Psilocybin is the active ingredient in a psychedelic fungus, Psilocybe cubensis, commonly called "Magic mushroom" or simply "Shroom". Effects of psilocybin generally resemble a shorter LSD trip.

Table of contents
1 Effects
2 Chemical data
3 Psilocybin and Medicine
4 Psilocybin and the Law
5 External links


Effects often begin 45 minutes after ingestion and last from 4-5 hours. At low doses, hallucinatory effects occur, including walls that seem to breathe, a vivid enhancement of colors and the animation of organic shapes. At higher doses, experiences tend to be less social and more entheogenic, often catalyzing intense spiritual experiences.

The effects are often pleasant, even ecstatic, including a deep sense of connection to others, and a general feeling of connection to nature and the universe. However, as with all psychedelic chemicals, not all experiences are positive. This is especially true when they are taken with other drugs, in huge doses, during times of mental instability, or by people with psychoemotional problems. In such situations, "bad trips" are much more likely to occur. Anxiety, frightening hallucinations, confronting (symbolically or literally) past or deep-seated internal conflicts, and feelings of permanent disconnection from reality and the Self can be quite intense and cause panic. The possibility of such experiences can be mitigated by being cognizant of one's "set and setting."

Experimentation with psychedelics should be done with a lot of information and significant discretion.

Chemical data

Chemical Structure of Psilocybin
Psilocin can be derived from psilocybin by separation of the
phosphate group.

  • IUPAC names: 4-Hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine, 3-[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]-1H-indol-4-ol
  • Chemical substance classes: Tryptamines, Indolamines (Indolalkaloides)
  • Formula: C12H17N2O

Psilocybin and Medicine

Psilocybin has been studied as a treatment to several disorders.

In the US, an FDA-approved study began in 2001 to study the effects of psilocybin on patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Psilocybin and the Law

In Japan, it was legal to possess and sell psilocybin mushrooms until June 2002. Possibly in preparation for the World Cup and in response a widely reported case of mushroom poisoning, however, possession was made illegal in 2002.

In the United States, psilocybin and psilocybin mushrooms are DEA Schedule 1, making them illegal to possess under federal law. (Researchers and their subjects are granted exemptions by the DEA.) Under state law, it is illegal to possess psilocybin and psilocybin mushrooms in all states except Florida, where a court decision ruled that wild psilocybin mushrooms themselves are not illegal to possess.

In the United Kingdom, possession of unprocessed mushrooms is not illegal. However, when taken or prepared, the law is broken. This allows shops in the UK to sell mushrooms on the high street.

Related compounds (related experientially, not chemically): LSD, Mescaline

See also: Indole ring

External links