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Magic Mushrooms

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There are a number of different types of mushrooms that have powerful hallucinogenic effects similar to LSD. Hallucinogenic mushrooms are commonly referred to as “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms.” The most commonly used hallucinogenic mushrooms are psilocybin mushrooms, of which there are several different varieties. These contain the chemicals psilocybin and psilocin.

 

Effects

 

Once the mushroom is ingested, psilocybin is converted in the body to psilocin, which works directly on the brain where it binds to serotonin receptors. Its exact long-term effects on the brain and nervous system are not fully known.

 Shrooms Photo

The effects of magic mushrooms, like LSD, involve distortion of various senses. The experience of the effects of the mushrooms is commonly referred to as a trip. Time or movement may appear to speed up or slow down. Sights and sounds may be distorted. Stationary objects may appear to move, breathe or take on altered forms. The sight of a color may trigger the perception of a sound or smell, or vice versa.


The effects of mushrooms usually begin within 30 minutes to two hours from when they’re taken. The strongest effects generally last from 4 to 10 hours, with several additional hours of after effects.

 

The physical effects may include numbness of the mouth and facial features, loss of appetite, nausea, weakness of the limbs, excessive yawning, swollen features, pupil dilation, or feelings of coldness. Additionally, other physical manifestations can occur as a result of distorted perceptions. For example, pain or stiffness may result from a user spending a long time in an awkward position because of an inability to correctly perceive the flow of time or the level of physical fatigue.

 

Toxic mushrooms photo
Toxic. Psychodelic mushrooms

One’s communication with others in the environment can be heavily affected. A person on a mushroom trip may become very emotionally sensitive, or become so withdrawn as to be unable to carry on a coherent conversation.

 

Dangers

 

While mushrooms may bring about feelings of euphoria, they can also result in a “bad trip” in which the user is overcome with feelings of fear or despair. Once a trip is started, there is no way of ending it other than letting it take its course.

 

One of the dangers in the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is the possibility of getting the wrong mushrooms. There are hundreds of varieties of mushrooms that are difficult to distinguish from one another, and some of them are highly poisonous. Most poisonous mushrooms attack the cells of the liver. The symptoms of poisoning can be delayed for many hours, and by that time the liver can be so seriously damaged that the person’s life can by saved only by a liver transplant.

 

Even when the mushrooms are carefully and correctly selected, the effects of a mushroom trip are very unpredictable. One person may experience a day of disconnected happiness while another taking the same mushrooms, endures an eight-hour nightmare.

 

Legal

 

Under the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances, psilocybin and psilocin are both listed as Schedule I drugs. “Schedule I” refers to drugs with a high potential for abuse and no recognized medical uses.

 

In the United States, possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms is illegal because they contain Schedule I drugs. Spores, however, which do not contain psychoactive chemicals, are only explicitly illegal in California, Idaho, and Georgia.



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