Treating Depression With Magic Mushrooms

A new study found that a single dose of psilocybin, a compound found in "magic mushrooms", provides long-term relief from anxiety and depression in cancer patients.

In fact, cancer patients receiving psilocybin have reported decreased demoralization, hopelessness, depression, and anxiety at death more than four years after receiving the dose combined with psychotherapy.

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“Results suggest that psilocybin therapy is a promising tool for improving the psychological, emotional, and spiritual well-being of patients with life-threatening cancer," said Dr. Stephen Ross, Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Langone Health in New York.

Depression and suicide are major public health problems. The therapies available today are not as effective as we would like them to be. The suicide rate is growing. There is an vital need for new and effective interventions for depression.

Some psychedelics can show potential as suicidal interventions. The challenge for both patients and doctors is overcoming the negative stigma associated with its use. One such challenge continues to plague widespread medical marijuana use.

One capable psychedelic is psilocybin, which is found in more than 75 species of fungi. The most famous of these is Psilocybe Mexicana, also identified as the "magic mushroom". Psilocybin is converted naturally to psilocin after absorption; Psilocin is more lipid-soluble and is a right psychoactive agent.

Various types of psilocybe mushrooms also contain large amounts of beta carbolic acid derived from tryptophan, such as harman and harmine, which can also have beneficial effects on brain function.