Psilocybin Analogs and Neurogenesis Paul Stamets (mycologist, medical researcher and entrepreneur, Olympia, WA ) PL3
Mushrooms in the genus Psilocybe and Panaeolus have been used for centuries for spiritual purposes and have had a profound impact on the evolution of humans. Psilocybin and psilocin in "magic mushrooms" have long been known to alter consciousness. Numerous clinical studies since Roland Griffiths et al. (2008) have established psychotherapeutic benefits of psilocin. A primary site of action appears to be on 5HT2A and 5HT2B receptors. Several studies have specifically shown that psilocin causes neurogenesis, particularly in the hippocampus. However, no studies of the psilocybin analogs have been reported to stimulate neurogenesis. This author will report that baeocystin, nor-baeocystin, and nor-psilocin augment neurite outgrowth of pleuro-potent stem cells in vitro. Moreover, some of these analogs stimulate neurogenesis without altering consciousness, and are arguably not Schedule 1 substances. The implications of non-intoxicating psilocybin analogs causing neurogenesis may open up a new avenue of research for treating mental health issues for a broader population of patients without requiring expensive hospitalization or overcoming legal restrictions associated with psilocybin and psilocin. Unexpectedly, the combination of these psilocybin analogs with a natural product, extracts of Lions Mane (Hericium erinaceus) mycelium, shows synergy of neurogenesis above expected baselines.