August 2023

What’s New with Psilocybin

Psilocybin remains one of the most buzzworthy natural ingredients. Safety and effectiveness data is growing rapidly as it continues to be the focus of laboratory and clinical research. Here’s the latest from our monograph update.

You may have seen some headlines about using psilocybin for body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). A small preliminary clinical trial in people with moderate to severe BDD shows that taking a single 25 mg dose of psilocybin by mouth reduces symptoms by at least 30% in 58% of patients one week after treatment. About one-third of patients were in remission 12 weeks after treatment. But it’s important to note that treatment was given in a controlled setting and pleasant environment, which allows patients to be monitored for serious adverse effects.

As for other uses, substance abuse, anxiety, and depression remain some of the top reasons people are interested in psilocybin. For the most part, the evidence remains unchanged. According to a recent review by the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) Task Force, only low-level evidence supports the use of psilocybin for major depressive disorder. It’s still unclear if it’s beneficial for alcohol dependance or anxiety.

Tell patients that we still don’t have strong scientific evidence supporting the use of psilocybin for any condition. But safety concerns appear to be manageable when it’s used in a controlled environment under medical supervision – short-term headache, increased blood pressure, and increased heart rate are among some of the most commonly reported side effects. And despite being classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, most research shows that the risk for abuse with psilocybin is low.

Check out our recently updated monograph to learn more.

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2024 NatMed. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. NatMed is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.