Psilocybin is trending now more than ever, as Canada just recently legalized the use of the compound for terminally ill patients. But the breakthrough legalization isn’t news to everyone. The natural compound found in ‘magic mushrooms’ is highly relieving for mental health conditions many have found out from their own self-exploration.
Most specifically, and attractive to the medical community, is the compound’s effects for the treatment-resistant depression disorder. While every 1 out of 8 Canadian adults suffers from depressive type symptoms, the rush to find proper relief outside of prescriptions that come along with negative side-effects only increases.
That’s why we’re going in-depth with our guide to psilocybin and depression. How the compound works to relieve the most common symptoms, and what the latest research is saying.
How Psilocybin Works for Depression
Psilocybin is the most abundant compound found in magic mushrooms. When ingested transforms into psilocin which provides a number of therapeutic effects. Plus hallucinogenic effects in higher dosages or potencies. It’s the compound’s unique interactions with receptors throughout the brain that science is looking into for relieving depression symptoms.
Primarily, psilocybin interacts with receptors in the prefrontal cortex area of the brain. This part of the brain is said to house your ‘ego’ or your sense of self, and connection to the world. Functions that come from this area include regulating perceptions, mood changes, thinking abstractly and analyzing thoughts.
Most direct in regards to depression, is how psilocybin interacts with what’s known as ‘the happy chemical’ or serotonin. Serotonin, AKA 5HT2A is responsible for promoting the body’s feeling of overall wellness. Beyond influencing and strengthening the levels of serotonin, psilocybin works internally to improve nerve communication. In fact, science is finding that the alterations to the brain’s activities can have a profound and positive effect for depression and improving one’s sense of ‘self’.
By now, research is picking up steam on psilocybin as a legitimate treatment for depression. In fact, the compound is in ‘breakthrough therapy’ through the FDA for treatment of ‘severe depression’. Not to mention, the use of psilocybin has been legalized in US cities like Oakland, CA and Denver, CO. So, what has led us to this pivotal point for psilocybin being taken more seriously? We’ll review the most notable studies on the two, now.
The Latest Research and Progress for Psilocybin
Due to the nature of being classified as a controlled substance for so long, research into psilocybin is in its early infancy. But so far, the medical community has been stunned by the successful progress for the compound and relieving depressive symptoms. Here are the most recent studies on both:
- A 2016 Beckley Foundation study proved psilocybin positively affected the symptoms of depression for its participants. 67% of the patients from the trial were free of symptoms after just 1 week of controlled psilocybin doses. After 3 months, 42% reported the same reduction in symptoms.
- A 2006 study showed that microdosing psilocybin was effective at elevating moods. Overall, the majority of participants reported benefitting from the uplifting effects for their mood and spirits.
- In a study on terminally ill cancer patients, psilocybin was found successful at relieving depression for those at the ‘end-of-life’. 60-80% of the participants reported improved moods, even after 6 months from the original dose.
How to Consume Psilocybin for Depression
The most common dosing technique for treating depression with psilocybin is microdosing. Which means to take ‘micro’ doses versus regular sized doses, to harness the effects of the compound without overwhelming hallucinogenic effects. This method allows for those using the fungi for treatment, to function as normal throughout the day, with the same soothing effects for the mind.
If you’re a newbie to consuming psilocybin – like edibles for cannabis, begin low and slow. Psilocybin affects each individual differently, depending on their unique internal makeup, including tolerance, body weight, metabolism and other physiological traits.
Depending on the potency or dose, the new effects can be overwhelming for beginners. Which is why you should always wait at least one hour to consume more, as it takes this long for effects to fully kick in after being completely digested and metabolized.
Once you begin to feel the effects, they should last anywhere from 4-8 hours. Of course, again depending on the size of your original dose. One study set out to explore the effects of psilocybin, and found that they typically peak around 80-90 minutes for healthy adults. Some new consumers also like to keep a ‘sober trip partner’ with them at first, to ensure they have someone familiar to help them through any intense or overwhelmingly new effects.
What Types of Products Contain Psilocybin?
Psilocybin naturally, is found in magic mushrooms species that are cultivated globally. You can purchase and consume fresh or dried shrooms to harness the effects of psilocybin, that come in a variety of ‘species’ just like strains in cannabis. For depression purposes, you might want to more accurately dose levels of psilocybin. Which is where industry advancements for the compound, come in handy. Now, many brands are producing psilocybin infused chocolates, and gelcaps for measuring purposes, and those who prefer microdosing.
Like we mentioned, there are different species of magic mushrooms that you’ll want to keep in mind. That’s because they deliver unique effects, just like strains of marijuana would. Plus, they vary in potency. Here’s some of the most popular magic mushrooms to use for alleviating symptoms of depression:
- Golden Teachers
- Transkei Cubensis
- Big Mexicans
- Alcabenzi Cubensis
- Amazonian Cubensis
- Blue Meanies
Psilocybin – A New Wave of Depression Relief
For those suffering from depression, they can rest assured that new sources of relief are being clinically explored. As we await further confirmation of successful trials, many have begun self-medicating with psilocybin on their own.
Through easily accessible outlets like MMJDirect where top-quality dried shrooms and psilocybin infused goods can literally be delivered to your door. The progressive population is quickly finding out what many scientists are working hard to further confirm – psilocybin can open your mind to new ways of positive thinking, that provide healing for the mentally debilitating condition.