In a new research study that will greatly expand knowledge of the real-world uses and effects of psychedelic mushrooms (Psilocybin), the nonprofit research organization Unlimited Sciences is collaborating with Johns Hopkins University Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research to conduct a survey of people from across the globe, in hopes of becoming the largest registry of its kind.
The study by renowned Hopkins researchers, funded by the Denver-based nonprofit Unlimited Sciences, will ask current users of Psilocybin mushrooms validated questions before, during, and after their use of the substance, which has shown promise in previous clinical studies in helping people suffering from depression and other behavioral health conditions. Researchers have long struggled to understand how the drug’s effects change outside of laboratory settings, for example in nature, concerts and other popular settings and what implications those effects have on the most common uses.
JHU has studied Psilocybin for decades, and brings academically sanctioned and internationally acclaimed rigor to this field of study. Johns Hopkins, recognized worldwide as one of the leaders in psychedelic research, in 2000 was the first to obtain regulatory approval in the United States to reinitiate research with Psilocybin in healthy, psychedelic-naive volunteers.
“People around the world have used Psilocybin and other psychedelics for hundreds of years, in a widespread natural history experiment,” said Heather Jackson, Board President of Unlimited Sciences. Jackson is a published author on the impact of cannabis, and notes the same widespread use and medical benefits attributed to both drugs for centuries.
“Research suggests these compounds produce remarkable experiences felt to be profoundly meaningful, with enduring positive changes in attitudes, moods, and behavior, years into the future,” Jackson said. “By expanding this study to include far more examples of real-life usage and outcomes, we can continue to learn more and refine our research. A study of this type can direct future controlled clinical trials.”
Studies exist showing the benefits of Psilocybin for depression, smoking cessation, and cancer-related distress in the lab, among other things,” said Del Jolly, co-founder and director of Unlimited Sciences. “But because our research is ‘real world’, allowing participants to enroll for any reason and participate in any setting, we will learn unprecedented new details about how individuals are choosing to use this substance. Through our time listening to the community we have heard anecdotes of people using Psilocybin for depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain, among other conditions. We hope to grow our understanding with a large sample set.” The Unlimited Sciences and Hopkins teams hope to survey more than 1,000 people. Participants will be asked to describe details of both their ‘set’ (state of mind) and ‘setting’ (physical situation) at up to six time periods surrounding a planned psilocybin dose, to isolate variables of experiences and how they relate to health and other outcomes.