Psilocybin Fact Sheet


  Psilocybin Fact Sheet

Coast to Forest Resources

Thank you for exploring our fact sheet series. To learn more about substance use and mental health, check out our other fact sheets. To find local resources, check out the Coast to Forest County-Specific Resource Guides. For a variety of national and state-focused resources, please visit our Helplines & Practical Tools page.

What is Psilocybin?

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring compound found in over 200 species of mushrooms that has psychedelic effects.1 This means that psilocybin can cause changes in “perception, mood and cognitive process”, including causing someone to hallucinate.2 Psilocybin may be used recreationally or in religious or spiritual contexts.3 Indigenous and Tribal communities have long used mushrooms containing psilocybin in ceremonies and/or for spiritual purposes.1 Research is currently underway to explore the medical use of psilocybin.3 

Legality & Oregon Measure 109

In 2020, Oregon passed Measure 109, also known as the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act.1, 3 Measure 109 directs the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to make a regulatory framework for psilocybin services.4 Psilocybin services will only be available to adults 21 years and older and must be administered under the guidance of a licensed facilitator.1 A development period will take place from 2021 until the end of 2022 where rules for psilocybin products and services will be determined. Starting in 2023, the Oregon Psilocybin Services Section will begin taking applications for licensure. 

The passage of Measure 109 does not change the fact that psilocybin is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, which makes it illegal at the federal level.1 

Common Names

  • Blue Meanies, Golden Tops, Liberty Caps, Magic Mushrooms, Mushies, Mushrooms, and Shrooms5, 6 


  • Consuming mushrooms containing psilocybin orally (either dried or fresh mushrooms)6 

  • Dried psilocybin mushroom capsules or tablets6 

  • Brewed into a tea6 

How Psilocybin Works?

When ingested, psilocybin is metabolized into psilocin.7 The exact mechanisms behind psilocin’s psychedelic effects are still being researched, though it is thought that the effect is related to psilocin's interaction with certain serotonin receptors in the brain.8 

Health Effects

  • The effects of psilocybin are based on a variety of factors including the amount of psilocybin consumed and personal characteristics of the person consuming psilocybin.3 Negative long-term effects are rarely reported in scientific literature at this time.3 

  • Short-Term Physical Effects:  

    • Pupil dilation, nausea, vomiting, headache, fast or irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, rapid breathing, sweating, chills, flushed face2, 3 

  • Short-Term Psychological Effects: 

    • Changes in mood, thought, or perception (including visual or auditory hallucinations); grief; anxiety; fear; feeling isolated; preoccupation with death; transient paranoia; euphoria2, 3 

  • If a poisonous mushroom is incorrectly identified as a psilocybin mushroom, consumption could result in poisoning and possibly death5 

  • Research has suggested that psilocybin may have therapeutic potential for treating depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, substance use disorders, and for palliative (end-of-life) care.3 However, research in this area is quite limited and additional studies are needed to confirm or deny these preliminary results. 

Overdose & Bad trips

  • Based on the current literature, it appears that cases of psilocybin overdose are rare.3 

  • However, people can experience “bad trips” that involve unwanted physical and mental symptoms.9 Symptoms of “bad trips” include: 

    • Altered visual perception, extreme distress, fear, lack of coordination, derealization, depersonalization, a “pins-and-needles” sensation, panic-attacks, traumatic flashbacks, paranoia, delirium, short-term psychosis, nausea, vomiting, headache, chills, and drowsiness9 

  • Combining psilocybin with other drugs like alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, MDMA, and prescription medication is dangerous and has been linked to negative effects including increased risk of irregular heartbeat or injury.3 

  • If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, below are some helplines and resources: 

    • SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP 
      • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. 
    • Alcohol and Drug Helpline: 800-923-4357 
      • A free, confidential 24/7 information and resources helpline. Text service is available Monday-Friday 2-6 pm PST, simply text “RecoveryNow” to 839863. 
    • County-Specific Resources in Oregon


  1. Oregon Psilocybin Services Fact Sheet 

  2. Psychedelics  

  3. Oregon Psilocybin Services - Scientific Literature Review and Cultural and Anthropological Information  

  4. Oregon Psilocybin Services  

  5. Psilocybin  

  6. Psilocybin (magic mushrooms)  

  7. Psilocybin – Summary of knowledge and new perspectives  

  8. DARK Classics in Chemical Neuroscience: Psilocybin  

  9. The Therapeutic Potential of Psilocybin  


This fact sheet was developed by the Oregon State University Coast to Forest team, a collaboration of the College of Health, OSU Center for Health Innovation and OSU Extension Service Family & Community Health program. We would like to thank the H 310 Health Field Experience students for their contributions.

For more information and to explore local resources, check out the Coast to Forest County-Specific Resource Guides.