It seems like hardly a week can go by without more evidence continuing to pile up about the surprisingly multivariate benefits of psilocybin!
We’d like to take a quick look at three areas where psilocybin treatments may have a remarkable effect: depression, obesity, and tinnitus.
Psilocybin Assisted Therapy for Treating Depression: Even More Evidence
As far as we’re concerned, the “results are in” with regard to the efficacy of psilocybin in treating depression, anxiety, and even the fear of one’s own mortality when facing a terminal illness, as one particularly open-minded palliative care physician decided to confirm for himself.
Studies and reports about how effective psilocybin assisted therapy can be, even for patients with historically treatment-resistant cases of clinical depression or PTSD, are plentiful, and it’s a topic we’ve written about extensively here on The Psilocybe Philosophy.
It’s an important (and for some, potentially life-changing) topic, but we won’t dwell on it again here—other than to point you in the direction of this Johns Hopkins study which strongly indicated that psilocybin assisted therapy may be as much as four (yes, four) times as effective as prescribing a patient traditional antidepressant medications.
The notion that the U.S. society is vastly “overmedicated” is a topic that’s been discussed for years (the controversial documentary Overdosed America came out nearly 16 years ago and was hardly the progenitor of the discussion). Regardless of where your opinion falls on the issue, it’s hard to argue with the idea that a naturally occurring compound like psilocybin, which has been reported to provide people with the most profound spiritual experiences of their lives, could be anything but a step in the right direction.
Psilocybin as an Appetite Suppressant? NeonMind Biosciences Thinks So—and a Top Psychiatry Professor Agrees
In our post Why Does Psilocybin Exist in Nature? Learn Why Magic Mushrooms are so Magical, we explored the reason why mycologists believe certain types of fungi produce psilocybin. While we recommend reading the entire article—it’s a good one!—the gist of it is this: psilocybin-containing fungi tend to colonize and fruit on decaying biological matter (like mulch or decaying leaves and grass). The problem is that insects like all those things too, and if they come across some fungi, they’ll probably try to eat it as well.
It’s for that reason that some fungi produce psilocybin: to repel insects and other natural competitors. Rather than giving the insects a spiritual experience, psilocybin acts as an appetite suppressant for them—after nibbling a little on the mycelium or the fruiting body of the fungi, the insect may no longer feel hungry, and simply goes away.
We touch on this topic again because, interestingly enough, that’s not the reason why some scientists believe that psilocybin may have an appetite suppressing effect on people. Health and wellness outfit NeonMind Biosciences, working with Dr. Laird Birmingham of the University of British Columbia, a psychiatrist with a special focus on eating disorders, believe that the effect likely has to do with psilocybin’s ability to increase serotonin levels and change the neural pathways of the brain.
It’s a biological phenomenon called neuroplasticity. In a nutshell, it explains the brain’s capability to adapt to new circumstances—which for many, psilocybin assisted therapy could be considered a “new circumstance”—and causes new synapses to be created, the connections in the brain that make up our thoughts, feelings, and memories. Our article Neuroplasticity Explained: Can Psilocybin Rewire the Brain? goes more into detail about the process and how it may be influenced by psilocybin.
Anecdotal Reports of Psilocybin Curing or Mitigating Tinnitus Abound, But No Controlled Studies Yet
Tinnitus is a condition best described as a persistent ringing or buzzing sound that one hears occasionally, often, or—in the worst cases—all the time. It’s not a disease, but instead an indication that something is wrong with the auditory system. In some cases this is due to nerve damage (for example, as in famous musician Eric Clapton’s case) but sometimes it’s the result of an as-yet-unsolved neurological disorder.
Interestingly, the internet is full of self-reported anecdotal evidence that psilocybin, unfortunately usually self-administered rather than in a clinical setting, may have a profound effect on tinnitus symptoms.
One user on a tinnitus support forum reports a 90-95% reduction in symptoms after consuming just one gram of Penis Envy mushrooms. A Reddit user claims to have completely removed all symptoms of tinnitus with psilocybin. Another Redditor tells a similar story, with several other tinnitus sufferers in the comments expressing their similar experiences. These are just a handful of dozens of anecdotes.
We want to be explicitly clear about something here: we are not advocating for the unlawful use of psilocybin as a tinnitus “home remedy” or treatment. Always follow your local laws.
Having said that, it is curious that this appears to be an area of psilocybin research that hasn’t yet been fully explored by the medical research community—we couldn’t find any controlled, peer-reviewed studies concerning the efficacy of psilocybin as a tinnitus cure, but it’s not a stretch to imagine that something might be there.
For cases of tinnitus caused by neurological problems rather than nerve damage, neuroplasticity and the “re-wiring” effect of psilocybin may be playing a part in the reduction or elimination of symptoms. We hope to inspire any qualified researchers to look into this deeper!
Learn More About The Benefits of Psilocybin (and The Benefits of Starting a New Hobby in Amateur Microscopy!)
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of psilocybin, please read our dedicated article on the topic.
Something else that’s beneficial—how’s that for a segue!—is starting a new hobby. At Quality Spores, we provide exotic mushroom spores for the amateur microscopy and mycology research communities.
If you’d like to learn more about getting started as a microscopist, please check out our three part series The Complete Guide to Amateur Microscopy and Studying Psilocybin Mushroom Spores. Otherwise, we warmly invite you to start shopping for authentic spore syringes now.