A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin
In 1943 a Swiss chemist by the name of Albert Hoffman was developing medicines to aid blood circulation using derivatives of lysergic acid. His discoveries led to the development of LSD and the isolation of other psychotic compounds including psilocybin.
These medicines showed great promise for use in therapy and were being commonly prescribed by psychiatrists. However in 1968, scientific research into the use of these psychoactive compounds was dealt a harsh blow. A few hallucinogens were isolated and classified as having no medicinal value and high addictive potential. These were labeled ‘Schedule I’. The list included heroin, LSD, marijuana, peyote, and 3,4-mythilenedioxymethamphetamine, which is commonly known as ecstasy.
Despite evidence that LSD and Psilocybin were non addictive and part of legitimate psychotherapy studies, these medicines continued to be illegal. There was a lot of anxiety regarding the impact psychedelics could have on culture to the point that the process wasn’t really thought through properly. It was mostly a fear-based reaction to make these compounds as difficult to come by as possible.
In the 1990s new research was approved and little by little scientists began to make great strides in the study of the effects of these drugs on the brain. However funding was unavailable.
In spite of the lack of adequate funding, the Heffter Research Institute was formed in 1993 to support ongoing exploration and to facilitate the development protocol of psychedelics within medical and academic institutions.
Psilocybin has been used effectively in the treatment of anxiety and angst regarding impending death such as present in patients with advanced stage cancers. Psilocybin gives the patient a greater likelihood of achieving a psycho-spiritual state of consciousness through a mystical magnetic experience. The old research literature from the 50s strongly indicated that individuals who experienced a spiritual epiphany during their treatment were more likely to have a long-term therapeutic outcome.
Once an individual has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it changes his or her viewpoint. Many become filled with anxiety and distress, which robs them of the opportunity to enjoy the rest of their lives. There is evidence that a combination of psychotherapy and psilocybin can address a person’s needs at the end of his or her life. This form of treatment can be activated at the time of diagnosis of a life-threatening disease. This field is known as palliative care and it helps the patient to ‘die a better death’.
Researchers also examine the physical effects of psilocybin on the brain. What they have discovered is that it might be a new way for treating depression. These hallucinogens that were kept under lock and key for many decades might now turn out to be the missing ingredient. Find out more now.