A new study indicates that the drug in magic mushrooms may have properties that could alter personalities over the long term.
According to the results of the study conducted by Roland R. Griffiths, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the drug psilocybin may help people become more open, creative, and curious — with a single high dose.
Dr. Griffiths shared: “Personality, after the age of 25, is relatively stable, and if anything happens, openness decreases across decades, just very slightly, but generally people become more rigid and less creative, and this is showing an anti-aging affect if you will, on openness.”
The study involved an analysis of data gathered from 52 healthy adult volunteers, who tried psilocybin as part of ongoing studies at Johns Hopkins. The study participants were aged 24 to 64 years old, and most of them were well-educated and spiritually active. Before taking the drug, they received counseling about what they may expect, and were subjected to close monitoring during their sessions, which lasted for eight hours.
The volunteers were given standardized doses of psilocybin, which is not possible if the drug is to be sourced by taking magic mushrooms recreationally.
The results of the study indicated that 57 percent of volunteers reported that they had transcendent, mystical experiences when they took the drug. While each individual volunteer reported unique experiences, they all shared a common theme that revolved around feeling peace and joy, and a sense of sacredness, among others.
The researchers warn, however, that some volunteers also reported experiencing anxiety and fear, which can lead people to engage in risky behavior; as such, the researchers advise against using magic mushrooms on their own.