Magic mushrooms are wild or cultivated mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychoactive compound with hallucinogenic properties. According to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, it is considered one of the best known of the psychedelics.
Psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and currently has no medically accepted use in treatment in the United States. Some mushrooms have hallucinogenic properties, but Dr. Albert Hoffman first isolated psilocybin in 1958.
Magic mushrooms are often dried, cooked, and mixed with food and drinks, but some people eat freshly picked magic mushrooms. “They are also known as Magic mushrooms are also known as fungi, mushrooms, blue mushrooms, golden caps, freedom caps, philosophical stones, liberty, amani, agaric”. Drug Class – Psilocybin is classified as a hallucinogen. Common side effects – Magic mushrooms have been known to cause nausea, yawning, feelings of relaxation or drowsiness, introspective experiences, nervousness, paranoia, panic, hallucinations, and psychosis.
What do Magic Mushrooms do?
Magic mushrooms are hallucinogens that allow you to see, hear, and feel sensations that seem real but are not. However, the effects of magic mushrooms are highly variable and are thought to be influenced by environmental factors.
Mushrooms have a long history of being associated with spiritual experiences and self-discovery. Many believe that naturally occurring drugs such as magic mushrooms, herbs and mescaline are sacred herbs that enable people to reach higher spiritual states. Some people also consume magic mushrooms to experience euphoria, connection, and a distorted sense of time. It is believed that the psilocybin found in mushrooms is converted to psilocybin in the body, affecting serotonin levels in the brain, leading to altered or abnormal perceptions. The effects begin in 20-40 minutes and last up to 6 hours, which is the same amount of time it takes for psilocin to be metabolized and excreted.
“Several factors affect the effectiveness of magic mushrooms, including dosage, age, weight, personality, emotional state, environment, and history of mental illness”.
Magic mushrooms are often marketed to make people feel peaceful, but mushrooms have been reported to induce anxiety, frightening hallucinations, delusions, and confusion.
Common side effects
All hallucinogens carry a risk of triggering mental and emotional problems and causing accidents while under the influence. Among teenagers, magic mushrooms are often taken in combination with alcohol and other drugs, increasing psychological and physical risks.
Mushroom consumption can result in a mild trip that makes the user feel relaxed or sleepy to a terrifying experience, marked by hallucinations, delusions and panic. In the worst case, magic mushrooms have even been known to cause convulsions.
The side effects of magic mushrooms can include both physical and mental effects.
- Muscle weakness
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure and temperature
- Lack of coordination
- Dilated pupils
- 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 and lasting side effects of magic mushrooms, but it has been reported that users may experience long-term personality changes as well as flashbacks long after taking the mushrooms.
Since magic mushrooms look similar to poisonous mushrooms, poisoning is another potential risk of taking these drugs. Mushroom poisoning can cause serious illness, organ damage and even death.
If you observe someone close is experimenting or regularly using magic mushrooms, consider having a discussion about the risks of psychedelics, especially when combined with alcohol or other drugs. At this time, you should be prepared to help and support them.