Since psychedelics are thought to be ‘mind-expanding’ drugs, it’s assumed that they work by increasing brain activity. Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as “shrooms” or “magic mushrooms”, are psychedelic mushrooms that are consumed for a unique and often profound psychedelic experience.
Psilocybin, a naturally occurring hallucinogenic and psychoactive compound, is found in both wild and cultivated mushrooms. Psilocybe Cubensis is the most popular type of magic mushroom, but psilocybin is found in over 200 different species. Members of the genus Psilocybe, such as P. azurescens, P. semilanceata, and P. cyanescens, are the most potent.
Psilocybin mushrooms have been used ceremonially for thousands of years, and in some indigenous communities sacred ceremonies still exist. The Mazatec people still use the “little saints” in rituals for healing, divination, and other sacred purposes.
Today, the magical compound called “psilocybin” is being used in clinical trials with unprecedented success for end-of-life anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, treatment-resistant depression, and other conditions.
Psilocybin has been studied with extremely promising results and has a number of potential medical benefits. There are a variety of reasons why hallucinogenic substances are used.
More recently, people report using psilocybin mushrooms for more social or recreational purposes, spiritual pursuits, artistic inspiration or therapeutic uses.
Below are a few examples of common uses.
Neurogenesis: Can stimulate the growth of new brain cells
Your brain does not have a “reset” button. But the more scientists learn about psychedelic substances, the closer they get to the reset button.
In recent years, neurogenesis has become a hot topic in the psychedelic community. In short, neurogenesis is the creation of new neurons in the brain.
There is now some evidence that psychedelics, such as psilocybin, can increase natural neurogenesis in the human brain.
In other words, psilocybin allows neurons to use connections that they would not normally use. The brain becomes more flexible, adaptive and unique.
According to a new study, a single dose of psilocybin provides long-term relief of anxiety and depression in cancer patients.
The study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology by a team of researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, found that a single dose of psilocybin in combination with psychotherapy was associated with a significant improvement in existing and emotional distress for cancer patients. The positive effect of the medication has lasted for almost five years.
The natural response to trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is difficult to treat. According to researchers, psychedelic-assisted therapy, which includes the use of magic mushrooms, may help treat PTSD.
Psilocybin is being tested for a variety of physical and mental conditions, including PTSD. The psychoactive component is thought to stimulate brain receptors and possibly ‘rewire the brain’ by increasing neuronal connectivity, assisting in the healing of trauma caused by physical or psychological events.
Anxiety and Depression
In the last five years, the number of people diagnosed with mental health issues has risen dramatically. Depression and anxiety have become very common in adults.
More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression, which is the leading cause of disability. Psilocybin has the potential to create a new paradigm in which a short-acting compound causes profound changes in consciousness and can lead to long-term remission of depressive symptoms.
The FDA has recently designated psilocybin for depression as its second “Breakthrough Therapy.”
Other clinical trials at the Johns Hopkins University are currently underway, including an anorexia psilocybin treatment study and depression psilocybin trials in the United Kingdom.
Psilocybin Mushrooms Effects and Dosage
The dosage of psilocybin used by a patient is essential. You will need to figure out the right dosage based on the type of experience or medical benefit you want to have.
Other mushroom and “truffles” species have different dosage recommendations. These dosages are for dried Psilocybe Cubensis:
- Microdose: 0.1g – 0.3g
- Low Dose: 0.25g – 1g
- Moderate Dose: 1g – 3g
- High Dose (Heroic Dose): 3g – 5g and above
There are some useful online tools to help you find the right dose, whether you’re taking magic mushrooms or truffles, such as Zamnesia’s magic mushroom dosage calculator.
Whatever the dose, psilocybin binds to receptors for the neurotransmitter serotonin. These 5-HT2A receptors are packed into the cortex, particularly in areas that control imagination, reflection and introspection.
Harm reduction advice: If you’re anxious, depressed, or in a bad environment, your chances of having a bad time will be increased. Save your shrooms for another day.
It’s best not to combine them with alcohol or other substances, including prescription drugs. When ingested, both alcohol and hallucinogens produce a psychoactive effect. Combining the two can result in several unintended side effects.
