A June 2018 University of Wisconsin study found that high doses of psilocybin evoked positive subjective effects in healthy volunteers. Twelve healthy participants took part in the study, and each were given three oral doses of the psychedelic four weeks apart in a supervised setting. The subjects were given .3mg, .45mg and .6mg doses and had their vitals recorded. To assess the subjective effects of psilocybin, subjects were given the study’s Mystical Experience Questionnaire as well as its Persisting Effects Questionnaire.
The data found a "significant linear dose-related response" from patients in the Mystical Experience Questionnaire. Researchers also found a similar response to the transcendence of time and space, while the complete mystical experience did not experience such a significant shift. Between dose one and three, the researchers also noted a significant difference in how subjects transcended the time and space subscale. More so, subjects reported a moderate increase in their sense of well-being and life overall. This included results from the Persisting Effects Questionnaire showing "significantly higher" scores over negative results.
Meanwhile, these findings represent just a portion of the studies delving into psilocybin and other psychedelics. The debate over the effectiveness of psilocybin in treating a range of conditions from mental health to cigarette addiction continues to heat up. For the recent study on cigarette addiction, 15 participants were studied between 2009 and 2015 to explore the potential effect psilocybin could have on quitting smoking. Not only did participants report improved changes to their smoking habits, they also found themselves appreciating aesthetics more while developing similar feelings towards altruism and positive social behavior as well.
While the debate around psilocybin and other psychedelics will likely rage on for some time, the present results confirm why some have such optimistic prospects for such methods. No clear end is in sight. However, with citizens fed up with the conventional methods, a return to less synthetic options could be on the way if patient demand and positive scientific findings continue to come to light.
Photo credit: Vahe Abed.