A new double-blind scientific study shows that a single moderate dose of psilocybin—the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms—reduced people's depression for at least two weeks.
According to the University of Zurich researchers, "participants were instructed to immerse themselves in the experience with an introspective focus. A standardised playlist with music was played via headphones or speakers. One trained therapist was present in the room throughout the administration day to respond to the participants' needs. All visits were conducted in a living-room like environment."
The researchers found evidence that psilocybin-assisted therapy was efficacious in reducing depressive symptoms. Immediately after the intervention, those in the psilocybin condition showed an decrease in symptom severity of −13.0 points compared to baseline, which was a significantly larger reduction compared to those in the placebo condition. This statistically significant decrease in symptom severity persisted until at least 14 days after the intervention.
"The main takeaway from this publication is that a single, moderate dose of psilocybin administered in conjunction with psychological support in patients with major depressive disorder is capable of producing rapid alleviation of depressive symptoms," [lead researcher Robin] von Rotz told PsyPost. "Noteworthy, not all patients responded equally well, which points to the fact that this therapeutic approach should not be treated as a 'magic bullet' and considerable research into mode(s) of treatment action is still required to draw a more definite conclusion."