At this point, it’s likely you’ve heard about the benefits of psilocybin—even if you’ve never tried it.
Maybe you’ve read one of the countless recent headlines about its mental and emotional benefits.
Maybe one of your friends told you about a psilocybin retreat that transformed their life.
And now you’re wondering whether it could do the same for you.
According to all of the research, the answer is likely a resounding “yes!” But before you can decide, you first have to understand what psilocybin is…
What is Psilocybin?
Psilocybin is a psychoactive compound found in nearly 200 species of fungi. While it’s been used for centuries across many indigenous traditions, it wasn’t until the 1950s that researchers began studying the compound for its potential health benefits—with author Aldous Huxley volunteering as one of the notable early test subjects.
The early results were promising… However, by the 1960s and ’70s, psilocybin had become associated with recreational use due to its hallucinogenic effects. In the wake of the era’s “War on Drugs,” psilocybin was classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It’s important to note that despite this classification, psilocybin is not known to be addictive.
While it’s still classified this way today, forward-thinking cities around the nation are decriminalizing and even legalizing psilocybin. In 2019, Denver, Colorado was the first city to decriminalize it, and Oakland did the same a month later. Since then, several other cities and even states are following suit. And in 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize psilocybin-assisted therapy.
Psilocybin is also making a major comeback in clinical research settings…
The Scientific Benefits of Psilocybin
In recent years, countless studies have been conducted on the benefits of psilocybin—and the results have been promising.
Psilocybin has been shown to help people let go of unhealthy mindsets… rediscover a sense of ease… and feel a sense of spiritual connection that can last beyond the effects of the initial dose.
According to studies by the Beckley Foundation, psilocybin has been shown to substantially enhance creative thinking and alter one’s sense of self (ego dissolution).
There have also been promising early results showing the efficacy of psilocybin on various conditions, including treatment-resistant depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), nicotine and alcohol dependence, and end-of-life anxiety related to terminal conditions.
Some research shows psilocybin could help trauma survivors rewire their brains. And currently, studies are being conducted on how psychedelics could impact Alzheimer’s, Anorexia nervosa, opioid addiction, and post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
How Can Psilocybin Invigorate Your Life?
Typically, the effects of psilocybin on an empty stomach will be felt within an hour of ingestion and include shifts in consciousness, perception, mood, and thought. Research indicates many potential lasting therapeutic benefits of psilocybin, including enhanced subjective well-being… increased activity in the visual cortex… experience of “ego loss”… and promotion of creativity and empathy.
The experience can lead to the unearthing and release of stored emotions, memories, deep insights, profound and psychedelic imagery, and an entire spectrum of feelings from euphoria to sadness or grief.
Because of its profound, science-backed power, psilocybin has become a tool for retreats to help attendees achieve profound insights and meaningful change.
The support in these settings is critical.
In clinical studies, psilocybin has exhibited low risk and is well tolerated by most people. The main psychological risk involved is distress during drug action (a “bad trip”).
To minimize these risks, Beckley outlines the importance of safety protocols, including:
- Suitability screening
- A safe location
- Access to medical care
- Dedicated care
- Holistic professionals
Is Psilocybin Right for You?
Make sure to conduct your own research… examine your intentions… and consider all aspects with an open mind.
If you decide a retreat is right for you, consider those that combine modern science and the ancient wisdom of psilocybin.
That’s how you achieve optimal change—and invigorate your life.