Science

The Magic Mushroom And Its Life Changing Effects

By Monica U Santos , Dec 06, 2016 11:06 PM EST

Two recent studies of psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in so-called magic mushrooms, contend that the chemical can act as a powerful remedy for cancer patients suffering from depression and anxiety. The first study is from New York University and the second one is from Johns Hopkins University. Both studies reported that the anti-depressant effects on the magic mushroom can last for months, offering relief to chronically ill patients for whom traditional treatments have failed to work.

The Magic Mushroom And Its Life Changing Effects

According to The Washington Post, eighty people in separate clinical trials at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and New York University Langone Medical Center were given psilocybin under close supervision. The vast majority experienced an increase in optimism, a feeling of connection with other people, and mystical and spiritual experiences. The effects persisted through the six-month follow-up period.

The researchers suggests that psilocybin and other hallucinogenic drugs might be beneficial for people with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug, alcohol or tobacco addictions. In 2012, Carol Vincent was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, as reported by The Atlantic. The disease had already done a number on her, inflating lymph nodes on her chin, collar bones, and groin. “Life is just pointless stress, and then you die,” she thought.

One day, her 27-year-old son sent her a link to an invitation from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, seeking cancer patients to sign up to take psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to alleviate their anxiety and depression. “Start thinking about all the existential questions you want to ponder while your window is open to the universe!” her son wrote.

And without any regret, Carol Vincent is very happy to what happened to her. The results were remarkable: Six months later, 78 percent of the participants were less depressed than they started, as rated by a clinician, and 83 percent were less anxious. Furthermore, 65 percent had almost fully recovered from depression, and 57 percent from their anxiety, after six months.

The Composition Of The Magic Mushroom

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms, collectively known as psilocybin mushrooms. The most potent are members of the genus Psilocybe, such as P. azurescens, P. semilanceata, and P. cyanescens, but psilocybin has also been isolated from about a dozen other genera. As a prodrug, psilocybin is quickly converted by the body to psilocin, which has mind-altering effects similar, in some aspects, to those of LSD, mescaline, and DMT.

In general, the effects include euphoria, visual and mental hallucinations, changes in perception, a distorted sense of time, and spiritual experiences, and can include possible adverse reactions such as nausea and panic attacks. Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as psychedelic mushrooms, are mushrooms that contain the psychedelic compounds psilocybin and psilocin. Common colloquial terms include magic mushrooms and shrooms.

 

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