Magic mushrooms (or more scientifically, psilocybin mushrooms) should be rescheduled from Schedule I (“no medical benefit”) to Schedule IV (drugs that require a prescription but that are considered to have a low potential for abuse or dependence), say Johns Hopkins University researchers.
In the October edition of Neuropharmacology, a group of researchers present their findings, saying that the naturally-occurring fungi have a low potential for abuse or dependence, according to a report on the university’s website.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration lists psilocybin mushrooms on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances List. That means that it is deemed to have “no medical value” and shares its spot on the list with methamphetamines, heroin, crack, and cannabis.
However, Matthew W. Johnson, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, wants that to change.
“We want to initiate the conversation now as to how to classify psilocybin to facilitate its path to the clinic and minimize logistical hurdles in the future.”
To that end, Johnson hopes that the research hospital will soon receive permission to conduct clinical trials on the fungus, with a view toward getting it re-scheduled within five or so years.
The general view of psychedelics has been that they are potentially unsafe and medically useless. Check out my article – LSD, Magic Mushrooms, and “Tripping All the Time” https://t.co/7C6gldX6TE pic.twitter.com/YBz7a2XzGI
— Deepak Chopra (@DeepakChopra) September 23, 2018
In experiments, rats who have been trained to push a lever to receive a dose of psilocin, the psychoactive ingredient in the mushrooms, only push the lever once. By comparison, rats trained to push the lever for heroin or other drugs will push the lever repeatedly, suggesting that psilocin is not addictive like other Schedule I drugs.
Similarly, users report that they only use the drug a few times over the course of their lifetimes, rather than repeatedly, such as they would with nicotine or alcohol.
What’s more, there is no known lethal dose at which it’s possible for a person to overdose on magic mushrooms, similar to cannabis.
Still, Johnson writes that, like all mind-altering drugs, psilocin should be treated with care.
“We should be clear that psilocybin is not without risks of harm, which are greater in recreational than medical settings, but relatively speaking, looking at other drugs both legal and illegal, it comes off as being the least harmful in different surveys and across different countries.”
In late August, as reported by the Inquisitr, the FDA did, in fact, approve magic mushrooms for the treatment of depression. However, the scope of the agency’s approval is limited, as it only applies to one company, Compass Pathways, and it is only to be prescribed in cases of treatment-resistant depression.