Magic mushrooms work by mimicking the effects of serotonin — one of the brain’s most important neurotransmitters. Serotonin is involved with the regulation of mood, memories, focus, creativity, sexual arousal, and much more.
The active ingredients in magic mushrooms — psilocybin and psilocin — share a similar structure to serotonin. This allows them to interact with specific serotonin receptors located in various regions of the brain.
Most of the effects of magic mushrooms come from psilocin rather than psilocybin. Psilocybin needs to be metabolized (converted) by the liver into the active psilocin before it can produce any effects.