Episode 24:
Seriously Psilocybin!


Psilocybin has been posited as a groundbreaking, yet controversial, treatment for severe depression. But what does the research say about it? In this episode, we discuss the history, mechanisms, legal standing, and efficacy of psilocybin in a therapeutic setting.

This episode was produced as part of an upper level course on Neuropharmacology taught by Angel Kaur during Fall 2020 at UNC Asheville.

Club Kaur
Club Kaur
24. Seriously Psilocybin

Articles Referenced

  • Anderson, T., et al. Microdosing psychedelics: personality, mental health, and creativity differences in microdosers. Psychopharmacology 236, 731–740 (2019).
  • Carbonaro T. et. al. Survey study of challenging experiences after ingesting psilocybin mushrooms: acute and enduring positive and negative consequences. Journal of Psychopharmacology 30, 1268–1278 (2016).
  • Carhart-Harris, R.L. et. al. Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: an open-label feasibility study. The Lancet Psychiatry 3, 619–627 (2016).
  • Carhart-Harris, R.L. et al. Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms. Sci Rep. 7, 13187 (2017).
  • Carhart-Harris, R.L. et al. Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: six-month follow-up. Psychopharma. 235, 399–408 (2018).
  • Griffiths, R. et. al. Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial. Journ. of Psychopharma. 30, 1181–1197 (2016).
  • Halpern J., Pope H., Do hallucinogens cause residual neuropsychological toxicity? Drug Alcohol Dependence 53, 247–256 (1999).
  • Hibicke, M. et al. Psychedelics, but Not Ketamine, Produce Persistent Antidepressant- like Effects in a Rodent Experimental System for the Study of Depression. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 11, 864-871 (2020).
  • Mertens, L. et al. Therapeutic mechanisms of psilocybin: Changes in amygdala and prefrontal functional connectivity during emotional processing after psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. Journ. Of Psycopharm. 34, 167-180 (2020).
  • Roseman, L., Nutt, D. J., & Carhart-Harris, R. L. Quality of Acute Psychedelic Experience Predicts Therapeutic Efficacy of Psilocybin for Treatment-Resistant Depression. Frontiers in Pharma. 8, 1 (2018).

Related Reading

  • Frone, M. Employee psychoactive substance involvement: Historical context, key findings, and future directions. Annual Review of Organ. Psycho. and Organ. Behavior 6, 273-297 (2019).
  • Geiger, H. et al. DARK Classics in Chemical Neuroscience: Psilocybin. ACS Chem. Neuro. 10, 2438-2447 (2018).
  • Johnson M.W. et al. The abuse potential of medical psilocybin according to the 8 factors of the Controlled Substances Act. Neuropharmacology 142, 143–166 (2018).
  • Lopez, G. The federal drug scheduling system, explained. Vox. (2016).
  • Nutt, D. Psychedelic drugs- a new era in psychiatry?. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 21, 139-147 (2019).


Written, Directed, and FeaturingLeona Wrenn, Olivia Pistor, Ariel Stewart, Skye Lewis
Scientific Research byLeona Wrenn, Olivia Pistor, Ariel Stewart, Skye Lewis
Additional Sound EngineeringCat Sawyer

New episodes

New episodes arrive every third Tuesday

Have a science question?