Study finds psilocybin to be 4x more effective than anti-depressants

Published Nov 17, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
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Magic mushrooms might have once been viewed through a narrow scope as an illicit drug, but these days, researchers are making leaps and bounds with psilocybin therapy. We’ve discovered some of the benefits of psilocybin for people who are undergoing end of life care. As well as for battling conditions such as PTSD and anxiety. Some experts are reporting staggering rates of success while using psilocybin to combat depression. However, available data to prove these benefits is still sparse, which is part of what makes these kinds of announcements so exciting.

The study

The study, which was conducted by a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University, looked at 27 participants who each received one of two doses of psilocybin followed by hours of psychotherapy. Patients took the prescribed doses under the supervision of medical professionals and researchers, and they were given the freedom to delve into the effects of magic mushrooms through things like blindfolds and music. All of those provided with this opportunity were diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression, and their results did not disappoint.


The results of this psilocybin therapy study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and highlighted by news agencies everywhere. A psychiatrist from Johns Hopkins University announced that the drug seemed to be more than four times as effective as other pharmaceutical alternatives that are typically prescribed today. The findings after two separate psilocybin sessions followed by two monthly in-person assessments are clear, concise, and well documented, cementing the perceived notion of mental health benefits from psilocybin.

What this means

In research studies like the one covered here today, the takeaway is that there is an obvious benefit for medical patients who suffer from a variety of mental health issues, including depression, and the best part is that these people aren’t walking around high the whole time. For the most part, these profound benefits have been consistently produced by microdosing patients with psilocybin or offering moderate doses in paced out sessions.


This means that we have a viable, safe, and incredibly effective alternative to medications that are typically used for depression. That’s excellent news, even for those who aren’t diagnosed with the treatment-resistant variety, as many of the pharmaceuticals that we use now, come with an array of adverse side effects. The only question left is a matter of appropriate dosing for the most effective treatment, something that we will learn more about through future and past research.

Coming soon to a pharmacist near you

Magic mushrooms might have once been the cash cow for street dealers, but one day soon, we could see patients accessible these incredibly powerful tools through their pharmacy, just as they would with any other prescribed medicine. Many regions have already begun the process of legalizing psilocybin. At some point, the drug is going to be available through your local Shoppers Drug Mart, but that’s not all.

With what we’ve seen so far, psilocybin therapy has the potential to replace many of the toxic and often addictive drugs that we use to treat mental illnesses today; which means, that this shift is going to make medicine in its entirety safer and more beneficial for those who need it. This is excellent news for all medical patients who wish to discover a safer alternative and psilocybins slow introduction to the legal market will soon make it an option that is accessible for everyone.

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