July 24, 2014  Last Update: April 21, 2014, 9:13 pm

One Dose, Lasting Personality Changes

psilocybin mushroom libertycap

Psilocybin-containing Libertycap Mushroom

Huh: If you even just TRY this drug, even ONCE, your brain will be changed FOREVER. Your mind will be more “open”..

One dose of psilocybin, the hallucinogenic chemical in “magic mushrooms”, can cause long lasting personality changes. That’s the conclusion from a research study just published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

The Johns Hopkins researchers measured a personality trait called “openness”, as measured by¬† a validated personality test. Sixty percent of the participants in a the study demonstrated larger changes in their “openness” after a single dose of the chemical than people normally show over a lifetime of personality change. The effects lasted a year (at least).

Here’s how this “openness” is described:

"openness... includes traits related to imagination, aesthetics, feelings, abstract ideas and general broad-mindedness."

The study was conducted on volunteers who were mostly well educated, and who considered themselves “spiritual”. Some of the study participants experienced strong fear and anxiety, but the researchers noted no lasting negative effects. The study was reportedly closely monitored, and was funded by “the Council on Spiritual Practices, the Heffter Research Institute and the Betsy Gordon Foundation, as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse“.

As with all research studies, we have to be careful how we interpret the findings. Personality inventories are known to be subject to learning bias, and questions are subjective. This can skew findings. The lead researcher, Dr. Griffiths, believes psilocybin may have therapeutic uses. The study evaluated “neuroticism”, extroversion”, “agreeableness”, “conscientiousness”, and “openness”, with openness showing the only statistically significant change.

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