What A Trip: Magic Mushrooms One Step Closer To Becoming Legal Depression Treatment

What a trip. With marijuana now basically legal across the U.S. in various forms, it's on to the next party drug: magic mushrooms.

Psilocybin mushrooms have passed the first hurdle of steps to become a legal treatment for depression, according to a new Bloomberg article. The mushrooms were found to be safe and well tolerated in a study of volunteers conducted at King's College London. "Unsurprisingly, the subjects got high," Bloomberg writes.

The potential for these types of recreational drugs to treat depression has certainly caught the medical world's attention. The school of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in September started a research center to study psychedelic drugs and their effects on behavior and brain function.

Psilocybin is the key drug being tested, as its potential has drawn researchers to studies that go beyond depression. Scientists are also looking to test psilocybin for Alzheimer's, anorexia, OCD and migraines.

Compass Pathways is working to bring to market a version of psilocybin that it has manufactured to treat depression that has resisted other treatments. Compass sponsored the trial, which has been the largest controlled study of psilocybin to date. 

The study looked at the effect of two doses of psilocybin, with the high one twice as much as the lower, and a placebo. The study involved 89 volunteers and the company says the next step is a study on 216 patients with depression in Europe and North America. 

The most frequent reactions from the study, according to Compass, were: “Changes in sensory perception and positive mood alteration.”