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) is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms, collectively known as psilocybin mushrooms. cyanescens, but psilocybin has also been isolated from about a dozen other genera.
The most potent are members of the genus Psilocybe, such as P. As a prodrug, psilocybin is quickly converted by the body to psilocin, which has mind-altering effects similar to those of LSD and mescaline.
Shortly afterward, the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann isolated the active principle psilocybin from the mushroom Psilocybe mexicana.
Hofmann's employer Sandoz marketed and sold pure psilocybin to physicians and clinicians worldwide for use in psychedelic psychotherapy.
Imagery found on prehistoric murals and rock paintings of modern-day Spain and Algeria suggest that human usage of psilocybin mushrooms dates back thousands of years.
Possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms has been outlawed in most countries, and it has been classified as a scheduled drug by many national drug laws.
There is evidence to suggest that psychoactive mushrooms have been used by humans in religious ceremonies for thousands of years.
Several modern bioanalytical methods have been adapted to rapidly and accurately screen the levels of psilocybin in mushroom samples and body fluids.
Since the 1990s, there has been a renewal of scientific research into the potential medical and psychological therapeutic benefits of psilocybin for treating conditions including obsessive-compulsive disorder, cluster headaches, and anxiety related to terminal cancer.