The world of psychedelics is one that some people venture into at a young age, while others will go their entire life without even thinking about it.
The stigma (and legality) surrounding substances such as LSD and psilocybin (the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms) keeps many folks from even thinking about consuming a psychedelic drug. But with continued research on them, we are starting to discover their true medicinal value.
Depression is a condition that many people in the world suffer from. In the United States alone, 14.8 million American adults (which is about 6.7 percent of the population) age 18 and older suffer from depression each year. And you can bet that each and every one of those people wish they had a solution to their depression.
A recent study at the Imperial College London gave six men and six women the active component in magic mushrooms, psilocybin. These 12 subjects were picked due to their experiencing moderate to severe depression for long periods of time, with 17.8 years being the average.
Published in The Lancet Psychiatry, the study found that every patient demonstrated noticeable improvements in their depression within just three weeks of their psychedelic experience. What’s even more astounding is that after three months, five patients were reporting no signs or symptoms of depression, meaning they were in complete remission.
The only side effects the subjects claimed to have experienced during their psychedelic trip was anxiety both before and during.
The team of researchers admits that their sample size is small and that to get better results they should have used a placebo, but these initial results are very promising and give many a reason to be optimistic.
Hopefully more research will come to solidify the fact that these substances need to be researched, if only for the public’s well-being. As mentioned before, because these drugs are illegal, research on them is highly regulated and difficult to conduct, leading to a general lack of information about them.
Professor David Nutt, senior author of the study and former senior advisor to the U.K. government on drug policy, details his struggle with this study:
“Every interaction – applying for licenses, waiting for licenses, receiving the licenses, applying for contracts for drug manufacture, on and on – involved a delay of up to two months. It was enormously frustrating, and most of it was unnecessary,” he said.
“The study result isn’t the remarkable part – it’s the fact that we did it at all.”
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