Health benefits of psilocybe semilanceata
Australia has become the first country in the world to legalise the use of psilocybe semilanceata australia (magic mushrooms) to treat some mental health conditions.
Approved psychiatrists can now prescribe MDMA to those suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and magic mushrooms for some types of depression.
The controversial move has been hailed as a game-changer by many scientists and mental health experts.
However, others say the move has been too hasty and should not be over-hyped.
Experts say there is still the risk of a “bad trip”, which is when the user has an unpleasant experience while under the influence of drugs.
And the therapy comes at a cost, with Australian media reporting one course could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
MDMA – also known as the party drug ecstasy – is a synthetic drug that acts as a hallucinogen. It increases the user’s energy levels, sensory experiences and distorts their sense of time.
Magic mushrooms, which grow naturally, also have hallucinogenic effects due to the active compound psilocybin.
While Australia is the first country in the world to regulate the drugs as medications, clinical trials are also underway in the US, Canada and Israel.
Under the new regulations which became official in Australia on 1 July, approved psychiatrists can prescribe MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psilocybe semilanceata australia for depression that has resisted other treatments.
- Australia begins world-first MDMA therapy for PTSD
- MDMA could help trauma survivors face memories
- Psychedelic therapy could ‘reset’ depressed brain
Use of the psilocybe semilanceata australia would be carefully monitored and not a case of “take a pill and go away”, said Dr Mike Musker, a mental health researcher at the University of South Australia.
Describing the move as a “game-changer”, he told AFP news agency that, in the case of MDMA for example, the patient would likely have three treatments over five to eight weeks. Each treatment would last about eight hours, with the therapist staying with the patient the whole time.
Patients should not expect a miracle cure, however.
“I have read about stories where people have had what you call bad trips, or actually they’ve re-experienced their trauma, and so we’ve got to take great caution,” Dr Musker said.
Professor Susan Rossell, a cognitive neuropsychologist at Melbourne’s Swinburne University said that while psychedelics certainly had the potential for therapeutic use, the move had come about too quickly.
“When you look at interventions… for any other kind of disease, whether it’s cardiovascular disease or cancer, you cannot get a drug to market as quickly as this has been done,” she told AFP.
Prof Rossell, who is leading Australia’s biggest trial on the effects of psilocybe semilanceata australia on depression, added that more research was needed to determine the long-term outcomes of the therapy.
Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) shocked many in the medical and science world in February when it reclassified MDMA and psilocybin so they could be used for therapeutic purposes.
It declared the drugs “relatively safe” when used in a “medically-controlled environment” for patients “with serious mental health conditions”. Otherwise, both MDMA and psilocybin are illegal in Australia.
The TGA acknowledges that there are unknowns and inconclusive evidence, but says “there are promising signs” that controlled therapeutic use of the drugs may improve mental health for some people and that the “benefits for some patients… will outweigh the risks”.
The regulator says there are currently no approved products that contain MDMA or psilocybin. However the reclassification means psychiatrists will be able to access and legally supply certain medicines that contain them, even if they have not been evaluated for safety or effectiveness.
psilocybe semilanceata australia and mental health
psilocybe semilanceata australia, or ‘magic mushrooms’, belongs to a group of drugs called psychedelics.
It’s usually eaten fresh, cooked or brewed into a tea.
psilocybe semilanceata australia has been around for a long time, and has been used by some Indigenous communities around the world for over 1000 years.3
In fact, some researchers believe rock paintings in Western Australia show psilocybin use in Indigenous ceremonies over 10,000 years ago.4
psilocybe semilanceata australia can cause changes in mood, perception and thoughts.
In the 1950s and 60s scientists became interested in how these effects might help people experiencing mental illness
They began to study psychedelics to treat conditions including:
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- alcohol dependence.
But in the late 60s, the US banned all psychedelics. And the world, including Australia, soon followed suit.
So, despite promising findings, psychedelic research ended abruptly in the 70s.
But that’s changing.
Decades of advocacy and fundraising by organisations like MAPS, and the work of dedicated academics and scientists has led to a ‘renaissance’ of research into the benefits of psychedelics in Australia and overseas.
What are we learning about psilocybin’s therapeutic potential?
This new wave of psychedelic research has shown promising results.
We’ve learned psilocybin can have anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects that last for several months.
It also appears to be helpful in the treatment of depression and anxiety in people who are terminally ill. And, for nicotine and alcohol dependence.3, 8
psilocybe semilanceata australia may also increase the brain’s ability to create new emotional and information pathways.
While we’re beginning to understand psilocybin’s potential, there’s also risks.
Psilocybin may worsen the symptoms of certain conditions like personality disorders and schizophrenia.
We also know some physical health conditions, like heart and liver disease, increase the chance of negative side-effects.
psilocybe semilanceata australia therapy should always take place under professional supervision to reduce risk.
Is clinical psilocybin different?
In a clinical setting, a pre-determined and controlled dose of psilocybin is given to the patient under the supervision of a medical professional. Because the patient is in a therapeutic space and the dose is known, it is unlikely there will be a bad reaction.
When taking magic mushrooms(psilocybe semilanceata australia) recreationally, it can be hard to know how strong the dose is and whether there are other contaminants from the environment. It can also be hard to know how a person’s surroundings might affect their experience. This can make it more likely that a bad trip will occur.
And, there’s the risk of confusing magic mushrooms with certain types of poisonous mushrooms, which look very similar.
Research in Australia on psychedelics
In 2021, the Australian Government announced $15 million worth of grants to researchers studying the mental health benefits of psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, as well as other non-psychedelic drugs such as MDMA and ketamine.
And last year Australia became home to the Psychae Institute, a global psychedelic research institute in Melbourne.
Several clinical trials are underway in Australia studying:
- use of psilocybin in the treatment of people who want to stop or reduce their methamphetamine use
- psilocybin-assisted therapy for severe anxiety14
- use of psilocybin for terminally ill patients experiencing depression and anxiety.
How to access psilocybin-assisted therapy
From July 1, 2023, if a general practitioner (GP) thinks that psilocybin-assisted therapy may be an appropriate treatment option, they can refer you to a psychiatrist who is an authorised prescriber.
But this will likely be a very small number of psychiatrists to begin with, and GPs might not know of available psychiatrists.
At this stage, psilocybin will also only be available for people with treatment-resistant depression. This is generally when someone hasn’t responded well to anti-depressant medications/treatments for their condition.
If you are unable to find a GP who can refer you, other options are:
- participate in a clinical trial. To see if there are any clinical trials recruiting, check this page here: Australian Clinical Trials | Australian Clinical Trials.
- contact Mind Medicine Australia for further information.
For more info on the regulation change and access requirements visit: Re-scheduling of psilocybe semilanceata australia and MDMA in the Poisons Standard: questions and answers | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)