The largest studies done, to date, shows that psilocyben, the psychedelic agent in 'magic' mushrooms can be effective in treating depression and anxiety in cancer patients.
The data comes from two studies, one at Johns Hopkins University and the other at New York University. 51 patients at Johns Hopkins and 29 at NYU experienced incredible results. 80% of the cancer patients that were treated with Psilocybin felt much better after one dose and held onto the benefits for up to seven months. It is commonly accepted that around 40% of cancer patients are afflicted by psychological issues related to the disease.
When members of the study were asked, it was those that had the largest doses that experienced the most gain in alleviating the anxiety and depression.
The lead author of the Johns Hopkins study, psychiatrist Dr. Roland Griffiths, likened it to a ground-breaking surgery.
“I really don’t think we have any models in psychiatry that look like” the effects demonstrated in the two trials, said Griffiths. “Something occurs and it’s repaired and it’s better going forward … very plausibly for more than six months,” he added. “In that sense it’s a new model.”
One of the participants in the study, Sherry Marcy, described the changes in how she felt this way:
"The cloud of doom seemed to just lift… I got back in touch with my family and kids, and my wonder at life," said Marcy, whose been battling cancer from 2010. "Before, I was sitting alone at home, and I couldn't move … This study made a huge difference, and it's persisted."
Other doctors involved in the studies have suggested that it is necessary to loosen restrictions on psilocybin because of the "potential for new scientific insights and clinical applications.”