The ultimate trip: how mushrooms and a movie might cure what ails us

Brain researchers at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica are recreating a scene once played out in parents’ basements and college dorm rooms. They’re giving people psilocybin mushrooms and then playing a nature video to help them trip out.

The purpose here is scientific. These are clinical trials to see if psychedelics could successfully treat a range of mental ailments, including drug and alcohol addiction.

“The hypothesis is that appropriate video can enhance or ‘prime’ the psilocybin-induced ‘mystical experience,’ which previous research has indicated can be effective for patients who desire to resolve psychological challenges,” NBC Los Angeles reports. Said video was created by filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg.

"To me, as a neuroscientist, I think this is perhaps the most interesting thing going on in the neurosciences right now--because there's so much potential to help so many people in need,” the center’s director, Dr. Daniel Kelly, MD, told NBC.

“I think this psychedelic renaissance is transforming behavioral healthcare," he added. "It's long overdue."

Read more about the clinical trials and what they might reveal here.