Psilocybin found in magic mushrooms is increasingly becoming popular, and in November, Oregon became the first state to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic use. Following the legalization of psilocybin, John Hopkins University researchers published data from a controlled psilocybin trial in major depressive disorders in the JAMA Psychiatry.
Studies show psilocybin has the potential of treating depression
The trial results indicated that around 71% of patients in the study showed a “clinically significant response” with the improvement lasting four weeks. Around 54% of the participants met the total “remission of depression” criteria. In 2006, John Hopkins had conducted a double-blind study that demonstrated that psilocybin offers healthy volunteers experiences of sustained and substantial personal meaning. The study’s lead author, Roland Griffiths, indicated that psilocybin is different from other mood-altering drugs because of its enduring meaning and belief changes.
Psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin target the claustrum region receptors in the brain. John Hopkins researchers recently published a study in the NeuroImage Journal, comparing brain scans of individuals that took psilocybin and placebo. Results demonstrated that psilocybin resulted in the claustrum being less active, which implies that the area responsible for attention setting and task switching is shut when on psilocybin.
According to the researchers, this indicates the effects of psychedelics drugs, which includes a reduced sense of ego and feeling connected to everything. The study results show that researchers are close to understanding how psilocybin works on the brain and why it can be an effective psychiatric disorders therapy.
Growing research supported psilocybin legalization in Oregon
Currently, psilocybin is classified as a Schedule 1 Drug, and it is not accepted for therapeutic use because of the high potential of abuse. However, through the state ballot measure and growing evidence on the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, Oregon has widened the setting and legal circumstances of using psychedelics for the treatment of mental disorders.
Oregon Psilocybin Therapy Ballot Measure’s co-author Tom Eckert said that the goal is to move psilocybin out of medical frameworks to offer access to those that can benefit safely. This means counseling therapists and not just doctors in hospitals can use psilocybin.