Introduced to Europe and USA via the hippie trail from Mexico in the 1950s, magic mushrooms have been extremely popular for their highly hallucinogenic and psychoactive properties. They contain a psychedelic prodrug called Psilocybin which, after entering the human body, transforms into Psilocin that produces various mind-altering effects including euphoria and hallucinations. Psilocybin is not only a potent recreational drug.
The latest scientific data shows that it has amazing therapeutic potentials as well. Although shrooms are still prohibited substances in most countries, thanks to the internet their consumption is fast growing. And with all the talks about psilocybin in media, the curiosity of the common people has certainly been piqued. What exactly are the psilocybin mushrooms? How does a species of fungi produce such powerful hallucinatory effects? Are they safe? People ask all sorts of questions.
To help you get a better understanding of one of nature’s most powerful hallucinogenics, we present a few very interesting facts about psychedelic mushroom. Though it does not cover all that is there to know about the shrooms, this post certainly provides some very useful information. We share some mind-boggling secrets of the magic mushrooms that will surprise you.
So, let’s dive in! Here are 10 amazing facts about psychedelic mushroom that everyone should know.
10 facts about psychedelic mushroomthat will blow your mind
• The use of psychedelic mushrooms go back a long way
People have been using magic mushrooms for centuries. Rock arts discovered in Algeria, which date back at least 7,000-9,000 years, depicts anthropomorphic figures with psilocybin mushrooms. There are evidences that the Mayans, the Aztecs and the indigenous tribes of Mazatec, Mixtec, Nauhua and Zapatec in Central America used hallucinogenic mushrooms for religious rituals and shamanic performances. The shrooms found their way to Europe and North America in the 1950s via the hippie trail from Mexico.
• The safest psychedelic drug on earth
One of the most amazing facts about psychedelic mushroom is that it is considered to be world’s safest recreational drug. Hospitalizations due to magic mushrooms toxicity is extremely rare. Shrooms are not addictive: they don’t lead to major psychological or physiological habit formation in the users. The abuse potential is almost negligible.
• Association with Christmas and Santa Claus
Renowned anthropologist John Rush says that the Siberian shamans of the 17th century used psilocybin mushrooms ‘to commune with the spirit world’ and gave out them to their tribesmen as gifts on the winter solstice in late December. This, according to Rush, explains the origin of the gift-giving tradition of Christmas. As Rush says, the dresses of those shamans resembled Amanita muscaria – red cap and suits with shite spots. Reindeers were the spirit animals of them. Hope you get the Santa connection now.
• Lots of varieties
There are at least 200 recorded species of mushrooms found in nature that contain the psychedelic compound Psilocybin. All these varieties are collectively known as the magic mushrooms or the psychedelic mushrooms. The most popular species of the group are Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe semilanceata or Liberty Caps, Psilocybe azurescens or Flying Saucer mushrooms, Psilocybe tampanensis or Magic Truffles, Psilocybe cyanescens or Wavy Caps, Psilocybe Mexicana, Amanita muscaria or Fly Agaric, Amanita pantherina or Panther Capand others. All these varieties have high Psilocybin content and produce strong psychotropic effects.
• Improves brain and emotional connectivity
Two separate scientific studies conducted at the King’s College and the Imperial College of London have shown that psilocybin stimulates brain’s connectivity and helps one to reconnect emotionally. These positive effects can last for weeks, making it an ideal drug to treat clinical depression or chronic anxiety.
• Strong antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties
The latest clinical trials and scientific studies have shown that psilocybin mushrooms can be a far better alternative to conventional anti-anxiety or antidepressant meds. Especially in the cases of treatment-resistant depression that doesn’t respond to traditional medications or therapies, magic mushrooms can do wonders. The US Food and Drug Administration has recently declared psilocybin a ‘breakthrough therapy’ in treating severe depression. Shrooms are found to be highly effective in alleviating the ‘end-of-life’ psychoses among cancer patients.
• Dissolves ego
According to scientists, magic mushrooms help to increase openness of mind and awareness by dissolving ego. Psilocybin works on the parahippocampal retrosplenial cortical network of the brain which controls our egoistic identity and self. A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience of Consciousness says that psilocybin puts the mind ‘more directly and intensely in touch with the world. Philip Gerrans, a philosophy professor at the University of Adelaide who co-authored the report, says, ‘Through this experience, it may be possible to re-engineer the mechanisms of self, which in turn could change people’s outlook or worldview.’
• Easy to grow in your backyard
You don’t need to always depend on your dealer or the online mail-order services to get your psilocybin supply. Magic mushrooms are very easy to grow at home. Nowadays shroom dispensaries sell a variety of DIY psilocybin grow kits which are very easy to use. You can order these kits online as well.
• Long-lasting effects
Usually the high and the euphoria last for 6 hours or more. But the therapeutic effects of psychedelic mushrooms on the mind are found to be longer-lasting and result in a stable personality change. A 2011 study has found that people who consumed a single microdose of psilocybin could feel the openness of mind and greater emotional connection for at least 14 months. That is why psilocybin is so effective in improving your mental health.
• Legal in some countries and a prohibited substance in others
The sale and consumption of psychedelic mushrooms are prohibited in most of the countries. A few states in the USA have decriminalized psilocybin. In Canada, where it is still an illegal drug, the sale of magic mushrooms spores and kits is approved. The Canadian government is also very tolerant of psilocybin consumption and there is a growing demand for decriminalization.
However, many countries in the world have fully decriminalized the use of magic mushrooms. Netherlands, Czech Republic, Jamaica, Portugal and Spain, it is perfectly legal to consume psilocybin. In many of these countries, you can also grow your magic mushrooms and truffles.
We hope these 10 facts about magic mushrooms will help you to unlock the mysteries of the powerful naturally occurring psychedelic. To know more about psilocybin, keep reading our posts on the subject.