Shroom News & Culture

Psilocybin and Women

As more research around psilocybin and psychedelic mushrooms emerges, the focus is shifting toward its effects on women. Mushrooms can provide women with a new, therapeutic way to handle grief, trauma, depression, and more all with a unique biological interaction. We explore that and how women can and should utilize psilocybin in our latest journal.

Min read
Lydia Mcclendon
November 30, 2023

The world of psychedelics has long been an enigmatic realm, especially regarding how it interacts with various biological systems. Recent studies have unveiled intriguing insights into how psilocybin, found in magic mushrooms, might affect women differently than men. While studies are on the rise, we at Retreat aim to push these forward through commissioning studies and leading the way for industry partnerships within psychedelics. While there aren’t enough studies on psilocybin and women, the few we find point to a distinct difference in interactions internally. From hormonal influences to brain chemistry disparities, let's delve into this captivating subject.

An Overview of the Promising Benefits of Psilocybin

Within the last few years, and especially within 2023, there has been a psychedelic renaissance blooming. For women, this bloom has been a focus on improving ourselves, for ourselves. Whether it’s the stressed-out mom, the burnt-out creative, or the exhausted CEO, psilocybin has become a promising choice for women. However, as promising as it seems for the female population; the focus within studies and research remains on men. So, if psychedelics are such a game changer, why aren’t we seeing more studies on how they affect women, specifically? Recently, we’ve seen an upswing in women opening up bout their experiences with psilocybin and mushrooms. 

More studies are being conducted to help bridge the gap. Studies around estrogen and psilocybin, and a rise in women looking for psychedelic-assisted therapy or help handling disordered eating, stress, post-partum depression, PTSD,  and more. 

Download the Microdosing course

NOW $99
Audio course option
Self-paced Learning
Designed by doctors & experts
12 hours of learning

Our microdosing course was developed by doctors and psychedelic therapists  and teaches you how to microdose effectively, backed by science and data.

Start Now

Curious about microdosing?

Learn to microdose with our free guide.

Thank you! Check your email to begin your journey
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Psychedelics & Their Unique Effects on Women

While research on psychedelics historically focused on their effects on men, emerging studies spotlight the significance of understanding how these substances interact differently within the female body. One pivotal factor lies in hormonal variations. Women experience hormonal fluctuations throughout their menstrual cycles, which can potentially influence their psychedelic experiences.

Hormonal Influence on Psychedelic Experience

Recent investigations suggest that estrogen, progesterone, and other hormonal fluctuations may impact the sensitivity to psychedelics. For instance, during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, when progesterone levels are higher, women might experience altered responses to psilocybin. This phase could potentially intensify or modify the psychedelic experience compared to other phases of the menstrual cycle.

Brain Chemistry and Psychedelic Response

Beyond hormonal influences, brain chemistry also plays a crucial role. Studies have shown that women often have higher levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter affected by psychedelics like psilocybin. This disparity might lead to varied reactions or altered experiences compared to men. Additionally, differences in brain connectivity and neuroplasticity between genders could contribute to distinct psychedelic encounters.

Therapeutic Implications for Women

Understanding these nuances holds promising therapeutic implications. Psychedelics, including psilocybin, have shown potential in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Tailoring psychedelic therapy to consider these gender-specific responses could enhance its efficacy for women. Other factors that affect women disproportionately are things like Post-Partum Depression. Studies from the National Institue of Health have shown that 

“There is increasing evidence for safety, and encouraging signals for efficacy, of psilocybin in the treatment of MDD. Psilocybin has been shown to catalyze a sense of ‘reconnection’ in participants with MDD. This effect in PPD, by fostering a sense of ‘reconnection’ for the mother, may allow for improved mood and maternal sensitivity towards the infant, which can positively impact maternal role gratification and the mother-infant relationship.”

Noting that psychedelics are shown to play a powerful role in rewiring Major Depressive Disorder, the cousin of PDD. For those conducting the research and studies, this a promising path forward for women’s health and wellness to be taken into their own hands. 

Curious about microdosing?

Learn to microdose with our free guide.

Thank you! Check your email to begin your journey
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Experience the healing power of psilocybin ceremony.

Join the wait list for our luxury psychedelic retreats.

