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While cannabis legalization is still being debated in various states across the country, a new wave of plant-based treatment is slowly making its way in the US: psilocybin therapy.

Psilocybin therapy may not be a new concept overall, but it’s one that’s just now gaining legality in the United States. Because of this, many people are becoming curious as to what this unique type of treatment entails — and whether or not it can actually help with mental health conditions

So, let’s talk about it: what is psilocybin therapy? 

What is Psilocybin Therapy and How Does It Work?

Psilocybin therapy is a novel form of treatment that utilizes the psychoactive compound psilocybin, which is found in certain species of mushrooms (most commonly known as magic mushrooms, or just ‘shrooms for short). 

The compound psilocybin compound has been known to create effects regarding perception, cognition, and emotions. 

In recent years, psilocybin therapy has gained significant traction in the United States as a promising treatment option for various mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Psilocybin therapy works slightly differently for every person, as doses and treatment plans will vary depending on the complications and lifestyles. 

However, the process typically involves several key stages: preparation, the psilocybin-assisted therapy session, and integration. Each stage plays a vital role in ensuring a safe and effective therapeutic experience:

      1. Preparation: Before the actual psilocybin-assisted therapy session, patients typically undergo a series of preparatory sessions with a therapist. These sessions help establish trust and rapport between the patient and the therapist, assess the patient’s mental health history, and provide information about what to expect during the therapy. Patients are encouraged to set intentions for their upcoming experience, which can help guide the therapeutic process and maximize the potential benefits of the treatment.

         

      2. Psilocybin-assisted therapy session: During the actual session, the patient ingests a controlled dose of psilocybin, either in the form of synthesized psilocybin or as a natural extract from psilocybin-containing mushrooms. The dose is carefully determined by the therapist based on the patient’s needs and previous experiences with psychedelics, if any. Once the psilocybin takes effect, which typically happens within 30 to 60 minutes, the patient enters a state of altered consciousness that can last for several hours.

      3. Integration: After the psilocybin-assisted therapy session, patients typically participate in one or more integration sessions with their therapist. These sessions aim to help the patient process and make sense of the insights and experiences gained during the psychedelic journey. The therapist assists in identifying and reinforcing the positive changes that emerged from the experience and helps the patient develop strategies to apply these insights to their daily life.

    Throughout the experience, the patient is supported by one or more trained therapists who provide guidance, reassurance, and emotional support. The role of the therapist during the session is crucial, as they help the patient navigate the often intense and unpredictable nature of the psychedelic experience. 

    The therapist may encourage the patient to explore difficult emotions, confront past traumas, or gain new perspectives on their mental health challenges. 

    Potential Mental Health Benefits of Psilocybin 

    The therapeutic effects of psilocybin are something that’s been looked into for decades now. With indigenous tribes turning to mushrooms from as far back as the world can remember, using psilocybin for support is most certainly not a new concept. However, we do know more now than ever before.

    Here are some of the most promising benefits observed in clinical trials and reports thus far. 

    Reduced Symptoms of Depression

    Psilocybin therapy has demonstrated significant potential in alleviating symptoms of depression, including treatment-resistant depression. 

    Studies have shown that a single dose of psilocybin can lead to rapid and long-lasting improvements in depressive symptoms, with some patients experiencing relief for several months after the treatment.

    Anxiety Reduction 

    Psilocybin therapy has also shown promise in reducing anxiety symptoms, particularly in patients with life-threatening illnesses or end-of-life anxiety

    The treatment can help individuals gain new perspectives on their fears, promote acceptance, and enhance feelings of interconnectedness, leading to a reduction in anxiety levels.

    PTSD Symptom Relief

    Preliminary research suggests that psilocybin therapy may be effective in addressing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. 

    Psilocybin treatment can facilitate emotional processing and help patients confront and reframe traumatic memories, leading to a decrease in PTSD symptoms and an improved quality of life.

    Substance Use Disorder Treatment 

    Psilocybin therapy has shown potential in helping individuals overcome addiction and substance use disorders, including alcohol, nicotine, and opioid dependence. 

    This mushroom-fueled therapy can help patients address the underlying emotional and psychological factors contributing to their addiction and promote lasting behavioral changes.

    Enhanced Quality of Life 

    Many patients who undergo psilocybin therapy report a general improvement in their well-being and quality of life

    These improvements can include increased feelings of connectedness, spiritual insight, emotional resilience, and a greater appreciation for life.

    Personal Growth 

    Finally, psilocybin therapy can help facilitate introspection and self-discovery, helping individuals gain insights into their behaviors, thought patterns, and emotional states. 

    This self-awareness can lead to personal growth and promote lasting positive changes in various aspects of one’s life.

    Medical Cannabis, Psilocybin Therapy, and the Progress of Plant-Based Treatment 

    The rise of psilocybin therapy is exciting, albeit somewhat surprising to see in a country that’s been so opposed to cannabis legalization for such a long time. 

    However, the growing public awareness and acceptance of alternative treatment options for mental health disorders have also expanded significantly, and this directly ties into the appeal of plant-based treatments like MMJ or psilocybin therapy. 

    This shift in perception can be partly attributed to the larger movement of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, which also includes turning to substances like MDMA and LSD in controlled therapeutic settings. 

    Simply put, as more people become open to exploring unconventional treatments, the demand for psilocybin therapy continues to grow.

    Unfortunately, as of right now, psilocybin therapy is not easily accessible in the United States whatsoever. 

    Only a handful of states have legalized or decriminalized psilocybin or psilocybin services (Oregon, Colorado, and California), and these regulations still don’t create the guidelines people need for proper treatment plans. 

    However, these regulations may change in the future, especially as more and more states look into legalizing psilocybin or other hallucinogens. 

    Get Legal MMJ With Elevate Holistics 

    As we wait for more states to make decisions surrounding psilocybin therapy and the legalization of psychedelics, it’s time to get legal yourself with a medical marijuana card.

    Medical cannabis is a great step to take in your health and wellness journey if you’re interested in the beauty of plant-based medicine.

    Elevate Holistics makes getting your MMJ card effortless. All you have to do is book an appointment, and then our MMJ doctors will meet with you — over the phone or computer — for your online evaluation. 

    Then, once you’re approved, you’ll get your medical cannabis recommendation and get registered with the state.

    It really is that simple. And did we mention your appointment will last less than 15 minutes? 

    And, if you live in a state where cannabis is legal recreationally, don’t forget that having an MMJ card can save you tons of money, both in taxes and everyday discounts just for being a cardholder. 

    Once you’re ready to make the switch to plant-based care, start by getting your medical marijuana card recommendation online with Elevate Holistics. Click here or the button below to get started.

    Get Your MMJ Card 100% Online!

    At Elevate Holistics, you can get an MMJ card recommendation right from the comfort of your home -- and the appointment only takes a few minutes.

    Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

    Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

    About the author

    Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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