Psilocybin, a psychedelic compound found in fungi commonly called magic mushrooms, has been used for centuries by cultures all over the world to promote spiritual growth and renewal. But in recent years, research has shown promise that the drug may offer medicinal benefits as well.
In a study recently published in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal, evidence was collected from participants in a clinical trial involving psilocybin-assisted therapy that showed about 80% of subjects with treatment-resistant depression experienced rapid relief from their symptoms after just one dose.
Findings like this have led researchers to believe that psilocybin may be an effective treatment option for those suffering from this severe type of depression, as well as other diagnoses. Keep reading to learn more about psilocybin therapy and how it works.
What is Psilocybin Therapy?
Psilocybin therapy is a treatment where psilocybin, a psychedelic compound found in certain mushrooms, is used to help people with mental health problems.
How Does it Work?
It’s not entirely clear how psilocybin therapy works, but it seems to help people deal with difficult thoughts and emotions. Psilocybin seems to cause a temporary change in the way the brain functions, which may help people overcome problems that they’ve been struggling with for long periods of time.
Who Should Try It?
Psilocybin-assisted therapy is not for everyone. It is recommended for people who are struggling with anxiety, depression, or addiction. This treatment is not meant for those who are suicidal.
Benefits of Psilocybin Therapy
The standard benefits of psilocybin therapy include:
- Experienced relief from PTSD symptoms
- Openness about emotions and memories
- Sense of peace after traumatic events such as sexual assault or violence
- Reduced connectivity of the brain’s default mode network (DMN), which has been found to be hyperactive in people with anxiety and depressive disorders
- Overall sense of peace, contentment, and tranquility
- Reduced or eliminated of behaviors surrounding substance abuse
Side Effects and Risks
When used in a clinical setting, psilocybin is typically administered in a carefully monitored environment. Psilocybin can cause short-term changes in perception, thinking, and emotions. It also can cause hallucinations and delusions. These effects usually last for six hours or less.
The possible side effects of psilocybin include:
- Anxiety or paranoia
- Feeling out of control
- Distorted reality
- Panic attacks
- Acute confusion
The potential risks associated with psilocybin use include:
- Psychological distress and psychosis
- Risk of accidents due to impaired judgement
- Unpredictable or dangerous behavior
Psychedelics like psilocybin have been used for centuries in shamanic ceremonies to induce altered states of consciousness and promote healing. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, and preliminary research suggests that it might be effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you feel that you could benefit from psilocybin-assisted therapy, reached out to a licensed therapist near you to start a conversation about it.
John DiBella is a medical marijuana advocate, owner of The Sanctuary Wellness Institute, and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about medical marijuana, he enjoys hiking, camping and sailing.