Magic Mushrooms

Magic Mushrooms

WHAT ARE MAGIC MUSHROOMS?

Magic Mushrooms is what they are called. But the true name is psilocybin. Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical in certain mushrooms that grow in Europe, South America, Mexico, and the United States. Some individuals use “magic mushrooms” as a recreational drug because it can provide a euphoric feeling. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research published a study regarding the safety and positive effects of psilocybin back in 2006. Research continues today to determine whether it may be used to treat various medical conditions safely.

In the United States, however, magic mushrooms are still illegal in all fifty states. Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California have both signed legislations to decriminalize magic mushrooms opening the door for researchers to explore potential medical benefits.

While the recreational use of magic mushrooms is still illegal across the United States, activists in some states are pushing to make it legal on a more wide-spread basis. In November 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms. As more research continues on the medical and therapeutic benefits of magic mushrooms, the United States could see a gradual change in their legality.

HOW IT WORKS

Psilocybin works by activating serotonin receptors, most often in the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is what affects our mood, cognition, and perception. Many things can factor. For example, the quantity of the drug a person consumes and if they have had past experiences. Effects usually occur within 30 minutes of partaking of the mushroom and can last up to 4-6 hours. In some individuals, changes in sensory perception and thought patterns can last for several days.

In medical settings, doctors have tested psilocybin for treating cluster headaches, depression, end stage cancer anxiety, and other forms of anxiety. However, some scientists have questioned its effectiveness and safety as a therapeutic measure.

The amount of psilocybin in dried mushrooms is about ten times higher than that found in their fresh counterparts.

WHAT THE DRUG SURVEYS SAY

An analysis of a drug survey taken by a large international drug firm suggested that psilocybin is a relatively safe drug. They found that only 0.2% of magic mushroom users have sought emergency medical care. The Journal of Psychopharmacology states that such adverse incidents are usually psychological in nature and are resolved in 24 hours.

It sounds like it was more of a “panic attack.” Which could simply be brought on because the person was experimenting and then didn’t like the results. They simply, for lack of a better word, “freaked out.” And went to seek medical help. This is just an opinion on the topic due to the fact that such a small percentage of user have sought medical care.

THE FINDINGS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDIES

Scientific studies have emerged suggesting positive mental health benefits to these ‘magic mushrooms’, resulting in generally positive press about the drug. But researchers have pointed out that ongoing study is crucial for guiding public policy and identifying safety precautions regarding psychedelics.

Increasing studies are being done and the results that are be produced is very interesting. Information is emerging that suggests that there are positive mental health benefits to “magic mushrooms.”  Researchers are quick to recommend ongoing studies before setting a public policy. The also recommend that safety precautions should be identified before changing any laws regarding psychedelics.

Previous evidence suggests psilocybin-containing mushrooms are relatively safe especially regarding physiological toxicity, but overall, there is little academic research on the occurrence and nature of adverse reactions.

Emma Kopra, a PhD student at King’s College London has done extensive research on the effects of magic mushroom. She states in PsyPost that “No drug is entirely risk free, but relative to most recreationally used drugs, psilocybin mushrooms demonstrate a good safety. We found that most adverse reactions were psychological in nature and, importantly, were reported to be short-lasting.” Overall, the study authors suggest that severe, adverse reactions to magic mushrooms are very rare and tend to be short-lived.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?

Psilocybin is currently being investigated in clinical trials for mental health conditions across the world. Testing is being done in research settings as well as recreational settings where magic mushrooms us is prevalent. They are closely monitored with distinct safety considerations and risk profiles. Keep in mind, we do not condone or condemn the information listed in this blog. It is for educational purposes only. We recommend you do your own research and check the laws in your area regarding magic mushrooms.

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