"Psilocybin is a molecule present in over 200 species of psychoactive mushrooms. It has a dose-dependent capacity to facilitate the experience of non-ordinary states of consciousness, and together with compounds like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), mescaline, and N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), is part of a group of drugs called psychedelics. Psilocybin is a partial agonist of the 5HT group of receptors, including the 5HT2A receptor subtype. The activation of 5HT2AR results in subjective alterations of perception, mood and cognition during the acute effects of psilocybin. This has potential benefits for mood disorders, as perception and cognition appear to become more flexible, enabling opportunities for new perspectives and insights to be generated, potentially leading to new and novel solutions for ongoing psychological distress (1). Psilocybin effects generally peak around 90 min after ingestion, then gradually subside and resolve in 4–6 h.
"Psilocybin and other psychedelic compounds have attracted attention from researchers and clinicians for their potential to catalyze therapeutic change, when taken within a therapeutic setting, in people diagnosed with depression (1), obsessive-compulsive disorder (2), alcohol dependence (3), nicotine dependence (4), and anxiety associated with cancer (5–7). The effects of psychedelics in general, and specifically psilocybin, for other problems are currently being investigated in several pilot studies. Early research with psilocybin has shown signals of immediate, significant and often enduring clinical improvements in depression and anxiety. Such effects are thought to result from a combination of the psychopharmacological effects of psilocybin and the participants’ subjective experiences, including generation of insights and subsequent changes in cognition and behavior (8, 9)."
Tai, S. J., Nielson, E. M., Lennard-Jones, M., Johanna Ajantaival, R. L., Winzer, R., Richards, W. A., Reinholdt, F., Richards, B. D., Gasser, P., & Malievskaia, E. (2021). Development and Evaluation of a Therapist Training Program for Psilocybin Therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression in Clinical Research. Frontiers in psychiatry, 12, 586682. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.586682