Magic Mushrooms’ Ingredient Could Benefit Cancer Patients

Dr. Charles Grob, a psychiatrist at Harbor- UCLA Medical Center and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute reported Monday, Sept. 6, 2010 , that the psychedelic drug psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” can improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression in terminal cancer patients.

Grob and his colleagues studied 12 , ages 36 to 58, advance-stage cancer patients who does not respond well to conventional treatments and have severe anxiety resulting from their diagnoses. Each patient went through two sessions, one in which he or she was given the drug and another with a placebo, the drug niacin, which provokes a physiological but not a psychological reaction. The doses were blinded but in spite of this, about 80% of the time both patients and physicians could tell which drug patients were getting.

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