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Psilocybin


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I remember that in the past there have been some discussions about this psychedelic compound. Since I'm in the process of reading one of the main treaties of psychopharmacology (Stahl's essential psychopharmacology, 2021 5th edition) it has been interesting to come across this substance and to read about the mechanisms of action.

Psilocybin is rapidly metabolized to psilocin, so they are both present after ingestion. Their hallucinogenic effect is mainly linked to agonism at the 5HT2A receptor, one of the main serotonin receptors.

Agonism means that the psilocybin/psilocin molecule binds to the 5HT2A receptors, mimicking a powerful surge of natural serotonin, causing n amplified electric signal at some neural circuits. The anti-depressive drugs like the SSRIs also cause a greater flow of serotonin (by inhibiting its reuptake), so it is no wonder that psilocybin is being studied, as a breakthrough drug, as an antidepressant, anxiolytic and against PTSD.

 

 

 

 

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The mechanism of action of psilocybin, causing psychosis, hallucinations, and other experiences have been described as follows. It is all related to the strong stimulation of 5HT2A receptors in glutamatergic neurons in some areas of the brain. Please note that auditory hallucinations are more typical of schizophrenia and 

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The serotoninergic hypothesis constitutes one of the hypotheses of psychosis; in the context of psilocybin most probably governs the amplified glutamate release in the visual cortex, which apparently is the root cause of all the visions occuring to the users of such substance.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just watched the 4 part series "How to Change Your Mind" (Michael Pollan) from Netflix,  it was pretty good, it seems these substances have a lot of potential to help people. My only criticism is that it seemed mostly focused on the medicinal aspect but I think these substances also have a lot to offer to healthy people who would just like to have an beautiful or extraordinary or mystical experience.  In many ways it can be like a good vacation... restorative,  inspirational,  or many just fun. Then again it could also be like a bad vacation,  haha, certainly not without risk. But arguably MUCH safer than alcohol which according to WHO causes 3 million deaths a year.

 

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On 9/30/2022 at 3:04 PM, Gordo said:

but I think these substances also have a lot to offer to healthy people who would just like to have an beautiful or extraordinary or mystical experience. 

That's why they are also called 'recreational drugs'. If I ever wanted to try a recreational experience like that though, I'd like it to be a controlled one, with a known dosage of a pure, unadulterated or uncut active component. The recreational experience may be designed with successive stages, starting from the lower dosages since there is a known variability in the response. But the adventurous side maybe it's a part of the experience itself, not knowing exactly what to expect. As written in Stahl's treatise, it seems that psychotic reactions following the use of hallucinogens are very rare, unlike with cocaine and other drugs. Some adverse reactions liek anxiety may occur though.

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