Ketamine Vs. Psilocybin

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Both ketamine and psilocybin have psychedelic properties that can be used to treat certain mental health conditions, such as depression, when combined with therapy.

These two drugs have a lot in common, but they do differ when it comes to how they are able to treat mental health conditions. If you’re considering psychedelic therapy, you may be wondering which of these options would be the better choice for you. Keep reading to learn about some of the key differences between ketamine and psilocybin when used to treat depression.

Ketamine: The Basics

Ketamine was first used for sedation and pain management in the 1970s during the Vietnam war. This is because ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, which means it has the power to ease pain while making patients feel detached from their current situation.

Today, ketamine is primarily used to treat treatment-resistant depression (depression that doesn’t respond to two or more antidepressant medications) and suicidal thoughts in people with major depressive disorder. It works by affecting certain receptors in the brain to quickly reduce symptoms of depression. In fact, patients may begin to feel their symptoms alleviate in as little as a few hours after the first dose of ketamine.

This drug is most commonly administered by injection, but is also available as a nasal spray. Ketamine must be administered by a healthcare professional in a medical or mental health treatment environment. This is done to ensure that a patient doesn’t try to drive home in the case they experience side effects of ketamine (such as sedation, euphoria, dizziness, and hallucinations) after a session.

What Is Psilocybin?

Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical in certain mushrooms. Mushrooms that have this chemical in them are commonly known as “magic mushrooms.” Psilocybin can cause feelings of euphoria, sensory distortion, altered thinking, peacefulness, derealization, spiritualization, and more. This drug works by activating serotonin receptors in the prefrontal cortex of the brain to distort how individuals perceive objects and people that are already in their environment.

Magic mushrooms are commonly used as a part of spiritual rituals, as a recreational drug, and as a type of medicine. Recently, it is being used more widely in different types of talk therapy and depression treatment. Psilocybin may also be helpful in treating other mental health conditions like anxiety, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and substance abuse issues.

The Difference Between Mushrooms & Ketamine

Ketamine and psilocybin both have strong evidence supporting them as a form of treatment and are very fast-action when it comes to eliminating depression symptoms. While ketamine and psilocybin have similar hallucinogenic effects, they may work differently to treat depression.

First, it’s important to note that only ketamine is currently available for prescription. Psilocybin is still currently under clinical trial and is on its way to becoming decriminalized in the near future. However, psilocybin has a lower potential for dependence than ketamine.

When it comes to the experience, psilocybin lasts significantly longer than ketamine. The effects of ketamine last for about 90 minutes, whereas psilocybin stays in the system for several hours.

Ketamine provides more of a dissociative experience, whereas psilocybin challenges individuals to analyze what is in the space around them.

Should You Use Ketamine Or Psilocybin?

Both ketamine and psilocybin can be very impactful when it comes to mental health. Whether you should choose one over the other completely depends on your personal needs. If you’re considering using ketamine or psilocybin to help treat depression or another mental health condition, talk to your doctor before making an official decision. They should be able to recommend the best type of treatment for you.

To learn more about the difference between ketamine and psilocybin for depression, contact our team of mental health treatment representatives by giving us a call at 866-552-3758 or sending an email to


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