Magic Mushrooms as Medicine?????

Hannah Grine, Health & Relationships

Can psychedelics be used for medicinal purposes? John Hopkins has launched a center for psychedelic research. The center is believed to be the first and largest of its kind. They will use psychedelics or psilocybin to study the mind and identify therapies for diseases such as addiction, PTSD, and Alzheimers. 

What are psychedelics? Psychedelics and are a class of drugs that produce unique and profound changes of consciousness over the course of several hours. A psilocybin mushroom is one of a polyphyletic group of fungi that contain any of various psychedelic compounds, including psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin. Common terms for psilocybin mushrooms include psychedelic mushrooms, booms, magic mushrooms, shrooms, and mush.

Johns Hopkins was an American entrepreneur, abolitionist and philanthropist of the 19th century that lived in Baltimore, Maryland. He founded numerous institutions bearing his name, most notably, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins University. The man directing the study of psilocybin and psychedelics as medicine is Roland Griffiths. Griffiths is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuro Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. “The center’s new establishment reflects a new era or research in therapeutics and the mind through studying this unique and remarkable class of pharmacological compounds” said Roland Griffiths.

How will psilocybin and psychedelics be used as medicine? Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer, it was a randomized double-blind trial. Further studies will determine the chemicals’ effectiveness as a new therapy for opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, post treatment Lyme disease syndrome (formerly known as chronic Lyme disease), anorexia nervosa, alcohol use in people with major depression, treatment of cigarette smoking cessation, and treatment of major depression. The effects of the classic psychedelic psilocybin that includes studies in healthy volunteers, in beginning and long-term mediators, and in religious leaders.

The drugs’ history of abuse and the still thin evidence base have kept the field largely on the fringes and many experts are still wary. Psychedelic trials cannot be “blinded” in the same way most drug trials are: participants know when they have been dosed, and reports of improvement aren’t standardized yet.