Psilocybin mushrooms – a compedium of knowledge for beginners

Magic psilocybin mushrooms are a subject that has always generated much controversy and fascination. Their effect on the human mind is extremely interesting and raises many questions that scientists are still seeking answers to. In this article, we will look at several species of magic mushrooms, more specifically, psilocybin mushrooms such as psilocybe cubensis, lanceolate coot, and toadstools. We will learn where they can be found, how they affect our bodies and their medical applications. We will also look at their legal status and the medical experiments they have conducted. If psilocybin mushrooms are of interest to you or you want to learn more about them, then this article is for you!

Magic psilocybin mushrooms

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The most searched for psilocybin mushrooms online

Psilocybin mushrooms have been a hot topic lately. On the web you can find a lot of information about magic mushrooms, including ways to grow them, guides to eating them and analysis of their chemical composition. In this chapter, we will focus on the three most commonly sought-after varieties of psilocybin mushrooms and discuss their characteristics, uses and possible risks associated with their consumption.

Psilocybe cubensis

Psilocybe cubensis is a psilocybin mushroom, which is the most common species. It is found all over the world, but is most often found in Mexico, Central America and South America, belongs to the family Hymenogastraceae, it used to be called Stropharia cubensis. It stands out for its high prevalence and ease of cultivation. Psilocybe cubensis contains the psychoactive substance psilocybin, which acts on our brain and causes changes in perception, mood and perception of reality.


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The concentration of psilocybin varies depending on the part of the mushroom: 0.14-0.42%/0.37-1.30% (dried whole mushroom), 0.17-0.78%/0.44-1.35% in the cap and 0.09-0.30%/0.05-1.27% in the stem. Consumption of psilocybe cubensis can lead to the experience of visions, profound spiritual experiences, changes in mood and perception of reality, and induce feelings of euphoria. However, depending on the dose, ingestion of psilocybe cubensis can also cause negative effects such as confusion, overwhelm, panic or even psychosis. Determining the dose is influenced by the individual chemistry of the human brain, as well as various genetic tendencies and mental predispositions. Cubensis was popularized by Terence McKenna, who in the 1970s, together with his brother, traveled through the Amazon to search for psychedelic plants; after one of their expeditions, they published The Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide, in which they asserted the precious experience and ease of growing these mushrooms. A popular method of cultivation is on your own – “cake” method – A mycologist/researcher/psychonaut can purchase a “cake,” or growkit, which yields a limited number of fruiting bodies, as the growkit can be used several times.

Psilocybe semilanceataPsilocybe lanceata

Another popular species, the lanceolate coot, is a psilocybin mushroom that contains the psychoactive substance muscarinic. The appearance of the mushroom is very distinctive, with a sharp bell-shaped cap, often lighter in the central part (this is related to hygrophanousness) and ending in a papilla. The fruiting body is moist, sticky and gives the impression of being rubbery. It can be olive-colored, light brown with sino-green spots. The hat blades are thin and slightly translucent. The mushroom is relatively small from 5 to 10 cm. If you’d like a sneak peek at what it looks like, take a look here.

This species is usually found in forests, mountain slopes, lawns and pastures, primarily in Europe and Asia. The first time, in 1938 to be exact. was identified by Elias Magnus Fries, who was a Swedish mycologist. The researcher gave it the name Agaricus semilanceatus because he thought it was a species of gill fungus, but a little later in 1971 Paul Kummer classified the coot as Psilocybe semilanceata. The name combines psilocybe “smooth head” and semilanceata, which translates as “half-spear shaped.” Ingestion of lanceolate may cause hallucinations, agitation, dizziness and dry mouth. As with psilocybe cubensis, consumption of lanceolate baldcypress can lead to positive or negative effects, so it is important to consume them in moderation and with extreme caution.

Red toadstool or Amanita Muscaria

The last species of magic mushrooms worth mentioning are toadstools. Flytraps – beautiful red, dignified psilocybin mushrooms, are found all over the world, but are most commonly found in the northern hemisphere in Europe and Asia. They usually grow in groups, for several years in the same place. They owe their name to flies 😉 Well, toadstools were used as a decoy for insects, they were crushed and poured over milk, the concoction attracted insects, which under the influence of the substance died or drowned.

The Latin word musca means nothing more than a fly. Despite this trivial use, no mushroom has lived to see such an extensive legacy in widely understood folklore. Through its picturesqueness and extravagant appearance, the toadstool is definitely the king of mushrooms. As a witness to fairy tales, fables and myths, he even went down in history as a symbol of forest pop culture. Alice from Alice in Wonderland just snacked on a toadstool, and also the reindeer who carry the (red) Santa Claus across the sky like amanita. Interestingly, Scandinavian shepherds are amateurs of reindeer urine – which contains psychoactive substances from previously digested toadstools. (By the way, what man won’t do to fly a little).

Flytraps contain the psychoactive substance muscimol, which acts on our brains and causes changes in perception. In addition, it contains ibotenic acid, as well as muscagon and muscarinic (although in different concentrations). These psychoactive compounds are unfortunately also toxins, meaning they can lead to poisoning. The effects after ingestion depend on the form of ingestion, individual tolerance to the substances in question and the amount of mushrooms consumed. Consuming them can lead to experiencing visions, enter altered states of consciousness, but can also cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, and more severe cases can lead to hospitalization. Therefore, eating toadstools is very dangerous and not recommended.

The most powerful hallucinogenic mushrooms

The psilocybin mushrooms that are the most potent in terms of psilocybin content are the species: Psilocybe azurescens, Psilocybe cyanescens and Psilocybe bohemica. Their psilocybin content can reach as much as 1-2% of dry weight, which means they are about 10 times more potent than other popular species such as Psilocybe cubensis or Psilocybe semilanceata.

