Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical that has been demonstrated to aid depressed individuals. It shows that psilocybin increases openness and happiness, resulting in beneficial mood and behaviour improvements. Psilocybin has also been found to alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms by lowering the prevalent negative thought patterns associated with these diseases.
What is Psilocybin?
Psilocybin is an indole alkaloid found in numerous types of mushrooms. As a metabolic byproduct, it can also be found in trace amounts in humans and other mammals.
Psilocybin and psilocin are the most frequent hallucinogenic chemicals discovered in magic mushrooms, but their effectiveness varies widely between species. Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe subaeruginosa, Psilocybe Mexicana, Psilocybe baeocystis, Psilocybe bohemica, and Psilocybe semilanceata are common psilocybin-containing mushroom species.
How Psilocybin Works
Psilocybin influences serotonin levels in the brain. One of the most well-known neurotransmitters is serotonin. It affects various functions, including disposition, digestion, and movement. By attaching to the serotonin 1A receptor, psilocybin changes brain levels. The psychedelic effects are caused by some chemical processes, including the release of neurotransmitters and hormones.
Understanding the molecular structure of serotonin receptors facilitates comprehension of the mechanism of action of psilocybin. Brain surface serotonin receptors are a type of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR).
When serotonin binds to that receptors, the flow of ions across the cell membrane and into the cell changes. This changes the activity of the cell and may prevent excessive or insufficient firing.
Psilocybin is typically ingested or smoked. Naturally, its effects are felt 4 to 8 hours after administration. Psilocybin’s effects begin 20 to 30 minutes after administration and extend for two hours. The primary outcomes of psilocybin are as follows:
Euphoria – The characteristic effect of psilocybin is euphoria. Psilocybin exhibits result comparable to MDMA.
Sensory Effects – It has been discovered that both visual and auditory senses are more pronounced. Colours can appear brighter, music to be more strong or more distinct, and moving objects to move or dance.
Changes in Perception of Time – Time may appear to speed up or slow down. This may heighten awareness of the present or permit reflective reflection.
Sense of Spiritual or Mystical Connection – Common experiences include oneness, euphoria, and unity with the universe, nature, or God.
Mood Changes –Common emotions include extreme happiness, sadness, love, anxiety, and confusion.
How Does Psilocybin Work to Treat Depression?
Although the precise method by which psilocybin exerts its effects is unknown, probably, it functions similarly to other psychedelics such as LSD and DMT. It is believed that psilocybin predominantly acts as a 5HT2A serotonin receptor agonist.
Due to the association between 5HT2A receptors and mood modulation, hallucinogens such as psilocybin can impact mood by acting on these receptors. Imaging studies of the brain indicate that psilocybin affects the prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex, regions implicated in the regulation of depression and anxiety.
Most antidepressants, including SSRIs and tricyclics, also target these brain regions. Similar effects are produced by psilocybin Canada and ketamine, a short-acting antidepressant and anesthetic.
Clinical Trials for Psilocybin
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University conducted the first investigation into the effects of microdosing psilocybin on depression in 2006. Low doses of oral psilocybin were administered to twelve individuals with longstanding depression who had previously failed to respond to antidepressant medications. Eleven of the twelve subjects reported a 25% reduction in symptoms of depression.
In 2008, researchers from the University of Arizona did a similar experiment using modest doses of oral psilocybin. The results of this study, including 12 individuals with treatment-resistant depression, revealed that 83% of them had a reduction in depressive symptoms.
These two investigations prepared the way for the University of Arizona and New York University to perform the country’s first big psilocybin clinical trial. The first randomized, double-blind psilocybin study was published in 2012.
Adverse Effects of Psilocybin Microdosing
Users have reported experiencing nausea and vomiting, vertigo, feelings of dread and anxiety, and mild to intense psychedelic effects that can persist for several hours. On the other side, the adverse effects of psilocybin mushrooms are typically modest and short-lived.
Additional research is required to evaluate whether psilocybin is an effective treatment for depression. An initial clinical study indicates that low doses of psilocybin ameliorate depression symptoms for at least many weeks. As with any other medicine, psilocybin may induce adverse effects. Therefore, it must be administered under the supervision of a doctor.