Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms are organic hallucinogens that have been used for thousands of years. Also known as Mushies, Shrooms, Mexican Magic mushrooms and can be one of several species of mushroom, most commonly one of the following: Stropharia (Psilocybe) cubensis, Panaeolus sphinctrinus, subbalteatus (benanosis), Psilocybe baeocystis, caerulescens, cyanescens, mexicana, pelliculosa, semilanceata, stuntzii.

What all these have in common is that they contain the mind-altering chemicals psilocybin and psilocin as well as traces of related chemicals. Psilocybin and psilocin are similar in structure to serotonin, a chemical in your brain that is also affected by ecstasy and LSD.

They are usually found as a small packet of dried vegetable matter, mainly grey in colour, with bluish and brownish bits, looking a bit like tree bark. It is often broken into small pieces, or sometimes ground into a grey powder. Magic mushrooms have a distinctive smell and taste, which most people find unpleasant. Occasionally it is available as fresh or semi-wilted whole mushrooms. It is possible to extract the active ingredients to make powder, capsules or pills, though this is not common.

Dosage: The minimum dose to feel any effect seems to be around a gram of dried mushroom. Usual doses are one and a half grams or more. A level teaspoon is about two grams. More than six grams can cause temporary loss of contact with reality. As with any organic substance, the potency will vary with the variety of mushroom, the way it was grown, how it was prepared, how it was stored, age etc. Fresh mushrooms are usually stronger than dried mushrooms and have a slightly different feel to them due to differing ratios of the active ingredients.

Mushrooms are swallowed, sometimes with food or a liquid. The advantages of tea or juice is that you can swallow it quickly and experience the bad taste for only a short time. It is absorbed quickly, and therefore comes on quickly. Small quantities of Mushrooms are occasionally smoked, giving a very powerful trip.

The effects usually last around six hours and are similar to LSD, but are often described as “more natural” and “organic”. Visual and mental hallucinations occur. Visual distortions, especially seeing abstract patterns with eyes closed, and patterns in the arrangement of objects with eyes open. There can be regression to a childish or childlike state. There are often feelings of oneness with everything, melting into your surroundings, or union with the universe. Affection and feeling of unity with things such as trees and rocks. Loss of ego, looking at your self seemingly from outside. Sometimes intense introspection and self-examination occurs as well as profound relaxation and the lack of desire to move. Time may pass without being noticed. It is even possible to sleep whilst on mushrooms.

Side effects include nausea during the early stages, and loss of co-ordination. The after effects: Mushrooms have low toxicity on the body, so there are no physical after-effects. Some depression and frustration with everyday life may occur in the days following the mushroom trip. This is believed to be purely psychological.

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