Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms, shrooms, or magical mushrooms, are a psychedelic drug that can have health benefits for psychological issues, treatment of depression, and smoking cessation. This is because the psychedelic effects of the magic mushroom allow for introspection which helps reveal thoughts buried deep within one’s consciousness while also creating a feeling of euphoria. There are many magic mushroom benefits to using psilocybin mushrooms which we will discuss further in this article.
What are magic mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms, also known as shrooms or psilocybin mushrooms, are a type of hallucinogenic fungi that have been long used by humans for spiritual reasons but were criminalized in the US in 1970 because of recreational use. More recently, there have been some studies using magic mushrooms to treat conditions such as depression and psychological issues. Magic mushrooms are a type of fungi that contain the psychoactive chemical psilocybin and the most common type of magic mushroom is the Psilocybe cubensis, also known as cubes. They have been used for centuries by people all over the world and in recent years, they have become more popular than ever before. There is research to suggest that magic mushrooms have the potential benefits of helping with smoking cessation, depression, psychological issues, and more.
They contain psilocybin which can cause hallucinations and other sensations in users, but they also have medicinal benefits when taken properly. The substance is not addictive like many illicit drugs since it does not produce any tolerance or dependency issues. It has even shown some positive effects on mental health problems including depression, anxiety, as well as addiction among others, and we will focus on some of these later. Studies show that the drug works through its psychoactive properties to help patients deal with their psychological disorders by helping them relax and provide relief from stress while experiencing vivid hallucinations and sensations.
How do magic mushrooms work on the brain?
Researchers believe that the active compound, psilocybin, can stimulate certain parts of the brain causing sensory changes which include visual or auditory hallucinations as well as sensations on touch, taste, and smell. These effects are perceived by users who ingest dried mushroom material containing this psychedelic chemical for recreational purposes but they also help patients deal with mental health problems like depression when dosed properly under medical supervision. In fact, some studies show that these substances have long-term benefits since even after six months there was still evidence of improvement among those receiving treatment compared to those who did not take part in such programs. Furthermore, there are no reported negative interactions with other drugs or any risk of addiction.
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound that can be found in several types of dried psychedelic mushrooms as well as some other related species such as Panaeolus cyanescens and Inocybe aeruginascens. The drug has also been synthesized in labs where it is produced on an industrial scale because its medicinal properties make it valuable among patients who suffer from various conditions. These mushrooms work with the brain and body by releasing serotonin and dopamine, which help regulate mood.
Those who have a family history of psychosis or schizophrenia may be at risk if they use magic mushrooms since these conditions can sometimes worsen with psychedelics like this one. Even though many people believe that the drug has no long-term side effects on physical health, it does interact with serotonin which can lead to some heart problems over time for certain people.
However, when used wisely and responsibly by adults without psychological issues or predispositions towards mental disorders plus supervised by an expert during treatment sessions where hallucinations and sensations are induced, magic mushrooms have been shown to provide relief from mental disorders and substance addiction.
What are magic mushroom benefits?
Taking magic mushrooms can have different effects on different people. Because they contain psilocybin, which acts on serotonin receptors to produce an altered perception in the user and each user can have different experiences. Shrooms usually take about 20 or 30 minutes for the effects to start taking place and can last up to 6 hours.
There are some common positive effects that happen to most people and these include:
- visual and auditory hallucination
- a oneness with yourself, others, and the universe; mystical experiences
- altered sense of time
These effects may occur together or separately and are highly dependent on the person and their mood. This is a great time to mention that your psyche going into a trip can be very determinate of whether it is positive, known as a good trip, or negative, known as a bad trip. Making sure you are in the right frame of mind and around people you trust can make a huge difference in your ability to enjoy this classic hallucinogen and can help mitigate negative experiences.
That being said, there can be some negative side effects. The common negative side effects include:
- mood swings or changes in mood
These are some of the most common negative reactions and all are psychological. It can also be very normal for users to experience physical reactions as well, the most common include:
- increased heart rate
- increased blood pressure
- tremors or muscle weakness
- dry mouth
Magic mushrooms are considered physically safe for humans to consume as they have low toxicity levels compared with other recreational drugs. However, there can be negative effects including panic attacks or even psychosis in some cases. The duration of the effects also varies depending on the dosage taken.
How can magic mushrooms help with addictions (including smoking)?
