A single, strong dose of hallucinogenic mushrooms may alter a person’s personality for more than a year and possibly permanently says American researchers of a study published Wednesday.
The report noted that those who took a single dose of psilocybin, an active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” showed alterations in personality that latest upwards of a year.
According to WebMD, specifically, the study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, found that psilocybin affects a dimension of personality called openness.
Openness relates to the ability to see and appreciate beauty, to imagine, to be aware of our own and other people’s feelings, and to be curious and creative, researchers told the medical news site.
The mystical experience has certain qualities, the lead author Katherine MacLean, a post-doctoral fellow, told ABC News. The primary one is that you feel a certain kind of connectedness and unity with everything and everyone.
MedPageToday reports that the active ingredient psilocybin acts on people’s seratonin 5-HT2A receptors, causing what people have called “mystical” or “mind-expanding” hallucinations.
Researchers had the participants from both control and drug-users groups fill out a personality questionnaire before, after, and 14 months after the experiment.
“The remarkable piece is that psilocybin can facilitate experiences that change how people perceive themselves and their environment. That’s unprecedented,” said Roland Griffiths, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine in Baltimore.
The study authors and other researchers who study the effects of psilocybin say the findings are very significant and have potentially huge implications for the use of the drug for other therapeutic purposes, ABC News reports.
Magic mushrooms, also known as “shrooms,” are hallucinogens native to tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Mexico and the U.S.