3-(2-Dimethylaminoethyl)-1H-indol-4-yl/ dihydrogen phosphate
“Psilocybin, tryptamine, is in my opinion the means to eliminating the future by becoming cognizant of the architecture of eternity, which is modulating time and causing history, essentially.”
— Terence McKenna
Deeply rooted history
Of all psychedelics, psilocybin typically presents itself as the prime choice amidst both experienced and novice psychonauts, especially common among those embarking upon their first psychedelic experience, and for good reason.
Psilocybin, of which the active element is psilocin, is often considered to be the most natural and primal hallucinogenic substance one can take, with its use pre-dating our recorded history.
Ancient rock paintings, murals, hieroglyphs — they’ve all paid tribute to this enigmatic substance, all around the world, spanning countless cultures through time. Though it seems to be Mesoamerica that could be considered the cradle of our relationship with this enigmatic psychedelic; it’s from here that the most popular strains originate, as numerous peoples all along the South American continent have ritualized the use of the psilocybe genus throughout history.
Once ingested, psilocybin is metabolized into psilocin, binding to the serotonin receptors in the brain and effectuating sensory distortions, perceptual alterations, and expanded thought processes. While the duration of effects will vary in accordance with the amount consumed, they’ll typically last between 3–6 hours for a normal or high dose.
Given its extensive history, it hadn’t been until the 1950’s that the psychoactive element was fully understood. Thanks to the work of Roger Heim and Albert Hofmann, we now have a well-rounded comprehension of its neurological and psychological effectuations on the human brain.
Psilocybin is the most easily accessed, the most affordable and the most commonly used hallucinogenic in our time and culture, gaining a preferable status due to its exceptional versatility as a tool of therapy, productivity, or supplement to daily living.
It has also cultivated the enthusiastic attention of famous botanists from yesterday — like Terence McKenna — to today, like Paul Stamets, who have built a lifetime of dedication to promoting the unparalleled characteristics of this symbiotic fungi.
As seemingly innocent as it is powerful, psilocybin has evolved alongside our cultures in ways that have benefitted us beyond the scope of our comprehension. While interest in this substance has always remained momentous, it has recently proliferated on the heels of cannabis legalization, so much so that curious consumers are now able to try everything from teas and capsules to a plethora of variable strains, each with their own unique characteristics, reflecting the ritualistic realizations of ancient and contemporary cultures.
Among the more popular strains of Psilocybe Cubensis (the scientific name of the species of magic mushroom), Golden Teacher and Penis Envy tend to stand out as the top choice for consumers, ubiquitous with revelatory experiences, euphoric stimulation and philosophical introspection.
The wonder drug
Like LSD, psilocybin is exceptionally versatile, offering a range of applications that fall in line with our current social landscape.
The therapeutic benefits of psilocybin are being continuously realized, gaining a lot of momentum as of late, as the psychedelic is quickly proving itself capable of being able to reconfigure thought processes and/or deal with post-traumatic stress symptomology.
In a self-development context, micro-dosing has become a popular method of altering thinking patterns and proving conducive towards habit formation or deconstruction, particularly helpful with resolving addictive behaviors or creating positive mental outlooks.
With or without the proper equipment, it’s particularly easy to determine a suitable dosage, find a favorable strain, and self-study the effects of psilocybin, making this psychedelic a staple today, as it has been throughout history.