In 1943 chemist Albert Hofmann was developing medicines to aid blood circulation lysergic acid derivatives, his reach would lead to the discovery of the drug known as LSD and the isolation of other psychoactive compounds such as psilocybin. These breakthroughs showed great promise for use in therapy and were commonly prescribed by psychiatrists. However, the medicines would later be caught in a dragnet of 60’s drug prohibition.
In 1968 domestic scientific research into the use of these unique psychoactive compounds would be dealt a harsh blow. The US Congress established a classification system that would define certain drugs as Schedule One or having no medicinal value and high addiction potential. LSD, psilocybin, and other medicinal compounds were unfairly grouped in this category despite there being evidence that they were non-addictive and part of legitimate psychotherapy research.
A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin is a film that sets out to explore the treatment of end-of-life anxiety in terminally ill cancer patients using some of the psychoactive compounds mentioned above. Particularly psilocybin which can be found naturally in some mushrooms. The nature of this treatment is to facilitate deeply spiritual experiences to those who are closest to death in an effort to bring a little closure.