Research Study: Magic Mushrooms Have The Potential To Treat Anxiety

The latest research into the therapeutic possibilities of hallucinogenic mushrooms adds more weight to the argument that psilocybin, when taken in a supervised environment at prescribed dosages, may significantly improve a person's well-being and life satisfaction. Researchers think it has the potential to treat a variety of psychiatric conditions, including anxiety, depression, and addiction.

The study tested various doses of psilocybin in 18 healthy adults in an effort to determine the ideal therapeutic amount. They were looking for an amount high enough to occasion the profound, life-changing mystical experiences subjects experienced in a previous, high-dose study, without the potentially dangerous side effect of overwhelming fear and anxiety experienced by about 1/3 of the prior subjects.

The second-highest dose used in this new study proved to be what they were looking for--almost 75% of participants reported a beneficial experience, with nearly half considering it the single most meaningful experience of their lives. Only one of the subjects on this dose reported negative effects. Follow-up with the participants found that the positive changes lasted more than 14 months after the last session.

While the findings seem promising, the researchers note that people vulnerable to psychotic disorders may be pushed into psychosis by taking the drug and that the highly variable amount of psilocybin found in mushrooms makes taking them a risky proposition. If psilocybin does prove to have a therapeutic effect for disorders like depression and anxiety, it will be in a controlled treatment setting using precise dosages.

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