Even though psilocybin, shrooms, magic mushrooms, and psychedelic mushrooms all refer to the same cluster of hallucinogenic fungi, there are more than 75 known species that contain psilocybin or psilocin, the chemicals that cause hallucinations and euphoria in people who eat these mushroom species.
People have used hallucinogenic mushrooms for religious rituals and fun for thousands of years, but it has only been in the last few decades that scientists have started to understand how these chemicals affect the body. Even yet, it has been difficult for scientists to figure out exactly what they can and cannot accomplish because they are classed as Schedule 1, which means they have “no acknowledged medical purpose” and are banned.
There is some proof that hallucinogenic drugs like magic mushrooms can help people find mental freedom. Psilocybin, the hallucinogenic component of mushrooms, has been the subject of numerous investigations and promising clinical trials in recent years, raising the possibility that it may help alleviate severe anxiety and depression.
So let’s get to know the common effects of mushrooms on the human body and mind.
What Are Magic Mushrooms?
Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical found in a variety of mushrooms grown in Europe, South America, Mexico, and the United States. Magic mushrooms are psilocybin-containing mushrooms.
Psilocybin is used recreationally by people. It can provide sensations of euphoria and sensory distortion similar to hallucinogenic substances like LSD. Although psilocybin is not considered addictive by medical authorities, users may experience unsettling anxiety, panic, and hallucinations after using the substance.
Psilocybin operates by activating serotonin receptors, which are found mostly in the prefrontal brain. This area of the brain has an impact on emotion, cognition, and perception. Hallucinogens caused by magic mushrooms affect brain regions that govern arousal and panic reactions. Active visual or aural hallucinations are not always caused by psilocybin. Instead, it alters how certain users view people and objects already in their surroundings.
The amount of the substance used, previous experiences, and expectations of how the encounter would unfold can all have an impact on the impact of psilocybin. The hallucinatory effects of psilocybin typically start within 30 minutes after ingestion and extend for 4-6 hours. Shifts in sensory perception and thinking patterns can linger for several days in some people.
How powerful a magic mushroom is is determined by several factors – how a person eats them (fresh or dried), where the mushrooms come from, how they were grown, and when they are harvested. About 10 times more psilocybin is in dried mushrooms than in fresh ones.
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Effects of Magic Mushrooms
Most of the effects of shrooms are mental, and they are often linked to expanding consciousness. But the big changes in how the human brain works and how neurons talk to each other can have long-lasting and even recurring effects.
Your Pupils May Dilate And You May Have an Out-of-Body Experience
If you use shrooms, you might get more serotonin, which can make your pupils bigger. Your sense of time might also change. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the side effects of shrooms is feeling like time has slowed down.
You might also be able to leave your body. Mushrooms can make you have things happen that seem real but aren’t. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that these kinds of “out-of-body” experiences, in which drug users might see a copy of themselves, usually start 20 to 90 minutes after taking the drug and can last for up to 12 hours. Experiences can be different depending on how much you take, how you feel, and even where you are.
They Can Make You Feel Good
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that magic mushrooms can make you feel relaxed in the same way that low doses of marijuana do. It says that most of the effects of shrooms come from the way they affect neural highways in the brain that use the neurotransmitter serotonin. This is similar to how LSD and peyote work. More specifically, magic mushrooms influence the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This is a part of the brain activity that controls abstract thinking, thought analysis, and perception.
They Can Make You Hallucinate
Many people say that they hear colours or see sounds. One of the first studies to link this effect to the way psilocybin changes how brain networks talk to each other was done in 2014. When 2 milligrams of the drug were injected into a person, the research team saw new, stronger activity in several parts of the brain that ordinarily don’t talk to each other. This may be the key to figuring out how shrooms could help people who are depressed.
David Nutt, a neuroscientist at Imperial College London who wrote a 2012 study on psilocybin, also discovered that the drug changed the way people’s brains worked. While some parts got louder, others got quieter. This happened in a part of the brain that is thought to help us keep our sense of self. Nutt thinks that people with depression have too strong connections between brain circuits in this “sense of self” area.
