Supporting Evidence for the Positive Benefits of Psilocybin

Written by Dr. Samuel Douglas
Edited by Tara Ruttenberg and the Mushroom Tao team

Table of contents
Chapter 1:

What is Psilocybin?

Psilocybin is the main active ingredient in more than 200 species of psychedelic “magic” mushrooms and truffles. Once digested, our bodies convert psilocybin to psilocin, which then interacts with serotonin receptors in our brains to produce shifts in our mood and perceptions.

Psilocybin and the fungi containing it are still illegal in most countries, as governments have been wary of psilocybin’s destabilizing effects on structures of control. For example, psilocybin use generally heightens a person’s connection with oneself and nature, and decreases consumer dependence on unhealthy but profitable substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and sugar. Similarly, psilocybin experiences make people question what they have been taught, which can undermine the legitimacy of structures in societies that rely on conformity.

Thankfully, the stigma is fading quickly in some segments of society as more people experience the benefits of psilocybin and advocate for an end to the “War on Drugs,” which has lumped historical spiritual sacraments (such as psilocybin and mescaline) in the same category as highly addictive chemical substances (such as heroin and cocaine). Psilocybin’s long history of traditional use and modern research both support its safety and benefits when used responsibly. Plus, as widespread depression and anxiety continue to plague humanity, many people now realize that connecting with nature’s medicines is the most intelligent path forward as individuals and as a collective.

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