Psychedelics, such as magic mushrooms, are making waves when treating complex mental illnesses like major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Approximately 9 percent of Canadians have experienced PTSD in their lifetime, with men being more likely to experience trauma but women more likely to develop PTSD symptoms. Here we will discuss using psychedelics to treat PTSD and what the research says, so far. But first, let’s define what post-traumatic stress disorder is.
Description of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that results from having experienced or witnessed trauma. Though it is important to note that not everyone who experiences trauma develops PTSD and what is considered traumatic differs between people.
People who have experienced trauma often have intense, disturbing thoughts or feelings related to that experience long after the trauma event(s) have passed.
PTSD symptoms fall into four categories:
- Intrusive thoughts. Repeated, involuntary memories, frightening dreams, or flashbacks of the traumatic event. For some, flashbacks may feel like they are reliving the traumatic experience.
- Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event. This may include avoiding people, places, activities, objects, and situations that bring distressing memories. They may also resist talking about what happened or how they feel about it.
- Negative thoughts and feelings. This may include distorted beliefs about oneself or others (ex., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted”), ongoing fear, horror, anger, guilt, shame, significantly less interest in activities previously enjoyed, or feeling detached from others.
- Reactive symptoms may include being irritable and having angry outbursts, behaving recklessly or self-destructively, being easily startled, or having problems concentrating or sleeping. (source)
Traditional Treatment for PTSD
Mental health professionals, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, use various methods to help people with PTSD recover. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one evidence-based treatment that is often used in combination with medication.
While these treatment methods are effective, many people find that psychedelics provide additional benefits for treating PTSD, particularly since treatment can be fairly complex.
Psychedelics to Treat PTSD – What the Research Says
Psychedelics have shown promise in treatment for psychological disorders and received breakthrough therapy status in 2019 for major depression. In Canada, psilocybin has now been approved for end-of-life care use by a limited number of health professionals.
Does the research support the use of psychedelics to treat PTSD?
A 2013 study found psilocybin stimulates neurogenesis (the growth and repair of brain cells) in the hippocampus, the brain’s centre for emotion and memory. In the study, mice given psilocybin overcame fear conditioning far better than mice given a placebo. These results support the hypothesis that psilocybin can help break the traumatic cycle in patients with PTSD.
Stephen Ross, MD, a psychiatrist at NYU Langone, conducted a study on terminally ill cancer patients and found that one-time treatment with psilocybin quickly brought relief from distress.
Other acute effects that substantiate their potential therapeutic role in the treatment of PTSD include:
- Emotional empathy
- Increases in creative divergent thinking
- Enhanced mindfulness-related capacities
- Increased insightfulness
- Reduced avoidance and increases in acceptance and connectedness
- Long-term increases in the personality trait of openness
A 2020 study provided psilocybin therapy and group therapy sessions to survivors of the AIDS pandemic who reported feeling demoralized. At 3 months, researchers saw significant reductions in participants’ symptoms of demoralization.
Using Psychedelics to Treat PTSD
Psychedelics are not an alternative to traditional treatment methods for PTSD. Those diagnosed with PTSD or experiencing similar symptoms should speak to a mental health professional.
If you decide to use psychedelics to treat PTSD with or without the support and guidance of your mental health professional, please use them responsibly and take the time to prepare for the experience.
Since psychedelics can bring up a lot of feelings, they can leave people feeling vulnerable. Because of this, we stress the importance of taking care of yourself psychologically after the experience. For some, this may mean seeking support from their mental health professional. For others, this may mean seeking support from friends and loved ones and engaging in therapeutic activities such as journaling.
Learn more about integration after a psychedelic experience.
Psychedelic Dose or Microdose for PTSD?
Research has focused on a psychedelic dose of magic mushrooms, but that doesn’t mean that microdosing won’t have similar therapeutic benefits.
Until we know more about using psychedelics to treat PTSD, it’s up to your personal choice if you want to microdose or try a psychedelic dose.
A psychedelic dose may lead you to experience ego death, which can be healing but also may be overwhelming. A microdose may provide therapeutic benefits with less intensity.
