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Posted on: September 14, 2018 at 12:04 pm
Last updated: October 22, 2018 at 10:44 am

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in fungi. Most of us associate “Magic mushrooms” with hippie culture. But did you know that ancient rock drawings may indicate that “shrooms” were used as far back as 9000 BC?[1]

Magic mushrooms are illegal and categorized as a controlled substance in the United States, however, the FDA has recently approved a psilocybin clinical trial for the purpose of treating depression.[2]

mushrooms for depression

Why use Mushrooms for depression symptoms?

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16.2 million adults in the United States report experiencing a major depressive event in the past year.[3] However, approximately 30% of all people with depression don’t find a drug that relieves their symptoms. This is known as treatment-resisting depression.[4]  Are Prozac’s days numbered? Maybe it’s time to look beyond big pharma pills and towards plant-based compounds.

Rosalind Watts, a clinical psychologist, started out as a skeptic until she saw firsthand the results of people who had been treated with psilocybin. She is now is at the forefront of research and advocates for the controlled use of psilocybin to combat depression and anxiety. Watch her unique take below:

Who is running the clinical trials today?

Life sciences company, Compass Pathways, was given the go-ahead by the FDA to conduct psilocybin clinical trials. These will be conducted on 216 patients at 12 to 15 research sites in North America and Europe. All participants have treatment-resistant depression and will receive the drug along with compound psychological support.[2,8]

When will these studies take place?

Clinical trials are already taking place in five locations: Groningen and Utrecht in The Netherlands; Manchester, London, and Newcastle in the UK, with more locations to be added across Europe. [8]

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There Are Also Previous Studies About Hallucinogen Benefits

An NYU and John Hopkins study conducted in 2016 showed a single dose of psilocybin decreased symptoms in patients with cancer-related anxiety. The result was rapid, and long-term relief of psychological distress. These findings were published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology.[5,6]

Back in the 1950s to late 1960s hallucinogens were administered to patients with end-stage cancers. The outcome was enhanced mood and reduced anxiety, even for patients with extreme depression. In October 1968, the US federally banned psilocybin with a limited number of studies over the years.[7]

Other studies suggest psilocybin may protect the brain against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (click here to learn more).

If you or someone you know has signs of depression please support them and urge them to seek medical help.

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This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

1. Brusco, R. (2017). Tripping through Time: The Fascinating History of the Magic Mushroom. [online] Ancient Origins. Available at: https://www.ancient-origins.net/history-ancient-traditions/tripping-through-time-fascinating-history-magic-mushroom-007474 [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

2. The Daily Grail. (2018). Bye Bye, Prozac! FDA Approves Psilocybin for Depression Clinical Trials – The Daily Grail. [online] Available at: https://www.dailygrail.com/2018/08/bye-bye-prozac-fda-approves-psilocybin-for-depression-clinical-trials/ [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

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3. Morin, A. (2018). How Many People Are Actually Affected by Depression Every Year?. [online] Verywell Mind. Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/depression-statistics-everyone-should-know-4159056 [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

4. Oaklander, M. (2017). New Hope For Depression. [online] Time. Available at: http://time.com/4876098/new-hope-for-depression/ [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

5. Journals.sagepub.com. (2018). Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: a randomized controlled trial – Stephen Ross, Anthony Bossis, Jeffrey Guss, Gabrielle Agin-Liebes, Tara Malone, Barry Cohen, Sarah E Mennenga, Alexander Belser, Krystallia Kalliontzi, James Babb, Zhe Su, Patricia Corby, Brian L Schmidt, 2016. [online] Available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269881116675512 [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

6. Gander, K. (2018). FDA approves magic mushrooms depression drug trial. [online] Newsweek. Available at: https://www.newsweek.com/fda-approves-psychedelic-magic-mushrooms-ingredient-psilocybin-depression-1086759 [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

7. Austin, P. (2016). When Did Psilocybin Mushrooms First Appear In Human Culture?. [online] The Third Wave. Available at: https://thethirdwave.co/history-of-psilocybin-mushrooms/ [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

8. Compasspathways.com. (2018). Research & trials – COMPASS. [online] Available at: https://compasspathways.com/research-clinical-trials/#psilocybin-therapy [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

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