What are magic mushrooms and psilocybin?
A psilocybin mushroom, also known as magic mushroom or psychedelic mushroom, is one of a polyphyletic group of fungi that contain psilocybin and psilocin. Biological genera containing psilocybin mushrooms include Copelandia, Gymnopilus, Inocybe, Panaeolus, Pholiotina, Pluteus, and Psilocybe
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms, collectively known as psilocybin mushrooms. The most potent are members of the genus Psilocybe, such as P. azurescens, P. semilanceata, and P. cyanescens, but psilocybin has also been isolated from about a dozen other genera.
Psilocybin is considered one of the most well-known psychedelics, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations.
Psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that has a high potential for misuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
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 often prepared by drying and are eaten by being mixed into food or drinks, although some people eat freshly picked magic mushrooms. The quantity of the drug, past experiences, and expectations of how the experience will take shape can all impact the effects of psilocybin.
After the gut ingests and absorbs psilocybin, the body converts it to psilocybin. The hallucinogenic effects of psilocybin usually occur within 30 minutes of ingestion and last between 4 and 6 hours. In some individuals, the changes in sensory perception and thought patterns can last for several days.
Magic mushrooms are also known as shrooms, mushies, blue meanies, golden tops, liberty caps, philosopher’s stones, liberties, Amani, and agaric.
Drug Class: Psilocybin is classified as a hallucinogen.
Common Side Effects of Psilocybin
Magic mushrooms are known to cause nausea, yawning, feeling relaxed or drowsy, introspective experience, nervousness, paranoia, panic, hallucinations, and psychosis.
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.
Common Side Effects
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.
Side effects of magic mushrooms can include both physical and mental effects.
- 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
Myths & Common Questions
There are many myths about it. Some people believe, for example, that magic mushrooms are “safer” and produce a “milder” trip than other hallucinogenics.
In fact, in addition to their potential to poison anyone who takes them, magic mushrooms are just as unpredictable in their effects as other drugs. Some people have reported much more intense and frightening hallucinations on it than on LSD.
Many people also confuse fly agaric mushrooms with psilocybin-containing mushrooms—but they are not the same. Fly agaric mushrooms contain the psychoactive chemicals ibotenic acid and muscimol, which are known to cause twitching, drooling, sweating, dizziness, vomiting, and delirium.
How Long Does Psilocybin Stay in Your System?
The short-term effects of magic mushrooms typically wear off in 6 to 12 hours. But users can experience long-term changes in personality and flashbacks long after taking the drugs.