What is Psilocybin?

Psilocybin is a psychedelic compound that occurs in certain mushrooms (often referred to as “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms”).

Psilocybin mushrooms have a long history of use in Mesoamerica in spiritual and religious rituals and are currently one of the most popular recreational psychedelics in North America and Europe.

These mushrooms are increasingly being used in therapeutic settings to treat a wide variety of ailments and disorders, including cluster headaches, obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety, depression, and addiction, among others.

While psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in most countries and categorized as a controlled substance, highly controlled human studies have been permitted for their potential use in medical and psychiatric settings at leading institutions.

How Does Psilocybin Therapy Work?

Psilocybin is the one that typically draws the most attention. Magic mushrooms contain between 0.2-1.8% psilocybin by dry weight [1], depending on the species. Once ingested, psilocybin is quickly converted to its active metabolite, psilocin. Both psilocybin and psilocin bind to serotonin receptors, and these twin troublemakers are responsible for the majority of the psychedelic effects of magic mushrooms.

Psilocybin Dosing

Psilocybin mushrooms can be ingested in their whole form. They’re usually found dried. They can be consumed in many forms but generally are taken orally. Some common methods are:

• Whole, dried, either on their own or added with food such as chocolate, to improve the taste.
• Ground, either added to food or brewed to make psilocybin mushroom tea.
• Ground, made into capsules for easy consumption.

Psilocybin is best consumed on an empty stomach. It may be combined with food, however foods high in fat may cause the effects of the psilocybin to be delayed. Tea is a preferred method of consumption by many as it is found to be easier on the stomach.

It’s recommended to consumed your dose and wait 1 hour before consuming more. Within 1 hour the psilocybin should take effect giving you a better idea if or how much to increase your dose.

Microdosing (50mg-250mg)

The average psilocybin microdose can range from 25mg to 250mg. We recommend starting at a low dose of 50mg, or 25mg if you are sensitive to substances.

Dosing schedules can vary as it depends on individual preference. Popular dosing schedules incldue:

• 1 dose per day for 4 days followed by a 3 day break
• 1 dose per day for 2 days followed by a 2 day break
• 1 dose every 3 to 4 days

Low Dose (0.5g-1.5g)
Moderate Dose (0.5g-1.5g)
Heroic Dose (5g-7g+)
Low to Heroic dosing of psilocybin mushrooms produces changes in consciousness mood, thought and perception that people call a ‘trip’, or a ‘psychedelic experience’. Especially at higher doses the effects can be intense. Perhaps the most important consideration someone should make before deciding to take this drug, especially at moderate or high doses, is whether they are likely to find the experience of losing grip on reality distressing. Everyone’s experiences of mushrooms are unique to them, so what may be an easily manageable dose for a friend may be too much for you.

Psilocybin Effects

Psilocybin is often referred to as a nootropic agent, meaning it has numerous functions in the brain that can improve the health of the hippocampus, or the part of the brain that is responsible for learning and converting short-term memory to long-term memory.

Psilocybin can help the hippocampus form new cells, which can, in turn, lead to what scientists call “the extinction of trace fear conditioning”. Conditioned fear response is common in individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

By inducing courage and kindness in one’s self, psilocybin can help to overcome fear response, depression, anxiety, and the symptoms of other mental health conditions, while also improving cognition and creativity, and potentially regenerating neurons associated with vision and hearing.

Psilocybin mushrooms can cause people to think about things in peculiar ways, they sometimes make people feel euphoric, and can cause visual and auditory hallucinations. Hallucinations can be subtle or all-encompassing. Colours may change in tone and intensity, surfaces may move, colourful fractal patterns can form and with high enough doses, objects morph into other things and users may experience encounters with imaginary places and people. There can also be changes in the perception of time, with minutes potentially feeling like hours and vice versa. Acting and talking normally are likely to become difficult above very low doses. The experience can be spiritual and some people rank their experiences with mushrooms among the most personally important times in their lives. Equally, the experience can be just a bit of interesting fun, or can be regrettable if you are not properly prepared or the experience is not properly managed.

