Psilocybin

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PSILOCYBIN

What is Psilocybin Therapy?

Psilocybin therapy is the combination of psychotherapy and the psychedelic substance ‘psilocybin’. It is used as an aid in the treatment of anxiety and depression. Under the guidance of expert medical practitioners, it may help patients overcome various mental ailments safely and effectively.

A naturally occurring psychoactive substance, psilocybin, is found in Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms and various other species of fungi [1][2].

In 2018, the FDA—in an attempt to generate further interest in its study and research—labeled psilocybin therapy a ‘breakthrough therapy’ because of its effectiveness as a treatment for anxiety disorders and depression in patients suffering from terminal illnesses such as cancer.[3][4] The attempt proved to be successful, as many companies have since invested significant amounts in discovering more about the mushroom and its properties.

We know so far that the substance works by initiating a flow of serotonin in the brain and helps stabilize the patients’ mood and generate feelings of well-being and happiness.[5] Further effects and any possible side effects are still being researched.

At Gateway Sciences, we choose only the best, most optimal treatment methods for ailments—both physical and mental. Our researchers work ceaselessly to discover new applications for treatments such as psilocybin therapy in an effort to destigmatize the use of psychedelics in medical therapy.

Applications of Psilocybin Therapy

Research into psilocybin therapy is ongoing and continues to bear fruit. Its applications, as understood thus far, are:

Anxiety Depression Addiction OCD
Helps patients suffering from anxiety find a sense of calm and maintain their composure and focus. Used to treat depression in patients who suffer from such terminal illnesses as cancer. It helps to greatly improve the patients’ mood and eliminate feelings of despair. Helps patients overcome alcohol addiction and mitigates the effects of withdrawal. Many patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder have reported a sense of relaxation and relief from OCD impulses when treated with psilocybin therapy.
[6] [7] [8] [9]

Benefits vs Risks

Psilocybin, like any other psychedelic substance, has its own set of risks and benefits. However, any potential side effects can be significantly mitigated under the guidance of such expert medical practitioners as those employed at Gateway Sciences.

Benefits

  • Helps alleviate symptoms of depression.
  • Helps reduce adverse impulses in patients suffering from OCD.
  • Helps addicts recover by mitigating the effects of withdrawal.
  • Helps calm and relax the mind, thus reducing the effects of anxiety.
  • Shows promise as a medication for migraines.
  • Its toxicity content is rather low when compared to other types of mushrooms.
  • Helps alleviate symptoms of depression.
  • Helps reduce adverse impulses in patients suffering from OCD.
  • Helps addicts recover by mitigating the effects of withdrawal.
  • Helps calm and relax the mind, thus reducing the effects of anxiety.
  • Shows promise as a medication for migraines.
  • Its toxicity content is rather low when compared to other types of mushrooms.

Risks

  • High potential for abuse.
  • May trigger psychotic episodes and psychosis in rare cases.
  • Harmful to patients who suffer from schizophrenia.

A Brief History of Psilocybin

Prehistoric Times
The use of psilocybin mushrooms—originally in religious ceremonies— predates recorded human history, as evidenced by prehistoric rock paintings and murals found in modern-day Algeria and Spain.

1957
Mycologist R. Gordon Wasson coins the term ‘Magic Mushroom’ after he consumes mushrooms that contain psilocybin during his time with an indigenous tribe of Mexico.

1959
Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist, successfully isolates the psilocybin compound from naturally growing mushrooms.

Early 1960s
Sandoz, a pharmaceutical company, begins marketing and selling pure psilocybin to practitioners and chemists. Experiments are conducted, and the substance is studied further.

Late 1960s
Strict drug regulations and laws halt further research into the effects of psychedelic substances.

1971
The UN Convention of Psychotropic Substances bans a wide variety of psychoactive substances.

1997
The first post-war study of psilocybin is published at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

2000 – 2020s
Multiple studies into the effects of psilocybin are conducted at various prestigious universities across the world. A significant increase in awareness sets the stage for the decriminalization of the substance.

Modern Day Research on Psilocybin Therapy

Research to discover and develop new applications for psilocybin therapy, and to further ascertain the various effects of the substance, continue apace around the world.

It has been further augmented in recent years—even when the treatment remains illegal in most countries. The US FDA claims it is a ‘breakthrough therapy’ for patients suffering from anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder [OCD], alcohol addiction, and drug-related disorders.[3]

Several institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of California, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, have invested significant amounts—of both time and money—in research. They intend to form a more comprehensive understanding of the substance.[11][12][13]

In a study published in 2020, around 71% of the patients who took psilocybin reported a huge decrease in depressive symptoms. After a month, half of the patients entered remission.[14]

Gateway Sciences is committed to offering our patients the safest and most credible treatment methods to be found worldwide. We acknowledge the vast potential of psilocybin and its effects. We also understand that if used in a controlled and safe environment, any potential risks associated with it can be mitigated to an extent where treatment is perfectly safe.

Prevalence and Acceptance

Even though psilocybin consumption is relatively common among indigenous tribes and small, close-knit communities, its prevalence in medicine and clinical therapy is less noteworthy. Moreover, since the stalling of research into its application in the 1970s, the substance fell out of favor as a medical treatment.

