The popularity of magic mushroom has been increasing over the years, now the question is, are magic mushroom safe? According to 2018 Global drugs survey, magic mushrooms are the safest recreational drugs being consumed based on user feedback and outcomes.
What are Magic Mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms or psilocybin mushrooms are kind of fungi which contains psilocybin. Psilocybin is a kind of psychedelic compound which functions by activating the receptors in the prefrontal context of the brain. It is a naturally occurring alkaloid found in ‘magic mushrooms,’ has been shown to offer therapeutic value in safely treating certain mental health. This part of the brain affects a person’s mood, perception, and cognition.
Because of this, magic mushrooms have also been to known to different names like Psilocybin mushroom is also known as Shrooms, Philosopher’s Stones, Mushies, Magics, Liberty Caps, Liberties, Amani and Agaric. It can be served by drying it or eating it raw or most of the time it can be mixed into food like tea.
What does science say about Magic Mushrooms?
Recent studies showed that magic mushroom has a very low risk of causing acute harm and they are non-addictive. A recent study conducted by Tylš et al showed results that the chemical psilocybin has very low toxicity and there have been no fatalities being linked to it. According to their study, a person will have to take 19g of raw mushroom or the pure drug for it to bring to death or fatality.
Adam Winstock, a consultant addiction psychiatrist and the founder of Global Drug Survey says that magic mushrooms are of the safest drugs in the world. There have been no reports of fatality like poisoning. In their survey conducted in 2017, a total number of 28,0000 people admitted that they had taken magic mushroom at some point. Eighty-one percent (81%) sought a moderate psychedelic experience and enhancement of the environment and social interactions. The results of this survey suggest that hallucinogenic mushrooms or magic mushrooms may be prone to users.
According to the survey, just two percent (2%) of the ten thousand (10,000) people who have admitted to having used these psychedelics in the past year also reported that they have consumed the drug for medical purposes.
The 2017 Global drug survey also revealed that a percentage of the people taking this drug for the past year seeking medical treatment. Though magic mushrooms aren’t completely harmless according to Winstock. Combined with alcohol and using it within unfamiliar settings, it may cause harm or injury, panic, short-lived confusion, and disorientation.
In rare cases, people may experience panic attacks and flashbacks so he suggested to “plan your trip carefully with a trusted company and do it in a safe place and must have the right mushroom before using it”.
While there has been no incident regarding magic mushrooms, there have been studies showing that these psilocybin mushrooms can help cure or treat severe depression and anxiety.
Choosing the right mushrooms
Although magic mushrooms may be the safest psychedelic compound, perhaps the most dangerous thing about psychedelic mushroom is choosing the right one. There are over one hundred twenty (120) varieties psilocybin producing mushroom that may be confused as the poisonous one. Most of them may look like the variety of the poisonous type so you should be very careful in picking the right mushroom. Perhaps it should be consulted to a mycologist so that they can help you select the right kind.
Magic mushroom can easily be grown. Though it may grow in the wild, it can be cultivated. It is also a great assurance that you have the right mushroom with you.
How does magic mushroom works?
As mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of species that have similar features. Some toxic mushroom can cause simple illness like stomach ache but some may cause fatality or death. Several species of mushroom contain psilocybin. Most of them are small ranging from a 3-inch stalk and a 1-inch cap.
Here are just a few of the most well-known varieties:
- Psilocybe cubensis is one of the larger mushrooms among the psilocybin mushrooms. This also one of the most popular. It is commonly known as psilocybe or golden cap or Mexican mushroom. Its cap is usually reddish-brown with a white-yellowish stem. When crushed it flesh turns bluish. Most people consider this bluish sign as a definitive sign of a magic mushroom. Several toxic mushrooms also show this kind of symptoms as well. The Psilocybe cubensis can be found in moist, and humid climates.
- Psilocybe semilanceata or liberty cap among these mushroom. This kind of mushroom is often found in damp, grassy fields that are usually populated by cattle sheep. Psilocybe semilanceata or liberty cap is a small mushroom.
- Psilocybe baeocystis has a dark brown cap and it has a yellowish or brownish stem when it is fresh. It grows in fields on rotting, peat or mulch. This also commonly known as psilocybe bluebell and bottle cap.
- Psilocybe samuiensis – this type of mushroom can be found in Thailand particularly in the province Ranong. This is locally known as hed keequai. Its cap is rhomboid and is around 7-15 mm in diameter and it becomes reddish-brown hue when moist. Psilocybe samuiensis effects are similar to the larger Psilocybe cubensis.
- Psilocybe cyanofibrillosa – These species are common on river estuaries especially Northern California and British Columbia. They grow in soil that is rich in wood debris. Their caps vary in diameter from 1.4-3.5cm and flat as they age. It’s common are “Rhododendron psilocybe” and “Blue-Haired psilocybe”.
- Psilocybe Mexicana – as the name suggests this type of mushrooms grows in the fields of Mexico. According to History, these mushrooms were used by Aztecs and Mayans have used them in their religious rituals and have called them “teonancatl” which means “god’s flesh”. It has a narrow cap ranging 0.5-2cm in diameter with a conical shape. The cap has a brownish and is conical in shape. Psilocybe Mexicana is one of the mildest effects among the varieties of mushroom.
- Psilocybe weilii – this fungus is seasonal is May to December and that grows in red clay soil with pine needles. It is commonly seen in Georgia, USA. It’s defining traits is its taste and smell is similar to cucumber. Its cap ranges from 3-6cm in diameter.
In conclusion, as per the results of several studies conducted, it can be said that magic mushrooms are safe and that people don’t tend to abuse psychedelic drugs and that they don’t get dependent on it.