Can You Develop Psilocybin Tolerance

Can You Develop Psilocybin Tolerance?

Question: Can you develop psilocybin tolerance?

Answer: Tolerance to psilocybin and psilocin is not something that has been well researched, so the simple answer is it depends.  Read on and learn about psilocybin tolerance.

Understanding Psilocybin Tolerance

Let’s start off first by coming up with a reasonable definition of tolerance, something like:

Tolerance occurs when individuals need more of a specific substance to get the effects that once occurred at lower doses.

According to Meyler’s Side Effects of Drugs, psilocybin is not thought to be a ‘drug of abuse’ because, by this definition, it does not have ‘reinforcing’ properties and does not cause the consumer to act in search of more. It tends to be used infrequently and for experimentation, not due to habitual need. Based on literature from the Drug Policy Alliance, Psilocybin is not considered to be addictive and is not associated with compulsive use. A large part of the reason is that, given the intense experience of the drug, its users tend to limit the volume and frequency of its use.

Another reason is that the human body quickly builds tolerance to psilocybin, such that people require much higher doses after only a few days of repeated use, making it extremely difficult to have any effect after more than four days of repeated usage.

Psilocybin and LSD Cross Tolerance

Psilocybin is chemically similar to LSD (they have similar structural ‘backbones”), and its effects are quite similar (to LSD and to mescaline, as it turns out), accounting for the degree of cross-tolerance among them.


Fundamentals of Forensic Science; Third Edition, 2015.

Drug Policy Alliance: 10 Facts about Psilocybin Mushrooms.

Meyler’s Side Effects of Drugs: The International Encyclopedia of Adverse Drug Reactions and Interactions.

Harris Isbell, A. B. Wolbach, A. Wikler & E. J. Miner, Cross tolerance between LSD and psilocybin; Psychopharmacologia volume 2, pages147–159 (1961)

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About the Author

Josh has diverse background with a combination of formal training in both healthcare and business administration. Currently the CTO of Frshminds, he has a life long interest in alternative approaches to healthcare as well as technology development. Prior to working on Frshminds, he was the CTO of Lift & Co, a cannabis information site and ran Extreme Innovations, the in house software development services company of Extreme Venture Partners, one of the most successful early stage venture investors in Canada. Since becoming interested in psychedelics, Josh has explored microdosing, mushroom cultivation and was responsible for building out Frshminds' mushroom species guide.

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