- psilocybin and hallucinations
- The term psilocybin comes from the Greek words psilos (bald) and kubè (head). It refers to an alkaloid of the tryptamine group that can be found in no fewer than 80 species of hallucinogenic mushrooms belonging to the Psilocybe genus (i.e. psilocybin mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms or Liberty Caps). In addition, psilocybin can be found in genera of mushrooms such as Conocybe, Copelandia, Galerina, Gymnopilus, Inocybe, Panaeolus,and Pluteus.It is a precursor for the hallucinogenic substance psilocin, which is created within the human body by means ofdephosphorylation. The chemical structure of psilocin is related to that of the *hallucinogens bufotenine and dimethyl-tryptamine (DMT), and to the neurotransmit-ter serotonin. Using the criterion of psychoac-tive potential as a guiding principle, psilocin is usually classified as a *deliriant. It is believed to act as a partial agonist of 5-hydroxytryptamine or serotonin receptors. However, whether this fully explains its working mechanism is unknown. Psilocybin intoxication tends to mediate the onset of * geometric or * complex visual hallucinations within a few minutes after ingestion. These hallucinations may consist of realistic - though often distorted - persons, complex scenes, or complex geometric forms and patterns. *Auditory hallucinations may accompany these *visual hallucinations, which are at their peak some 2h later. Hallucinations in the other sensory modalities may also occur, although they are reported less frequently and in no particular time sequence.*Scenic hallucinations, * out-of-body experiences, *kalopsia, and * time distortions have also been reported. A person intentionally employing psilo-cybin for the purpose of exploring the psyche may be called a * psychonaut.ReferencesRätsch, Chr. (2005). The encyclopedia of psy-choactive plants. Ethnopharmacology and its applications. Translated by Baker, J.R. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.Rudgley, R. (1998). The encyclopaedia of psychoactive substances. London: Little, Brown and Company.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.