How does Psilocybin work?

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Through the ingestion of magic mushrooms, a psychedelic called psilocybin enters your system and sets to work. It induces a form of a mental trip that lasts a duration of four to six hours. On this trip, one person can go through revelation while another can go through utter fear.

Psilocybin exists inside liberty caps, also known as shrooms. It’s a hallucinogen but not an addicting one. It’s available in liquid form, and it can be ingested by mixing magic mushrooms into your food or drink.

So, how does psilocybin work? How does it affect you? And how do you stay safe from its dangers? Read on to find out. And don’t forget to check out some other forms of mysticism that will take you on a well-deserved resting trip!

How Does Psilocybin Work on Our Brains?

It’s worth noting that since magic mushrooms’ use is illegal, research done on the topic is quite limited and, in some instances, contradictory.

When psilocybin, an inactive compound, ventures into your system, it’s activated into psilocin. Psilocin coincidentally resembles serotonin’s shape, so it acts as an agonist, binding itself to the receptor meant for serotonin. This basically means the psilocybin hitchhikes a ride to the brain.

This affects the neural networks in the brain, resulting in psychedelic effects or hallucinations.

Some research mainly focuses on the part of our brain called the claustrum. It’s widely believed that it’s the one responsible for our consciousness and awareness. When it’s targeted by psilocin, that leads to chaos in the brain.

It’s found that psilocybin consumption led to the diminishing of claustrum connectivity. It becomes disconnected from the parts of our brain that processes auditory and visual information. In other words, it affects our comprehension of the world around us.

Also, it says that connectivity with the networks responsible for comprehension and cognition decreases, which could be the reason people experience mystical journeys. On the other hand, new patterns of connections between networks are formed, and the brain gains more freedom to wander.

Another area of the brain that goes through a reduction in activity is the prefrontal cortex, which regulates abstract thinking and thought analysis, and it also plays a vital role in perception.

The Magic of the Mushrooms Explained

So, let’s continue looking into this question: How does psilocybin work? Now that we understand the chemistry of the whole thing, let’s get into the fun part! What are the expected symptoms of psilocybin’s consumption, and how does its work on the brain affect us?

Heads up, the drug’s effect is inconsistent from one person to another, and our knowledge is limited only to reported symptoms. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

When it comes to your state, people talk of a sense of euphoria, total relaxation, altered perception, and out-of-body experiences. Some also get a wilder imagination, vivid memories, or a therapeutic feel of ego dissolution.

Psilocybin also disorients some people’s perception of time, turning seconds into minutes and hours into fleeting seconds during the hallucinations that they undergo.

On the other hand, unpleasant feelings could be nausea, dilated pupils, dizziness, drowsiness, and vomiting. According to a study by the University of Texas McGovern, other negative results of the drug are poisoning, cardiac toxicity, organ damage, bad trips, and HPPD. Bad trips and HPPD are both rare side effects but still shake you up roughly. Let’s give you a brief about them.

Bad Trips

Instead of getting the high you seek by taking magic mushrooms, you could find yourself sinking into a bad trip. Under the influence, people are struck with anxiety, paranoia, gripping fear, or psychosis. Such instability could lead to self-harm or suicide attempts in severe cases.

Unfortunately, the downsides of the trip could persevere for days, weeks, or even months.


HPPD is short for hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, and it’s also known as flashbacks. People who get flashbacks relive the effects of the drug without consuming it again. That could happen days or even years from their experience with it.

HPPD could bring back either a bad experience or a good one. Indeed, however, being uncalled for and at an unexpected timing is unsettling either way.

According to a study, most people who go through flashbacks or bad trips are either poly-drug users or psychiatric patients at the time of use. On another note, overdosing on psilocybin, luckily, isn’t fatal. Nonetheless, it’s another precursor of bad trips.

Safety Measures

Psilocybin is considered at the bottom of the list of dangerous drugs, seeing that its lethal dose is shallow and its lasting effects aren’t familiar. Nevertheless, undesirable incidents did happen because of this drug like any other.

It’s essential to keep in mind that magic mushrooms are an illegal drug and that not enough studies have been made to deem them safe. Their use is limited to medicinal purposes.

The rides are entirely different for everyone. Everything from a history of mental illness, age, dose, and even being a smoker or not can affect your trip. However, we’re here to let you know what safety measures you should follow if you ever have to consume psilocybin for a medical purpose.

Find a Reliable Source

Magic mushrooms look no different than other poisonous mushrooms, so always check where your mushrooms come from. Poisonous mushrooms could lead to organ damage, and in some instances, death.

Plan Ahead

It’s been found that the chances of a bad trip decrease when you’re fully prepared. You could have a friend watch out for you to be there if things don’t go smoothly. You should also ask your doctor beforehand whether it’s safe.

Don’t Drive

This is the number one rule for any medicinal drug use, especially when it’s known for having such effects. It goes without saying that on a trip or after consumption, you’re in no state to be behind the wheel. Not to mention, you should steer clear from ladders, windows, and anything you’d baby-proof.

Drug Or Cure: Psilocybin’s Potential in Medicine

Experts’ work on psilocybin is still far from complete. Yet, psilocybin has shown an undeniable potential to become more than just a hallucinogen. In the future, it could very well be used as a reliable medicine.

A study revealed that mice conditioned fear was treated using psilocybin. This gives us hope that one day it can be used to treat people with PTSD.

Moreover, psilocybin has been tried in a clinical trial for depression, and it showed positive results. Patients who started with Major Depressive Disorder left the trial with a mild form of depression.

Other promising research regarding psilocybin includes its use for the treatment of cancer, addiction, and OCD.

The Spirituality of the Shrooms

Many people are on a quest for a spiritual existence. Some spend their lives searching for a divine lord, while others learn yoga and look for otherworldly forces within themselves. Somewhere, not far from the two, some search for a spiritual journey within a magic mushroom.

Throughout shroom’s spiritual history, it has been used in sacred rituals, proving to have a therapeutic, psychedelic use. Recently, a study was carried out on 36 volunteers, and it concluded that 22 of them went through a mystical journey on ingestion of psilocybin.

With the sharpness of sight that the drug induces, people seem to find a different kind of clarity as well. Volunteers who tried out shrooms considered the spiritual trip they went on life-changing. It broadened their horizons and shifted their perspective in unseen ways.

Risk-free Alternatives to Psilocybin

Psilocybin’s temptation often lies in its ability to make you transcend out of time and space, in its healing power and the intensity of the experience. But, what if you can have all that without the risk of a bad trip?

You can achieve this supreme state of tranquility and otherworldliness by listening to sacred harmonic overtones. You can either play them and focus entirely on them or play them during a chakra stone meditation.

Sonic Yogi recordings blend natural sounds and musical instruments in an eccentric way that’s sure to set you in a trance.

Yoga and meditation are other time tested ways that may lead to this desired experience without using external sources to affect the brain and nervous system.

Wrap Up

How does Psilocybin work? Psilocybin uses its resemblance to serotonin to pass through the blood and brain barrier. You can say it tricks your brain into thinking it’s the happy hormone!

Once inside, its effect on you is engulfing but for a limited time. People’s experiences with psilocybin vary big time, which is why you should always be careful. You never know what to expect from the tricky element.

You can always follow the instructions we provided to stay safe, or better yet, opt for the alternatives for no less of a spiritual experience!

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