This article originally appeared on i-D US.
In 2017, the Global Drug Survey found that magic mushrooms are not only the safest drug you can take recreationally, but that they could even be five times less dangerous than taking LSD, Cocaine or MDMA. There’s also been an increase in scientific research on the effects of psilocybin, the active ingredient in shrooms, over the years, and it’s ability to treat mental illness. According to WIRED, “Magic mushrooms are having a therapeutic moment,” with a push to legalize shrooms in Oregon and Colorado, to treat depression and PTSD.
With the upsetting news that being lonely is worse than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and that 75 percent of adults will experience moderate to severe loneliness in their lifetime, we’re all ears. Additionally, a new study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, found that shrooms can enhance creative thinking and empathy, with their effects last up to a week after usage.
“Increasing evidence suggests that psychedelics like psilocybin may have potential therapeutic value for disorders like anxiety, depression, and PTSD,” said Natasha Mason, a corresponding author of the study. “The focus of such investigations has been on psychedelics capacity to reduce symptoms of these disorders, thereby improving mood and well-being. However, of equal importance are the higher-order cognitive processes that may be enhanced, or that may play a role in symptom alleviation of the disorders. Examples of processes that have been found to be decreased in these pathologies include creative, flexible thinking and empathy.”
The study took place in the Netherlands, where researchers recruited 55 participants to drink tea infused with shrooms. They were monitored for eight days and given various psychology tests to assess their creativity, empathy and general life satisfaction. “We found that psilocybin, when taken in a naturalistic setting, increased aspects of creativity and empathy the morning after, and 7 days after use,” Mason told Psypost.