Potential effects of psilocybin are listed below.

Microdosing Effects (50mg to 250mg)

• Increased cognitive skills
ª Improved awareness of both surroundings and self
• Improved understanding and communication of one’s emotions
• Enhanced appreciation for music, art, etc.
• Increased empathy

Low Dosing Effects (0.5g to 1.5g)

• Changes in your visual perception, such as halos around lights and objects and potentially, geometric patterns
• Increased intensity of emotional experiences
• Increased introspection
• Finding otherwise mundane things funny or interesting
• Enhanced appreciation for music, art, etc.
• Increased empathy
• Distorted sense of time
• Unusual physical sensations
• Sensitivity to light
• Wide pupil dilation
• Compulsive yawning
• Difficulty with cognitive tasks
• Dizziness
• Nausea

Moderate Dosing Effects (2g to 3.5g)

• Changes in your visual perception, such as halos around lights and objects and potentially, geometric patterns
• Increased intensity of emotional experiences
• Increased introspection
• Finding otherwise mundane things funny or interesting
• Increased empathy
• A dream like state, known as a “hypnagogic experience”
• Enhanced appreciation for music, art, etc.
• Strong emotions, both good and bad
• Altered perception of sound
• Distorted sense of time
• Unusual physical sensations
• Sensitivity to light
• Wide pupil dilation
• Compulsive yawning
• Difficulty with cognitive tasks
• Dizziness
• Nausea

Heroic Dosing Effects (5g-7g+)

• Changes in your visual perception, such as halos around lights and objects and potentially, geometric patterns
• Increased intensity of emotional experiences
• Increased introspection
• A dream like state, known as a “hypnagogic experience”
• Strong emotions, both good and bad
• Increased empathy
• Ego death
• Strong euphoria or excitement
• Enhanced appreciation for music, art, etc.
• Mystical experience and intense feelings of wonder
• Life-changing introspective or philosophical insights
• Altered perception of sound
• Distorted sense of time
• Unusual physical sensations
• Sensitivity to light
• Wide pupil dilation
• Compulsive yawning
• Difficulty with cognitive tasks
• Confusion
• Disorientation
• Dizziness
• Nausea

We recommend not to resist feelings, but to embrace them. Many who do report strong negative emotions also report a simultaneous sense of calm, acceptance and detachment, especially if they remind themselves that the emotions are temporary.

Doses above 1.5g can result in compromised motor functions and difficulty with tasks. For this reason we recommend a sitter for any dose above 1.5 grams. If you have experience with mushrooms and know your dose, this threshold can increase to 2.5 grams, however a sitter is recommended for any dose above 3 grams regardless of an individuals experience with psilocybin. Caution is advised when experimenting with a new strain or a new source of psilocybin.

Psilocybin Storage

The only risks to dried psilocybin are potential loss of potency due to exposure to light, moisture and heat. The active compounds of magic mushrooms can be quite sensitive to prolonged periods of heat, resulting in a reduced potency. Without their moisture content, mushrooms stop decomposing.

Dried psilocybin in whole or capsuled form can be safely stored in a cool, dark and dry place for up to 2-3 years, possibly even longer. Frozen mushrooms and truffles can be stored pretty much indefinitely. Both truffles and mushrooms must be fully dry before they are frozen. Once dry, simply place them in an air tight container or bag and put them in your freezer.

Psilocybin Interactions

• Do not mix psilocybin with alcohol.
• Since psilocybin is a potent serotonin agonist, it’s best to avoid using it while on any medications that alter the serotonin system, such as SSRI antidepressants.
• Psilocybin should not be mixed with Tramadol, as it can lead to Serotonin Syndrome.
• Be cautious if mixing psilocybin with amphetamines or recreational drugs. Cannabis is known to increase the effects of psilocybin.