Researchers in London have found that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is beneficial for the treatment of severe depression in healthy adults.
The study, conducted by mental health care company COMPASS Pathways, administered doses of psilocybin to 89 volunteers and analyzed the results of its effects in comparison to those in the placebo trials, according to the study.
“This is the largest controlled study of psilocybin to date,” said James Rucker, lead investigator of the study. “The results of the study are clinically reassuring and support further development of psilocybin as a treatment for patients with mental health problems that haven’t improved with conventional therapy, such as treatment resistant depression.”
Up to six people ingested doses of either 10 or 25 milligrams then received one-on-one psychological treatment, overseen by a lead therapist, according to the study.
The study found no serious adverse responses to the drug, except the expected psychedelic reaction including changes in sensory perception and positive mood alteration.
“We are focused on getting psilocybin therapy safely to as many patients who would benefit from it as possible,” said Ekaterina Malievskaia, co-founder of COMPASS Pathways. “We are grateful to the many pioneering research institutions whose work over the years has helped to demonstrate the potential of psilocybin in medicine.”
No negative effects on emotional and cognitive functioning were found, according to the study.
Magic mushrooms were decriminalized in Denver and Oakland, California earlier this year.