Magic mushrooms can be used to help people quit smoking, and they have been shown in clinical trials to assist with depression and psychological issues such as anxiety or PTSD. A very small pilot study from Johns Hopkins University found that taking psilocybin helped patients quit and not relapse back to smoking over a year-long trial. [Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641975/%5D. We look forward to researching this topic and more as psychedelic drugs head to clinical trial.
While there are still risks associated with consuming psilocybin mushrooms, studies have found them to be less harmful than other drugs like cigarettes or alcohol and could even help treat psychological issues such as depression or anxiety disorders. Some people also use them for smoking cessation by reprogramming the brain to realize that smoking is less rewarding than it used to be.
How do magic mushrooms help with depression?
Magic mushrooms help with depression because of the way they affect serotonin levels. Shrooms containing psilocybin trigger a release of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in certain parts of the brain that are associated with mood regulation, the ones affected by SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, more commonly known as antidepressant medications. These chemicals can make you feel happier or even experience that euphoric high similar to MDMA.
How can magic mushrooms help with psychological issues?
Magic mushrooms contain a chemical called psilocybin which is responsible for the psychedelic effects of magic mushrooms. When eaten, they can cause euphoria and hallucinations that last up to six hours. Psilocybin has been shown in research studies to help with psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. In one study published by researchers from Johns Hopkins, 12 out of 15 participants who suffer from life-threatening cancer reported that depression and anxiety were reduced after taking psilocybin.
As noted above, shrooms also contain another chemical called serotonin which is responsible for the mood-enhancing effects of magic mushrooms. Taking a dose of magic mushrooms can help with psychological disorders because it raises your serotonin levels, making you feel happier and more relaxed. It has also been shown to boost your mood even after the effects of magic mushrooms have worn off, making it an effective treatment for depression long-term.
Are magic mushrooms safe?
Magic mushrooms are currently illegal in most places, but there are efforts being made for them to become decriminalized or legalized as a medical treatment option. However, until then they remain unregulated and people will have to use them illegally which can pose risks such as unknown dosage, contaminants, and negative effects.
But magic mushrooms are considered safe for humans to consume as they have low toxicity levels compared with other recreational drugs. However, there can be negative effects including panic attacks or even psychosis in some cases which is why it’s important that people understand the risks involved before trying them out.
The effects of magic mushrooms can vary from person to person and it is important that if you are going to take them, be sure they are in a safe environment where there will not be any accidents. It is also recommended that if taking psilocybin mushrooms for the first time, make sure you do so with someone who knows how to be safe and who has experience with them.
One thing that must also be kept in mind is that although magic mushrooms are considered “natural”, they are still a drug that can have some negative effects on the body if not taken correctly or responsibly. It is important to note that magic mushrooms should not be taken if you have a history of schizophrenia or psychosis as it can trigger those conditions.
Magic mushrooms that contain psilocybin have been around for centuries. Psilocybin works on your brain by pretending to be serotonin and dopamine. Someone using mushrooms typically experiences auditory or visual hallucinations as well as a feeling of euphoria and oneness with others. There are some physical effects though, as it can cause pupil dilation, dry mouth, sweating, and other physical responses. There can be negative effects as well such as paranoia and panic, this is why it is important to take them in the right setting, with the right frame of mind, with the right people, to maximize the positive effects. Recently, doctors are starting to realize the therapeutic potential of magic mushrooms have been found to help treat people for various conditions like smoking cessation and other substance use disorders, depression, and other psychological issues. Mushrooms achieve this mainly through their euphoria and their ability to allow someone to view themselves more objectively. Mushrooms are safe to use but, as with any drug, they can be abused and there are negative effects, so be sure to take caution when using this drug that can create such a positive psychedelic experience.
References, Research and Sources
- Do You Believe in Magic? (Published 2007)
- Immunotherapy Drugs Slow Skin Cancer That Has Spread to the Brain (Published 2018)
- Increased amygdala responses to emotional faces after psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression
- Resting State fMRI – an overview
- Psychoactive substances as a last resort—a qualitative study of self-treatment of migraine and cluster headaches – Harm Reduction Journal
Fact Checked and Editorial Process
The Magical Mushroom is devoted to producing expert and accurate articles and information for our readers by tapping into psychedelic users, experts, journalists, and growing community. We encourage you to read more about our content, editing, and fact checking methods here. This was fact checked by Chris Riley.
Owner, entrepreneur, enthusiast of natural medicine