The use of psilocybin in medicine

Despite their potentially harmful effects, psilocybin mushrooms are gaining popularity for their medicinal uses. In studies conducted at universities in the United States and in Europe, it has been shown that psilocybin can be used to treat mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD. Consumption of psilocybe cubensis or other magic mushrooms under the supervision of a doctor can help treat these diseases, as well as assist in palliative treatment. Several countries have already led the decriminalization of mushrooms, and have active scientific centers studying these substances. Of the most popular, we can mention Johns Hopkins University, Imperial College London, Vancouver Island University, Oregon Health & Science University. If you want to learn more about treatment with psychedelics please see our other post here.

However, it is important to remember that magic mushrooms are psychoactive substances that can lead to serious side effects and endanger health. In many countries (min. Poland), possession and consumption of magic mushrooms is illegal and punishable, so one should always be cautious and obey the law.

Effects of psilocybin mushrooms on perception of reality

Psilocybin mushrooms and their effect on world perception is a very intriguing topic. Magic mushrooms – the epithet itself seems to us not very serious, but what else to call a substance that, when taken, transports a person to another reality, and in addition, can affect a change in personality, change the way we think, and even heal the soul? Hallucinogenic mushrooms have been present in human life since the dawn of time, used in rituals and ceremonies for thousands of years, connecting the spirit world with the material world.

Consumption of magic mushrooms can lead to a change in perception of reality, which can be very fascinating, but also dangerous. People who have consumed psilocybin mushrooms often describe experiences of expanding consciousness, feeling a deeper oneness with the world or discovering new aspects of their personality. Used by shamans, magicians and witches, it was a powerful tool that did not fit into Christian culture. Because how do you explain to people the need for the institution of the church if they can eat a mushroom and experience revelation? The popularity of mushrooms was suppressed, and people who used their properties were considered devils and witches – burning them at the stake.

One of the most important challenges associated with magic mushrooms is the need to legalize them for clinical trials so that they can effectively treat those in need with them under controlled conditions. Many countries around the world still consider the consumption of magic mushrooms a crime, making it difficult to conduct laboratory research. Nevertheless, some universities and institutes around the world are leaning toward using psilocybin in medicine, which could lead to a revolution in the treatment of many conditions. Particularly noteworthy here is depression, which has already become a disease of civilization, its scope is frightening, as well as the lack of traditional medical facilities to deal with the scale of the problem.

Hallucinogenic mushrooms in religion and culture

Are psilocybin mushrooms behind the creator of the concept of “god”? Affecting the nervous system in a very intense way, they have been classified as drugs, although they are not an addictive substance. Used already in primitive societies, they witnessed mystical ceremonies, religious rituals, but also healed souls and bodies. Mushrooms were the intermediary between the spiritual and earthly worlds. They were an intermediary between “god” and man, being an integral part of faith and religion. Shamans, magicians, or oracles used psychoactive substances to read their visions and give others guidance.

Psilocybin mushrooms – popularity

One of the reasons why psilocybin mushrooms are growing in popularity is their association with folk cultures and traditions. They are the core of displaced traditions. Many people believe that eating magic mushrooms can lead to a deeper understanding of oneself and increased awareness and spirituality.

Consumption of hallucinogenic plants has varied around the world. People in Europe, Asia, or Africa were less likely to use psychoactive substances than people in the New World, i.e. North and South America.

This may explain the different climate, but it is not a thoroughly researched topic. Perhaps the progress of civilization and the culture of Christians has supplanted their use? Comparing quantitatively it looks as follows: Western Hemisphere – 100 species of hallucinogenic plants, Eastern Hemisphere 15-20. Many accounts of the use of sacred mushrooms come from missionaries wandering through Mexico.

They described them as harmful, intoxicating substances from which people have visions, become dazed, dance and cry at the same time. The conquistadors were very much against traditional rituals and attacked Indian sacraments in a bestial way. The Spanish imposed their religion, which did not accept inexplicable psychedelics. Christianity has supplanted native ceremonies, however, traditional Indian rituals can still be found inland today. Modern Indians exemplify the preservation of their sacred autonomy although they combine Mazatec traditions with Christian elements.
They place their sacred mushrooms on the Catholic altars of churches built by the Spanish. Collected during the new moon by virgins, these mushrooms are a unique offering that is eaten by participants led by a shaman (curander). The all-night ceremony is accompanied by chants and prayers that witness healings and human connection to the intangible.

Effects of consuming magic mushrooms

In this chapter we will discuss the effects of mushrooms through the prism of frequency of consumption

Short-term effects of consumption which give psilocybin mushrooms

They depend on the dose and individual characteristics of the body. After about 30-60 minutes, psilocybin mushrooms begin to take effect, the first signs appear, such as a change in visual and auditory perception, an intense flow of thoughts, as well as increased feelings of empathy and euphoria. Nausea, vomiting and problems with motor coordination are also common. These effects can last from 4 to 8 hours, depending on the dose.

Long-term effects of psilocybin mushroom consumption

They are less well known and more controversial. Some studies suggest that regular consumption of psilocybin can lead to changes in the brain, such as increasing the number of connections between neurons, which can improve learning and memory. However, there are also reports of potential risks associated with eating these mushrooms, such as an increased risk of mental illnesses such as psychosis and bipolar affective disorder.

In any case, it is important that before you decide to use psilocybin mushrooms – prepare properly and follow safety rules when consuming them, such as controlling the dose, choosing the right place and avoiding situations that may increase the risk of negative experiences. If you develop any worrisome symptoms after ingesting psilocybin mushrooms, seek medical advice as soon as possible.

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