Until now, the majority of official academic studies regarding psychedelic use was done in a laboratory setting, meaning a controlled environment and with a limited number of subjects. Now, in a move that could offer new insights into the effects of magic mushrooms on the human mind and body, researchers at Johns Hopkins University are moving ahead with plans to conduct a ‘real world’ study spearheaded by Unlimited Sciences, a psychedelics research nonprofit.
‘Real world’ means that participants won’t be watched in a laboratory setting, but rather, will self-report their experience taking psilocybin mushrooms in diverse settings like in nature, in social settings, at home, at festivals, and so on. By removing the control of a standard research setting, researchers hope to gain a better understanding of the factors that influence a trip and its outcomes. Rather than seeking out participants with specific backgrounds and prerequisites, study organizers plan to accept participants enrolling for any reason, just so long as they plan on using psilocybin in the near future.
Unlimited is inviting adults (over 18) that plan to use psychedelic mushrooms within the next 6 months to sign up for the study now, which will consist of a series of self-administered surveys. Participants in the study will be asked to fill out up to 5 surveys, each of which can be opted out of at any time.
The first survey should be taken two weeks prior to the planned magic mushroom experience. The second survey should be taken on the day of the experience. The third, 1-3 days after the experience, the fourth between 2-4 weeks after the experience, and the final survey 2-3 months after the experience.
By studying the self-reported experiences of psilocybin users from varying backgrounds and experiences, researchers hope to learn more about why people take the psychedelic substance, and how it could be used in future therapeutic applications. Researchers will examine variables such as user demographics, lifestyle, general attitudes towards psychedelic substances, methods of ingestions, and any other factors that could provide answers regarding how and why magic mushrooms expand the mind.