The method of taking very low dosages of psychedelic substances was a popular trend for many years in Silicon Valley. The idea behind microdosing for therapeutic purposes is that the psychedelic can help you see things differently and give you enough context.
In fact, the dose is so low that there are no psychedelic effects. This means you won’t notice any changes in perception, such as visual or auditory effects.
However, you may notice some changes in thinking, concentration, higher levels of creativity, relief from depression, less anxiety, emotional openness, relief from menstrual pain, heightened spiritual awareness and more energy.
For many years, psychedelic users have known that small microdoses of psilocybin can provide spiritual, medical, and therapeutic benefits without causing a psychedelic “trip” like high doses of psilocybin.
A microdose shouldn’t influence your daily activities like working and socializing with others.
A low dosage is one that causes you to experience some psychedelic effects.
You may experience the following effects if you take a low mushroom dose: a slight change in visual perception, a slight body high, a feeling of euphoria.
A low dose is commonly used for: boosting creativity, improving productivity, improving brain health, increasing energy levels and stimulation or enhancing certain situations.
Colors appear to be enhanced due to minor changes in visual perception.
There will be more intense psychedelic effects when you take a moderate dose of magic mushrooms such as: euphoria, introspection, laughter, feelings of gratitude, seeing geometric patterns, colors enhancement, increased appreciation of music, confusion.
Because you will noticeably be tripping at a moderate dosage, you may need to limit the types of environments in which you have the experience, because walking around the city or being in a club around many people may be too intense for you.
This type of dosage is commonly used for achieving a full psychedelic experience, boosting creativity, connecting with nature, friends or loved ones, self-examination and self-improvement.
High Dose (Heroic Dose)
The higher the dose, the greater the chance of ego dissolution or an out-of-body experience.
Psychedelics can be powerful. Psilocybin, in high doses, induces a psychedelic experience that can be strange, transcendent, gentle, fun, unique, enlightening, and even mystical, but it can also be challenging without the proper guidance or context. You might feel overwhelmed by negative emotions. Even though it induces such an altered state of mind, psilocybin is not an escape from reality.
Whatever comes up, remember to surrender to the moment. Take a few deep breaths and send yourself some love. It’s all part of the process, after all.
However, psilocybin can provide dramatically new perspectives on life in general, which can assist people in living more authentic and fulfilled lives in the future, according to Michelle Janikian, the author of “Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion” book.
Be mindful of your Set and Setting. There are many things to consider when preparing for a magical mushroom experience, including your current mindset and the environment or situation in which you will have the experience. When you’re tripping, you become hyper-aware of everything that’s going on around you.
For some people, a heroic dose might be too much. After all, not every new psychonaut is a wide-eyed Berkeley college guy versed in Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley or Terence McKenna.
If you’re new to tripping or want to go deeper with psychedelics, there are some basic skills you can learn to help you prepare for, navigate, and process your psychedelic experience.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important to understand that a high dose of psilocybin mushrooms can alter your perception of your body, inducing visual distortions, nausea or confusion, this is why having a trip sitter can be extremely beneficial for first-time psychonauts. Other senses, such as touch and sound, can be enhanced or altered as well.
Being with the wrong people can create a bad experience, and you would like to have someone trustworthy if uncomfortable feelings surface.
Intentions are a powerful thing. Going into a psychedelic trip with a specific goal in mind can help you emerge with new levels of understanding.
How long does a trip on mushrooms last?
On average, effects of magic mushrooms should take 15-60 minutes to kick and last between 4 to 8 hours, but vary from person to person. After the trip ends, some lingering effects may last until the next day.
The following factors can influence the duration and severity of the effects:
- Your tolerance
- Your age
- How much you take
- Whether fresh or dried (dried mushrooms loses some potency)
Enjoy the trip
Overall, a mushroom trip should not be taken lightly, and you should prepare and plan as you would for any other trip. When explored correctly, psilocybin mushrooms can deliver amazing experiences, but they must be approached with caution and respect.
If you are looking for support during or after a psychedelic experience, contact Fireside Project.