a way that:
- Benefits our emotional health
- Heightens spiritual expansion
- It brings peace and happiness
Like with any drug, it’s essential to think about the physical complications involving the use of mind-altering medications, which can cause vitamin/mineral deficiencies, failing liver complications, cognitive troubles, and much more. However, the benefits outweigh the consequences.