The study, taking place at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland has gathered dozens of religious leaders to investigate the effect of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, on spiritual experience.
Over 20 leaders from numerous faiths and traditions will receive a strong dose of psilocybin on two occasions in “living room-like setting” day-long contemplative sessions.
A series of follow-up sessions and questionnaires will then be used to see whether their psychedelic experience altered their spiritual thinking and whether this changes the way they perceive their life and work as a religious leader.
Previous scientific studies have looked into spirituality and magic mushrooms, however, this is the first one to involve individuals of different religious faiths.
Over the past few years, there have been increasingly more clinical trials investigating the effects of this drug, including a study last year that tested whether psilocybin could be used to treat depression.
Although it’s still relatively early days for the scientific research, it’s already been suggested as a possible treatment for a range of anxiety disorders and even cluster headaches.