Psilocybin Benefits and Risks
What are the benefits of psychedelics?
Great question! There has been a lot of new research in this area. Here’s what they are finding so far:
It may improve symptoms of common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and trauma processing, especially for treatment resistant conditions.
Increased neuroplasticity that affects increased neural connections, enhanced synaptic communication, cognitive flexibility, and stress reduction.
Psychedelics have been reported to increase feelings of social connectedness and empathy.
They can lead to increased feelings of happiness and contentment.
They may help individuals break free from substance abuse patterns.
Psychedelics are suspected to improve the overall quality of life, especially in individuals with terminal illnesses, by reducing fear of death and enhancing emotional well-being.
Many people report having profound spiritual or mystical experiences during psychedelic trips. These experiences can lead to a greater sense of purpose, interconnectedness, and personal growth.
What are the risks of using psychedelics?
Psilocybin doesn't work for everyone, and its effectiveness varies among individuals.
If you have a heart condition you may be at risk because it can cause increased blood pressure and elevated heart rate.
In some cases, psilocybin can lead to panic reactions, confusion, recovery of repressed memories/traumas, or even precipitate psychosis (abrupt onset or worsening of psychotic symptoms), especially in those predisposed to such conditions. Research shows the top two factors in adverse effects of psychedelics are: Lithium (and other mood stabilizers) and negative mindset. Other contributing factors included (in order of significance): no preparation, no psychological support (after journey, integration is important), major life event prior to experience, disagreeable social environment, and disagreeable music environment (music is an integral part of the journey experience). Too high of a dose was listed, but it was less significant than mixing with other substances.
Common side effects include headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness and can last for a day or two after your journey.
Long term adverse effects called hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) is rare, but likely under-reported. Symptoms can last for months or years and may need medical and psychiatric support.
Medications that are contraindicated with psychedelics include: Lithium, St. John’s Wort, and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
A few participants in studies reported suicidal ideation and self-injurious behavior, though such outcomes are not unique to psilocybin when compared to traditional antidepressants.
There is a condition called Serotonin Syndrome becomes a risk for people who are on medications that bind to serotonin receptors. It will be important for you to talk to your provider if you are taking any of the following:
Ø Antimigraine agents; triptans (e.g., sumatriptan)
Ø Tricyclic antidepressants
Ø Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
Ø Antiparkinsonian agents
Ø Antibiotic linezolid
Ø OTC products, cough and cold medications containing dextromethorphan.
How will I know I’m getting safe product?
Under Oregon's Measure 109 every manufacturer (grower of psilocybin mushrooms) must have strict rules for growing environment and must have their mushrooms tested in a lab for safety and potency. When you receive the product, it will come pre-packaged based on the dosage of psilocybin.
There are requirements for pertinent information to be on the label. What you will find on the label includes:
- Name, address, and license number of the manufacturer
- The date of packaging
- The variety of mushroom. All mushrooms must be Psilocybe Cubensis, but the variation might be Golden Teacher or Blue Meanies, for example. We will discuss the importance of this more in your Orientation Session
- How many grams (weight) of mushrooms and mg (potency) of Psilocybin Analyte are in the package.
- Date the mushrooms were harvested.
- Process Lot #
- List of Ingredients (more applicable if getting ground product or capsules)
- List of major potential food allergens
- Estimated Activation time.
- Best by date (to account for reduced potency if shelved for a long time)
- A “Do not use after” date.
- Instructions for storage
How do I know how much to consume?
Under Oregon's Measure 109, your facilitator will review any mediation or medical considerations that might affect dosage. They will refer you to a medical or mental health provider if there is any concern of contraindications or toxicity between psilocybin and your existing medications. During the preparation conversation, you should talk over what dose will help match to your desired experience, taking into account any known general medication sensitivity or blunting that may occur. You are allowed a secondary “boost” dose that you can take within 45-90 minutes of the first consumption if you would like a stronger effect. Note: TOTAL dosage of consumed product cannot exceed 50mg of Psilocybe Analyte and affects the duration of your journey (and therefore potential cost), so keep that in mind when planning administration session.