Magic shrooms are cultivated or wild mushrooms which have psilocybin. This is a naturally occurring hallucinogenic and psychoactive compound. It is considered among the well-known psychedelics, according to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).
According to Funghead, psilocybin is also classified as one of the Schedules I drugs – meaning it has the potential for misuse and is currently not accepted for medical use in the US.
Dr. Ryan Marino, an emergency physician at University Hospitals, said psilocybin is extremely safe when given to patients in controlled settings. Good evidence supports the use of psilocybin in the mental health field. Psilocybin therapy can help relieve signs and symptoms of mental health disorders, including depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, its other medical uses require more extensive research.
Magic mushrooms are usually prepared by drying and eaten by getting mixed into drinks or food. But some individuals eat them freshly picked.
Currently, there are more than 170 species of mushrooms containing psilocin or psilocybin. Similar to peyote, people have been using hallucinogenic mushrooms in religious or native rites for centuries.
Both psilocin and psilocybin can as well be synthetically produced in the laboratory. And some reports have said that psilocybin bought in the market or streets may actually be other species of shrooms, which have been laced with LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide).
How Psilocybin Works
It works by stimulating the activation of serotonin receptors, mostly in the prefrontal cortex. Basically, the prefrontal cortex is part of your brain, affecting perception, cognition, and mood. Hallucinogens as well work in other parts of the brain, which regulate panic responses and arousal.
Psilocybin doesn’t cause active auditory or visual hallucinations all the time. Rather, it distorts how some individuals using the drug perceive people and objects already in the environment.
The amount of drugs an individual consumes, their expectations, and past experiences may impact the psilocybin effects.
The hallucinogenic impacts that come with psilocybin normally happen within 25 minutes after an individual ingests it and may last for around 5 hours.
In some people, thought patterns and sensory perception changes might last for a few days. And usually, the potency of magic mushrooms depends on the following:
- Harvest period
- Growing conditions
- If an individual eats mushrooms dried or fresh
What Mushroom Spores Look Like
Mushroom spores come I many varieties with the most common being golden tops, liberty caps, and blue meanies, to name a few.
Magic shrooms also look the same as poisonous mushrooms, which may make an individual get sick and might lead to death.
They may as well come as dried materials in capsules. And synthetic psilocybin looks like a white crystalline powder, which can get processed into capsules or tablets.
Different Types of Psilocybin Shrooms
Mushroom Revival explains that there are different types of mushrooms with varying fruiting bodies, including pores, teeth, volva, and rings. Certain mushrooms, like functional mushrooms, provide nutrients and health benefits. Functional mushrooms don’t contain psilocybin, so they don’t produce psychedelic effects. Furthermore, you can incorporate functional mushrooms into your favorite food recipes or take mushroom supplements to reap health benefits.
On the other hand, psilocybin shrooms are a type of psychedelic mushroom. Psilocybin shrooms occur naturally. They can either be cultivated from mycelium spores or cultivated out of the ground. Different kinds of strains of psilocybin shrooms grow naturally, and some individuals are known to forage for them.
However, choosing psilocybin shrooms by yourself can be risky. There are more than 10,000 specific known shrooms, some of which are very poisonous to humans.
And without knowledge of different kinds, dangers, and species of various fungi, it might be simple to confuse one shroom with another and choose one, which can leave you comatose.
Shrooms also consist of about 92% water; if they are dried, they lose approximately 90% of their mass. That means the same dose of psilocybin shrooms in a dried form can be about 10x lower in mass than fresh doses.
If moisture isn’t extracted from shrooms when picked, they may rot fairly faster. This destroys both the shrooms and psilocybin contained in there.
Magic shrooms may as well come in the powdered form. They can either be sold as the powder itself or as capsules. But the risks of receiving or buying psilocybin shrooms in this form are higher than while in their dried or fresh forms.
When and Where to Grow Magic Shrooms
You can find magic shrooms on every continent, apart from Antarctica. In the US, you can find psychedelic mushrooms scattered in different regions.
And nowadays, you can find them fruiting in cosmopolitan regions, rural idylls, or pristine wilderness. According to mycologists, urban spore bombing is now a big thing. Psychedelic activities are also known to fill their innocent-looking water bottles with a fluid containing many psilocybin spores and walk around the urban centers to spray those spores so they may grow under the trees.
That said, different mushroom species each have their preferred climatic zones where they can thrive even more. Some of these zones include the following:
- The Midwest and Northeast
- The South
- The Pacific Northwest
Identifying Magic Shrooms
Magic shrooms are very diverse. They usually grow on various substrates and in an array of habitats. Their features often range from tiny caps and tall and thin stems to broad caps and thick and short stems. This makes it a little overwhelming for the novice.
Common popular magic shrooms belong to the Psilocybe genus, but Psilocybe is far from being the only psychoactive fungi. There are also psychoactive mushrooms out there in several other genera, like Gymnopilus, Conocybe, Inocybe, and Panaeolus.
Though proceed with caution because the genera Conocybe and Inocybe both have very poisonous species, making it important for you to avoid such groups until you are fully conversant with the species in these two genera.
The Key Features and Steps to Identifying Magic Shrooms
Many magic shrooms have unique distinguishing color traits. According to most mycologists, psilocybins are gilled shrooms with bluish flesh and purplish-brown or black prints.
The bluish characteristic is more dominant in magic shrooms with higher psychedelic potency. But if the shroom has a bluish bruise without black or purple, brownish spores, then it is likely not a psilocybin mushroom.
To further identify shrooms, there are several steps you will need to take, including studying different kinds of magic mushrooms.
While you don’t have to be familiar with every species of the magic of shrooms existing in the world, taking time to study major types, where they grow, and their traits will go along towards being a professional. Apart from studying magic shrooms, you can also take the following steps:
- Know what species grow within your region
- Take pictures of every shroom you come across
- Join a forum for magic shroom enthusiasts to ask questions
Mushroom experts usually share tips on how to identify different types of functional and psychedelic mushrooms online. They have dedicated blogs and social media pages that you can visit to get more specific information, including actual pictures, videos, and personal stories on cultivating and using mushrooms.
Most of them are affiliates of mushroom products, including supplements. Hence, you can obtain expert advice on proper dosing and usage. They also recommend consulting a doctor before ingesting or using mushrooms for safety for people with existing medical conditions.
As aforementioned, shroom poisoning can be very dangerous. This is why it is vital to always be cautious when picking or handling shrooms. Don’t consume or handle shrooms unless it is safer to do so.