The Effects of Shrooms (Magic Mushrooms)
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.
Effects of Psilocybin
Shrooms contain psilocybin, a naturally occurring hallucinogenic compound that is converted to psilocin once ingested into the body. Psilocybin in the shrooms activates serotonin receptors mainly in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which controls mood, cognition, and perception, typically where the effects manifest for those who partake.
Effects of shrooms typically begin to take effect about 30 minutes after ingestion and last between four and six hours afterwards. The effects of shrooms vary depending on quantity ingested, past uses, the freshness of the shrooms, and a myriad of other factors, including the mental state and mood of the person taking them.
The textbook effects of shrooms are usually listed as:
- Overwhelmed/excited by setting and environment
Many, or all of these, can be true. However, shrooms can also have other, more intriguing side effects that can benefit users looking to navigate and better handle life. Studies have shown shrooms have the potential to treat cancer, depression, anxiety, addiction, and a range of other psychiatric and behavioural disorders.
How Magic Mushrooms Affect You Long Term
For those of us who have grown weary of life’s ups and downs, there can be a tendency to shut down to new experiences. The effects of shrooms can help here, allowing people to be more open to new experiences or opportunities. There was a study conducted in 2011 that found “significant increases in openness after a high-dose psilocybin session that were larger in magnitude than changes in personality typically observed in healthy adults over decades of life experience…openness remained significantly higher than baseline more than one year after the session.”
The effects of shrooms have also been proven to be very beneficial to people suffering from depression. Though shrooms are not a registered, approved treatment for depression (yet), one woman described the effects of shrooms on her depression, saying they “completely br[oke] my mental shackles.” Dr. Rosalind Watts is a clinical psychologist from Imperial College who has dedicated her career to the groundbreaking Psilocybin for Depression study, the findings of which she presented in an engaging TEDx Talk. Her research has shown the use of psilocybin resulted in “immediate relief that lasted for months, with no side effects and it seemed to be working on the root causes rather than just suppressing symptoms [as compared to antidepressants].”
Shrooms can also serve another crucial function—the dissolution of the ego. Shrooms can allow users to step outside the limits and constructs of their own self and instead begin to truly see the world around them and the expansive connectedness of all living things. Michael Pollan is an author and activist whose work delves deep into the world of psychedelics. The most beneficial effects of shrooms, according to Pollan, is: “The wider you make that sense of self, the less consequential your own extinction becomes. People are experiencing a consciousness less bound by their bodies, less bound by their ego. You can see the world, at least temporarily, from a broader perspective.”
Shrooms are a greatly misunderstood gift. There’s a reason that the Aztecs considered shrooms holy sacraments, calling them teonanácatl or “God’s flesh.” The effects of shrooms can be boiled down to a list of “side effects,” ranging from mediocre pros to dangerous cons. Still, the truth is that shrooms can bring everything we know into question, dissolving cultural structures and opinions that rulers and governments have carefully crafted for centuries.
If you’ve ever considered trying shroom tea, find out how here.