Psilocybin and psilocin are controlled substances in many countries. These are the two main hallucinogenic compounds of the "magic mushrooms" and both act as agonists or partial agonists at 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)2A subtype receptors. During the last few years, psilocybin and psilocin have gained therapeutic relevance but considerable physiological variability between individuals that can influence dose-response and toxicological profile has been reported. This review aims to discuss metabolism of psilocybin and psilocin, by presenting all major and minor psychoactive metabolites. Psilocybin is primarily a pro-drug that is dephosphorylated by alkaline phosphatase to active metabolite psilocin. This last is then further metabolized, psilocin-O-glucuronide being the main urinary metabolite with clinical and forensic relevance in diagnosis.
Keywords: Psilocybin; metabolism; metabolomics; psilocin; toxicity; toxicokinetics.