‘Magic Mushrooms’ Can Improve Long Term Psychological Well Being
According to John Hopkins of the school of medicine, psychedelic mushrooms or what are commonly known as “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms” may have long lasting spiritual and medicinal benefits.
The active ingredient in these mushrooms is called psilocybin. If you have experienced it yourself or have heard stories from those that have then you probably already know that it has the ability to trigger intense spiritual states, cause you to hallucinate, laugh uncontrollably, see things in a new light, see energy and patterns amongst everyday things. Yes, these magical mushrooms do have the potentiality to give you a “bad trip,” but part of this study showed that a bad trip pretty much only occurred if given too high of a dose, and even then it was short lived.
In the following study, the scientists from Hopkins University were able to consistently induce transcendental experiences in participants, which in turn, offered long-lasting psychological growth and enhanced peace in their lives without any negative effects.
The Hopkins Scientists study involved 18 healthy adults with an average age of 46, each participant partook in five-eight hour sessions with either psilocybin (the active compound in magic mushrooms) at varying doses, or a placebo.
Each participant was housed in a comfortable, calm, living-room type environment. After taking the magic mushrooms, they listened to classical music on headphones and wore eyeshades to cover their eyes; they were instructed to “direct their attention inward.” This definitely isn’t typically how the average person would imagine a psychedelic experience, I think most people would think of crazy images appearing before ones eyes, chairs coming to life, conversations with walls etc. While magic mushrooms certainly are hallucinogenic, when directed inward, they can take on a whole new level of insight and guidance. Not to say that you can’t gain any insight from images and patterns that you may see, but this is directing all of the “high” inward, free from distractions, focusing solely on yourself and your life.
Two members of the research team accompanied each participant of the study: a “monitor” and an “assistant monitor,” both of which had previous experience with people on psychedelic drugs. The participants were acquainted with the team members prior to the sessions so that they felt familiar and safe. The experiments took place in the Hopkins hospital complex, in case medical attention was needed, and it turns out, it never was.
Many, including: shamans, musical icons including Timothy Leary and the Grateful Dead describe the psilocybin experience as a sense of oneness with the entire Universe and with others, a feeling of transcending time and space, and as I like to describe it: a complete and utter feeling of unconditional love, a big hug from the Universe and message that seems to say, “I got your back, no matter what.”
What Participants Had To Say After The Study
I feel that I can relate better in my marriage. There is more empathy – a greater understanding of people and understanding their difficulties and less judgment, less judging myself too.” Said one participant.
Another said: “I have better interaction with close friends and family and with acquaintances and strangers… My alcohol use has diminished dramatically.”
Fourteen months after the study, 94% of the adults who received the “drug” said that taking part in the experiment was one of the top five most meaningful experiences of their lives; 39% said that it was the single most meaningful experience.
Amazingly, the participants of this study were not the only ones who noticed positive effects from the insights that they received from the study: friends, family members and colleagues also conveyed that the experience with the magic mushrooms had actually made the participants calmer, kinder and happier.
Ultimately, Roland Griffiths, (the lead author of the study and professor of behaviour biology at Hopkins University) and his colleagues want to see if treatment using psychedelic mushrooms could help to ease discomfort, anxiety and fear in terminally ill cancer patients and others facing death.