‘Magic’ mushrooms: a better way to treat depression?

National

FILE – In this May 24, 2019, file photo a vendor bags psilocybin mushrooms at a pop-up cannabis market in Los Angeles. Despite pandemic conditions that made normal signature-gathering almost impossible, activists in the nation’s capital say they have enough signatures for a November ballot initiative that would decriminalize natural psychedelics such as mescaline and psilocybin mushrooms. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN/CNN) — One key ingredient in hallucinogenic ‘magic’ mushrooms may be making its way into mental health treatment.

Oregon recently became the first U.S. state to legalize psilocybin, the mushrooms’ hallucinogenic compound, as a supervised mental health treatment.

A recent study of 24 participants with major depressive order found that those who received psilocybin-assisted therapy showed improvement in severity and overall outcomes one month later.

“This randomized clinical trial found that psilocybin-assisted therapy was efficacious in producing large, rapid, and sustained antidepressant effects in patients with major depressive disorder,” the study reads.

The treatment included one session giving 20 milligrams of the compound and one giving 30 milligrams. The authors of the study posit that the psilocybin may hopefully be used as a more effective and less problematic treatment than ordinary medications or placebos.

Psilocybin has also been studied and given to patients with terminal cancers — finding the treatment to be successful in limiting depression and pain with them, as well.

In Oregon, patients can only purchase or consume psilocybin under licensed supervision.

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