Everything you Need to Know about Magic Mushrooms

variety of magic mushrooms
Photo by Nick Grappone

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Magic mushrooms have become a staple for people who want to get high for some time now. They naturally contain psilocybin, a natural psychoactive compound that has become extremely well-known in the world of psychedelics. In essence, psilocybin is a strong hallucinogenic that’s classified as a Schedule 1 drug.

This means it can often be misused and might lead to undesirable side-effects. Moreover, the US doesn’t legally allow for any treatments using this compound. However, those who want to use it as a form of self-treatment, generally consume it by ingesting dried mushrooms.

Benefits and side-effects of magic mushrooms

Being hallucinogenic drugs, magic mushrooms naturally cause hallucinations in users. Sources of information like LuckyShrooms.com claim that environmental factors also contribute to the strength and direction of the hallucinogenic effects.

All in all, psilocybin and psilocin, the two components included in the mushrooms, lead to various desirable effects like:

  • Visual and/or auditory hallucinations
  • Introspective or spiritual insight
  • Euphoria
  • Distorted perception of time

While these are indeed the common bio-psychological benefits of magic mushrooms, we can’t discount the negative side-effects either. Whoever decides to consume these mushrooms should consider that they could also experience:

  • Dizziness
  • Increased anxiety
  • Drowsiness
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea and yawning
  • Increased blood pressure and increased heart rate
  • Headaches
  • Potential psychosis

Many experts and even the anecdotic evidence show that you can experience a bad trip when consuming magic mushrooms. A bad trip is an undesirable experience that results in many of the negative side-effects associated with psilocybin and psilocin.

At the same time, we know that magic mushrooms have been around for thousands of years. Ancient cultures have been using them as part of spiritual rituals and even for their medicinal and therapeutic uses. Today, many people have already begun to discover potential medicinal uses for these mushrooms.

A couple of researchers at the John Hopkins University petitioned the relevant authority in 2018, demanding that psilocybin should be reclassified as a Schedule IV drug. This would allow scientists to better investigate and even use the compound for medical purposes.

There are places in the civilized world where magic mushrooms have been decriminalized. Places like Denver and Oakland reached this stage in 2019 when it was decided that the city wouldn’t be allowed to legally punish those found to possess magic mushrooms.

A common myth about magic mushrooms

Most people who’ve heard about magic mushrooms believe that they provide a safer and milder psychoactive experience than other drugs. While magic mushrooms are not addictive by themselves, the bad trips are extremely unpredictable, and the side-effects can manifest differently in people.

Moreover, if you suddenly quit using mushrooms after a long time of use, withdrawal symptoms might appear. While most people don’t experience them, some do. This includes depression, psychosis derived from reminiscing about some of the bad trips, and other psychological effects.

Can you build a tolerance to psilocybin?

Magic mushrooms, like any other drug, leads to tolerance over a long time of use. If you consume psilocybin regularly in common doses, this tolerance builds fairly quickly. You’ll need increasing doses to achieve the same psychoactive effects, and soon you’ll find yourself consuming vast amounts of magic mushrooms.

Overdose isn’t fatal but it can result in symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, panic and paranoia, seizures, agitation, muscle weakness, and even psychosis. It’s not something you want to experience if you have a choice. Some people also have long-term psychological scars after using magic mushrooms.

Magic mushrooms stay in your system for hours

If we’re talking about short-term effects, magic mushrooms will generally last between 6-12 hours. The exact period depends on your tolerance, how your body metabolizes the mushrooms, and the quantity you ingest. Sometimes, it lasts longer while sometimes the effects disappear fairly quickly, allowing you to regain your footing in the real world.

The long-term effects, however, can last for years. There are confessions on the internet of people describing their experiences with magic mushrooms. The long-term effects are both positive and negative, however. They can change your personality for the better or worse, and you may even experience flashbacks (often associated with the bad trips) throughout the years.