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Exploring the Science Behind Using Mushrooms for Anxiety and Depression Management

A logo from Clinical Cognitive Training an Oregon Psilocybin and Psychedelic Training ProgramA logo from Clinical Cognitive Training an Oregon Psilocybin and Psychedelic Training ProgramA logo from Clinical Cognitive Training an Oregon Psilocybin and Psychedelic Training Program
October 31, 2023
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For many people, the subject of depression and anxiety is still taboo, so they sweep it under the rug and hope the issue will resolve itself.

What if we told you that there’s help for your anxiety and depression that doesn’t involve medication or multiple therapy sessions?

Mushrooms for anxiety and depression are well-researched and have been shown to help get to the root of the issue. We share the science behind managing anxiety and depression using psilocybin — a.k.a. magic mushrooms.

best mushroom for anxiety and depression

Are Mushrooms Good for Anxiety and Depression Management?

Psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms) contain a naturally occurring psychedelic compound that can be used in a controlled and therapeutic setting to provide relief from symptoms of anxiety and depression.

If you are struggling with treatment-resistant depression or anxiety, supervised use of psilocybin may be an effective way to help manage your symptoms. Additionally, psilocybin may help manage your symptoms even before seeking other treatment, such as medications or psychotherapy.

Self-medicating with mushrooms is not recommended. Psychedelics should only be used under the supervision of qualified psilocybin facilitators, like those at Clinical Cognitive Training, and healthcare professionals. 

mushrooms for anxiety and depression

Research Supporting the Use of Mushrooms for Depression and Anxiety

For many years, psilocybin-containing mushrooms have been associated with recreational drug use or the 1960s counterculture of stoners and hippies. However, the last 25 years of research show us that psilocybin may be an effective treatment for  several mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety. 

Due to this research, the movement to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms began in Denver, CO, in 2019 and has since been legalized for supervised use in the state of Oregon. Here are some of the studies that have led to new legislation around the therapeutic use of psilocybin.

2016 Study on the Effects of Psilocybin on Treatment-Resistant Depression

In one of the earlier studies, the feasibility of psilocybin as a treatment for moderate-to-severe, unipolar treatment-resistant major depression and anxiety was tested on 12 patients.

The patients received two oral doses of psilocybin seven days apart. Psychological support was provided before, during, and after each session. Depressive symptoms were assessed from one week to three months after treatment.

The results showed that all patients showed a reduction in depression severity at the one-week mark and that the reduction in depressive symptoms was sustained through to the three-month mark (full remission) in 42% of the patients.

2021 Report on Decreased Levels of Anxiety and Depression in Adults Who Microdose Psilocybin

Microdosing refers to the practice of taking very small, sub-perceptual doses of a psychedelic substance (such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms) to experience subtle cognitive or mood enhancements without the intense hallucinogenic effects associated with a standard or recreational dose.

In recent years, more studies have been done to assess the effectiveness of microdosing mushrooms for anxiety and depression. This particular study was completed by 8,703 patients, 29% of whom reported mental health as their motivation to participate in the study.

With clear directions for how to microdose mushrooms for anxiety and depression, the participants averaged one to seven doses per week with the results showing reduced depression, anxiety, and stress symptom severity.

2022 Follow-Up Study Reporting the Long-Lasting Effects of Psilocybin Treatment for Depression

In this 2019 study, 24 participants were given two psilocybin treatments, with post-session follow-ups occurring over 4 weeks. Large decreases in GRID-HAMD scores were evident at the follow-ups, indicating a successful reduction in depressive symptoms.

A follow-up study increased the post-session visit timeline to 12 months, at which point, participants showed a 50% reduction in GRID-HAMD scores and remission was 75% and 58% respectively. 

