Many people have fallen ill and even died after having consumed a poisonous mushroom that they confused with magic mushrooms. Psilocybin is a species of mushrooms with hallucinogenic effects, hence the name magic mushrooms. You will not perform any magic by consuming these mushrooms, but you will have an altered state of mind, and the feeling will be magical.
The mushrooms contain a chemical known as psilocybin. When consumed, the body converts psilocybin to psilocin, which is what gives the psychoactive effects.Magic mushrooms grow in the wild, but you can cultivate them at home. Psilocybin species look like many poisonous mushrooms, and it requires a keen, experienced eye to identify them.
Magic mushrooms have different effects on people depending on health, dose, weight, size, and other external factors such as mixing them with other drugs. Regardless, these shrooms have benefits that you need to know about.
What You Need to Know About Magic Mushrooms and Their Benefits
Effects on the Brain
The mode of intake determines how fast the psilocybin is absorbed and transported to the brain. When taken in liquid form in tea or soup, the chemical will take effect in 5–10 minutes. If you eat them raw, you will feel the effects in about 30 minutes.
The psychoactive effects can last between 4 and 6 hours. The severity of the effects also depends on the species as different species have varying potency levels. Based on how your body responds, you will either have a magical or a bad trip.
If you experience a good trip, you will have a feeling of euphoria and well-being. You will also have changes in perception characterized by visual and auditory hallucinations. A bad trip will involve headaches, sweating and chills, stomach discomfort, nausea, and vomiting.
On a bad trip, hallucinations may be intense and unpleasant. The individual may also have anxiety, paranoia, and fear or panic. Nevertheless, these effects fade within hours, and the person returns to a normal state.
Magic Mushrooms can reorganize the brain
Magic mushrooms can change the way your brain perceives the world around you. A recent study examined the effects of psilocybin on the brain. The researchers discovered that the drug activates innate sections of the brain responsible for emotions.
The study revealed that psilocybin’s effect on the anterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus is similar to that of dreams. These two sections control high-level thinking and self-consciousness. This explains why users may experience uncoordinated thoughts.
The researchers found that psilocybin caused fluctuations in the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal. Consequently, there are unsynchronized and disorganized brain networks in the sections responsible for high-level thinking.
Can Change your Personality
Scientists have always believed that psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms can alter an individual’s personality. Studies on psychedelic-assisted therapy have focused on psilocybin.
In recent studies, scientists have shown that an individual’s personality affects their response to magic mushrooms. Contrariwise, psilocybin can also influence personality. While there is still little research in this field, results are promising.
Psilocybin seems to be more potent to individuals with a high level of absorption. Absorption is the ability to absorb oneself in what they are doing entirely. Absorption is associated with the ability to take on new experiences.
First-time users of psilocybin also report an increased level of openness to new experiences. These findings anchor the belief that psilocybin can influence one’s personality.
Have Positive Mental Health Benefits
Neuroscientists believe that psilocybin has a transformative power on the mind and can help people with depression and anxiety.
A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that subjects placed on psilocybin experienced a heightened feeling of well-being. The researchers concluded that magic mushrooms could have long-term positive psychological benefits.
Longitudinal measures showed positive changes in life meaning and purpose, interpersonal closeness, gratitude, and coping. This shows that psilocybin can benefit people with clinical depression or long-term mood disorders.
Can Treat Drug Addiction
Psychedelics have been in the frontline of clinical research in the management of addiction. Magic mushrooms has notably starred the interest of scientists with its potential to curb addiction.Surveys on opioid users indicate that those who also use psychedelics are less likely to become addicted. This suggests that psychedelics could have a protective effect on the brain.
One study in 2014 measured the efficacy of psilocybin in managing tobacco addiction and found it to be twice more effective compared to other therapies.There is no evidence that psilocybin affects nicotine receptors. The effect on tobacco addiction could be purely psychological based on its alteration of perception, scientists believe.
Similar studies on alcoholism show that alcohol addicts can completely quit alcohol after just a few weeks of psilocybin therapy. Scientists note that patients who undergo the most profound mystical experiences from psilocybin report quicker and higher treatment success.
Magic Mushrooms are Not Addictive
The strangest fact about magic mushrooms is that they are not addictive. One would expect a drug with such a profound effect on the brain to be addictive.
Scientists believe that the body quickly builds a tolerance to psilocybin. Consequently, every successive use requires a higher dose, making it impossible to be addicted. Another explanation is that the intense experience can be overwhelming, which limits users from frequent use.
Magic mushrooms are illegal in most countries because of the active chemical psilocybin, which is a psychedelic. However, unlike LSDs, magic mushrooms are quite safe to use. The psychedelic effects also fade within hours.
Recent studies have focused on the medicinal benefits of magic mushrooms, which could see legalization increase globally. Potential therapeutic benefits include treatment of depression and anxiety, drug dependence, and personality disorders.