Health Benefits from an Unlikely Source?

Credit: Reuters

You’d never believe this stuff could do you any favors.

Some of us may have experienced Woodstock, others lived the experience through television or stories told to us by our parents and hippy grandparents. As much as music was part of the experience of Woodstock, so was the availability and use of illegal substances or drugs. However, those same illegal drugs that were banned are now in the spotlight of many scientists, researchers and the public as research is performed into possible medical benefits of these substances.

Back in the early 2000s, California became one of the first states in the U.S. to push for and legalize the recreational and medical use of cannabis, a schedule I substance according to the federal government, but a life-saving, natural tool for many of the state’s patients. Today, more than half of the states in the U.S. have now legalized cannabis for medicinal use as research continues to find new benefits to the plant. Following cannabis, researchers are now convinced that psychedelic drugs can also have a great beneficial impact on our mental health and treatments.

When psychedelic substances like LSD, psilocybin, etc. were first introduced to the ban on the federal level, they were considered to be the causation of suicidal behavior and/or other mental health problems. However, a study was done in 2015 on more than 100,000 American adults to compare psychedelic users to non-users. Apparently, the study did not find a link between the use of these psychedelic substances to any type of unusual, un-healthy mental behaviors. So were our previous conceptions on illegal drugs incorrect? We don’t know yet, but we may know soon.