Molecular Foundations: Psilocybin

Join us on a journey through the effects elicited by psilocybin on the body and mind as it relates to psychedelic-assisted therapy


Molecular Foundations: Psilocybin

Recorded and reading-based asynchronous distance learning
4 hours
$100 USD + tax

Course Description

This course is geared towards those who want to learn more about the clinical applications and molecular basis of psilocybin. You will learn about the dose ranges, indications, contraindications, and concomitant medications of the psychedelic medicine. You will also learn about some fundamental pharmacology and neurobiology as it relates to the administration of psychedelic medicines in psychedelic-assisted therapy.

The content developed for this course is based on current literature and research and analyzed through the lens of trauma and violence-informed care and through commitments to social justice, equity, dignity, inclusion, cultural safety, and humility.

This course can be completed at your own pace whenever it is most convenient for you, however the course must be completed within 1 year of your registration date. If the course is not completed after 1 year, you will not be eligible for a refund, and you will need to re-register.

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions section below for more information on continuing education (CE) credit hours for this course.

Time Commitments

This course can be completed at your own pace. It will take approximately 4 hours to complete and must be completed within 1 year of registration.

Learning Outcomes

After the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Apply pharmacological knowledge of psilocybin to the facilitation or development of a psychedelic-assisted therapy protocol in a clinical setting.
  • Compare the wide range of effects, side effects, effects of long-term use, and abuse potential of psilocybin.
  • Apply cultural safety and humility to the administration of psilocybin as part of psilocybin-assisted therapy in order to avoid cultural appropriation and cultural harm.
  • Screen clients and determine if psilocybin would be best suited for a given client or clinical presentation.
Watch Course Video

Introduction Module: Psychedelic Neurobiology and Pharmacology

We will begin the course by learning about some foundational concepts of neurobiology and pharmacology. While these are both very large domains of knowledge, we will focus on some key concepts to provide some important context to themes discussed later in the course.

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the role of neurotransmitters in the body and brain.
  • Explain the difference between pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
  • Explain the general mechanism of action of traditional pharmacopsychotherapy.
  • Define the various categories of psychotropic substances within the context of psychedelic-assisted therapy.
  • Distinguish between an effect and a side effect for the purposes of client education.
  • Compare the differences and similarities between psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine for the purposes of psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Module 1: Psilocybin Introduction

In this module, you will learn about the molecular structure of psilocybin. We will also explore a brief history and the current legal status of psilocybin.

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the molecular structure of psilocybin.
  • List key historical events that led to the usage of psilocybin in psychedelic-assisted therapy.
  • Identify the current legal status of psilocybin in Canada and the United States.
  • Discuss the need to uphold cultural safety and humility within an Indigenous context.

Module 2: Psilocybin Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacokinetics

In this module, we will be looking at psilocybin’s pharmacodynamics or, in other words, the effects that psilocybin has on the body as well as the pharmacokinetics, or how psilocybin is absorbed and metabolized by the body.

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain the risks, benefits, and pharmacological knowledge of psilocybin in plain language to interdisciplinary colleagues and to clients as part of the informed consent process.
  • Describe dosing considerations, expected duration, metabolism, and expected intensity of psilocybin.
  • Identify key areas of research on psilocybin.
  • Explain the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of psilocybin.
  • Describe the subjective and physiological effects and adverse effects of psilocybin as they relate to psychedelic-assisted therapy.
  • Explain the primary effects and mechanisms of action of psilocybin on the brain, including connectivity in the brain and activation of serotonin receptors.
  • Explain for which indications psilocybin is being investigated for treatment.

Module 3: Psilocybin: Client Screening and Harm Reduction

We will be looking at expected and possible adverse effects (according to the dose range), contraindications, and concomitant medications. We will also be looking at the important role of harm reduction when working with clients in a psilocybin-assisted therapy setting.

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain the risks, benefits, and pharmacological knowledge of psilocybin in plain language to interdisciplinary colleagues and to clients as part of the informed consent process.
  • Describe the subjective and physiological effects and adverse effects of psilocybin according to different dose ranges as they relate to psychedelic-assisted therapy.
  • Describe the contraindications and concomitant medications of psilocybin in order to determine client suitability for psychedelic-assisted therapy.
  • Identify models of substance use and potential for addiction.



Frequently Asked Questions

Is this course eligible for continuing education credit?

Yes, Numinus is approved by the following organizations to offer continuing education credit.

Canadian Psychological Association
4 CE hours

Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association
4 CE hours

L’Ordre des psychologues du Québec
4 CE hours

National Board of Certified Counselors
2.75 CE hours

Numinus Wellness has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7360. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Numinus Wellness is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


How and when will my certificate of completion be issued?

Once you have completed all course requirements, you will receive a notification via email that you are eligible to download your certificate. You can then log into Numinus’ Training platform and download your certificate.

When is the registration deadline?

This course does not have a registration deadline. Enrolment is ongoing, however you must complete the course within 1 year of registration. If you are unable to complete the course within 1 year of registration, you will need to re-register.

What do I need to complete in order to obtain the certificate of completion and continuing education credits?

You must complete all 4 modules and their corresponding knowledge checks (achieving 80% or higher) and fill out a course satisfaction survey before you can download the certificate.

If learners do not achieve 80% on any knowledge check, they will have the chance to retake the knowledge check up to 3 times.

Can I join even if I live outside of Canada?

Yes, just be mindful of the time zones! Please also note that daylight saving time in North America typically comes into effect on different dates than some other parts of the world.

When was this course created?

This course was first published in January 2023, and the Numinus Training team regularly updates and reviews content to ensure the content is based on current research.

Who can take Numinus training programs?

Numinus training programs are open to regulated mental health professionals including social workers, therapists, psychologists, and others. If you are providing or interested in providing psychedelic services to clients in any capacity, our programs will build on your skillset and benefit your practice. Our programs are open to a diverse set of professionals who are looking to add credibility, experience, and a robust skillset for providing psychedelic services.

What are Numinus' training policies?

Please consult the Numinus Training Policies for more information about our policies.

How can I request an accessibility accommodation?

To request an accessibility accommodation, please email us at for support.

What technology do I need to participate?

You can join the course from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. To access Numinus’ training platform, you must meet these minimum requirements.

Still have questions?

We’re happy to help. Send us an e-mail at

Learn More About This Course

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This continuing professional development program in no way promotes, condones, or facilitates illegal activity, and is strictly for educational and harm reduction purposes. Please be aware that certain psychedelic substances remain illegal in many jurisdictions, including Canada. This program and the contents of this website do not constitute medical advice, and are not a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment.

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