Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical derived from certain types of mushrooms. Psilocybin, once consumed, is metabolized into psilocin by the liver, which is credited with producing psychoactive effects. Indigenous peoples of Central and South America have used psilocybin for religious and medicinal purposes for centuries.
Psilocybin has recently been investigated as a promising potential treatment for mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and addiction. This research has led many cities across the United States to decriminalize the substance. Oregon recently became the first state to legalize its clinical use, and the FDA has granted it breakthrough therapy status for depression.
Sometimes, the mushrooms that contain psilocybin are referred to as “magic mushrooms.”
Psilocybins, like other psychoactive compounds, are not typically considered drugs of abuse. Psilocybin tends to be well tolerated. And it does not usually produce drug-seeking behaviors, dependence, or withdrawal.
When administered in a controlled, therapeutic setting, psilocybin, particularly when accompanied by therapy, has shown promise as a treatment for depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Other research indicates that psilocybin could bring about positive personality changes — decreasing neuroticism and increasing extraversion and openness. And some research indicates efficacy in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
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