Nearly five years after a group of cancer patients were given a single dose of a psychedelic drug to ease depression and anxiety, new research finds that many of them are still feeling the positive effects.
The patients were among a group of participants who had been given a dose of synthetic psilocybin — the psychedelic compound found in so-called magic mushrooms — in a 2016 study that looked at whether the drug could help with symptoms of cancer-related depression and anxiety. The drug was given in a controlled setting and the patients were monitored the entire time.
As to its effects on anxiety and depression, the psilocybin appeared to work: Eighty percent of the patients reported that their symptoms faded, and the effects lasted six months, the 2016 study found. At the time, this long-lasting effect was a landmark finding.