Can hallucinogenic mushrooms aid colour vision?

A case report has described the effect of a person with red-green colour vision deficiency using 5g of dried psilocybin mushrooms

wild mushrooms
Pixabay/Andrii K

Researchers have described the effect of taking hallucinogenic mushrooms on colour vision in a case report published in Drug Science, Policy and Law.

The authors shared that recent survey data indicates that some people report long-term improvement in colour vision deficiency after using psychedelics such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin mushrooms.

In the reported case, a 35-year-old man with red-green colour vision deficiency (CVD) self-administered the Ishihara Test after using 5g of dried psilocybin mushrooms.

The man experienced a partial improvement in his CVD lasting for 16 days after taking the mushrooms.

His baseline score on the Ishihara Test before taking the mushrooms was 14 on plates 1–21, indicating a mild red-green CVD.

A day after administering the mushrooms, his score on the Ishihara Test had improved to 18, above the benchmark of 17 required by the Ishihara Test for classification of normal colour vision.

The subject’s test score remained at 18 around four months after the ingestion of the mushrooms.

The researchers highlighted that a single use of psilocybin may produce partial improvements in CVD extending beyond the period of acute effect.

“Systematic exploration of this possible phenomenon is needed to confirm our findings, gauge their generalisability, and determine the mechanism of action,” they emphasised.