Definition of Psilocybin

Psilocybin: a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms. It’s quickly converted in the body to psilocin, whose effects include euphoria, changes in perception and sense of time, hallucinations, and profound spiritual experiences…Read more

Explore Psilocybin research in the following databases: 

PubMed  Trip

Research Spotlight

The databases often return hundreds of medical studies for a single wellness approach. This section summarizes a sampling of five studies – providing just a taste of the available research. 

  • One Dose of Psilocybin Showed Lasting Effects on Major Depression

    A Phase 2 randomized clinical trial published in JAMA (2023) found that a single dose of psilocybin (accompanied by psychotherapy) resulted in a rapid, robust and sustained reduction in depressive symptoms for people with major depressive disorder. Earlier studies have suggested that psilocybin may be a promising treatment for depression for people for whom antidepressants and therapy haven’t proven effective, but those studies focused on short-term results, while this one looked at its efficacy up to six weeks.
    Access this study

  • Psilocybin Therapy Dramatically Reduced Heavy Drinking
    A small but eye-opening 2022 study in JAMA Psychiatry found that just two doses of psilocybin (along with talk therapy) led to an 83% decline in heavy drinking among participants (who all had alcohol use disorder). Those given a placebo plus talk therapy reduced their alcohol intake by 51%. By the end of the eight-month trial, nearly half of those who received psilocybin had stopped drinking completely, compared with about a quarter of those given the placebo plus talk therapy.
    Access this study
  • Psilocybin Therapy Spurs Rapid, Sustained Improvement in Depression
    Psychedelics have shown promise in treating diverse mental health disorders, but exactly how they rewire the mind remains a mystery. A small 2022 study from Imperial College in London provides some answers. Patients with severe depression were given either psilocybin or a popular antidepressant (escitalopram). The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure brain activity pre-dose and three weeks after. The results were enlightening: The antidepressant group reported mild improvement in depressive symptoms but the scans showed the stubborn signs of depression remained: neural activity was constrained within certain brain regions, reflecting rigid thought patterns. Those given psilocybin, on the other hand, reported rapid, sustained improvement in their depression, and scans showed neural activity across large regions of the brain that persisted for the three weeks—suggesting that psilocybin “liberates” the brain.
    Access this study
  • Largest-Ever Study Finds Psilocybin Is Highly Effective Against Serious Depression
    The largest randomized, controlled, double-blind trial of psilocybin ever (from Compass Pathways) found that a single higher dose led to a rapid and long-lasting decrease in depression symptoms; patients given the highest dose (25 mg) had a significant decline in depression compared to those receiving a microdose of 1 mg. 29% of patients in the highest-dose group were free from depression three weeks after treatment (compared to 7.6% in the control group), and more than a quarter of the high-dose patients were still in remission three months later. These are important findings, as 100 million people worldwide suffer from treatment-resistant depression. 
    Access this study
  • Psilocybin Restores Brain Connections Damaged by Stress and Depression
    A 2021 study from Yale University (on mice) showed that a single dose of psilocybin created an immediate and long-lasting increase in the connection among neurons that are damaged by depression and chronic stress. The researchers noted it was a “real surprise to see such enduring changes from just one dose of psilocybin…these new connections may be the structural changes the brain uses to store new experiences.”
    Access this study
  • Psilocybin Therapy Appears as Effective as Leading Antidepressant for Depression
    A 2021 randomized controlled trial in the New England Journal of Medicine found that two sessions (three weeks apart) of 25 mg of psilocybin had at least as significant an impact on depressive symptoms as taking one of the most common SSRIs(escitalopram/Lexapro) daily for six weeks. The psilocybin group also reported fewer side effects and other positive emotional impacts. It’s the first study testing psilocybin head-to-head against a top antidepressant.  
    Access this study
  • Single Dose of Psilocybin Reduced Depression and Anxiety for 5 Years
    In 2016, a randomized trial from NYU found that a single dose of psilocybin delivered rapid improvements in anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer when combined with psychotherapy. A follow-up study (2020) found that 71–100% of participants reported that the improvement in depression and anxiety had lasted five years—with participants “rating it among the most personally meaningful experiences of their lives.”
    Access this study

Read more study snapshots

Studies-in-Progress/Clinical Trials Underway

A clinical trial is any research study that assigns people to health-related interventions to evaluate the outcomes. “Interventions” include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, preventive care, etc.

Access all studies currently available for Psilocybin in these databases:

PubMed Database  Trip Database