SEP 30, 2018 8:17 PM PDT

Researchers Re-classify the 'Magic Mushroom' Drug

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Credit: © aquatarkus / Fotolia via Science Daily

Researchers at John Hopkins have evaluated the safety and efficacy of compound, psilocybin, found in hallucinogenic mushrooms. They suggested that if evaluations pass phase III clinical trials then psilocybin should be re-categorized from a schedule I drug to a schedule IV drug. The findings were published in Neuropharmacology. "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," explains Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "We expect these final clearance trials to take place in the next five years or so."

According to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, any compound that has the potential for abuse is placed based on the criteria that take into the account whether the drug has accepted medical use as well as its safety and the potential for abuse. Even though preliminary research studies suggest that psilocybin may be good for smoking cessation and for disorders such as cancer-specific depression and anxiety, it must clear phase III clinical trials before the Food and Drug Administration can be petitioned to reclassify it.

Research on animals and humans have shown that psilocybin holds low potential for abuse, the researchers say. "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," says Johnson.

Additionally, psilocybin also is lowest in the potential for causing lethal overdose. However, that does not mean that psilocybin is less harmful than other drugs and not prone to compulsive abuse. "We believe that the conditions should be tightly controlled and that when taken for a clinical reason, it should be administered in a healthcare setting monitored by a person trained for that situation," says Johnson.

Watch this video to learn more about magic mushrooms:

Source: John Hopkins School of Medicine

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
APR 10, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
APR 10, 2020
Cardiac Patch Repairs Heart Attack Damage in Pigs and Rats
Heart attacks significantly damage cardiac tissue. Recovery time frames from a heart attack thus depend on the extent to ...
APR 16, 2020
Cancer
APR 16, 2020
This drug hopes to prevent cancer relapse
A report published in Nature Communications highlights findings from a study showing that the experimental drug, Qu ...
APR 21, 2020
Neuroscience
APR 21, 2020
Considerations for Lab Managers in Choosing a Microplate Reader
In today's high-tech, digitized laboratory environments, nobody pays very much attention to the humble plastic micro ...
APR 17, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
APR 17, 2020
Fish Tank Chemicals Aren't COVID-19 Medication, Says FDA
While the medical community is scrambling to find the proper medications for Sars-CoV-02 infection, a significant portio ...
APR 21, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
APR 21, 2020
Is CBD Effective Against Women's Health Issues?
Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are increasingly known as a natural and effective way to handle a wide range of wo ...
APR 21, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 21, 2020
How to Read COVID-19 News (Without Going Crazy)
  It can feel like COVID-19 news is consuming the country, and taking all the toilet paper and N95-masks with it. N ...
Loading Comments...