The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Magic mushrooms

New beneficial drug

Psilocybin, otherwise known as the psychoactive chemical found in “magic mushrooms,” is currently being researched as a possible treatment for multiple illnesses. 

Magic mushrooms have been used for centuries by many different countries in traditional medicine and spiritual rituals. These practices stopped when psilocybin became illegal in the 21st century. 

Psilocybin is currently classified as a “Schedule I” controlled substance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With recent discoveries of its medicinal benefits, the substance could potentially be descheduled and prescribed as treatment. 

Due to the legal restrictions, the knowledge and understanding of psilocybin and its mechanisms of action are limited. However, preliminary results are promising.

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“The molecular structure of psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in ‘magic mushrooms,’ allows it to penetrate the central nervous system,” researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research (JHCPCR) said. 

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), psilocybin has proven effective against clinical depression, anxiety, mood disorders related to end-of-life diagnoses, and addiction treatment. 

In a study, psilocybin was shown to be just as effective as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in treating clinical depression and anxiety. 

Psilocybin was also shown to be effective in relieving psychological stress related to terminal illnesses such as cancer.  

The research of psilocybin use in addiction treatment is minimal, but shows some success given the difficult nature of addiction. Small case studies show that psilocybin was more effective than current treatment options for addiction recovery.

Early research also shows that psilocybin has minimal toxicity, side effects, and low-risk of overdose and overuse. The full benefits and side effects are still being researched, and the chemical mechanisms of action are not fully understood.

For updates on the research regarding psilocybin, visit the websites for the NIH and JHCPCR.

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Jessica Blakely, Staff Writer

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