Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is converted into psilocin in the body. Psilocybin is a prodrug, which means that it is inactive until it is metabolized by the body into a different chemical compound. In the case of psilocybin, this process occurs primarily in the liver, where an enzyme called alkaline phosphatase breaks down the molecule into psilocin.
Psilocin is the primary psychoactive component of psilocybin, and it is responsible for the majority of the drug's effects on the brain and behavior. Psilocin has a chemical structure that is similar to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is involved in mood regulation and other functions. As a result, psilocin is thought to interact with serotonin receptors in the brain, leading to changes in perception, cognition, and emotion.