Oregon just became the first state to legalize medical psilocybin. Here's what 'magic' mushrooms do to your brain and body.
- Oregon voted to legalize the sale, growth, and administration of psychedelic
- The active ingredient in "magic mushrooms" is psilocybin, which causes the visual and mental hallucinations usually associated with mushrooms.
Psilocybinis also being used in clinical studies to treat depression and anxiety. The latest research found magic mushroomsmay have an impact on depression that is four times as effective as traditional anti-depressants.
Oregon is the first state to legalize the distribution of mushrooms, but it's not the first to move towards accepting
Psilocybin might help depression and anxiety
When you take psychedelic mushrooms, it can take 20 to 90 minutes for the full effects to kick in. Once they do, your pupils dilate, time can slow, and the hallucinations begin.Scientists say these hallucinations are a side effect of synesthesia, or "cross-wiring" that occurs when psychedelic drugs rewire brain patterns.
Previous research has linked psilocybin use to positive outcomes for people with depression and anxiety.Though researchers have yet to pinpoint exactly why this is, they know psilocybin and other psychedelics like LSD can rewire the brain, essentially changing your thought patterns on a chemical level. The brain can be viewed as a network of highways. Usually, the brain pushes thoughts down just some of the highways, and continues to use them out of habit, ignoring the less-traveled roads, as Business Insider previously explained.
But when a person takes psilocybin, the brain becomes aware of those other paths and uses them, changing a person's typical thinking patterns in the process.
A 2020 NYU clinical trial of cancer patients who had taken a single dose of psilocybin found patients reported a lasting impact on their mental
Most recently, Johns Hopkins Medicine published a study in JAMA Psychiatry that found patients treated with psilocybin experienced lessened symptoms of major depression two to three weeks earlier than if they'd been given typical anti-depressants.
"The magnitude of the effect we saw was about four times larger than what clinical trials have shown for traditional antidepressants on the market," Dr. Alan Davis, adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in the study.Read More:
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