The Science of Psilocybin
Psilocybin is a psychedelic compound that naturally occurs in over 200 species of mushrooms. It has been used spiritually and medicinally for centuries. When ingested, psilocybin converts to psilocin which acts to stimulate the 5-HT2A receptor sites and mimic the effects of serotonin. Serotonin, referred to as the body’s natural “feel good” chemical, regulates mood and balance. Lack of serotonin in the body can cause depression and mood imbalances. Research has shown that Psilocybin increases serotonin levels in the body which helps in the treatment of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and addictions.
Science has shown neuroplasticity improvements:
Psilocybin has also been shown to have the power to “reset” the Default Mode Network (“DMN”) which is the control structure of our brain. It is often found to be over-reactive among people suffering from mood disorders and other more serious forms of mental illness. Research has shown that psilocybin can reset the DMN into a more healthy and balanced configuration.
Why is this so significant?
Neuroplasticity is a very controlled process in the brain and your brain cells can be fixed and unable to make any drastic changes by the time you are an adult. Research has shown that psychedelics can boost and change the neuroplasticity of the brain which can change their structures. The brain response is breaking out of old habits and forming new healthier patterns of behavior.
Psychoactive effects of psilocybin are due to the binding of the 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C serotonin receptor subtypes. They act as a high infinity partial agonist. This agonism at the receptor sites are mostly directed and responsible for the psychoactive changes in perceptions, behavior changes, rigid thinking, unhealthy repression, and visual patterns. Psilocybin acts to mimic the serotonin receptors and changing the neuroplasticity of the brain.