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How Are Magic Mushrooms and Hospice Patients Linked?

While staring into the face of death is without a doubt one of the most horrifying experiences a person can ever encounter, researchers believe the inevitability of crossing over to the other side can be made more tolerable through Technicolor eyes.

Psilocybin, also known as magic mushroom, has been highly revered throughout time for its introspective and healing qualities, not to mention for its ability to launch an individual into a full-throttle expedition of face-melting mindfuckery. Yet, medical experts claim this hallucinogenic is more than just a substance to be used to contort the soul, and that it actually has the capacity to reduce anxiety and stress in the terminally ill.

In a segment that aired earlier this week on PRI’s To The Best of Our Knowledge, Dr. Charles Grob with the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center discussed a recent study involving a group of hospice care patients that were treated with psilocybin in an effort to help reduce their level of panic and fear of death.

“It was quite a moving experience to sit with them for those many hours while they went deep into the experience, for the most part, just lying quietly in bed, eyes closed, eyes shades on, headphones on, listening to music ” said Dr. Grob, explaining that the study was a rather hands off and private encounter.

In reference to going “deep” into the experience, there is some question as to why cancer patients would be interested in exploring their ultimate demise. However, as Dr. Grob points out, many of the patients “had lost their meaning and purposes,” which led him to believe the psychedelic trip might help “reconnect them with their core identity, which the illness often takes them away from.”

In the end, patients who had been dosed with psilocybin reported being more at ease with the terminal nature of their situation—a new lease on death, so to speak. Dr. Grob hopes that with additional research, one day the medical community will be allowed to prescribe psychedelics to the terminally ill.

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