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

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 Thank you to our sponsors AG1 (Athletic Greens): LMNT: Waking Up: Momentous: 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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Huberman Lab discusses neuroscience — how our brain and its connections with the organs of our body control our perceptions, our behaviors, and our health. We also discuss existing and emerging tools for measuring and changing how our nervous system works. Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist and tenured professor in the department of neurobiology, and by courtesy, psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford School of Medicine. He has made numerous significant contributions to the fields of brain development, brain function and neural plasticity, which is the ability of our nervous system to rewire and learn new behaviors, skills and cognitive functioning.  Huberman is a McKnight Foundation and Pew Foundation Fellow and was awarded the Cogan Award, given to the scientist making the most significant discoveries in the study of vision, in 2017. His lab’s most recent work focuses on the influence of vision and respiration on human performance and brain states such as fear and courage. He also works on neural regeneration and directs a clinical trial to promote visual restoration in diseases that cause blindness. Huberman is also actively involved in developing tools now in use by the elite military in the U.S. and Canada, athletes, and technology industries to optimize performance in high stress environments, enhance neural plasticity, mitigate stress and optimize sleep.   Work from the Huberman Laboratory at Stanford School of Medicine has been published in top journals including Nature, Science and Cell and has been featured in TIME, BBC, Scientific American, Discover and other top media outlets.  In 2021, Dr. Huberman launched the Huberman Lab podcast. The podcast is frequently ranked in the top 5 of all podcasts globally and is often ranked #1 in the categories of Science, Education, and Health & Fitness.