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Bill Maher Cited This "Magic Mushrooms" Study in HBO’s Real Time

On a recent episode of the HBO program Real Time, Bill Maher referred to a hallucinogen study finding that just one dose of psilocybin ‘magic mushrooms’ promoted positive and lasting openness. Openness is a personality trait associated with imagination, aesthetics, abstract ideas and broad-mindedness.

Psilobycin is the active compound in the hallucinogen ‘magic mushrooms’ (Psilocybe genus). Psychoactive ‘magic mushrooms’, popular during the 1960s until criminalized by the federal government, is currently being studied for its therapeutic use.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine Press Release, “There may be applications for this we can’t even imagine at this point,” says study author Dr. Roland Griffiths, department of psychiatry and neuroscience professor at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), concerning the discovery. “It certainly deserves to be systematically studied.”

The Journal of Psychopharmacology reports that the study investigated psilocybin's effects on personality. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine administered psilocybin or placebo to 51 psychologically healthy participants during separate 8 hour sessions. Personality tests were obtained from the participants throughout the study period.

The researchers found that 60 percent of the participants had a lasting, positive personality change, promoting the sense of openness. There were no changes in the other four personality areas.

“The findings suggest a specific role for psilocybin and mystical-type experiences in adult personality change,” the study authors write.

However, the researchers warn that high psilocybin doses may cause fear, anxiety and schizophrenia in certain people.

Elaine Gavalas is co-founder of SimplyCentered.com and an exercise physiologist, nutritionist, yoga therapist, weight management specialist, and healthy recipe developer. She’s the author of over one thousand health articles and ten books including "Yogi in the Kitchen," "The Yoga Minibook for Weight Loss," "The Yoga Minibook for Longevity," "The Yoga Minibook for Energy and Strength", "The Yoga Minibook for Stress Relief" and "Secrets of Fat-Free Greek Cooking." You can buy Elaine Gavalas' books here.
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