In the news, we are seeing more and more research popping up that is covering the studies and treatment using psilocybin "Magic" mushrooms and its beneficial properties. As we are starting to see the cannabis industry slow down, we are very excited to see the emerging growth of other plant medicines such as mushrooms. Here are a few recent articles we found very interesting:
It is fascinating to learn more about how psychedelics are leading the path for alternative medicine and making news more frequently these days. We recently read an article highlighting the exiting advancements in mushroom medicine below:
A study has discovered that psilocybin, a psychedelic substance present in magic mushrooms, aids in "opening up" the brains of depressed individuals even weeks after use.
This research was conducted by the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London using brain scans from nearly 60 patients who were receiving treatment for depression. The study's authors think they may have figured out how psilocybin influences the brain to produce therapeutic effects. A number of psychedelic substances, including psilocybin, are being studied as potential treatments for mental illnesses. In several studies, a synthetic version of the medication was tested for its efficacy in treating patients with anxiety and depression.
According to the latest findings, which were compiled from two separate studies, patients who responded to psilocybin-assisted therapy exhibited increased brain connectivity not just during treatment but also for up to three weeks afterward.
This "opening up" effect was linked to the participants' self-reported reductions in depression. It appears the psychedelic treats depression differently than a traditional antidepressant called escitalopram because similar changes in brain connectivity were not observed in people taking that medication. The team claims that the results, which were replicated in two studies and were published today in the journal Nature Medicine, represent a positive development for psilocybin therapy. They say that because depression can cause rigid and constrained patterns of brain activity, psilocybin may be able to help the brain escape this impasse in a way that conventional treatments are unable to. The drug development expert stated that although more data from ongoing clinical trials was required to prove the medication's efficacy, preliminary findings were encouraging. The treatment pathway, according to the scientist, operates entirely differently from how antidepressants do.
Two doses of psilocybin pills, along with psychotherapy, helped people with alcohol use disorder reduce drinking for at least eight months after their first treatments, results from the largest clinical trial of its kind show.
“There’s really something going on here that has a lot of clinical potential if we can figure out how to harness it,” said Dr. Michael Bogenschutz, the director of the NYU Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine at NYU Langone Health, who led what may be the first randomized, controlled trial of psilocybin for alcohol use disorder.
During the eight-month trial, 93 men and women ages 25 to 65 were chosen to receive either two psilocybin doses or antihistamine pills, which the researchers used as a placebo. They all also participated in 12 psychotherapy sessions.
All of the volunteers were averaging seven alcoholic drinks at a time before the trial.
More than 80% of those who were given the psychedelic treatment had drastically reduced their drinking eight months after the study started, compared to just over 50% in the antihistamine control group, according to results published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry. At the end of the trial, half of those who received psilocybin had quit drinking altogether, compared to about one-quarter of those who were given the antihistamine.
NYU Langone Health led the trial, which began recruiting in 2014, with researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of New Mexico.
The new research is part of a global movement exploring whether psychedelic-assisted therapy — including therapy using ketamine and psilocybin, the active component in magic mushrooms — can be a more effective alternative to addiction and mental health treatments. Bogenschutz and his team specifically set out to test whether or not psilocybin, in addition to sessions of therapy, could cut cravings and help people with alcohol use disorder stay sober.
Earlier research from institutions around the world has indicated that psilocybin has the potential to treat a variety of addiction disorders, including alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder and addiction to smoking.
“It’s really in line with accumulating evidence that psilocybin and other psychedelics that work in a very similar way in the brain can be effective in treating different types of addiction,” said Matthew Johnson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University, who wasn’t involved in the trial.
“The science shows that in virtually all the psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy trials for substance use disorders, greater mystical experience was associated with greater therapeutic change,” said Dr. Chris Stauffer, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University, who is leading clinical work on psilocybin through the VA Portland Health Care System and isn’t associated with the new study. “Ultimately, we don’t really know yet how this treatment works.”
Oregon is on track to become the first state in the US where people can take "magic" mushrooms legally.
In 2020, Oregon legalized psilocybin through a ballot initiative called Measure 109. Under the new law, Oregonians and tourists aged 21 and older will be able to access legal "magic" mushrooms in the state early next year, though the timeline of when businesses will open is still being decided.
Last month, the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board, the regulatory body tasked with making recommendations around psilocybin services in the state, finalized their suggestions for what the program will look like.
These recommendations aren't regulations. A different body, the Oregon Health Authority, is responsible for setting up and regulating the new program, but these recommendations are a first look into what the first psilocybin program in the US could look like.
It's still unclear when psilocybin services will be available to the public. According to Angela Allbee, the manager of Oregon Psilocybin Services at the Oregon Health Authority, licenses will be available to businesses by early January and at the earliest, businesses may be able to open their doors in the first half 2023.
But what's clear is that "magic" mushrooms in Oregon won't be like buying weed in California, where you can take it home to use.
Businesses offering psilocybin in Oregon will need a special license from the Oregon Health Authority, and a trained facilitator will administer the drug and supervise your entire experience at a set location.
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