How psilocybin in magic mushroom affects you?

The magic mushroom consumption produces the psychic experience. Some also report it to be a near-spiritual experience. It consists of psychotropics like psilocybin. The active ingredient is psilocin. The psilocybin breaks down into psilocin in the body system, which starts producing the psychedelic effects. Unlike LSD, they have a long history of religious and spiritual beliefs. Some also reported that the effect of magic mushrooms is milder than marijuana. 

Under the psychedelic influence of psilocybin, you experience no hallucinations technically. All the colors and images start looking distorted. Experiencing intensified emotions and time distortions (time feels to move slowly) is one of the side effects. There is no evidence of death due to the use of magic mushrooms until now. The consumption should increase a hundredfold to result in the death of an individual. Nausea, vomitings, and migraines are the side-effects of the use.

Common ways of consumption of magic mushrooms

  • Few people simply chew the mushroom. The effect of psychotropics reduces as it dries. The dry mushrooms have a bitter taste due to which they are consumed along with sweeteners- like honey and fruits like strawberry.
  • Some cook the mushroom before consumption, which eventually reduces the effect of the drug.
  • A few have a habit of brewing the mushroom into a tea by grinding them, and some eat it alongside beverages. They soak it in tequila or rum, which intensifies the effect of psychotropic agents. 
  • Some people process it into a pill with gelatin coating. This coating helps avoid the taste and texture of the mushroom.

What happens after psilocybin enters our system?

After ingesting the drug, the body’s metabolism breaks it down into psilocin. Psilocin attacks the prefrontal cortex, which regulates mood and perception. The psilocin drug is a structural analog of serotonin and attaches itself to the serotonin receptors. This process signals the reuptake of serotonin- the mood stabilizer.

The reuptake drives the mind to a state of overdrive, where it starts experiencing hallucinations and euphoria. The influence makes the subject listen and see things that are not real. The neurons divert and rearrange themselves to form stabler connections, making it difficult to differentiate reality and fantasy. 

Moreover, people addicted to or under the influence of other drugs like LSD, mescaline, and marijuana, are tolerant to psilocybin. This condition is because of the cross-tolerance developed due to the use of other similar drugs. They require a higher concentration to experience the effects.

How does psilocybin affect the brain?

Once the drug enters our system, it starts influencing the brain within 20 to 90 minutes of consumption. It increases the activity of the hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex, and the dreaming mind. The subjects start to experience intensified emotions- like sexual desires and euphoria.

The primary reason behind the effect is the reuptake of serotonin. Although, the impact of the drug varies from person to person, and strain to strain of magic mushrooms– for instance, the strain P. cubensis produces a more potent effect in contrast to those found on the coast that provides a much weaker effect.

The effect remains in the body for about 12 hours after which, the drug excretes out of the system. Rarely, the impact of the drug persists for about a year or so. This effect is not under the influence of the drug; rather, it is the psychological experience of a person that holds the subject in a trance.

How does one feel under the influence of the drug?

After the drug enters the system, it reduces the blood flow to the brain to a considerable amount. It also influences the primary functioning of the default mode network. This influence drives the individual to more creativity and lateral thinking. In other words, it increases the openness of an individual, which usually decreases with age—the subject’s attitude towards new experiences and fantasy changes. As the name suggests- psychedelic means ‘mind revealing.’

Some regions of the brain undergo hyperactivity, while others mute due to which the individual starts to lose the sense of self temporarily. Sometimes under a lasting influence, the person begins exploring new perceptions.

They start to believe that their view of the world is not the only view. Under this influence, the person no longer takes anything for granted. These kinds of effects provoked researchers to examine the underlying mechanism to use it for mental treatments.

Can the psilocybin drug help cure depression?

A person experiences depression when the emotional brain enters a state of hyperactivity. In depression, the connections between neurons are overactive, making it challenging to perform other focused functions. The neural connections are less organized in the brain.

Besides, the drug binds to the receptors that stimulate healing by repairing the cells in the brain. Additionally, the drug starts creating new and stable neural connections. This process helps compensate for the effect of overactive connections, as in depression.

Psilocybin resets the activity of brain circuits, without any emotional blunting. It acts like antidepressants, which work on the principle of the reuptake of serotonin inhibition. Hence, it is also called the wonder drug.

Its activity creates a hotspot for research and study for its medicinal use in treating mental illnesses. The moderate use of psilocybin with psychotherapy can be a treatment for anxiety and depression.

Why is the use of psilocybin not certified for medical purposes?

There is no addiction towards the drug and produces fewer toxins, which is a desirable feature of a drug. It is the primary reason researchers and doctors leaned towards the use of psilocybin. Although 79% of subjects reported satisfaction and happiness after the use of the drug, 22% reported paranoia and fear, which refers to the bad trips they experience. This experience varies between individuals and is not a risk the current medical treatment should take– with the number of drugs available in the market.

The drug usually wears off the system within 12 hours after excretion. According to urine tests, it may stay in the system for up to three days and may also influence the pH of the system.

Though the drug has many advantages, the effect of the drug lasts for an extended period. Hence, authorities didn’t approve it for medicinal purposes since no medicine should have such a lasting effect.

Related: Is Dopamine responsible for your drug addiction?

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