(Bloomberg) -- Another party drug is showing signs of going legit as magic mushrooms cleared the first hurdle of tests required to become a treatment for depression.
The active ingredient in the mushrooms, psilocybin, was found to be safe and well tolerated when given to healthy volunteers in a study by researchers at King’s College London. Unsurprisingly, the subjects got high.
Companies and researchers have been investigating the medical and commercial potential of recreational drugs like marijuana. Closely held Compass Pathways is working to bring to market a version of psilocybin for depression that resists other treatments. The company sponsored the trial, which according to organizers was the largest controlled study of the chemical to date.
“Changes in sensory perception and positive mood alteration” were among the most frequent reactions doctors noted in the trial, Compass said in a statement.
Psilocybin is drawing researchers’ attention as a potential treatment for more than just depression. Scientists are seeking to enlist patients to test the chemical for ailments including Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and migraines.
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