Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine claim to have determined the proper dose levels needed to create positive changes in attitudes, mood, life satisfaction, and behavior that persist for more than a year with the psychoactive substance in so-called "magic mushrooms."
The findings are the latest in a series of experiments done at Johns Hopkins to investigate psilocybin, a psychedelic substance contained in certain mushrooms. The findings were published online this week in the peer-reviewed journal Psychopharmacology.
“In cultures before ours, the spiritual guide or healer had to discern how much of what type of mushroom to use for what purposes, because the strength of psychoactive mushrooms varies from species to species and even from specimen to specimen," said Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study's lead scientist.
"In our laboratory, weʼre working with the pure chemical psilocybin, which we can measure out precisely," he added. "We wanted to take a methodical look at how its effects change with dosage. We seem to have found levels of the substance and particular conditions for its use that give a high probability of a profound and beneficial experience, a low enough probability of psychological struggle, and very little risk of any actual harm."
The researchers said 94 percent of the study's 18 participants rated their experiences with psilocybin as among the top five most or as the top most spiritually significant experience of his or her life at a 14-month follow-up. Eighty-four percent also reported positive changes in their behaviors, changes like improved relationships with family and others, increased physical and psychological self-care, and increased devotion to spiritual practice, which were corroborated by family members and others. more at above link..