There is a lot of information out there on the internet about what magic mushrooms do to your body and mind if you consume them. This information, sometimes conflicting and tough to understand, can lead to a lot of questions about if it is bad to be taking magic mushrooms. Are shrooms bad for you? Are they addictive? Are there any long-term health effects? What are their physical effects? Are there long term effects? Can you overdose? This article will explore these questions about magic mushrooms and hopefully will help you make a more informed decision about magic mushroom use.
These are all valid questions that people have when considering their use of psychedelic substances such as magic mushrooms. A psychedelic, or psychoactive, is a substance which has an effect on one’s perception, emotions, and cognitive state. People usually refer to psychedelics as hallucinogens because it can produce experiences where the user is hallucinating with their eyes open or closed. A psychedelic can be a naturally occurring substance or a man-made chemical. The most well-known psychedelics are LSD, which has a “trippy” effect of making the user feel more sensitive to stimuli and experience higher sensory input. People have been using psychedelics for centuries in religious settings, however it is important to know that they have an effect on you whether you ingest them recreationally or not.
What are Magic Mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms are psychoactive fungi that contain the chemical psilocybin. Magic mushrooms can cause visual hallucinations and they can also lead to feelings of euphoria, panic, or paranoia. A person may also experience delusions. There is no lethal dose for magic mushrooms which is why they are said to be non-addictive. Some people may ingest magic mushrooms to experience a “bad trip” which is an unpleasant experience. Scientific research has shown that psilocybin can help treat mental health concerns like depression and anxiety (Nelson, 22).
It has been often speculated that there was a time when magic mushrooms were considered a delicacy. In 1606, the English naturalist John Parkinson documented the use of this fungus in Italy where he had been living. He described “meates” that were dried and then eaten to produce an “excellent disgestion”, but recommended that they not be consumed more than four times a year.
There was also a suspicion that it worked as an aphrodisiac.
The Aztecs of Mexico actually considered the magic mushroom to be “food from God”. It wasn’t until the 16th century when this culture began to demonize it and burn people at the stake for using this drug. Another American Indian tribe, in what is now Oregon, reportedly used a different species of magic mushrooms in spiritual ceremonies. They looked upon them as gifts from their creator and viewed them to be an important part of their religious rituals.”
Magic Mushrooms, or psilocybin mushrooms, have been used in religious ceremonies around the world for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that studies started being done on them in clinical settings. The first studies were done by Dr. Albert Hofmann and his colleagues at Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland who had accidentally discovered LSD some 30 years earlier when he was working with ergot fungus as part of research into possible treatments for migraines or other illnesses.
Magic Mushroom Experience
Although they are grouped together, not everyone reacts in the same way or has the same experience when on either drug. The subjective nature of what it is like on either drug can vary depending on what your preconceived expectations are about what you think you will experience and how much of each drug you take at a given time. Although there can be different effects from taking shrooms compared to acid, including nausea confusion and panic attacks, there are similarities between both drugs.
The effects of using psychedelic drugs can be separated into four distinct phases: an initial ‘coming up’ period, the peak experience, a descent or ‘comedown’ and then finally entering back into normal reality. With psilocybin this is typically started by having your first visions start between 20 to 60 minutes after ingesting 3 grams of truffles. Once you are at your peak level of experiencing what it is like on shrooms you will stay here for 2 hours where hallucinations may occur along with feelings of euphoria or wonderment. Then once the drug has worn off it may cause users to feel less inhibited so they may act out or behave in ways that they normally would not under normal circumstances.
Although there can be some physical effects felt when using both drugs like nausea, increased body temperature and an increase in blood pressure they are not normally life threatening unless you already have a history of mental illness or have issues with mental health.
Psilocybin mushrooms and psychedelic drug studies
There is definitely evidence that shows how psilocybin could be helpful in treating depression sufferers who are struggling to find any relief from traditional anti-depressants. A study done by John Hopkins University found depressed volunteers given small doses of shrooms experienced immediate mood improvement and reported feeling happier than when they were on anti-depressants. They also reported increased motivation and had more energy.
