We all grew up hearing the same thing, ‘you can’t grow new nerve cells as an adult.’ But if that was true, how would you explain the formation of new memories and the acquisition of new skills?
Neurogenesis is the process by which our brains grow new neurons to be able to do things like learn, adapt, retain new information, and develop new motor skills. It’s unclear exactly what started the myth that brain development stops at a certain age, but thankfully it doesn’t seem to be true.
That’s not to say our brains don’t age and start to lose function over time, they absolutely do, but there may be more that we can do to offset this than we once thought.
Enter psychedelic mushrooms, and how they stimulate neurogenesis.
How Psilocybin Works on Serotonin Receptors
Psilocybin, the psychoactive precursor to the psychedelic psilocin, is an alkaloid that’s found in roughly 120 strains of the cubensis family of magic mushrooms.
Once ingested, psilocybin is broken down into psilocin by the liver, making it able to cross the blood-brain barrier so it can then bind to serotonin 2A receptors in the brain. The reason it’s able to bind to the receptor is that it shares a structure very much similar to our body’s own serotonin neurotransmitter. It may actually have a higher affinity for it, in fact.
The reason is a bit unclear, but stimulation of the serotonin receptor seems to promote the growth of new neurons in our brains. And because psilocin is highly activating of the serotonin receptors, faster neurogenesis rates seem to occur above baseline rates.
Psilocin, in any quantity, seems to be able to stimulate new brain cell growth, even at a quantity of less than 10mg per gram of dried mushroom weight. That means you don’t need to take enough to get high to still benefit from the positive effects.
For a minimalistic dosing protocol, view our previous article about safely bringing microdosing into your life here.
What Could You Do With a Better Brain?
A better question might be, ‘what can’t you do?’. When our brains are at their best, so is everything else. Our moods are improved, our hand-eye coordination goes up, and our ability to remember new information and learn new skills also goes up.
For more information, check out this abstract about the effects of psilocybin on neurogenesis
If these enhancements are put into place in worthwhile tasks, imagine what you could learn to do with a better brain that grows at the speed you need it to?
Science is just beginning to scratch the surface of how psilocybin mushrooms can help with brain health and quality of life through better brain function. There is still a long road ahead in the research. The good news is that much of what we know so far seems promising, and very few negative side effects have been reported when using psilocybin for cognitive health.
Want to give it a try and need a reputable source for mushrooms? We can help!
Visit our store and see what kinds of psilocybin mushrooms we have available and other potentially helpful products to better your health and lifestyle.
Impact of Psilocybin on Hippocampal Neurogenesis & Extinction of Trace Fear Conditioning
Fred Gage – Regulation and Function of Neurogenesis in the Adult Hippocampus