Psilocybin Introduces Mushrooms to Modern Medicine

Posted on October 21, 2022 by


Shrooms are making strides.

Psilocybin is currently an illegal controlled substance. Despite this, its usage for certain disorders shows promising potential. 

Psilocybin is a chemical found in a variety of mushrooms. When consumed, it can produce what is called a “trip.” A “trip” from psilocybin mushrooms can range widely in effect, but many people who take the drug report visual experiences of plants and other objects “breathing,” so to speak (meaning they appear to move in a strange fashion), in addition to seeing patterns, especially when one closes his or her eyes. Mushrooms containing Psilocybin are often referred to as “shrooms.”

The mental experience of a psilocybin “trip” may include a feeling of euphoria or greater understanding of how the world works. On the flip slide, a “bad trip” can produce a feeling of anxiety and detachment from reality, which can make it difficult to communicate. Many users report having a fear that their “trip” will never end.

Psilocybin use among humans goes back to prehistoric days. But, it was not until recently that researchers decided to study its potential as a treatment for mental health disorders. reports that, “Opium, ‘magic’ mushrooms, and other psychoactive substances have been used since prehistoric times all over the world, according to a new review of archaeological findings”.

Early research from Johns Hopkins University showed that professionally controlled doses of psilocybin helped individuals with severe cases of anxiety and depression. Since these studies came out, other research has been done to determine psilocybin’s effectiveness (or lack thereof) for other disorders, including alcoholism, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

The Johns Hopkins “Center for Psychadelic and Consciousness Research” did not respond to a request to comment on their optimism in psilocybin as a treatment for the above-mentioned disorders.

In the case of the OCD studies, psilocybin was shown to react with certain receptors in the brain that regulate areas known to have increased use among those with OCD. Psilocybin has shown promise in helping those with OCD overcome their compulsions. 

Some studies have indicated that psilocybin is linked to regrowth in brain cells, which experts have suggested might help those afflicted with PTSD, though more research is needed. 

Most recently, psilocybin has been studied as a treatment for alcoholism. reports that “While many who took a dummy drug instead of psilocybin also succeeded in drinking less, in the eight months after their first dosing session, patients taking psilocybin did better than the other group, the study found. Those who took the real drug drank heavily on about 1 in 10 days on average compared to 1 in 4 days for the dummy pill group.”

Some in congress have taken notice of psilocybin’s potential. Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw and New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez teamed up last July to attach psilocybin treatment for veterans with PTSD to the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. 

“THE NATIONAL PSYCHEDELICS reform movement received a boost Wednesday, as a pair of amendments that would increase access to psychedelic treatments for veterans and active-duty service members with mental health conditions was adopted by the House of Representatives. The amendments, which were added to the annual National Defense Authorization Act, were offered by Reps. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.” Austin Ahlman of The Intercept reported on July 14th.

But this unexpected bipartisan team wasn’t the only group of politicians to take action on shrooms. Lawmakers in the state of Oregon were the first to decriminalize the recreational use of psilocybin. reported that “In 2020, Oregon legalized psilocybin through a ballot initiative called Measure 109. Under the new law, Oregonians and tourists aged 21 and older will be able to access legal ‘magic’ mushrooms in the state early next year, though the timeline of when businesses will open is still being decided.”

Biology teacher Mr. Kerry Motze said he had read that, in studies, psilocybin was shown to alleviate severe anxiety and depression, but he feels it should be, as he puts it “under heavily controlled circumstances” and he would “worry if it was used uniformly under all circumstances”.

Health and Gym teacher Ms. Carole LeVan was optimsitic about psilocybin being used as a treatment for mental disorders because “the longer the products have been around, the safer [they are]”. 

According to The Multidisiplinary Association for Psychadelic Studies, “Emerging research into the potential use of psychedelics, including psilocybin, suggests that psychedelic-assisted therapy may be promising for the research of conditions that otherwise have limited treatment options. We’re highly optimistic that the rapidly growing body of knowledge will lead to new options for people who are suffering.”

Posted in: Jacob Rauenzahn