Emerging research on the potential therapeutic benefits for healthy individuals

John Hopkins University researchers have led research in psychedelic assisted therapy as a tool to help with difficult-to-treat disorders. At the sametime they have also shown how psilocybin can produce long-lasting positive changes for normal, non-distressed subjects as well as strongly augmenting the benefits of meditation and spiritual practice. In a 2018 paper by Griffiths, et. al. in the Journal of Psychopharmacology healthy participants were randomized to three groups of 25 each): (1) very low-dose (2) high-dose and (3) high-dose with high support for spiritual practices.

“Psilocybin was administered double-blind and instructions to participants/staff minimized expectancy confounds. Psilocybin was administered 1 and 2 months after spiritual-practice initiation. Outcomes at 6 months included rates of spiritual practice and persisting effects of psilocybin. Compared with low-dose, high-dose psilocybin produced greater acute and persisting effects. At 6 months, compared with large dose standard support, both high-dose groups showed large significant positive changes on longitudinal measures of interpersonal closeness, gratitude, life meaning/purpose, forgiveness, death transcendence, daily spiritual experiences, religious faith and coping, and community observer ratings. Psilocybin can occasion enduring trait-level increases in prosocial attitudes/behaviors and in healthy psychological functioning.”