Tuesday 7 February 2012

Magic Mushrooms and Psilocybin Research News February 2012

What is Psilocybin?

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic substance found in some mushrooms known as psilocybin mushrooms.  The most common known is the Magic Mushroom, (Liberty Cap) (Psilocybe semilanceata). 
Possession of this mushroom in all forms has been illegal since 1985.  This mushroom is classed as poisonous, due to its hallucinogenic properties and the symptoms can be enduring and persistent.  Once ingested, psilocybin is rapidly metabolized to psilocin which then acts on serotonin receptors in the brain.  Magic Mushrooms are the most commonly known of this group but others containing Psilocybin include Psilocybe crobula and Psilocybe azurescens amongst others.

An interesting article has appeared in The Guardian (see below) which explains more about the effects of psilocybin on the brain and funding that has been secured to research further if Psilocybe can help with the condition of depression.