Psilocybin Formulations for Treating Depression

Psilocybin Formulations for Treating Depression

Many people suffering from depression would benefit from access to psilocybin.  Anecdotal reports suggest that it could be a safe and effective option for treating many forms of depression. Scientific studies show that psilocybin provides fast-acting and long-lasting benefits to people afflicted with treatment-resistant depression.

Presently, doctors do not have sufficient scientific support for recommending psilocybin based treatments.  Understandably, doctors require reliable scientific support for their medical decisions.  When recommending a drug, doctors need a scientific study demonstrating that administering a known amount of that specific drug leads to a predictable effect.

The inherent variability in magic mushrooms makes it impossible for doctors to recommend them to patients suffering from depression.  Presently, doctors are unable to connect an available option to a scientific study supporting that specific option.  A doctor cannot responsibly recommend “magic mushrooms” to a patient because that doctor is uncertain about chemical composition of those mushrooms.  See Mushrooms versus Molecules.

Scientific studies demonstrate the effects of psilocybin — NOT MUSHROOMS — on brain activity.

Psilocybin formulations would eliminate the above problems.  Scientists could study the safety and efficacy of specific psilocybin based formulations.  Based on those studies, doctors could recommend specific formulations, relying on the data pertaining to those exact formulations.  As a result, more people suffering from depression could benefit from psilocybin based treatments.  

State of the Art – Psilocybin for Treating Depression

Today, a small population of people suffering from depression is able to find relief by consuming magic mushrooms. These people administer the drug by consuming some form of mushrooms- fresh, dried, or preparations thereof. See State of the Art Psilocybin

Magic mushrooms inherently vary in their chemical composition. That variability makes it impossible to know the dose administered — even when the mass of the mushrooms is precisely and accurately determined.

For most people, the variables associated with consuming mushrooms limit access to psilocybin as a treatment option.  Understandably, many people are hesitant to pursue treatment options without their doctor’s recommendation.  Doctors are unlikely to recommend a treatment option without scientific studies supporting its safety and efficacy.  The inherent variability in “magic mushrooms” makes it impossible to attribute a particular effect (i.e., alleviating symptoms of depression) to a specific treatment (i.e., consuming a particular amount of known molecules).

Variability of active ingredients is also a significant concern for people willing to pursue treatment options without their doctor’s assistance.  People “microdosing” psilocybin must be willing to accept unpredictable and variable results. Nevertheless, for many people, the benefits of taking psilocybin appear to outweigh the uncertainty associated with consuming magic mushrooms.

Formulated Psilocybin Products for Treating Depression

Psilocybin is one molecule present in magic mushrooms. In its pure form, psilocybin is a white crystalline compound. In mushrooms, it is present in variable concentrations ranging around 1%.

Psilocybin formulations would make it possible to study how a specific amount of a particular molecule (psilocybin) affects a person’s symptoms (e.g., sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, etc.).  Those scientific studies would open the door for doctors to trust psilocybin as a treatment for depression.  Doctors could advise patients to take known amounts of known molecules based on data connecting that treatment to a particular benefit.

Aren’t natural psilocybin mushrooms good enough?  Why do we need formulations?

Mushrooms are great.  Nature is great.  There are unquestionable benefits to consuming many foods and medicines in their natural form.  Consuming mushrooms can be a highly effective way of administering psilocybin. But, this method only serves a fraction of the people needing help. 

  • Many people go to their doctor for assistance diagnosing and treating their symptoms of depression.
  • Most physicians are hesitant to recommend a medicine without understanding both (1) the chemical composition of the medicine and (2) the quantity administer.
  • As a result, many people suffering from depression are never informed that psilocybin could provide a safe, natural, fast-acting treatment.  Even those knowing about psilocybin’s potential are unlikely to pursue it without their doctor’s recommendation.

Unmet Need for Psilocybin Formulations for Treating Depression

Precisely dosed psilocybin formulations will overcome concerns about variability in chemical composition.  Formulating psilocybin into known dosage formulations will let doctors recommend a treatment program based on research supporting that particular program.  See Psilocybin Chemistry.  Earning the support of doctors would make psilocybin more accessible to people suffering from depression because many people turn to their doctors for help with their medical problems.

Example of an “anecdotal report.”

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