Photo by Gadiel Lazcano on Unsplash
People ask this question a lot, in terms of how long mushrooms last in storage, in their system, and the length of the high and aftereffects. So, here we plan to demystify the mysterious mushroom and answer all questions around timings.
How Long Do Dry Mushrooms Last in Storage?
The most efficient way to store dried mushrooms is in a sealed jar with some food-grade silica gel packets. You can buy these online. Keep the jar sealed tight and place it somewhere dark, always out of direct sunlight. This is the best and simplest way to store dried shrooms and will keep them edible for up to a year. It works for weed too.
How to Store Shrooms in Honey
Storing your dried shrooms in honey is another tasty solution. This is sometimes called blue honey or shroom honey. You just need enough liquid honey to cover your shrooms and you’re good to go. It’s best to use this method with dried shrooms rather than fresh.
Making Shroom Honey:
- Chop your shrooms up small.
- Put them into a mason jar, Tupperware, or other sealable container.
- Pour liquid honey over the shrooms and stir for an even covering.
- Seal and store in a cool, dark spot for up to four months.
- Check back often for signs of moulding.
How to Store Shrooms in Tea
Once you’ve brewed up some trippy tea, you can store it like iced tea in a sealer pitcher in the refrigerator. It should be fine for up to a week.
How to Store Shrooms in Chocolate
You can buy a number of different shroom chocolates these days. However, it’s fairly simple to make your own. Shrooms aren’t known for their flavour, so it’s easy to see why coating them in delicious chocolate has become popular. However, they don’t last as long as other storage methods.
Store your shroom chocolates in a sealed contained in the fridge. You can line the container with unbleached baking paper to stop them from sticking. They should last in the fridge for a month or so, if you can keep from indulging in them for that long.
How to Store Shroom Capsules
Shroom capsules are a great way to get the effects you want without the unfortunate taste. You can manage your dosage better when microdosing and swallow the shrooms in an easy tasteless cap.
We’re starting to repeat ourselves now, but you guessed it: store your caps in an airtight container in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, with silica gel packets for a longer shelf life. They should be good for up to a year, but naturally you want to check on them from time to time and make sure they aren’t moulding.
Storing Fresh Shrooms in the Fridge
It’s recommended to dry fresh mushrooms as soon as possible to ensure they don’t rot. If you can’t, place them on a sheet of unbleached paper towel in a paper bag, fold the opening of the bag to seal it, then put it in the fridge. If the mushrooms are fresh and whole, they should last 5-10 days. They will then need to be consumed or dried to store for longer without rotting. Monitor these mushrooms for mould in the meantime.
How Long Does a Magic Mushroom High Last?
If you eat magic mushrooms raw, you’ll start to feel the come up about 30 minutes to an hour later. If you crush the shrooms first, take ground mushrooms or mix them with lemon juice (called lemon tekking) then the effects can kick in faster, as soon as 10-15 minutes.
You will usually hit your peak at around an hour to an hour and a half. The effects usually last around four to six hours.
You may want to take note of the time you consumed the mushrooms as you can lose your sense of time while on them. However, as long as you’re in a good mindset and setting, it should all be chill, and you won’t have a care about the time.
You’ll know you’re feeling the effects when a sense of euphoria overtakes you. You’ll start to feel yourself open up and the colours of the world will become more vivid. This could be accompanied by some visual hallucinations, such as objects appearing to breathe, morph, or have fractal patterns on them.
The intensity of your trip can vary based on:
How much you consume: The quantity of mushrooms you consume will naturally affect the intensity of the high. More mushrooms equal more psychedelic compounds in your system.
If you ate recently. Eating the shrooms on an empty stomach will make your trip more intense and reduce the chances of feeling nauseous.
The potency of the mushrooms. The potency of the mushrooms, like with cannabis or alcohol, can affect the speed and intensity of effects.
Past experience with psychedelics. Your first time taking shrooms will likely be quite intense, but if you’re a regular user you can develop a tolerance to the effects. This means the same amount won’t get you as high.
