The Latest Research on Psychedelics

Over the last several years, Westerners have changed course on numerous previously-taboo subjects. Ones that come to mind is same-sex or online gambling at sites like Add psychedelics to that group.

In 2019, the city of Denver, Colorado decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms, becoming the first place in the United States to do. In the years that have followed, cities like Oakland and Washington D.C. have followed suit. Then at the state level, Oregon not only decriminalized psilocybin, but also legalized it for therapeutic use.

Let’s focus on those medical benefits for the purpose of this article. What are they exactly? And how much medical research is there behind it? Welp, you’re about to find out!

The FDA Is On Board

We’re all well aware how regulated the US is, no matter the industry. And to create lasting change, it usually takes convincing powerful people and organizations first, then the masses follow. In the psychedelic revolution, one of the “first shoes to drop” per se came via the Food and Drug Administration.

Back in 2019, the FDA designated psilocybin as a “breakthrough therapy” for treating depression. The medication, sold under the brand name Spravato, became the first FDA-approved psychedelic treatment for a psychiatric disorder.

This development is a complete 180-degree from only 50 years inside the country. In the early ‘70s, psychedelics such as LSD earned a bad rap, from officials and public alike, after the Charles Manson murders. At the time, psychedelics were blamed for Manson’s “mind-controlling” techniques of his cult members. Oh how the times have changed. 

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Not Addictive?

When it comes to drugs — whether psychedelic or other kinds — the topic of addiction always comes up. Critics are quick to lash out that these drugs will cause physical and financial ruin for those that succumb to its addictive qualities.

However, early research into psychedelics has shown that the drugs do not appear to be addictive, certainly not to the level of alcohol or tobacco. In fact, adverse effect,s as a whole, are not common when used under the supervision of a professional. 

That’s certainly promising, but we also have to point out that the research is far from conclusive. Given the negative reputation of psychedelics in the United States for the past 50 years, it went under researched by the medical field until recently. Therefore, studies on the topic are still small and lacking depth (for now).  

Psilocybin Leading The Way

Not all psychedelics are created equal, of course. Under this umbrella, there are several different types including the aforementioned LSD and psilocybin, along with ayahuasca and DMT, among others. At the moment, most of the research and legal restructures have been associated with psilocybin, not the other psychedelic forms.

Psilocybin is a natural substance found inside of mushrooms. These mushrooms are widely available around the world and not segregated to one location.

There’s a famous case study involving cancer patients and psilocybin done in 2016. Of the 51 study participants, 83 percent of them reported significant increases in well-being or satisfaction six months after a single dose of psilocybin. You read that right — a single dose!

Despite psilocybin being illegal at the federal level, guided psilocybin sessions, guided by trained professionals, have become more and more common as of late. Such sessions can take up an entire day even.

What Does Psilocybin Do To The Brain Anyway? 

This is the million-dollar question which remains unanswered. While it’s widely believed people that use psilocybin can undergo immense changes to their attitude and behaviour — mostly on the positive side — scientists haven’t agreed what causes this.

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Author Michael Pollan wrote an in-depth book about the psychedelic revolution called “How to Change Your Mind.” In it, Pollan has his own theory of why psilocybin is so effective. According to him, over time, the human brain becomes almost systemic. The human mind automatically works to feed the internal ego. Taking psychedelic rewires the brain, breaking those old conditions.

As we’ve said all article long, the research on psychedelics remains bare – so don’t rush out and eat all the dried shrooms you can find. But there’s early signs that, at least in America, we’ve been dead wrong about psychedelics this whole time and the “hippies” might’ve been right all along.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].