Psilocybe cubensis, or what is widely known as magic mushroom, has been a part of the drug culture for thousands of years. Its use dates back to the ancient times where they are used for healing and mostly mystical purposes. Up to this day, magic mushrooms are still popular hallucinogens. The therapeutic and spiritual functions of the fungi made it a value to cultures around the world, especially in terms of spiritual growth.
Psilocybin and psilocin are the components of magic mushrooms that render it psychoactive properties. There are over 200 species of mushroom all over the world that contain these chemicals.
Magic Mushrooms as a Psychedelic Drug
Despite its notable uses in ancient and modern times, magic mushrooms are still psychedelic hallucinogens, which means that they have mind-altering capabilities when they are ingested. They give the user an “out-of-body” kind of experience, which typically lasts from about three to eight hours. People are drawn to the substance because of the “trip” that it gives them; the “good feeling” that they get when they consume the shrooms. They see vivid colors, experience heightened auditory and tactile senses, and even get the impression of enhanced creativity.
Smoking Magic Mushrooms
The usual method of ingesting “shrooms” is by eating them dried or raw. However, it is also possible to roll them and smoke them in the same way people smoke a joint. There are certain downsides to smoking magic mushrooms. For one, the intensity of the effect is generally lower when smoking them than when they are directly consumed. This is because subjecting the psilocybin ingredient of the mushroom to heat decreases its potency. The effect of the “shrooms” weakens and the “trip” is considerably shorter than usual.
Many users do not advise smoking the mushrooms and consider the act a waste. According to most, eating them raw still yields the best result. There are other people who choose to smoke magic mushrooms in order to reach a more potent effect; they mix it with other substances like marijuana or alcohol. It is important to note, though, that the effects of taking psychedelic substances are already unpredictable, and consuming them with other chemicals may be a risk to health and life.
Magic Mushrooms are non-addictive. This made them a prevalent option among psychedelic drugs. With minimal dosage, they are not a threat to health and well being. In fact, there are studies that claim the capability of shrooms to fight addiction by protecting the brain receptors against the drug’s addictive effects. The craving lessens and then gradually comes to a stop.
However, there is still a high risk for the abuse of magic mushrooms. This is due to the development of tolerance towards the substance. When consumed frequently within a short span of time, the desired effect is harder to achieve with the same doses. Consequently, the user would have to increase the dosage in order to peak.
Positive Effects of Smoking Magic Mushrooms
Several studies show that smoking magic mushrooms have positive effects. Because of the reduced strength of the shrooms when smoked, the shortened “trip” is favorable for people who don’t want to opt for the “full ride.”
True to most psychedelic drugs, smoking magic mushrooms can enhance a person’s mood and send them to a euphoric state. There is also an increased sense of insightfulness and creativity. Some even credit spiritual awakenings to the consumption of shrooms.
When taken properly and moderately, magic mushroom may even present long-term benefits for the user. Surveys have shown that people who control their intake of the psychedelic fungi have a happier disposition, greater self-confidence, and lessen anxiety.
Negative Effects of Magic Mushrooms
The negative effects of smoking and/or consuming magic mushrooms in either their dried or raw form are diverse. They can range from minor to dangerous. Some of the more common effects are a headache, nausea, and dizziness, which usually occur during a “bad trip”. Other more serious side effects can cause damage to a person’s mental health. These include paranoia, anxiety, loss of consciousness, the development of mental illness, and losing grasp of time and reality.
Continued use of magic mushrooms over time may also have permanent consequences to the user. Since the chemical contents of shrooms affect the brain the most, these consequences are mostly mental and psychological. The user may experience memory problems and constant flashbacks. Panic attacks and schizophrenia are also possible especially among users who already suffer from the disorder.
Minimizing Bad Trips and How to Deal with Them
The type of “high” that people may get from the substance may vary greatly. The effects are unpredictable and several factors play into the quality of experience. Not all hallucinogenic experiences from taking magic mushrooms are pleasant. Some users may experience a “bad trip”. These “bad trips” may be influenced by the person’s mindset before taking the drug and the environment he is in. This is why it is commonly advised to take psilocybin in the company of good friends and in a pleasant setting.
The undesirable effects of magic mushrooms are mostly experienced during “bad trips.” To minimize the occurrence of these “bad trips” ample preparation is needed. The first consideration is the environment. As a safety precaution, it should be tranquil and safe. It is also best not to take psilocybin mushrooms, or any drug substance for that matter, when in an unpleasant disposition. Bad moods have a great tendency of becoming “bad trips.”
“Bad trips” subside as the effect of the shroom goes down. The most important thing to keep in mind is to stay calm and keep oneself from worrying about it getting worse. Using headphones and eyeshades are also helpful in blocking out any unwanted noise, light, and other external disturbances that may trigger anxiety-inducing hallucinations.
A low dosage of magic mushroom is recommended when trying it for the first time, or taking it after a long time of abstinence. This is to allow physical and mental adjustment to the effects of the shroom.
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