Psilocybin, the key chemical in magic mushrooms, has been shown to produce profound mental health benefits in terminal cancer patients.
Two landmark studies reveal that a single dose of the psychedelic relieved patients of anxiety and depression for more than six months.
Participants reported that combined with psychotherapy, psilocybin increased their sense of wellbeing and made them rethink life and death.
It comes amid concerns that antidepressants aren t always effective in treating cancer patients afflicted by chronic depression and anxiety.
In an editorial to introduce a special issue of the Journal of Psychopharmacology, David Nutt writes:
The trials were conducted in patients with anxiety and depression and existential distress in the context of having a diagnosis of cancer, and they showed that a single psychedelic experience could produce profound and enduring mental health benefits.