Expectations. It’s possible that due to the power of the mind, having positive expectations going into a trip will raise your chances of prolonged positive psychological effects during and after a trip.
Many medicinal mushroom users have described an afterglow: a better mood lasting anywhere from hours to days after a macrodose of shrooms.
How Long Do Shrooms Stay in Your System?
While the high will probably end by the 8-hour point, you can feel some effects for maybe 15 hours afterwards. By 24 hours you should be feeling completely yourself again. These timings vary person to person.
How Long are Mushrooms Detectable By a Drug Test?
This is a tough question. There are a bunch of different tests out there and some are better at picking up trace amounts of chemicals in your system than others. The detection period will vary with each test too. Although, according to Healthline, most routine drug tests can’t detect shrooms.
Your everyday office drug test will be a urine test. Most of the time you’ll have passed any traces of mushrooms within 24 hours. Still, some research suggests that small amounts are detectable even a week later. So, if keeping your job depends on a drug test, lay off the shrooms for at least a week beforehand.
Your body should metabolize magic mushrooms too fast for them to show up in a blood or saliva test unless you’re unfortunate enough to take it on the same day. Hair follicle tests are rare due to their cost, but they can detect shrooms for up to 90 days.
When most of us think about magic mushrooms, we are likely picturing the species Psilocybe cubensis. These tend to be among the most commonly cultivated mushrooms because they’re relatively easy to grow indoors. Because of the ease of cultivation, there are now 60 strains, maybe more, of psilocybe cubensis; some of the most popular mushrooms include Blue Meanies, Golden Teachers, Penis Envy, B+, and Pink Buffalo.
What Makes Blue Meanies Challenging to Understand?
Blue Meanies are named after the bright blueish colour they turn when handled. Unfortunately, most species of mushrooms turn some shade of blue when handled, as a result, different species of mushrooms have been called blue meanies, so it’s essential to know the difference.
There is a Blue Meany in the psilocybe cubensis species, but there is also a Blue Meany in the panaeolus cyanescens species. The panaeolus cyanescens is considered the ‘real’ species of Blue Meanies mushrooms, but who gets to decide what’s real? We love our Blue Meanie P. cubensis.
It’s important to distinguish between these two species because of the potency. The panaeolus cyanescens species of Blue Meanies mushrooms are much more potent.
Here we are talking about the Blue Meanie P. cubensis strain.
What is a Blue Meanie Mushroom?
The magic mushroom strain Blue Meanie of the species P. cubensis is thought to have originated from Australia. It’s named for the vivid blue bruising that appears when the fruiting body is handled.
While all magic mushrooms will turn slightly blue from being handled (i.e. bruised or damaged somewhat), this is more prevalent with the Blue Meanies strain due to the high psilocybin content.
Visually, these shrooms have relatively large fruiting bodies with thick, dense stems and caps that mature from golden brown to light yellow and with pronounced remnants of universal veil on top (spots).
Effects of Blue Meanies Mushrooms – Psilocybe Cubensis
Blue Meanies mushrooms are considered one of the most potent P. cubensis strains.
After consumption, it will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour to feel the effects, and the experience will last between 4 and 8 hours.
The differences between mushroom strains and species have yet to be studied clinically because clinical studies on magic mushrooms are preliminary and focus on psilocybin, not the whole mushroom. Despite this, users and mushroom experts have recorded their experience with various species.
What are people saying about them?
Despite the name, Blue Meanies, they don’t have a ‘mean’ effect. They’re associated with feelings of euphoria and often intense visuals.
The intensity of the visuals depends on the dose as with other strains of mushrooms. However, many people on reddit note an intense psychedelic experience at between 1 and 1.5g. They describe the experience with Blue Meanies mushrooms to be full of giggles as they’re coming up and intense staring at the sky or other visuals during the peak of the experience.
Dosage for Blue Meanies
Some dosage calculators can help you determine the best starting dose for magic mushrooms; however, they don’t take strain into account.
If you’re experienced with magic mushrooms and trying Blue Meanies for the first time, there are two things to consider when determining the dose.
- Are you hoping for a similar high as to what you’ve experienced previously? If yes, you will want to take a smaller dose to account for the higher potency.
