Artist Norma Loring, a patient with incurable stage 4 cancer, described her life-transforming experience with the powerful psychedelic drug psilocybin to CNN on Thursday.
“It is kind of a wonderful visual world of colors and figures and motion, and more profound than that, for me, was the feeling of maybe being connected through time to other artists, to a creative force, and to a feeling of peace,” she explained.
Loring is participating in FDA-approved research being conducted by the New York University School of Medicine and the Bluestone Center for Clinical Research. The researchers are examining whether psilocybin — the main psychoactive compound in so-called “magic mushrooms” — can be used to treat anxiety and depression in patients with advanced cancer.
“I’ve been very surprised in terms of patients having reductions or resolution of death anxiety,” NYU addiction specialist Dr. Stephen Ross told CNN. “It decreased depression, they’re living their lives more meaningfully.”
A similar study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2011, found psilocybin could safely improve the moods of patients with advanced cancer and death anxiety.
That same year, scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that participation who ingested the psychedelic substance reported positive changes in their behaviors that continued for over a year.
Watch video, courtesy of CNN, below: