Psychedelic discussions hosted by NIMH a considerable success

Published Jan 6, 2020 02:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Andrea_Dawn

The National Institution of Mental Health (NIMH), hosted a successful discussion on the therapeutic benefits of controlled substances, including psilocybin, it has been deemed a success. The Institution, (NIMH) named the discussion: Psilocybin, History, Neuropharmacology, and Implications for Therapeutic uses.

Dr. Roland Griffiths is currently a professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins. His primary research has been on subjective and behavioral effects of mood-altering drugs. Dr. Griffiths has spent many decades studying plants and fungi. He described the current scientific literature that is in progress. And he also included future research objectives during his innovative speaking.

Implications on the impact of psychedelics on mental health were the focus of the discussion. Conditions like depression and substance abuse were studied. Research had also demonstrated that when medically supervised high doses of psilocybin, which is the main ingredient in the "magic mushroom" is administered, there is a substantial reduction in feelings of depressive moods.

The presentation

His presentation reviewed the epidemiology, risks, and history of classic psychedelic drugs. The presentation highlighted the effects of psilocybin in healthy volunteers and religious leaders. The use of psilocybin for treating the psychological distress that cancer patients have, along with major depression and including cigarette smoking cessation, was presented during the discussion.

Griffiths presented slides during the presentation that showed how people who were administered the magic mushroom reported universal love and transcendence of time and sacredness and deeply felt positive moods, among other feelings published by the study group.

The discussion touched on the risks of using psilocybin.  The speakers felt the compound was benign physiologically, and rare incidences of increased blood pressure and nausea were reported. These side effects are usually secondary effects of anxiety.

It is classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the FDA, the same classification as cannabis and heroin. To be on this list, a substance needs to have no medicinal value. However, as more research is conducted, this classification could change.

The benefits of magic mushrooms

Mushrooms have proven to have a positive effect on treating:

  • Treatment of resident depression
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Anxiety

Positive attributes to using psilocybin include:

  • Unlike some drugs used to treat anxiety, psilocybin is not prone to causing a dependency.
  • Due to the hallucinogenic effect, lawmakers are cautious and unwilling to allow the distribution of the substance without more restrictions.
  • Mushrooms may be considered for decriminalization and use as a medical substance and will look to the Big Marijuana industries that have similar markets and will likely mirror those industries.

The invitation to join in on the discussion was not meant to be perceived as endorsing the use of psilocybin, but rather to encourage broader thinking as opposed to the incremental advancements in the knowledge of this substance. Legalization and decriminalization of cannabis is a hot topic as the discussions proved. Cannabis Science has opened up new avenues of research throughout the world. As we move forward, it appears that the paradigm is starting to shift onto the psilocybin mushroom or magic mushroom, as many have chosen to name this fungus.

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