“Magic mushrooms” help ease cancer anxiety: study

Patients who received moderate dose were less depressed

In a new study from U.S. researchers, 12 cancer patients who received a moderate dose of psilocybin (a hallucinogen with effects similar to LSD, also known as “magic mushrooms”) were less depressed six months after one dose, than those who received a placebo. They also seemed less anxious, Reuters reports. This field of study was last explored from the 1950s to 1970s, and suggests that hallucinogenic drugs might help relieve distress among cancer patients. These drugs were no longer studied in detail after they became widely used on the street, which led to a legal crackdown on their use. Even though U.S. law prohibits use of this compound for any reason, if it proves effective, an exemption might be made. During the study, patients were given the drug and watched closely for six hours, lying still and listening to soothing music. During the placebo phase, each patient got a dose of a vitamin and given the same instruction.


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