Friday, 30 September 2011

Friday Fungus: which came first, the hippy or the mushroom?

These aren't magic mushrooms
I’ve noted before the emerging research into the positive effects of magic mushrooms and today I’m pleased to bring you details of some further research shedding light on these effects – this time from researchers at John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore:

Psilocybin, the drug in “magic mushrooms,” helps many people become more open, creative, and curious after they take a single high dose, a new study shows.

It would seem that this isn’t a short-term effect either with the doses of psilocybin seeming to permanently alter personality. And the personality trait promoted by the magic mushrooms is “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.

My thoughts immediately turned to hippies – all that beauty, the empathy and the creative spirit. It seems magic mushrooms fit perfectly with the popular view (at least for us non-hippies) of brown rice munching, kaftan wearers!

While the study has limitations, it does show that the use of drugs has an effect on personality. This effect may be a problem in some circumstances but we should not put aside the potential for treatments involving psilocybin in the management of some mental health conditions.

But more importantly...

...which came first, the hippy or the mushroom?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alas, too late.

Magic mushrooms ban becomes law - 2005

"A law banning magic mushrooms and making them a class A drug has come into force."

"Under Clause 21 of the Drugs Act 2005, it is now an offence to import, export, produce, supply, possess or possess with intent to supply magic mushrooms, including in the form of grow kits.

Exceptions will be made for people who unknowingly pick the mushrooms in the wild or find them growing in their garden, and critics have argued the act will be difficult to police."

I wouldn't know a magic mushroom if it bit me and and at the time was very concerned in case my lawn had just become illegal.

What bunch of lunatics would even think of banning an indigenous species?