At first glance Psilocybe cubenis doesn’t look that different to other mushrooms, there is nothing about their appearance that makes them particularly special. Yet, researchers around the world are growingly increasingly interested in the magic inside psychedelic mushrooms, namely psilocybin and psilocin, and its potential to treat mental health conditions. It is believed that the psychoactive components of the mushroom may reset brain pathways, and the potential of that could be far reaching. Here are ten interesting facts we unearthed about Psilocybin.

  1. Serotonin molecules and psilocin molecules, which are present in most psychedelic mushrooms, are strikingly similar.
  1. Psilocybin based therapy has been found to be effective for treating some mental health conditions, as reported in a study carried out by the researchers at the Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London.
  1. Psilocybin is used by the fungus as a mechanism for deterring insects from eating mushrooms.
  1. Psilocybin is effective in the treatment of motor neuron damage as well as repairing the synaptic pathways in the brain.
  1. Psilocybe tampanensis, a psychedelic mushroom species, was only found once in 1977 in Tampa but never seen again, yet all of today tampanensis mushrooms are seen to be the descendants of that original specimen.
  1. Psilocin, not Psilocybin, is responsible for the bluing reaction seen in entheogenic fungi. The blue bruising color happens when the mushrooms are cut and is in fact the result of an enzyme related reaction when Psilocin is exposed to oxygen.
  1. Reindeers, along with other animals, sometimes deliberately eat hallucinogenic fungi in order to amuse themselves during long winters – Andrew Haynes, Pharmaceutical Journal
  1. Psilocybin is found in 300 species of Fungi; yet finding them in the wild takes experience.
  1. Psilocybin is present in certain yeasts and has also been found in some species of Lichen.
  1. The first documented study on the effects of magic mushrooms occurred in 1799 after a London family misidentified the fungi and ate it for dinner – The Medical and Physical Journal, Vol 3