How Do Psilocybin ‘Magic’ Mushrooms Work?

How Do Psilocybin ‘Magic Mushrooms Work

We’ve all seen them in movies and on television. Two characters take a bag of shrooms, and a psychedelic experience ensues. Colours are more vivid, time seems to stand still, and people morph into funny versions of themselves.

And that’s just some of the effects magic mushrooms can have on users. 

So, what makes magic mushrooms “magical”? How many should you take, and what effects can you expect? Learn all that and more below.

What are Magic Mushrooms?

Magic mushrooms are a type of mushroom (either wild or cultivated) that contains psilocybin. They look like a typical mushroom, featuring a long, slender stem and the classic mushroom cap. The stem is usually a grayish colour, with the cap being a shade of brown with white centers. 

If the mushroom has been dried, the colour will be slightly different, typically looking rusty brown with some isolated areas that are off-white.

Magic mushrooms may also be referred to by other names such as:

  • Shrooms
  • Psychedelic mushrooms
  • Mushies
  • Golden tops
  • Liberty caps
  • Philosopher’s stones
  • Blue meanies

What Is Psilocybin?

The compound responsible for magic mushroom’s notorious effects is called psilocybin. This compound is a naturally occurring psychoactive hallucinogenic.

When psilocybin is ingested, our bodies convert it to psilocin. Psilocin affects people by activating the serotonin receptors in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The prefrontal cortex affects people’s mood, perception, and cognition. Psilocybin activating serotonin in this part of the brain can distort how people see objects or perceive their environment.

The Effects of Magic Mushrooms

The Effects of Magic Mushrooms 

Magic mushrooms can cause physical and mental effects, both bad and good. Common effects people who use magic mushrooms can expect to include:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Distorted sense of time, place, and reality 
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Nervousness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drowsiness and yawning
  • Muscle weakness

Similar to things like marijuana, the effects of magic mushrooms are not instantaneous. It can take between 20 and 40 minutes for users to start to feel the mushroom’s effects, and they can last between six and 12 hours. 

How Many Magic Mushrooms Should I Take?

That depends on your tolerance and size. The amount of psilocybin in a single magic mushroom will vary, making it difficult to know exactly how much you are ingesting. That’s why it is a challenge to gauge the intensity of the effects you may have. 

That being said, it is recommended to start slow and give the mushrooms time to take effect. If all goes well, you can take a little more. A good rule of thumb is to start with 1.25 grams or 1.5 grams per 100 pounds of body weight. 

Regular magic mushroom users can develop a tolerance for the product. The more often you use them, the less effective they’ll be. This tolerance leads many people to take more and more. But be careful not to overdo it. Always allow time for the shrooms to take effect before ingesting more.

Ways to Eat Magic Mushrooms

Believe it or not, there are many ways users can ingest magic mushrooms. Some users may simply eat them raw, meaning uncooked and straight out of the package. However, mushrooms can often have a rubbery consistency and strong earthy taste that some people find off-putting. 

To combat these issues, people may decide to work magic mushrooms into their food to disguise the texture and flavour. Popular ways to add shrooms to your meals include:

  • Using them as a pizza topping
  • Working them into an omelet
  • Add them to pasta sauce

Other people may put them into their beverages, working them into brewed teas or adding them as a smoothie ingredient.

If you plan to use the raw mushroom, either eating it on its own or putting it into food, be sure to wash it first. Simply run it under cold water or run a damp paper towel over it to remove debris. Mushrooms can absorb water, so be sure to dry them after rinsing them. This way, you’ll keep the shrooms in good condition if you don’t plan to cook or eat them right away.

For those who aren’t interested in eating or drinking mushrooms but still want to experience its effects, there are other magic mushroom products on the market today. These allow users to mask the shroom’s taste without going to the work of cooking with it or putting it in a drink. Popular shroom products include:

Before using these products, be sure to review how much psilocybin is in a serving and what the recommended first dosage amount is. 

Ways to Eat Magic Mushrooms

What to Do If You Have a Bad Trip on Mushrooms

Most of the time, people who use magic mushrooms have a pleasant experience. However, the experience can sometimes turn unpleasant because of shrooms’ hallucinogenic nature. This is often referred to as “having a bad trip.”

A bad trip can be caused by many things, including:

  • Taking too many mushrooms
  • A medical heart condition
  • A history of mental health issues

If you are alone and having a bad trip, remain calm. Find a safe, quiet place to go and relax. Play some soothing music to help calm your mind. If your health is in danger, though, seek medical attention. 

If someone you are with is experiencing a bad trip, help them remain calm and remind them what they took. If they feel something is going to happen, tell them firmly that it will not. Know that some people may get violent if they have taken too many shrooms, so don’t put yourself in harm’s way trying to help. 

A Summary of Magic Mushrooms

Many people use magic mushrooms to achieve a pleasant, hallucinogenic experience. The compound that makes their effects possible is powerful, so it is important not to overdo it. Instead, start with a small amount, wait an hour or two, then take more if you aren’t yet feeling the effects.

With many different ways to take mushrooms, there is sure to be one that meets your taste preferences. 

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