These findings are especially important because they demonstrate the substantial antidepressant effects of psilocybin to be durable for at least 12 months following acute intervention in most patients.

how to microdose mushrooms for anxiety and depression

How To Use Mushrooms for Anxiety and Depression

Macrodosing vs. Microdosing

Macrodosing and microdosing are two different approaches to the consumption of psychedelic substances, such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms:


  • Macrodosing involves taking a standard or full dose of a psychedelic substance, which is typically associated with strong hallucinogenic effects.
  • The primary goal of macrodosing is to induce profound alterations in perception, cognition, and consciousness.
  • Macrodosing experiences can be intense, introspective, and may lead to deep insights, but they can also be overwhelming and challenging.

Anyone considering macrodosing psychedelics should do so with caution and preferably under the guidance of a qualified facilitator in a legal and controlled setting.


  • Microdosing involves taking a very small, sub-perceptual dose of a psychedelic substance, typically a fraction of a standard dose.
  • The intention behind microdosing is not to experience hallucinations or altered states of consciousness but to experience subtle cognitive and mood enhancements.
  • Microdosing is often used for its potential to boost creativity, focus, and emotional well-being without the disruptive effects of a full psychedelic experience.
  • Microdosing regimens typically involve regular, repeated doses over a period of time, such as every few days or weekly.

In the study mentioned above, participants were guided through the process using the app.

Integrate Psilocybin Use With Talk Therapy

Integrating psilocybin use with talk therapy, often referred to as "psychedelic-assisted therapy" or "psychedelic integration therapy," is a structured and therapeutic approach that involves the use of psilocybin in conjunction with psychotherapy sessions. 

This approach aims to maximize the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin while providing support and guidance through the experience. 

mushrooms for depression and anxiety

What To Do Before Using Mushrooms To Address Your Anxiety and Depression

Speak to Your Health Professional

Psilocybin affects the brain's serotonin system, similar to some medications used to treat depression, which is why it's important to understand how these interactions can occur and what the implications may be. 

Some possible effects include:

If you and your healthcare provider decide to explore psilocybin therapy, they may recommend adjusting your medication regimen to minimize potential interactions. However, this should only be done under professional guidance.

Schedule a Consultation With a Psilocybin Facilitator

A psilocybin facilitator is a trained professional who guides and supports individuals during psychedelic experiences, such as those involving psilocybin-containing mushrooms. 

It’s important to consult with a facilitator before taking mushrooms because they: 

  • Provide a safe and structured environment
  • Help manage potential risks
  • Facilitate a therapeutic and meaningful journey; and 
  • Promote emotional healing and personal growth 

Their expertise can enhance the overall safety and effectiveness of the experience. If you’ve considered becoming a psilocybin facilitator, contact us at Clinical Cognitive Training in Portland. We can equip you with the skills needed to be an effective facilitator of psychedelic therapy in Oregon.

Evaluate Your “Headspace”

Psilocybin-containing mushrooms should not be taken if you have severe depression or suicidal thoughts because they can potentially exacerbate these conditions and lead to unpredictable emotional responses, including increased distress and a higher risk of self-harm or suicide. 

It's crucial to prioritize safety and seek professional help and evidence-based treatments for severe depression and suicidal thoughts rather than self-medicating with psychedelics.

How Long Does It Take To See Improvement in Anxiety and Depression When Using Mushrooms?

The timeframe for improvement in anxiety and depression when using mushrooms can vary widely among individuals. Some people may experience noticeable improvements shortly after a psychedelic experience, while others may require more time for integration and continued therapy to see lasting benefits. 

It's essential to approach the use of mushrooms for mental health with patience and under the guidance of qualified professionals, as individual responses and timelines can differ significantly.

Clinical Cognitive Training: Preparing Facilitators To Help Their Clients Address Anxiety and Depression With Psilocybin 

As the research on mushrooms for anxiety and depression continues to show promising results, more clients are searching for natural, therapeutic paths to recovery and wellness.

At Clinical Cognitive Training, we take anxiety and depression seriously. Our training program is designed to equip our graduates with the tools needed to support clients who are experiencing anxiety and depression through their psilocybin journey.

If you think you have what it takes to become a skilled, caring, and respectful psilocybin facilitator, contact Clinical Cognitive Training today to discuss your options.

mushrooms for anxiety and depression
The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.