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Magic mushrooms, also known as shrooms, are hallucinogenic fungi that have long been used by some cultures as a spiritual aid and have grown in popularity as a recreational drug. Magic mushrooms contain a compound called psilocybin that, when ingested, becomes psilocin. This chemical activates serotonin receptors in your brain, triggering vivid hallucinations, a sense of euphoria, and changes in your perception of space and time.
Because they can be found growing in the wild, magic mushrooms are sometimes thought of as a safe alternative to harder drugs. There are, however, still potential risks associated with tripping on these psychedelic fungi. Further, it's important to note that the limited studies done on magic mushrooms, or psychedelics in general, are done in a controlled environment with a controlled dosage and those using the drugs recreationally likely will have different outcomes.
INSIDER consulted with two drug and addiction experts to learn more about the risks of taking magic mushrooms recreationally. The most commonly reported negative side effect of taking magic mushrooms is having a bad trip. This might involve unpleasant physical symptoms such as nausea, chills, vomiting, or headaches.
The user might also experience negative psychological effects such as paranoia, anxiety, or even extreme terror. This can range from a 'bad trip' to disturbing hallucinations that can last for days," Dr. Under normal circumstances, the mind-altering effects of psilocybin-containing mushrooms usually last from six to eight hours depending on dosage, preparation method, and personal metabolism. The first three to four hours of this period are usually the most intense.
However, the effects can seem to last much longer to the user because of psilocybin's ability to alter time perception, according to Dr. The way you feel while under the effects of magic mushrooms can be affected by a of things, including the dose, your environment, who you are with, and what your mood or mental state was like before taking mushrooms.
Being in a fearful or gloomy state of mind before taking psilocybin mushrooms may intensify any negative feelings you already have, leading to a bad trip. Anyone dealing with psychological problems or mood disorders should think twice before taking magic mushrooms. Because of the way psilocybin works on the brain, taking mushrooms might have negative consequences for someone whose mental health is already compromised. Even people without preexisting mental health problems might experience increased panic attacks after taking magic mushrooms. Cali Estes , Ph. Some research, however, claims magic mushrooms given under the supervision of a professional can help with anxiety , though more research is likely needed.
Because magic mushrooms are illegal in most countries and not regulated like other pharmaceuticals, there is no way to tell what you're getting when you buy a batch of mushrooms. This means that purchasing magic mushrooms carries the risk of ingesting a range of other drugs, some of which may carry the very real risk of a fatal overdose or bad reaction.
If you're worried about the authenticity of a psilocybin mushroom, it's better to not risk ingesting it. When it comes to taking magic mushrooms, one of the worst-case scenarios is accidentally ingesting a poisonous mushroom instead of one containing psilocybin. Weinstein warned that users who try to harvest their own mushrooms in the wild are especially at risk of accidental poisoning from toxic species since it can be easy to mistake a harmful fungus for a hallucinogenic mushroom.
The symptoms of mushroom poisoning — including muscle weakness, confusion, gastrointestinal issues, and delirium — can sometimes be mistaken for those of a bad trip, so it's important to seek medical attention immediately if ingestion of a toxic mushroom is suspected. There's a common misconception that taking magic mushrooms carries no risk of overdose. However, that's actually not the case. Some s of mushroom overdose include panic attacks, paranoia, psychosis, vomiting, agitation, and seizures," said Dr.
If you do accidentally ingest more psilocybin than intended and start to exhibit negative side effects, seeking medical attention is always the best call. It might be possible that taking psychedelic substances such as magic mushrooms can induce psychosis, though recent studies done in controlled environments say the drugs and the development of psychosis aren't associated.
Individuals with a family history of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders are at risk of experiencing a psychotic episode," said Dr. A person is more at risk of experiencing this serious side effect if they have taken a large amount of psilocybin or mushrooms. Studies have confirmed that taking magic mushrooms can permanently alter your brain , though this isn't necessarily said to always be negative. Another rare but serious potential side effect of tanking psychedelic mushrooms is the possibility of developing something called hallucinogen-induced persisting perception disorder, or HPPD.
This disorder can lead the individual to suffer severe distress and experience frightening hallucinations," warned Dr. Risk factors for developing this disorder include having other mental health issues or regularly using a hallucinogen over a long period of time. Unfortunately, there is no formal treatment for this disorder. Users of magic mushrooms typically welcome the hallucinations and sense of altered reality that the fungi can bring.
However, this altered perception of the world can potentially lead individuals to take unusual risks or unknowingly placing themselves in dangerous situations. Mushrooms can increase your risk of injury by impairing your judgment , as well as causing confusion, drowsiness, and loss of motor coordination. No research, however, has been done on the correlation of recreational mushroom use and risky behaviors.
There isn't anything in magic mushrooms that can lead to a chemical addition, as can happen with drugs like nicotine or heroin. Despite this fact, mushrooms do have the potential to disrupt your life if using them frequently causes you to neglect or ignore other hobbies and responsibilities. However, Dr. Weinstein pointed out that there has been no research-based evidence that mushrooms, or other psychedelic drugs, are considered to be addictive physically or psychologically.
If you take magic mushrooms regularly, you might become less sensitive to other mind-alternating recreational substances. As it can be difficult to know the strength of unregulated substances like marijuana or LSD, developing a cross-tolerance can put you at risk of accidentally taking too much of another psychoactive drug in an effort to its full effect. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Get the Insider App. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation.
Sophia Mitrokostas. Magic mushrooms are hallucinogenic fungi containing a compound called psilocybin that can trigger hallucinations, a sense of euphoria, and changes in your perception of space and time. Because magic mushrooms are illegal and not monitored, there's a risk you could ingest a fake mushroom or the wrong kind.
It's possible to have a "bad trip" or experience hallucinogen-induced persisting perception disorder, or HPPD. Because studies done on magic mushrooms are done in controlled environments, it's hard to know all the risks of recreationally using the drug. You might have a "bad trip" or get physically sick. If you have anxiety or bipolar disorder, magic mushrooms might make you experience worsened anxiety at the time of tripping.
Some drugs sold as magic mushrooms are actually fake. Taking the wrong kind of mushroom is a serious risk. Yes, it is possible to overdose on magic mushrooms. Taking magic mushrooms might permanently change your brain. You might experience hallucinations or flashbacks years after taking mushrooms. Psychedelic mushrooms can impair your judgment potentially putting you in danger.
Though psilocybin isn't chemically addictive, taking mushrooms frequently can have negative consequences. Using magic mushrooms might make you less sensitive to other drugs. Loading Something is loading. address.Magic mushrooms poison
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What are magic mushrooms and psilocybin?