How Psilocybin Can Rewire Our Brain, Its Therapeutic Benefits & Its Risks

Huberman Lab

May 8 2023 • 2 hrs 5 mins

In this episode, I discuss what psilocybin is (chemically) and how it works at the cellular and neural circuit level to trigger neuroplasticity, which is our brain’s ability to rewire itself in ways that lead to long-lasting shifts in our emotional, cognitive and behavioral patterns and abilities. I discuss the emerging clinical trial evidence for the use of psilocybin in the treatment of depression, addictions and other psychiatric challenges. I explain the typical duration and phases of a psilocybin journey, the different categories of dosages often used and I explain the importance of set, setting and support when using psychedelics. I explain which groups of people place themselves at great risk by taking psilocybin as well as groups that could benefit, and I highlight the rapidly changing legal and medical landscape around psilocybin. This episode is a thorough exploration of psilocybin from the scientific and clinical literature perspective and ought to be of interest to anyone curious about psilocybin, mental health, neuroplasticity and/or psychedelics more generally. For the full show notes, visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1 (Athletic Greens): https://athleticgreens.com/huberman LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman Waking Up: https://www.wakingup.com/huberman Momentous: https://www.livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Psilocybin, Legal Considerations (00:08:48) Sponsors: LMNT & Waking Up (00:12:00) Psilocybin Becomes Psilocin in the Gut, Serotonin (00:17:00) The Serotonin 2A Receptor, Therapeutic Outcomes SSRIs vs. Psilocybin (00:21:40) Serotonin Receptor Expression; Visual Hallucinations & Eyes Closed (00:26:02) Sponsor: AG1 (00:27:21) Safety & Cautions for Specific Patient Populations (00:30:28) Psilocybin, “Magic Mushrooms” Dosing, Micro-Dosing, “Heroic Doses” (00:36:21) Psychedelic Journey: Set, Setting & Support (00:43:43) Music & the Psilocybin Journey; Duration of Effects (00:48:58) Psilocybin & the Brain: Subjective Experiences, Perception (00:59:48) Brain Networks & Therapeutic Outcomes (01:05:23) Creativity; Music, Emotionality & Psychedelic Journeys (01:12:39) Depression & Psychedelics as Neuroplasticity “Wedge” (01:16:53) Positive Psychedelic Journeys, Unity, “Oceanic Boundlessness” (01:25:23) “Bad Trips”, Anxiety & Physiological Sighs (01:32:57) Therapeutic Use of Psilocybin (01:36:11) Neuroplasticity, Structural Brain Changes & Psilocybin (01:48:08) Psychedelics: Therapeutic Breakthroughs & Depression (01:56:37) Combining Psilocybin Therapy & Talk Therapy, Antidepressant Effects (02:03:11) Psilocybin Experience & Mental Health (2:06:42) Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous, Neural Network Newsletter, Social Media Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac Disclaimer

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