Can magic mushrooms prove to be an ideal anti-depressant?

The Psilocybin mushroom, also known as the magic mushroom, is polyphyletic which is the informal group of the fungi that contains psilocin and psilocybin. The psilocybin mushrooms continue to be used in the indigenous cultures of the new world in divinatory, spiritual or religious contexts.

The magic mushrooms are the natural forms of the psychedelic drug which people usually use for spiritual or recreational purpose. The US has banned the use of magic mushrooms as it contains scheduled controlled substance of psilocin and psilocybin. This classification of the drug means can’t be used for medical purposes in the US and it has high potential of abuse. However the scientific reports have clearly shown that magic mushrooms have the ability to treat depression. The FDA, also known as food and drug administration, has approved the use of ingredient psilocybin in the use for drug trial as a form of treatment for the resistance to depression.

Using magic mushrooms for anti-depressants

The new study conducted by the researchers from Johns Hopkins adds to the collection of research which suggests that psilocybin, which is psychedelic compound contained in the magic mushroom has the capability to treat the symptoms related to depression and anxiety. This study was published in the JAMA psychiatry journal on the 4th of November. This study was the first random controlled trial for looking at the impact of psilocybin when it is administered in the clinical setting and how it could impact people that have long term and clinically diagnosed form of depression. The case study was done on 24 people with an average age of 39 and the majority of these participants were heterosexual, white and educated. Amongst the participants, 8 were male and 16 were female.

These participants had depression symptoms for an average duration of 21.5 years and they didn’t exhibit underlying psychotic disorders like schizophrenia or the bipolar disorder. This is important because if a person has these underlying psychotic disorders then the administration of psychedelics drug can lead to potentially adverse impact and side effects according to one of the co-authors who conducted this study. Also none of the participants were administering the medication for depression.

After the conduction of trial the researchers found that 67% of the participants reported significant decrease of more than 50% in the depression symptoms after the first session of the drug-trip. After the conduct of the second session, 71% participants noticed 50% decrease in the overall depression symptoms. And after the four weeks of this trial 54% of the participants had zero symptoms of depression and showed clear signs of being under remission.

According to the study the anti-depressive impact of the Psilocybin was four times higher than the impact of traditional medications for anti-depressants. However here it is important to note there were some caveats to this study which is an important factor to consider. The researchers only tested small sample size that were largely white and moderate symptoms of depression. However there is cause for hope and expectation for magic mushroom as effective form of anti-depressants.