- Are you trying Blue Meanies because you’re looking for more intensity? If yes, you may want to consider sticking with your typical dose.
When considering the dose for magic mushrooms, there are a lot of things to take into consideration.
The first is your goals. Are you seeking a microdose? Are you looking for the full hallucinogenic effects with visuals? Something in between? A conservative hallucinogenic dose to try out the strain?
The second thing to consider is experience or tolerance level. However, we always recommend starting with a small dose if you’re new to magic mushrooms or trying a different strain.
And, of course, like any other hallucinogens, they can impact people differently based on tolerance, body size, and other factors.
Buying Blue Meanies Mushrooms
Ready to give Blue Meanies a try? You can purchase them here in 1g, 7g, 14g and 28g quantities.
Not sure they’re are right for you? Check out some of the other strains in our online dispensary or learn more about magic mushrooms on our blog.
With more and more people opening their minds to mushrooms’ healing and therapeutic properties, there is more interest in various ways of taking them. There are, of course, many ways that you can choose to indulge in mushrooms, but a popular method is making mushroom tea. It’s nearly as simple as it sounds, but for those of you wondering how to make mushroom tea, we’ve got the whole process below.
Magic Mushroom Tea Recipe
What you’ll need:
- Ingredient bowl
- Coffee grinder (or anything that will allow you to chop up the mushrooms finely)
- Strainer or coffee filter
- Your favourite mug
- Your preferred dose of mushrooms (ground mushrooms can help here)
- At least 2 cups of hot water, more if you’d like
- Tea (optional)
- Honey (optional)
- Chopped, raw ginger (optional)
- Weigh your dose. Be very careful with this step, especially if you’re a first-time magic mushroom tea maker. You’ll want to take the same dose you usually do, or perhaps a few grams less, as the tea allows the mushrooms to be absorbed faster.
- Grind up your shrooms. You can do this using a coffee grinder (make sure the coffee is all cleaned out!), a mortar and pestle, or you can chop them by hand but remember, they have to be very fine.
- Chop up your ginger and add it to your mushroom powder. Ginger is optional but is very helpful with calming the stomach and covering the taste of the mushrooms in the tea.
- Bring your water to a boil. Once it has boiled, allow the water to sit for about 20 seconds.
- Add half of the water to the mushroom and ginger mix in a cup or container. If you’re adding a teabag, you can do so here. Allow to steep for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea into a mug.
- Bring the second half of your water to a boil, and once again, let rest for about 20 seconds once it has boiled.
- Pour the water over the mushrooms, ginger and teabag mixture allowing it to steep for another 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea into the same mug as the first batch.
- Add honey to taste if desired.
- Throw away the remaining mushrooms.
And that’s how to make mushroom tea! You can use it as a method to microdose or macrodose. Once you’ve made it a few times, you may want to make some adjustments to the ingredients and process. If you find that double steeping the mushrooms doesn’t work for you, steeping them only once is absolutely an option. You can also play with additives and other flavour options you can add to your mushroom tea. Green tea, chamomile, or lemon tea are all popular flavours that compliment the earthy taste of mushrooms. Magic mushroom tea can make your trip come on faster, as the mushrooms are finely ground, and it can also lessen the time of your trip. If you experience nausea when taking mushrooms, learning how to make mushroom tea is an excellent alternative as the tea and ginger combination can lessen feelings of nausea. For many, the ritual of making the mushroom tea is the perfect lead-in to the trip itself. Drying your shrooms into tea is also a good way to make them last longer.
If you’re looking for more in-depth explanation about the effects of shrooms click here.
The earliest evidence of shroom usage has been traced back to aboriginal tribes from North Africa around 9000 BC, and nearly 11,000 years later, human beings are still fascinated by the use and effects of shrooms. People often write shrooms off as a 60s drug that brings out the “crazy,” making you act unbalanced and erratic. But, in reality, the effects of shrooms are proving very beneficial for almost anyone who takes them. However, as shrooms are not legalized, there is a lot of confusion and questions about the effects of shrooms for those looking to indulge.