Psilocybin

WHAT DOES IT DO?

Psilocybin is a classic psychedelic compound that may have efficacy for the treatment of mood and substance use disorders.

Acute psilocybin effects include reduced negative mood, increased positive mood, and reduced amygdala response to negative affective stimuli.

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?

The experience can be very individual, but several people described scenarios where they felt intense love. One experience speaks of seeing her fear as a black mass inside her, and she screamed at it to get out. It disappeared. “I began to feel like I was floating in the instrumental music playing from the headphones I had on, and I started to feel love,” she said. “I felt like I was being bathed in love and it was overwhelming, amazing, wonderful. I kept floating and floating.”

What IT Its History?

Terrance McKenna, American ethnobotanist, renowned psychedelic advocate and author, expressed this theory in his book, Food of the Gods. McKenna proposed that our African ancestors used magic mushrooms for the visual effects and to aid hunting. He mentions, psilocybin caused the primitive brain to expand in its information processing abilities, stating that early humans “ate (their) way to consciousness”.

Get To Know More

Johns Hopkins Researcher Mary Cosimano shares promising results from clinical trials of guided psilocybin sessions being utilized in the treatment of addiction, depression, and cancer/end-of-life. The impressive results offer much hope for an effective treatment to heal “hearts and minds.”

One of Mary’s key observations is the importance of love and connection — it seems, love is literally part of the answer. Mary Cosimano, MSW, has been working with the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research since 2000 when they began research with psilocybin.

In her role as Director of Guide/Facilitator Services she is responsible for training and supervising Session Facilitators. She has served as Session Facilitator and research coordinator involved with all the psilocybin studies and has conducted over 450 study sessions. In addition to her work with the psilocybin studies, she has worked with the Club Drug Studies including Salvia Divinorum and Dextromethorphan. 

She taught individual and group meditation to breast cancer patients in a Johns Hopkins research study, and taught at California Institute to Integral Studies (CIIS) for their Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research program. In 2003 she started and has maintained a meditation group for employees in her department. She also has 15 years of experience with direct patient care as a hospice volunteer.