Magic mushrooms help those with cancer face death

Posted Dec 4, 2016 by Tim Sandle
A science group are proposing that a psychedelic trip is the optimal way to end life. Here a single dose of psilocybin has been shown to increase the feeling of well-being with those with terminal cancer.
A  magic  mushroom  Psilocybe semilanceata.
A 'magic' mushroom, Psilocybe semilanceata.
Alan Rockefeller (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Psilocybin is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms and recent trials have shown the chemical, when combined with psychotherapy helps to reduce depression and anxiety for those with cancer. In addition the chemical and pyschological therpay helps to increase feelings of wellbeing in people, with the effects lasting for up to six-moths.
Studies of psilocybin formed part of legitimate scientific research until the early 1970s, when a reversal in U.S. policy brought studies to an end (this moratorium has recently been reversed.) Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms. Once ingested, psilocybin is transformed in the human body to psilocin, a compound that has has mind-altering effects which are similar to drugs like LSD, mescaline, and DMT.
The new research stems from studies conducted by Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) and Langone Medical Center (New York), where researchers undertook trials of 80 people with cancer and symptoms of depression and anxiety. According to New Scientist, one of the the trials involved the volunteers laying on a couch wearing a blindfold and listening to music. Some subjects were given psilocybin and others placebos. Different psychological and physiological tests were performed.
With the subjects who were given psilocybin, there were notable decreases in depression and anxiety, accompanied by increases in measures of quality of life, life meaning, death acceptance and optimism. The lead researcher, Dr. Roland Griffiths explains: "fter this kind of experience, people feel that they’ve learned something that’s of deep meaning and value to them. They attribute changes in how they approach life, interact with people and to their value systems to that experience."
The research has been published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, with the paper titled ".Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial"
The trials in relation to cancer follow on from recent research where psilocybin has been used to treat an array of conditions including alcoholism, opiate addiction, depression and anxiety.