Psilocybin and other Psychedelic substances like LSD have actually the subject of academic research and study for almost 70 years, albeit with a 30 hiatus during the ill-fated "war on drugs". Doctors and Therapists have long been interested in the ability of these substances to elicit meaningful and transformative experiences with long lasting positive effects, and there were several studies which went on during the 1950s and 60s. While this early research showed immense promise for the use of psychedelics as a treatment, unfortunately the study of these substances was abruptly (and unjustifiably) halted in the early 1970's. It took until 1997 for the first post-drug-war Psilocybin study to be conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Zurich.
This study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Franz Vollenweider, and explored whether brain function under the influence of psilocybin was consistent with the brain function of chronic schizophrenia patients, finding that these brain states were significantly contrasted. They also found that psilocybin increased cerebral glucose metabolism (in layman's terms brain activity) in many areas, and had dampening effects on the ego-influenced Default Mode Network. This study catalyzed several others, at institutions in several nations such as John Hopkins University, The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), The Beckley Foundation, Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, New York University. This growing body of data has shown Psychedelics to be both safe & effective in treating a host of conditions. Some of these conditions include depression, addiction, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and eating disorders.
In the decades since the turn of the century public attitude has also positively shifted towards the unfettered and open-minded research of psilocybin. Now, in 2020, governing bodies are beginning to follow suit. The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) has designated psilocybin a breakthrough therapy for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Health Canada has granted several licenses to private and public companies in order to study psychedelics. Over a dozen accredited institutions, a few of which include Harvard, Stanford, Yale, The Usona Institute, The Heffter Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Toronto are in the process of clinical trials/studies to determine the potential of psilocybin as a therapeutic aid, and there is a mountain of anecdotal evidence that cannot be discounted.
Some of the claims made regarding Psychedelics capability to treat a variety of conditions on a long term basis, with low frequency of dosage, may seem exaggerated or outlandish. However they are backed by a body of credible research that is constantly expanding.
We have curated a collection of the most relevant studies specific to Psychedelics below.
Robin L Carhart-Harris, Leor Roseman, Mark Bolstridge, Lysia Demetriou, J Nienke Pannekoek, Matthew B Wall, Mark Tanner, Mendel Kaelen, John McGonigle, Kevin Murphy, Robert Leech, H Valerie Curran, David J Nutt
R. R. Griffiths, W. A. Richards, U. McCann & R. Jesse
Janis Fricke, Felix Blei, Dirk Hoffmeister
Matthew W. Johnson, Roland R. Griffiths
Filip Tylš, Tomáš Páleníček, Jiří Horáček
Alexander V. Lebedev, Martin Lövdén, Gidon Rosenthal, Amanda Feilding, David J. Nutt, Robin L. Carhart‐Harris
Guy M. Goodwin
Erich Studerus, Alex Gamma, Michael Kometer, Franz X. Vollenweider
R. L. Carhart-Harris, M. Bolstridge, C. M. J. Day, J. Rucker, R. Watts, D. E. Erritzoe, M. Kaelen, B. Giribaldi, M. Bloomfield, S. Pilling, J. A. Rickard, B. Forbes, A. Feilding, D. Taylor, H. V. Curran & D. J. Nutt
Robin L. Carhart-Harris, David Erritzoe, Tim Williams, James M. Stone, Laurence J. Reed, Alessandro Colasanti, Robin J. Tyacke, Robert Leech, Andrea L. Malizia, Kevin Murphy, Peter Hobden, John Evans, Amanda Feilding, Richard G. Wise, and David J. Nutt
Felix Hasler, Ulrike Grimberg, Marco A Benz, Theo Huber, Franz X Vollenweider
Michael Kometer, André Schmidt, Lutz Jäncke, and Franz X. Vollenweider