Psilocybin mushrooms, usually called magic mushrooms or shrooms, are a polyphyletic, informal group of fungi that contain psilocybin and psilocin.
Biological genera containing psilocybin mushrooms include (Copelandia, Gymnopilus, Inocybe, Panaeolus, Pholiotina, Pluteus, and Psilocybe.) Psilocybin mushrooms have been and continue to be used in indigenous New World cultures in religious, divinatory, or spiritual contexts.
They may be depicted in Stone Age rock art in Africa and Europe, but are most famously represented in the Pre-Columbian sculptures and glyphs seen throughout North, Central, and South America.
What are magic mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms are wild or cultivated mushrooms that carry psilocybin, a naturally-occurring psychoactive and hallucinogenic compound. Psilocybin is assumed to be one of the most well-known psychedelics, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations.
Psilocybin is a Schedule I drug, meaning that has a high potential for misuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the US.
Although certain cultures have known to use the hallucinogenic properties of some mushrooms for centuries, psilocybin was first isolated in 1958 by Dr. Albert Hofmann, who also discovered lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).
Magic mushrooms are commonly prepared by drying and are eaten by being mixed into food or drinks, although some people eat freshly picked magic mushrooms.
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What do magic shrooms look like?
Many poisonous mushrooms look very similar to ‘magic mushrooms’ and it’s simple for pickers to mistake them. People have fallen severely ill or even died from consuming a poisonous mushroom.
Magic mushrooms are often sold raw or dried. In the UK, the most common types are liberty caps (Psilocybe semilanceata) and fly agaric (Amanita muscaria).
- Liberty caps look like tiny tan-colored mushrooms
- Fly agarics look like red and white spotted toadstools
It’s important to know that some types of magic mushrooms are stronger than others. Let’s say when you buy fly agaric mushroom is usually more potent than the liberty cap mushroom.
Liquid psilocybin is another way of taking magic mushrooms. It’s made by extracting psilocybin, the naturally occurring psychedelic drug found in mushrooms like liberty caps, and is a clearish pale brown colour. It comes in vials (small bottles).
What do magic mushrooms taste/smell like?
Liberty caps are commonly eaten raw and have a strong earthy taste and rubber-like texture – which makes them very chewy.
They don’t taste like the mushrooms you cook with at home, and some people try to cover the flavor by putting them in an omelet or in tea.
How to take Magic Shrooms
By eating it: After picking, liberty caps are usually eaten raw or are dried out and stored. People don’t tend to eat fly agaric mushrooms raw as they can make you feel very sick.
By drinking it: most people make tea from dried mushrooms.
By taking drops of liquid psilocybin: Liquid psilocybin is made by extracting psilocybin, the naturally occurring psychedelic drug found in mushrooms like liberty caps.
How do magic mushrooms make you feel?
The strength of magic mushrooms fluctuates depending on their freshness, the season and where they grow. It’s quite difficult to predict the strength of magic mushrooms.
For most people, they hallucinate when they take mushrooms. Colors, sounds, objects and even time can all seem very unidentical. Some people get mild hallucinations, which are also called ‘visuals’.
Taking magic mushrooms can make you feel:
- very giggly
- in awe of the people and things around you
It can aswell make you feel:
- like vomiting
How you feel will be affected by how much you take, your surroundings, who you’re with, and how comfortable you are with them, as well as by your mood.
So if you’re in a bad mood, feeling worried or depressed, the magic mushrooms might just make those feelings worse.
How do magic mushrooms make people behave?
This depends on how many magic mushrooms the person takes. If the person takes a small dose of mushrooms you may not even notice that they’re on it. People who take larger doses of mushrooms can act unpredictably. They can laugh a lot, become fixated on certain things, be emotional, or get paranoid.
Off-Label or Recently Approved Uses of magic mushrooms
Magic mushrooms have been used for thousands of years for both spiritual and medicinal uses among indigenous people of America and Europe.
In 2018, researchers from John Hopkins University recommended reclassification of the drug from Schedule I to Schedule IV in order to allow for medical use. Studies suggest that psilocybin can be used to treat cancer-related psychiatric distress, depression, anxiety, nicotine addiction, and substance use disorders.3
In 2019, Denver became the first city to decriminalize mushrooms. Oakland became the second city less than a month later. This does not mean that shrooms are legal but that the city is not permitted to “spend resources to impose criminal penalties” on people in possession of the drug.
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How long the effects last and the drug stays in your system depends on how much you’ve consumed, your size, whether you’ve eaten and what other drugs you may have also taken.
If you feel like you’re having – or are going to have – a bad trip, let your friends know and get their help. Go to a nice quiet spot where you feel safe and can relax.
How long will magic mushrooms be detectable?
Psilocybin is detectable for up to 8 hours.
How long a drug can be detected for depends on how much is taken and which testing kit is used. This is only a general guide.
Common Side Effects of magic mushrooms
All hallucinogens carry the risk of triggering mental and emotional problems and causing accidents while under the influence. Among adolescents, magic mushrooms are frequently taken in combination with alcohol and other drugs, increasing the psychological and physical risks.
Consuming shrooms can result in a mild trip causing the user to feel relaxed or drowsy to a frightening experience, marked by hallucinations, delusions, and panic. In the worst-case scenario, magic mushrooms have even been known to cause convulsions.5
- Dilated pupils
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Distorted sense of time, place, and reality
- Hallucinations (visual or auditory)
- Having introspective (spiritual) experiences
- Panic reactions
More research is needed on the long-term, lasting side effects of magic mushrooms but it has been reported that users can experience long-term changes in personality, as well as flashbacks long after taking mushrooms.
Since magic mushrooms look similar to poisonous mushrooms, poisoning is yet another potential risk of taking these drugs. Mushroom poisoning can cause severe illness, organ damage, and even death.
Help for magic Mushroom Poisoning
If you suspect that you or someone you care about ate a poisonous mushroom, call poison control right away at 800-222-122. Don’t wait for symptoms to occur. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.