The history of shrooms or magic mushrooms is a wild ride filled with fascinating facts. Humans have associated with these incredible psychoactive fungi for many years, and there is both excitement and fear towards understanding it. While some believe that it is a medical powerhouse in disguise, some despise the psychedelic effects on users. 

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There is widespread research happening in several parts of the globe to understand the ingredient from the perception of a potent medication for treating several ailments that could align with its application in ancient times. It has triggered interest in exploring these mushrooms as something more than just a recreational substance. Here are some interesting facts about psilocybin you should know.

1. Psilocybin is the largest community of psychedelic mushrooms

There are over 200 different species of psychedelic mushrooms. Magic mushroom is an umbrella term for all mushrooms that initiate a high in users. Most people interchange the terms psilocybin mushrooms and magic mushrooms, although psilocybin is just one of the many categories of psychoactive fungi popular in several parts of the world. There are other varieties of psychoactive mushrooms, such as Amanita Muscaria and Claviceps Purpurea. Each of these categories contains a unique chemical composition responsible for the hallucinogenic properties.

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Psilocybin contains psilocin and psilocybin, which are the hallucinogen compounds of this category, whereas the other varieties contain a different chemical composition responsible for the effects. This variety is the largest group among magic mushrooms and includes over 180 different species that are widely popular for their psychoactive effects.

2. Humans and Mushrooms have a long history

Magic mushrooms have a long history with humanity. Fungi have lasted on Earth for over 2 billion years, and the relationship between humans and mushrooms can date back to prehistoric times over 7000 years ago. Some evidence suggests that the fungi were used by shamans to heal and enable users to embark on a spiritual journey. 

Some caves from Northern Algeria depict the use of magic mushrooms by their communities. It indicates that the fungi, known as Gods’ flesh, were a sacred ingredient used by powerful shamans to communicate with their higher spirits. Evidence also suggests the use of magic mushrooms in Mayan and Aztec cultures of the Mesoamerica region or today’s Mexico and Guatemala.

3. They have varying legal status in different parts of the world

Although magic mushrooms initiate a psychoactive effect in users, there are no uniform laws across the world that either legalize it or bans it. Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in several countries across the globe. The US has strict policies to control the use of it. It is categorized as a Schedule 1 drug in the region, along with heroin and cocaine. The country enforced strict policies to weed out these magic mushrooms from many areas. The DEA considers the fungi to have a high potential for addiction and aims to curb the use.

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But there are certain parts of the world where growth, sale, and consumption of magic mushrooms are all legal. For example, in countries such as Holland, individuals can legally purchase magic truffles. Some other countries, such as the Czech Republic and Jamaica, have laws that allow you to grow psilocybin mushrooms.  

4. Psilocybin is not addictive

While there is extensive research happening across the world to understand the effects of Psilocybin on psychological health and addiction, there is no reliable evidence so far to indicate that it could lead to dependency. The interaction of the hallucinogenic compounds does not create the urge to consume more. Instead, some studies suggest that psilocybin could aid in anti-addiction therapy. A study conducted at Johns Hopkins University observed the interaction of the psychedelic substance in psilocybin with the body. The compound replaces the receptors of nicotine interaction and helps overcome addiction.

Theoretically, a lethal overdose from using psilocybin could occur if an individual consumes 17,000 grams of dried mushrooms, which is practically impossible. Typical dosage of magic mushrooms varies anywhere between 1000-2000 grams, which may not have a lethal effect on the body.

5. These mushrooms can initiate complex connectivity in the brain

Remember the mind-numbing feeling while tripping on mushrooms? Well, that could be because psilocybin mushrooms can connect different parts of the brain that may not typically communicate with each other. In fact, it is factually wrong to call this feeling as mind-numbing, as in reality, the brain activity is much higher during this period. 

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Our brain has dedicated parts that work and coordinate to support motor skills, memory, creativity, problem-solving. While some of these parts work together during certain activities, they do not always work in unison. Mushrooms have this unique effect on the brain that initiates a complex communication channel between different parts of the brain. It is this communication that causes a mind-melting high that takes you into a dreamy state.

6. They can influence a permanent change in personality

Psychologists access personality on five parameters, one of which is openness. Studies suggest that psilocybin could influence the openness of an individual`s personality and permanently alter it. A study from 2011 observed the personality of subjects exposed to psilocybin over one year. The results indicated a raise in openness during exposure to the ingredient. The surprising fact is that these levels seemed to remain higher even after a year of the experiment, suggesting that the effects of the fungi could have a lasting impact on the personality.

7. Micro dosing Psilocybin could be a potential treatment for Mental ailments

With expanding awareness about mental health, people are searching for natural and effective remedies to treat their conditions that may not initiate side effects, such as in the case of existing medications. Some believe that micro-dosing on psilocybin mushrooms, typically in the range of 100-300mg, over a duration can help overcome some mental ailments, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Most mental ailments associate with the overactivity of a certain region in the brain, and some believe that psilocybin helps calm these areas to provide relief to users. 

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Although we rely on anecdotal evidence so far, the effects of dosing on these magic mushrooms improve mood, reduces paranoia, boosts energy, and offers a comfortable high or a state of bliss, rather than loss of consciousness.

There is more to understand about the medical and therapeutic use of psilocybin as it is very different from recreational usage. Scientists share that there could be more chemicals associated with the properties of magic mushrooms than the ones identified today.  There are also some health risks reported from over usage that includes vomiting and nausea. Overuse could also give you a bad high that can be very uncomfortable.

About the author

Tammy S

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