Australian researchers are gearing up to kick off the world's first study into whether magic mushrooms can help treat general anxiety.
Incannex Healthcare recently got approval from the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee to launch their second-phase clinical trial.
They'll be using specialised therapy along with psilocybin to see if this winning combo can help reduce the effects of anxiety.
Psilocybin is the active chemical in magic mushrooms that give recreational users that happy and trippy high.
Monash University Head of Clinical Psychedelic Research Paul Liknaitzky is leading the trial and said this is an incredible step forward in the fight against mental health disorders.
He added that the therapists who will be administering the therapy side of the study will also be offered psilocybin to help them understand exactly what the patient is going through.
"This is a solid step in the development of what we hope will be a highly effective treatment for people suffering under the weight of severe anxiety," Dr Liknaitzky said.
"For the first time ever, we're able to provide supported psilocybin sessions to research trial therapists to better equip them to accompany our clinical participants through profoundly unfamiliar terrain, potentially improving treatment outcomes."
They'll be looking for participants with general anxiety disorder sometime next year.
Paul Liknaitzky told The Age late last year that the current approaches to mental illness are often unsuccessful, but added that psychedelic-assisted therapy could be effective in treating such illnesses.
He said: "A lot of people are inclined to think about it as a drug treatment, as a chemotherapeutic treatment, whereas it's really a combination of drug and talk therapy within a conducive setting."
Researchers have been campaigning for ages to get several drugs rescheduled so they can look into whether they could be used for mental health issues.
Mind Medicine Australia wrote on its website: "The rescheduling would move these medicines from Schedule 9 of the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (which deals with Prohibited Substances) to Schedule 8 (which deals with Controlled Medicines).
"The changes proposed by Mind Medicine Australia will not affect existing legal controls on illicit use or supply.
"The rescheduling will enable psychiatrists and specialist addiction physicians to more easily access these medicines to augment therapy for patients suffering from key mental illnesses such as depression, PTSD and for the depression and anxiety often associated with a terminal illness diagnosis (and hopefully in the future for substance abuse, OCD, anorexia and early-stage dementia)."Featured Image Credit: Alamy