Can Magic Mushrooms Actually Help You Quit Smoking?

By May Wilkerson 10/29/15

A new study says that shrooms just might be the best method to stop smoking.

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Trying to kick smoking? Maybe you should consider throwing out those patches and packages of Nicorette and trip your face off on some magic mushrooms instead.

Believe it or not, this method is science-approved. According to a study from 2014, hallucinogenic mushrooms, aka psilocybin or “shrooms,” are the most effective way to quit smoking, by a long shot.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins tested their theory on a group of smokers who smoked 20 or more cigarettes a day. Participants were then dosed with psilocybin and told to relax, listen to music and focus on an “inner experience.”

A staggering 80% of those who received the psilocybin treatments stayed nicotine-free for over six months, compared to only 7% of those who received traditional nicotine-replacement therapy. The six month success rate for varenicline, considered the most effective anti-smoking drug, is 35%. Participants in the study who reported having had a “mystical experience” while on shrooms had the most success with quitting.

The results of the 2014 study have been highlighted this week as part of a “psychedelic revival” where researchers are conducting experiments with hallucinogenic drugs, like MDMA and LSD.

MDMA in particular has been making a comeback in scientific research. There are at least seven studies currently underway exploring the use of MDMA to help treat a range of conditions, like anxiety and PTSD. One study is looking into its impact on terminally ill patients in their final months of life.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.