Misuse and abuse of psilocybin during the experiments of Timothy Leary and Dr Richard Alpert at Harvard University also created a negative perception.[15] The UN Convention of Psychotropic Substances eventually led to psychedelic substances being banned worldwide —although some South American countries continue the trade.[16]

Certain firms, including Gateway Sciences, have begun to offer psilocybin therapy as an aid against treatment-resistant ailments. There is still an unknown about the substance, but the near future brings more research and study potential.

Effectiveness of Psilocybin Therapy

The indigenous tribes of South America have employed psilocybin therapy for centuries. Its effectiveness varies widely, however, in the treatment of one ailment to another. In addition, the substance affects each user differently. As a result, further research and study are required for more comprehensive knowledge of its effects.

Based on clinical studies done under controlled circumstances, psilocybin is known to be effective at treating [1] [2] anxiety, depression, and alcohol dependence, and addiction in patients.[3] It helps serotonin flow in the brain, thus generating feelings of joy and contentment even in those suffering from chronic depression.

The substance should always be ingested under the care of expert medical practitioners to reduce the risks of adverse effects. [17]

Patients are requested to ingest a psilocybin capsule and put on an eye mask to limit distractions during treatment. The supervising expert present ensures nothing is amiss. A session lasts for around 6-8 hours, after which a follow-up integration session is conducted where the patient and the expert make progress through conversation. [18]

Where to Begin?

Gateway Sciences goal is to become the market leader in the treatment of all ailments. We specialize in optimal medicine years ahead of conventional options.

Do not hesitate to call us for advice or consultation HERE.

Call Us: 1 (424) 330-0000

Address: Gateway Clinics Santa Monica, 1205 1/2 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403

References

  1. “Erowid Psilocybin Mushroom Vault: Psilocybin containing Mushrooms”. Erowid.
  2. Guzmán G, Allen JW, Gartz J (1998). “A worldwide geographical distribution of the neurotropic fungi, an analysis and discussion”. Annali del Museo Civico di Rovereto (14): 189–280.
  3. Johnson MW, Griffiths RR. Potential Therapeutic Effects of Psilocybin. Neurotherapeutics. 2017 Jul;14(3):734-740. doi: 10.1007/s13311-017-0542-y. PMID: 28585222; PMCID: PMC5509636.
  4. Vargas AS, Luís , Barroso M, Gallardo E, Pereira L. Psilocybin as a New Approach to Treat Depression and Anxiety in the Context of Life-Threatening Diseases-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials. Biomedicines. 2020 Sep 5;8(9):331. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines8090331. PMID: 32899469; PMCID: PMC7554922.
  5. Barrett, FS, Doss, MK, Sepeda, ND et al. Emotions and brain function are altered up to one month after a single high dose of psilocybin. Sci Rep 10, 2214 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-59282-y
  6. Stauffer CS, Anderson BT, Ortigo KM, Woolley J. Psilocybin-Assisted Group Therapy and Attachment: Observed Reduction in Attachment Anxiety and Influences of Attachment Insecurity on the Psilocybin Experience. ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science 2021 4 (2), 526-532. DOI: 10.1021/acsptsci.0c00169
  7. Carhart-Harris RL, Bolstridge M, Day CMJ, Rucker J, Watts R, Erritzoe DE, Kaelen M, Giribaldi B, Bloomfield M, Pilling S, Rickard JA, Forbes B, Feilding A, Taylor D, Curran HV, Nutt DJ. Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: six-month follow-up. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2018 Feb;235(2):399-408. doi: 10.1007/s00213-017-4771-x. Epub 2017 Nov 8. PMID: 29119217; PMCID: PMC5813086.
  8. Bogenschutz MP, Forcehimes AA, Pommy JA, Wilcox CE, Barbosa P, Strassman RJ. Psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol dependence: A proof-of-concept study. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2015;29(3):289-299. doi:10.1177/0269881114565144
  9. Moreno FA, Wiegand CB, Taitano EK, Delgado PL. Safety, tolerability, and efficacy of psilocybin in 9 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. J Clin Psychiatry. 2006 Nov;67(11):1735-40. doi: 10.4088/jcp.v67n1110. PMID: 17196053.
  10. Gorrell C, Penn A (medical reviewer). Tell me all I need to know about psilocybin. Psycom. 2021 May.
  11. Lewis T. Johns Hopkins scientists give psychedelics the serious treatment. Scientific American. 2020 January.
  12. Lee YJ. Wealthy donors are fueling a psychedelics renaissance as universities vie for funding to study ‘magic mushrooms’ and MDMA. Business Insider. 2021 March.
  13. Siebert A. New Psychedelic Research Centre Launches At Mount Sinai in New York With a Focus on MDMA. The Dales Report. 2021 January.
  14. Davis AK, Barrett FS, May DG, et al. Effects of Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy on Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2021;78(5):481–489. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.3285
  15. Weil AT. The strange case of the Harvard drug scandal. Look Magazine, 1963 November. Psychedelic Library.
  16. Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971. United Nations.