The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper Investigates “Magic Mushrooms: Can They Change Your Mind?” with CNN’s David Culver

June 16, 2023 · CNN Press Room

The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper, a CNN Original, continues with immersive new reporting from CNN Correspondent David Culver, as he travels to Jamaica to explore the therapeutic benefits of medically supervised consumption of psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms. “Magic Mushrooms: Can They Change Your Mind?” premieres Sunday, June 18 at 8pm ET/PT.

The naturally stunning landscape of Jamaica is the backdrop for a resort that hosts psychedelic retreats, where it is legal to grow and consume magic mushrooms. While this practice is legal in Jamaica, and now Oregon, psilocybin mushrooms for medical use are currently illegal under US federal law. A new wave of research is shifting the narrative around the safety and efficacy of psychedelics, leading to what some are calling a “psychedelic renaissance” and showing promise in treating multiple conditions like depression, anxiety and substance abuse; but there’s still a lot we don’t know about how psilocybin affects the brain, and many are asking if it’s too soon to offer these treatments. This episode follows a group of everyday Americans who travel to Jamaica to try psilocybin in an effort to reconnect with themselves, curb addiction, and find inner healing.

“These retreat participants invited us in on what is a deeply personal and intimate journey aimed to find healing,” Culver said. “In hopes of better understanding their mind-altering trips, I also wanted to see if the mushrooms might work their therapeutic magic on me. Having lived and reported through China’s relentless ‘Zero-Covid’ policies, including harsh and punishing lockdowns, I wondered if the medicine – as they call it – might help me better process my nearly three years isolated from family and loved ones back in the US. The mushrooms took me on a journey I did not expect.”

In this episode Culver also travels to Oregon, the first state to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic purposes. As more states in the US debate legalization, Culver looks inward and considers what lessons can be taken from his own deeply personal experience in Jamaica. (Full Story)

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