Which location(s) are you interested in?
Thank you! We'll be in touch with more information soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Psychedelics & Sexual Trauma

Psychedelics are also a powerful tool for women to use in reclaiming their identity after sexual trauma. Using psychedelics for therapeutic intent can be a game changer for those handling the after-effects of a sexual assault or trauma. Apart from finding community and advocating for yourself, psychedelics can help to unlock the shame and grief you may feel, and allow you to find new ways to process these emotions. 

How to Protect Yourself as a Woman on a Psychedelic Retreat

Psychedelic retreats have taken over the mainstream. With everyone from the New York Times to your Aunt Linda getting in on the ground floor or psychedelics. Protecting yourself when using psychedelics isn't just about making sure you're getting your supply from a safe source. It’s also vetting the ways in which you find community with others. While in-person retreats are becoming increasingly popular, women's retreats can still be a ground for negative behavior. Keeping yourself safe should always be paramount to any experience. You can find plenty of tips for hotel safety, how to handle social dosing, and even what to do when you aren’t having a good trip. 

Microdosing for Women

Microdosing has become an amazing tool for women of all walks of life to experience their full potential. Whether it’s the brand-running CEO or the mom down the street who wants to reconnect with her kids, microdosing isn’t going anywhere. It has also become a way for those interested in alternative healing to find community together. Now through the power of social media and communities like ours at Retreat, there’s a space for everyone at the psychedelic table. Moms on Mushrooms, a notable community, has been making waves with recent TV appearances, and groups like MAPS and Wonderland have been hosting community-building conferences where like-minded people can come and revel in the beauty of the mycological network. Just as fungi are an inter-connected network of living beings, so are the people who utilize them to live better lives. Finding a community can be difficult at first, but a good place to start is through our course, community, or social channels to connect with more women who microdose. 

Moms and Microdosing

The movement of microdosing has picked up speed for moms across the country. From communities to moms making national headlines for championing the psychedelic cause, there's no shortage of mothers who have answered the call for alternatives to the "wine mom" they are told to be. For moms, mushrooms have offered the opportunity to change generational habits, confront societal expectations, and drive deeper connections within their families and themselves. Microdosing, and taking mushrooms in general, gives users an unparalleled chance at self-exploration within a community who are all under a similar goal; growth. Community is an important component of microdosing and psychedelics. Not only does finding a community offer accountability, it also gives users the chance to connect over an often taboo (read, illegal) subject.

Navigating the Path Forward

As the Psychedelic Renaissance continues, it's imperative to advocate for more inclusive research that embraces diverse demographics. Ensuring a comprehensive understanding of how psychedelics interact with female physiology is pivotal for both therapeutic applications and scientific advancement.

The evolving landscape of psychedelic research beckons us to explore uncharted territories, including the nuanced effects of psilocybin on women. From hormonal influences to distinct brain chemistry, these factors paint a vibrant canvas of possibilities. As we uncover more about these intricacies, we stride closer toward harnessing the full potential of psychedelics in fostering holistic well-being for everyone.

Experience the healing power of psilocybin ceremony.

Join the wait list for our luxury psychedelic retreats.

Which location(s) are you interested in?
Thank you! We'll be in touch with more information soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Keep reading

Discover the latest psychedelic news and guidance from psychedelic experts.

Back to Journal
About the Author

Lydia Mcclendon

Lydia Mcclendon is a freelance writer and editor within the world of psychedelics, plant medicine, parenthood and the intersection of working in marketing for a taboo industry. She has written for a wide variety of publications, worked within editorial coordination, and loves the creativity and chaos that creative content brings.

REad more
Mushroom Curious?

Optimize your wellbeing with guided microdosing

Discover our comprehensive, science-backed microdosing programs and resources, designed to help you make change guided by experienced psychedelic & medical experts.



Take our research-backed, expert-led microdosing course and learn to enhance your wellbeing and improve mental health.

Start Now


Meet 1:1 with a microdosing coach and get the support you need to unlock change, driving creativity, focus, and joy.

Start Now

Group Program

Our invite-only microdosing programs are a 10-week transformational experience and healing journey.

Join Us

Curious about microdosing?

Learn to microdose with our free guide.

Microdosing 101

Benefits and side effects of Microdosing

How to microdose

Microdosing protocol

Flow State

Psychedelics & the Future of Health

Thank you! Check your email to begin your journey
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Join us @retreatmicrodose