unnamed 24 2 - Are Magic Mushrooms The Ultimate Solution For Depression?
March 8, 2022
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If you like watching movies, you must have heard about Magic Mushrooms (remember the youth people trying them at clubs and house parties!). Though Magic Mushrooms are usually used as a recreational drug, recent evidence collected from clinical trials concluded that they can also help treat Major Depressive Disorders (MDD). Its therapeutic properties lasted for about weeks, which is quite commendable. 

As the therapeutic effects of Magic Mushroom on depression came to light, it brought hope to many people. According to recent statistics, about 17.3 million adults in the United States have experienced at least one depressive episode. Several factors can trigger depression, such as grief, stress, fatal diseases, abuse, and genetics. 

Though studies are still ongoing to find out how Magic Mushrooms affect us, many people now choose to try these psychedelic ingredients to feel better. This article will discuss what makes Magic Mushroom the ultimate remedy for depression and what science tells about it. 

What Are Magic Mushrooms?

Magic mushrooms are any mushroom that contains a substantial amount of Psilocybin, a hallucinogenic chemical substance. This chemical compound, when ingested, produces a feeling of euphoria, like other hallucinogenic drugs like LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide). Psilocybin is usually present in certain mushrooms growing in different regions of Europe, South America, Mexico, and the United States. 

A 2006 study conducted by Johns Hopkins for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research concluded that one could use psilocybin present in Magic Mushrooms to treat various medical conditions. The researchers indicated that it could be vital for treating depression too. 

Can Magic Mushrooms Help Treat Depression?

Yes, some clinical trials and anecdotal evidence suggest that Magic Mushrooms can help treat depression. It contains Schedule Controlled Substances like Psilocybin and psilocin; it is illegal to sell, possess, and consume Magic Mushrooms in the United States. But as more and more information comes to the surface regarding the neurotherapeutic benefits of Psilocybin, the Food and Drug Association (FDA) has approved it for use in a drug trial for treatment-resistant depression. 

A small study showed that patients with Treatment-resistant depression responded well to Psilocybin. The study suggested that Psilocybin may help “reset” the brain. Experts state that psilocybin therapy acts similarly as in “electroconvulsive therapy.” 

Benefits Of Magic Mushrooms:

  • Lasting Results

Psilocybin in Magic Mushroom can induce a lasting relief from depression even with a single dose. The efficacy may depend upon the dose, the chemical composition of the psilocybin preparation used, the age and weight of the patient, and his metabolism rate. Research shows that two doses of Psilocybin can last from six weeks to six months. In contrast, patients using conventional antidepressants may have to take their drugs every day or attend therapy weekly.

  • Fast-acting

Conventional therapy for depression can continue for years. In contrast, patients with Psilocybin stated that they experienced improvement within one week. However, experts also add that Psilocybin can only be effective and safe when administered carefully in controlled doses. Also, psilocybin therapy can be dangerous for patients with severe symptoms as it may increase the risk of self-harming behavior.  

  • Help Reconnect With Emotions

Conventional antidepressant drugs can cause emotional numbness. It can also affect your hormones, which in turn regulate your mood. Psilocybin therapy, on the other hand, helps patients with depression revive their emotions and helps uplift their mood. 

How Does It Work?

It is the part of the brain responsible for regulating our mood, cognition, and perceptions. It interacts with the serotonin receptors present in the brain’s prefrontal cortex. Increased serotonin synthesis caused by Psilocybin can induce a sense of wellbeing and relaxation, which is helpful to treat symptoms of depression. However, Magic Mushrooms do not work in the same way for all. Rarely, it might trigger arousal and panic responses. 

Psilocybin may cause auditory and visual hallucinations. In addition, it might also distort how one perceives an object or people in the environment. The intensity of the effects is dependent on the quantity of Magic Mushroom one consumes. The psychedelic substance begins to show its effects within 30 minutes of consumption and lasts for about 4-6 hours. In some individuals, the effects of Psilocybin may last for several days. 

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Can Magic Mushroom Replace Conventional Antidepressants?

The clinical trials conducted to analyze the effectiveness of Magic Mushrooms as antidepressants were pretty promising. Researchers concluded that Psilocybin might be employed to treat depression with a lesser risk of side effects than other conventional antidepressants. 

A 2016 study conducted by the researchers at Imperial College London concluded that a single dose of Psilocybin has a long-lasting effect on people diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. Another clinical trial performed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University indicated that Psilocybin is a rapid-acting antidepressant, and its effects can last for seven weeks and sometimes even longer (maybe for six months). 

Research is still ongoing, and it is too soon to know whether Magic mushrooms will replace conventional antidepressants one day. Some evidence also indicates that taking Magic Mushrooms without supervision might aggravate the condition, especially in people with schizophrenia. Thus, experts advise against self-medicating with Magic Mushrooms or any substance containing Psilocybin. 

Does Using Magic Mushrooms Have Any Downside?

The psychedelic effects of magic Mushrooms usually wear off on their own. But, if taken in high amounts, the risk of side effects may increase. The common symptoms observed after taking Magic Mushrooms are:

  • Derealization (feeling that surrounding is not realistic)
  • Depersonalization (disengaged from the surrounding)
  • Distorted thinking
  • Visual alteration (seeing vivid colors and halos of light)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness and yawning
  • Impaired concentration
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Unusual body sensations
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Frightening hallucinations

The Bottom Line:

Recent evidence has established that Psilocybin found in Magic Mushrooms can be very promising for treating depression. It is a fast-acting and long-lasting natural antidepressant that shows similar effects to electroconvulsive therapy. In addition, it does not have the numbing effect of conventional antidepressant drugs. 

The FDA has only approved that Psilocybin can be used in drug trials. However, it is illegal in the United States because of its dangerous side effects like confusion, paranoia, and frightful hallucinations. According to experts, someday might come when psilocybin therapy would replace conventional antidepressants. 

READ MORE:  An Overview of the History of Cannabis and its Impact on Law

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