Imagine the whirlwind of emotions you’d have if you found out you were terminally ill, with only months left to live. It’s hard to imagine not feeling depressed, anxious, and existentially traumatized. This is one area where psilocybin has shown a unique level of potential.
Dr. Charles Grob, a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, has conducted a pilot study on the subject. Based on a small sample of 12 cancer patients with acute stress disorder, the authors of the study showed promising results. Specifically:
“The investigators corroborated previous findings that psilocybin could reliably catalyze mystical experiences leading to significant and lasting improvements in quality of life.”
In a 2016 randomized, double-blind study at Johns Hopkins, a single dose of psilocybin was found to “substantially improve” the quality of life of people with life-threatening cancer, while decreasing their depression and anxiety. While more research needs to be done on psilocybin’s effects, safety, and dosage, these studies do show promising results for the treatment of cancer-related depression.