Psilocybin is a chemical substance. It can cause hallucinations when eaten, and has also been found to reverse psychological conditioning, grow brain cells and heal the brain. It occurs in many kinds of fungi and mushrooms, most notably Psilocybin mushrooms. Most of these are known as psychedelic mushrooms. It grows in Europe, South America, Mexico, and the United States. Mushrooms that contain psilocybin are known as magic mushrooms.
The substance is used as a recreational drug. It is illegal in many countries.
Psilocybin works by activating serotonin receptors, most often in the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain affects mood, cognition, and perception. Hallucinogens also work in other regions of the brain that regulate arousal and panic responses.
The hallucinogenic effects of psilocybin usually occur within 30 minutes after a person ingests it and last 4–6 hours. In some individuals, changes in sensory perception and thought patterns can last for several days.
In 2016, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers first reported that treatment with psilocybin under psychologically supported conditions significantly relieved existential anxiety and depression in people.
References[change | change source]
- Catlow, Briony J.; Song, Shijie; Paredes, Daniel A.; Kirstein, Cheryl L.; Sanchez-Ramos, Juan (June 2, 2013). "Effects of psilocybin on hippocampal neurogenesis and extinction of trace fear conditioning" (PDF). Springer. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 5, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
- "What are magic mushrooms and psilocybin?". MedicalNewsToday. October 3, 2021. Archived from the original on January 9, 2023. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
- "Hallucinogenic Drug Psilocybin Eases Existential Anxiety in People With Life-Threatening Cancer". Johns Hopkins Medicine. December 2, 2016. Archived from the original on January 16, 2023. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
- Griffiths, Roland R.; Johnson, Matthew W.; Carducci, Michael A.; Umbricht, Annie; Richards, William A.; Richards, Brian D.; Cosimano, Mary P.; Klinedinst, Margaret A. (December 2016). "Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial". Journal of Psychopharmacology (Oxford, England). National Library of Medicine. 30 (12): 1181–1197. doi:10.1177/0269881116675513. PMC 5367557. PMID 27909165.