A lot of psychedelic drugs get a bad rep because the people they’re often associated with are burnouts and druggies. However, the type of people who take psychedelic drugs are just as diverse and normal as the type of people who take recreational drugs, like tobacco and alcohol.
Just like marijuana, mushrooms containing the psychoactive chemical compound, psilocybin, are illegal in the United States. And just like marijuana, they have been seen to hold tremendous medicinal value.
‘Magic’ mushrooms have been seen to relieve symptoms of depression and mental illness, and improve cognitive function.
Not only that, but research from the University of South Florida has found that psilocybin helps promote brain cell growth. Published in Experimental Brain Research, the study claims that psilocybin has the ability to attach to unique receptors in the brain that stimulate healing and growth.
Testing done on mice revealed that psilocybin helped repair damaged brain cells and effectively cured PTSD and depression.
Often referred to as a ‘nootropic’ agent, psilocybin carries out several different functions in the brain, many of which improve the health of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain associated with learning and the brain’s ability to convert short-term memory to long-term memory. Thus, improved brain cell growth in the hippocampus means improved overall cognitive functionality.
Because this chemical agent is so stigmatized as well as banned by the United States government, research on psilocybin is not as thorough or extensive as most would like. While it does cause hallucinations, and self-treatment is not recommended, it does not deserve to be on a Schedule I classified substance.
The health benefits are there, we just have to have the courage and audacity to advocate legality and medicinal research.