Studies claim that psilocybin, a mushroom species popularly known as magic mushroom, can offer plenty of benefits to terminally-ill patients struggling with depression with PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder).
For quite a while, psilocybin has been considered a recreational drug, and authorities did not take seriously any claims that it could have significant medical benefits. However, evidence that it can have important health benefits for depression and anxiety patients has been mounting.
That is why governments and other authorities should start considering its legalization for medical purposes.
At the moment, the federal government is already warming up to the idea of using magic mushrooms in therapy.
Towards the end of 2018, the FDA offered a British mental health company, Compass Pathways, permission to use psilocybin in trials. This was a huge leap forward for a substance that has faced a lot of controversies over the years.
According to Charles Grob, a psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor at UCLA, the move represented a historic improvement in psychedelic research.
Research into this drug goes as far back as the 90s. However, approval to conduct clinical trials has not been forthcoming.
The only time the government softened its stance was in August 2017 when the FDA granted Compass Pathways approval to research the compound as a post-traumatic stress disorder solution.
Many think that the decision proved that the benefits of this drug in alleviating anxiety could no longer be ignored, and the government had to be responsible and grant approval for further research into its health benefits.
Today, Rick Doblin, a pioneer in the efforts to have the government recognize the health benefits of psilocybin, has predicted that the drug’s use could be legal by the year 2021.
At the moment, if Compass Pathways successful proves that the compound offers relief that traditional anti-depressants cannot offer, then FDA might approve its use for treating this condition.
But that will not mean that psilocybin will be all over the place. Not all doctors will have permission to prescribe it, and not all patients should use it. Rather, the drug will be administered by trained psychedelic therapists.
Compass Pathways got approval to use psilocybin in trials is believed to have been due to the need for alternative depression and PTSD treatments.
At the moment, opioid use has reached epidemic proportions, and veterans coming back from war with serious mental issues need safer and more effective solutions to their problems.
The situation is actually pretty desperate at the moment.
An estimated 16 million Americans suffer from depression, and about a third of them are resistant to common medications. There are also 300 million depressed people in the world.
Psilocybin might offer the solution these people need, as it has been alleged to offer a renewed sense of hope and acceptance. Beyond that, the compound has been linked to more lasting positive effects similar to those of getting a first child.
As regards terminally-ill cancer patients, psilocybin trials at Johns Hopkins University have found that it resulted in a significant reduction in depression and anxiety. For some of these cancer patients, the substance was shown to be a permanent solution to intangible plagues they were facing.