It Can Make You Feel More Open and Imaginative
A small group of healthy volunteers at Johns Hopkins were given psilocybin to make them have out-of-body experiences. The volunteers said they felt more open, creative, and appreciative of beauty. When the researchers checked in with the volunteers a year later, nearly two-thirds of them said that the experience had been one of the most important in their lives. Nearly half of them still scored higher on a personality test of open-mindedness than they had before taking the drug.
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It Could Improve Mental Illness
Based on the results of two controlled clinical trials that looked at how psilocybin affected people with depression and anxiety about dying, a single dose of the drug could one day be used to treat depression and anxiety effectively.
Scientists from Johns Hopkins University did the first one, and researchers from New York University did the second. A well-regarded psychiatric evaluation showed that the symptoms of depression and anxiety in 80% of the Johns Hopkins participants had gotten much better six months after the experience.
It Could Help Relieve Anxiety
For a New York University study on how the drug might help cancer patients suffering from severe anxiety, researchers watched how psilocybin calmed people who took either a pill with psilocybin or a pill with nothing in it.
But you might also feel anxious while you’re on the drug. In a lot of the case reports from the NYU study, participants said that during their trip, they felt very anxious and uncomfortable for a few minutes to a few hours. Some people said they didn’t start to feel better until afterward, but even this can be very different for each person.
Risks of Taking Magic Mushrooms
Some individuals who use psilocybin may have troublesome changes in the way they perceive the world that lasts for a long time. Most of the time, these occur in the form of a visual flashback, which is a distressing memory of something very upsetting. People who have used the hallucinogen can still have flashbacks weeks or even years later. This condition is now called hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder by doctors.
Some people who use psilocybin may experience elevated blood pressure. Some may also feel fear, confusion, agitation, delirium, psychosis, and syndromes that look like schizophrenia. This will need a visit to the emergency room. Most of the time, a doctor will use drugs like benzodiazepines to treat these effects. As the effects of the psilocybin wear off, the symptoms often go away in 6 to 8 hours.
Lastly, there is a small chance that some people who use psilocybin will eat a poisonous mushroom by accident. Confusion, muscle spasms, and delirium can all be signs of being poisoned by mushrooms. If someone has these signs, they should go to the emergency room right away.
Since hallucinogenic mushrooms and other poisonous mushrooms are frequent in most places where people live, people should remove all mushrooms from places where children often play to keep them from eating them by accident. Most people who accidentally eat mushrooms get minor stomach problems, and only the most serious cases need medical help.
Overall Safety of Taking Magic Mushrooms
Studies haven’t found that regular use leads to more mental health problems like they do with cocaine or cannabis. In a BMJ article, psychiatrist James J. H. Rucker says that psychedelic drugs may significantly help with depression and that they have nothing to do with psychosis. A paper in the scientific journal PLoS One found no proof that mushroom use alone causes flashbacks like hallucinations or panic attacks. Mushrooms don’t cause physical dependence and are much safer for our organs than heroin or cocaine.
However, it should be pointed out that there is a big chance of taking the wrong kind of mushroom by accident. Psilocybin mushrooms are safe, but Amanita muscaria mushrooms are poisonous and can hurt or kill you.
Astral Agency is Your Reliable Source of Quality Shrooms
Astral Agency is an online mail-order dispensary that provides Canadians with quality shrooms. We use a third-party testing facility and the results are posted in the photo gallery of each of our products. We use a special machine called an FTIR spectrometer to test your sample, as well as immunoassay test strips that check for potent substances like fentanyl or benzodiazepines. Some branded products do their testing and come sealed, so we don’t test those.
But some tests are designed to find mushrooms. They’re just much more expensive to do, so they’re usually only used when there’s a strong reason to think someone has recently taken mushrooms.
There’s also a chance that mushrooms could be mixed up with other drugs. People have been selling store-bought mushrooms that have been infused with other drugs, like PCP, which can be found on most panel tests.
Again, one of the most popular drugs that are mixed with shrooms is molly. It’s also one of the most common drugs used at raves that makes people lose water. Molly and shrooms can change the amount of sodium and water in your blood. This makes you lose water, which can get worse if you take more drugs at the same time. On a shroom trip, no one remembers to drink water.
Also, when most people take shrooms, they feel like they’re in a dream. You might look like you’re half awake or out of it. If you’re not fully awake, you probably don’t want to drink water, and it’s not safe for you to do so.