Single dose of magic mushrooms can reduce anxiety, depression in cancer patients, study finds

“Scientists ain’t trippin’.

It’s already known that small amounts of magic mushrooms can benefit the mind. However, groundbreaking research shows that only a single dose of the psychedelic fungi can reduce cancer-related mental health issues in the long term, according to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology on Jan. 28.

The landmark research was a followup of a 2016 John Hopkins trial — using 51 subjects — studying whether magic mushrooms could relieve death anxiety and depression in cancer patients. The participants at that time were administered either high or low doses of synthetic psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in mushrooms. Researchers then gave their subjects the opposite doses five weeks later, per the findings published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

However, he had vastly underestimated how long the benefits of a single psilocybin dose could last. When scientists conducted a follow-up about four years later with 15 members of the original 2016 trials, they found that up to 80% experienced “positive life changes” from the treatment.

“The drug seems to facilitate a deep, meaningful experience that stays with a person and can fundamentally change his or her mindset and outlook,” said Gabby Agin-Liebes, lead author of the long-term follow-up study and co-author of the 2016 study.

Nonetheless, the landmark results could help pave the way for more clinical trials involving psilocybin, and perhaps even help accelerate mushroom legalization. Last year, Oakland, California, and Denver, Colorado, became the first US cities to decriminalize the trippy truffles.