If it’s natural, it can’t be bad, right? Guided by this fallacious reasoning, there are many young people, and not so young, who firmly believe that consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms will do them better than harm.
Nothing could be further from the truth, because these mushrooms, which contain psilocybin in uncontrolled doses, are quite dangerous. A bad trip in a troubled brain can have dramatic consequences.
It is true that ancient cultures used hallucinogenic mushrooms for all kinds of purposes, Mainly of a spiritual and religious nature. There are many rituals in Central America where hallucinogens are used to achieve altered states of consciousness as a means of achieving certain spiritual goals.
Through knowledge of these practices, we have received some of what we know about hallucinogenic mushrooms as well as mythology and their aura of mysticism. The truth is, if we ignore all the magic paraphernalia for a moment, what we have left is mushrooms with estimated amounts of psychedelics.
What do hallucinogenic mushrooms contain?
The secret ingredient that makes us hallucinate when ingesting hallucinogenic mushrooms is psilocybin. It does not exist in a single species of fungus, but it is a family of over 200 different species of fungus. They all produce this compound, so they are grouped together under the same category of hallucinogenic fungi.
In addition to psilocybin, they contain psilocin and beocystin, Which perform the same function, but to a lesser extent.
Properties of psilocybin
Psilocybin is a compound with psychoactive properties. It is a prodrug: A precursor that is converted to psilocin when ingested and metabolized. Once transformed, it acts on the brain in all its psychedelic splendor.
It acts as a functional serotonin agonist because it is similar to it in structure. In this way, it binds to many serotonin receptors, activating the same pathways as this one. In addition, it indirectly influences the production of dopamine in the basal ganglia. The coupling to serotonin receptors and the production of dopamine together explain the hallucinogenic effects.
Metabolism and hallucinogenic fungi
Due to their pharmacokinetic properties, fungi take between 20 and 90 minutes to be digested, pass through the liver and reach the bloodstream. Only then do you notice its effects, which will last between 3 and 6 hours..
The typical recreational dose is estimated to range from 10 to 50 milligrams of psilocybin, and each gram of fresh hallucinogenic mushrooms contains one milligram of this compound, while each gram of mushroom contains dehydrated lucinogens contains 10 milligrams of psilocybin.
However, each person’s metabolism is different. Some people are more sensitive to this compound than others and with very little dose can already have hallucinatory experiences. Because of this and because the amounts of compost in hallucinogenic mushrooms are estimated, people often ingest more than they should and end up having a bad time.
Effects of hallucinogenic mushrooms
Although they get this name because it is the star effect or the one really desired when consumed, there are a multitude of effects occurring at the same time.
Remember that psilocybin is a non-selective agonist of certain serotonin receptors, so it will bind indiscriminately to places where its structure allows, especially in the frontal cortex involved in thinking, mood, and perception.
1. Hallucinatory experiences and sensory alteration
Hallucinations include content of all kinds. These can be of any modality, visual, auditory, sensitive, taste or olfactory. In addition to the presence of hallucinations, the same normal perception is sharpened and changed, the two properties are mixed. It is possible to see common objects of colors which do not match or to perceive them as distorted shapes, to appreciate with a greater intensity sounds which, in the unchanged state, would not be the object of attention , etc.
Again most hallucinatory experiences are positive in tone and they are experienced in a pleasant way, the mood itself and the state induced by the properties of the mushrooms can turn these experiences into a bad trip that will last a long time.
2. Experiences of well-being and openness
Many people, similar to those experienced with MDMA, are opening up more and becoming more creative. It is possible to feel a form of peace and to be in tune with other people and objects accompanied by a need to open up and share this pleasant feeling with others.
3. Relaxation or anxiety
While these wellness experiences occur in a state of deep relaxation, this is not always the case. Some people say experiencing sudden periods of anxiety while traveling with hallucinogenic mushrooms. These periods can range from a few minutes to occupy the entire psychedelic experience and be extremely unpleasant, so that they break away from the magic of the hallucinations and turn them into a bad trance from which it is impossible to escape.
4. Physiological changes
Physiological changes include sweating, tachycardia, nausea, rapid breathing and dilated pupils. Fortunately, hallucinogenic mushrooms do not make very drastic physiological changes, and a high dose is not as dangerous in the physical sense as it is with other drugs.
5. Unpleasant effects
Along with hallucinations and alterations in perception and thinking, another type of side effect can occur. One of the most common unpleasant effects is paranoiaThat is, the belief that someone is being persecuted or the object of some sort of conspiracy. It is a very aversive experience that rubs off on the psychotic and can set in if it gets severe enough.
Long-term effects from misuse of hallucinogenic mushrooms can include persistent psychotic images with hallucinations, delusions and disturbances in thinking, and persistent emotional disturbances such as major depression or dysthymia.
Although not common, these dramatic consequences are unpredictable. Anyone sensitive to hallucinogenic fungi, who has not been well informed, who has taken too much dose, who has not been well accompanied or who has consumed in a hostile environment can end up developing this type of photo which, in in addition to being unpleasant, they are generally not completely reversible and leave consequences in the patient’s personality.