Benefits of psychedelic mushrooms

Benefits of psychedelic mushrooms

Benefits of psychedelic mushrooms

Psilocybin and LSD, two classic psychedelics, enter the brain through the same receptors as serotonin, the body’s “feel good” hormone. Serotonin regulates bodily activities like sleep and sexual desire, as well as psychological states like pleasure, happiness, and optimism.

Low serotonin levels are common in those suffering from depression or anxiety, as well as those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, cluster headaches, anorexia, smoking addiction, and substance abuse. Treatment usually consists of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, which increase the amount of serotonin available to brain cells. However, doctors note that progress can take weeks, if the treatments work at all.

Scientists may witness changes in brain cell connectivity in the lab using psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD “within 30 minutes,” according to pharmacologist Brian Roth, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University.

“One of the most interesting things we’ve learned about classic psychedelics is that they have a dramatic effect on the way brain systems synchronize, or move and groove together,” said Matthew Johnson, a Johns Hopkins Medicine professor of psychedelics and consciousness.

“When someone’s on psilocybin, we see an overall increase in connectivity between areas of the brain that don’t normally communicate well,” Johnson said. “You also see the opposite of that – local networks in the brain that normally interact with each other quite a bit suddenly communicate less.”

It results in a “very, very disorganized brain,” eventually breaking down normal boundaries between the auditory, visual, executive, and sense-of-self sections of the mind, resulting in a state of “altered consciousness,” according to David Nutt, director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in Imperial College London’s Division of Brain Sciences.

According to Nutt, it is this disarray that is ultimately therapeutic: “Depressed people are constantly self-critical, and they keep ruminating, going over and over the same negative, anxious, or fearful thoughts.”

“Psychedelics disrupt that, which is why people can suddenly see a way out of their depression during the trip,” he continues. “Critical thoughts are less difficult to control, and thinking is more adaptable.” That is why the medication is an effective depression treatment.”



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