The active substance, hidden in magical fungi, is called psilocybin. It is a psychoactive alkaloid contained in hallucinogenic fungi, found for example in Psilocybe, Panaeolus, or Gymnopilus. What else can psilocybin offer, in addition to obtaining religious or transcendental experience or meditation, for which magic mushrooms are used?
According to researchers from the world’s first psychedelic research center, Centre for Psychedelic Research at London’s Imperial College, psilocybin could replace prescribed antidepressants within five years. Similar research from John Hopkins University agrees and adds that using natural psilocybin fungi instead of chemical drugs may provide more long-term relief.
Comparison of Antidepressants and Psilocybin
Dr. Robin Earhart-Harris, a team leader of the research center, is conducting one of the first studies to determine how therapy involving the mushrooms and compares to leading antidepressants. He shared that the studies have resulted in an emotional release, a reconnection, and this key emotional center being more responsive. People who are taking SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) chronically, they often say they feel blunted.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to study the psychedelics’ effects on the brain. The list of side-effects is twice bigger as for escitalopram compared with psilocybin therapy. It looks the fungi act much faster than antidepressants which can take months to kick in.
For Whom Is Psilocybin Therapy Suitable?
Psilocybin therapy helps treat depression, anxiety and obsessive disorders. Of course, the therapy isn’t for everyone. Dr. Earhart-Harris said that people with psychosis and regulators will have evidence of its effectiveness and safety from clinical studies. Almost everyone else is a potential candidate.
Antidepressant in Pharmacology Industry
Magic mushrooms break the boundaries between science and spiritualism. But what does the antidepressant market say? In England, the demand for antidepressants doubled in the last decade. The use of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications increased in the United States between 2005 and 2015, according to the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The antidepressant drugs market is expected to reach $15.98 billion by 2023, according to Allied Market Research. The question now arises of how Big Pharma will react if the safety and effectiveness of psilocybin therapy is proven. The antidepressant market is very lucrative.
Credit: Pixabay.com, Wikipedia