Another study done by the Imperial College of London showed that shrooms could also help to treat anxiety and depression in cancer sufferers, especially those who were dealing with ‘existential distress’—those feelings of profound or overwhelming thoughts such as grief or despair that may come as a result of having a terminal illness like cancer. The study found that those given psilocybin reported having increased well-being and life satisfaction as well as improved moods. Side effects appeared only when the dosage was too high for the individual consumer; otherwise, there were no side effects reported at all .
One last study done by NYU researchers found evidence that taking psychedelic mushrooms can help to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD can be so consuming that it makes it difficult for people who suffer from this illness to function on a daily basis. The study found that those with OCD experienced improvement in their symptoms of the illness after taking small doses of magic mushrooms, however, they did not experience any lasting effects past 36 hours following their initial dosing.
The studies done by both John Hopkins University and NYU researchers suggest that using shrooms may have positive benefits for disease sufferers dealing with depression, anxiety or even obsessive compulsive disorders if the dose is right which would make them bad for you.
Can your overdose or die from shrooms?
The common misconception of taking mushrooms is that they can cause death. However, it is nearly impossible to overdose on psilocybe cubensis (the scientific name for magic mushrooms). Psilocybe cubensis contains low amounts of psilocin, the compound in psychedelic mushrooms which causes hallucinations. Plenty of other drugs have set lethal doses because certain compounds are more likely to cause serious or fatal reactions than others. This however does not mean that there are no negative side effects to shrooms. In fact, most that have experience with taking psychedelic mushrooms consistently and with some frequency can point to an experience that they deem as a bad trip. However, a bad trip does not mean that shrooms are bad. Lastly, when you are discussing eating mushrooms, there is a small risk of accidental poisoning from eating a poisonous mushroom by mistake. Call poison control if that is the case and you believe you are poisonous mushrooms. We also recommend you visit our Helpful Tips on Identifying Psychedelic Mushrooms.
What do mushrooms do to your brain?
Psilocybin mushrooms do not directly affect the brain, but they can lead to some pretty crazy trips. When you ingest magic mushrooms it is subject to metabolism before the psilocybin enters into circulation. The liver does some of this work for us by breaking down psilocybin so that animals can excrete what’s left over in their urine. This means our pee smells like shrooms! Furthermore, magic mushrooms contain chemicals which are similar to neurotransmitters in our brain. These neurotransmitters are what let us experience the world around us. Psilocybin can inhibit these neurotransmitters so that it becomes difficult for users to discern between what is real and what they are imagining. This means your sensory perceptions will be altered since information from your eyes is sent to your brain which interprets the results.
Shrooms Long Term Effects and Effects on the body
There are no long-term effects that can be attributed to magic mushrooms. The side effects of the drug may last hours to days after consumption, usually peaking within the first few hours. Most users do not experience any side effects whatsoever.
Having said that, there are no documented cases of people overdosing on magic mushrooms alone. Due to the legality aspect surrounding this drug, it has been difficult for studies to be conducted about its effects on the human body. However, many side effects have been documented after using magic mushrooms including nausea, diarrhea and vomiting as well as possible liver damage if taken frequently over a long period of time. These side effects usually subside within 24 hours after consumption however should not be ignored should they occur often or become severe in nature.
Are shrooms bad for you?
No. In our view, as a loving mushroom community, we believe with the proper information and education on magic mushrooms, they are not bad for you.
Although ingesting psilocybe cubensis can cause all kinds of hallucinations and delusions, research and studies have shown that taking mushrooms is relatively safe and sound. There is now even studies underway that suggest they could be helpful in treatment of mental health conditions. Of course, there is potential for negative consequences and drug abuse or substance abuse if taken too frequent, too much, or combining other drugs or alcohol. Please make sure you fully understand and educate yourself about magic mushrooms, which hopefully we are helping you to do with our articles and information. Lastly, justIf you are dealing with substance abuse or mental health conditions, please seek professional medical advice.