‘Magic’ mushrooms may help relieve depression and anxiety in cancer patients

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In one of the largest and most rigorous clinical investigations of psychedelic drugs to date, researchers at Johns Hopkins University and New York University have found that a single dose of psilocybin—the psychoactive compound in “magic” mushrooms—substantially diminished depression and anxiety in patients with advanced cancer.

Psychedelics were the subject of a flurry of serious medical research in the 1960s, when many scientists believed some of the mind-bending compounds held tremendous therapeutic promise for treating a number of conditions including severe mental health problems and alcohol addiction. But…[v]irtually all legal research on psychedelics shuddered to a halt when federal drug policies hardened in the 1970s.

The decades-long research blackout ended in 1999 when Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins was among the first to initiate a new series of studies on psilocybin.

Much of Griffiths’ fascination with psychedelics stems from his own mindfulness meditation practice…[and w]hen he started administering psilocybin to volunteers for his research, he was stunned that more than two-thirds of the participants rated their psychedelic journey one of the most important experiences of their lives.

In a wide-ranging interview, Griffiths told Scientific American about the cancer study and his other work with psychedelics—a field that he says could eventually contribute to helping ensure our survival as a species…

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Psilocybin: A Journey Beyond the Fear of Death?