Magic Mushrooms: An Introduction
Magic mushroom is a more common name for “Psilocybin mushrooms”. They are a kind of fungi widely known for their psychedelic effects. These fungi contain the compounds psilocybin and psilocin, which are considered as miracles of the natural world because of their intense and potent psychoactive properties.
These natural psychedelics have been a part of the human culture for thousands of years and have a long history of use behind them. In ancient times, they were widely used for religious and ceremonial rites. They became popular in recent years during the emergence of the hippie movement, and have been a part of the drug culture ever since.
Both ancient and modern cultures regard the role of psilocybin and magic mushrooms in delivering a reliable mystical experience. Over the years, they have been used for healing, divination, and prophecies by different tribes and cultures around the world.
There is still so much to be learned about how these fungi operate and affect the inner workings of the human mind and body. But the breakthroughs in science and research technologies supply us with significant findings of the substance that may help us in utilizing its medical potential.
Benefits of Magic Mushrooms
Although magic mushrooms are considered as a schedule 1 drug in many countries, studies have shown that when they are taken in moderate and controlled dosages, they have plenty of health benefits. Plenty of small studies associated with the psychoactive content of shrooms with physical and mental health benefits.
The hallucinogen in magic mushrooms, which can also be found in LSD and other psychedelic drugs, fosters a feeling and sense of relaxation similar to that of marijuana. This is because like all hallucinogenic drugs, they affect the area of the brain that regulates mood and perception.
A recent study conducted on mice showed startling findings on how magic mushrooms may help stimulate the growth of and restoration of brain cells in a part of the brain called the hippocampus – the region of the brain that is linked to memory and emotion. Another observation suggested low doses of psilocybin were able to accelerate fear extinction, which gave way to the idea that magic mushrooms may be used as a possible treatment for post-traumatic disorder in the future.
Another study presented that psilocybin mushrooms have the ability to wire different parts of the brain and promote better communication among its components. As a psychedelic drug, the magic mushroom can trigger hallucination. Many users describe the experience as being able to see sound and hear colors. Some neuroscientists believe that the power of the drug to induce hallucination may be an avenue to helping modern scientist and medical experts understand the possible role of shrooms in helping ease mental health illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder. Magic mushrooms may have the faculty to alleviate these problems, thanks to the psilocybin compound contained in these fungi.
A research at John Hopkin’s University found out that psilocybin has the capacity to unlock the mysteries of the human psyche, which can impart to the person a sense of interconnectedness with the universe. This can be beneficial for people who seek transformative awakenings. In fact, many people who have consumed magic mushrooms and induced a kind of mystical experience testified that they consider it as one of their most meaningful experience.
Psilocybin mushrooms are not addictive, but frequent use leads to tolerance. The higher tolerance of the substance means that the number of mushrooms needed to peak or achieve the desired results increases gradually. This increase in dosage may end up causing dangerous effects and severe damage to physical and mental well-being.
Despite the many benefits of magic mushrooms, especially to mental health and its other possible uses in the medical field, psilocybin mushrooms are considered illegal substances. There are different laws against the use and possession of the drug. Some countries allow the consumption of shrooms, while others have a stricter stand on the issue.
The stern prohibition of these mushrooms often raises questions in the international community considering that it is a product of nature. Most countries, like the United States of America, treat psilocybin mushrooms as a schedule 1 drug. However, Canada only classified it as a schedule 3. Though the rating is lower, the possession of dried shrooms and manufacture of the drug still pose dire legal consequences and prison time.
3. Possible Side Effects
Side effects are common to psychoactive drugs. With the ingestion of magic mushrooms, the user may notice and undergo certain side effects. Some of these side effects are tolerable while others are more hazardous to health.
One notable side effect of psilocybin is anxiousness while on the drug. The anxiousness can last from between a few minutes to hours but usually ebbs away when the influence of the substance wears off.
Dilation of the pupils can also be observed. This is because of the increased levels of serotonin in the body.
Another common side effect is time distortion. A person under the influence of psilocybin may feel time slowing down and the hours getting longer.
Because magic mushrooms are hallucinogens, there is a high chance of an out-of-body experience. There is a distortion of reality, and the user may be unable to distinguish what is real and what is not. They may also feel more open, imaginative, and creative while on the drug.
There have been claims of lingering hallucinatory perceptions connected to the use of magic mushrooms. This is a case where the hallucinations continue even when the user has not ingested any hallucinogenic drug for a while.
As with most things, psilocybin poses more serious side effects when abused. This includes panic, paranoia, psychosis, depression, suicidal tendencies, cognitive impairments, memory loss, and inability to make proper judgments.
Countless studies and research have yet to be conducted before magic mushrooms can be considered safe and legal. Their benefits come with some serious risks. Utmost caution should be exercised when it comes to the use of the drug for whatever purpose.