Journal of Psychopharmacology
Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Study

Mystical-type experiences occasioned
by psilocybin mediate the attribution
of personal meaning and spiritual
significance 14 months later

Journal of Psychopharmacology
22(6) (2008) 621–632
© 2008 British Association
for Psychopharmacology
ISSN 0269-8811
SAGE Publications Ltd,
Los Angeles, London,
New Delhi and Singapore
10.1177/0269881108094300


RR Griffiths Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

and Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School

of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
WA Richards
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
MW Johnson Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore,
Maryland, USA.
UD McCann Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore,
Maryland, USA.
R Jesse Council on Spiritual Practices, San Francisco,

California, USA
.

 

Abstract

Psilocybin has been used for centuries for religious purposes; however, little is known scientifically about its long-term effects. We previously reported the effects of a double-blind study evaluating the psychological effects of a high psilocybin dose. This report presents the 14-month follow-up and examines the relationship of the follow-up results to data obtained at screening and on drug session days. Participants were 36 hallucinogen-naïve adults reporting regular participation in religious/spiritual activities. Oral psilocybin (30 mg/70 kg) was administered on one of two or three sessions, with methylphenidate (40 mg/70 kg) administered on the other session(s). During sessions, volunteers were encouraged to close their eyes and direct their attention inward. At the 14-month follow-up, 58% and 67%, respectively, of volunteers rated the psilocybin-occasioned experience as being among the five most personally meaningful and among the five most spiritually significant experiences of their lives; 64% indicated that the experience increased well-being or life.​

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