1. Psilocybin is a chemical found in over 100 species of mushrooms worldwide, it is converted to Psilocin in the body and it is Psilocin which causes sensory alterations commonly referred to as hallucinations. Psilocybin and Psilocin have a similar structure to serotonin and so have a high affinity for serotonin receptors in the brain. 

2. Psilocybin containing mushrooms are found in the wild or can be cultivated, the strength of the mushrooms can vary greatly but cultivated mushrooms are likely to be up to 10 times stronger than some of the wild species.

3. Psilocybin was first isolated from the Central American mushroom Psilocybe mexicana in 1957 by Swiss Chemist Albert Hofmann and produced synthetically for the first time in 1958. 

4. Recent epidemiological studies have shown lower rates of mental health disorders and suicide among people who have used psychedelics like psilocybin.

5. The Aztecs in Mexico named hallucinogenic mushrooms teonanácatl, meaning “God’s flesh” or “God’s meat” and used them in their tribal rites.

 

 

References:

Daniel J, Haberman M. Clinical potential of psilocybin as a treatment for health conditions. Ment. Health Clin. 2017 Jan; 7 (1):24-28. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6007659/

Johansen, P. Ø., & Krebs, T. S. (2015). Psychedelics not linked to mental health problems or suicidal behavior: a population study. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England)29(3), 270–279. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881114568039 

May P, Psilocybin and Mescaline. Molecule of the Month 1999 October. Available at http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/psilocybin/psilocybinjm.htm

Passie T, The pharmacology of psilocybin. Addiction Biology (2002) 7, 357-364 https://maps.org/research-archive/w3pb/2002/2002_Passie_22704_1.pdf