Magic mushrooms are naturally occurring, non-poisonous fungi which contain varying amounts of the conscious-altering substances psilocybin and psilocin.
When eaten or drunk in a tea, they combine readily and hungrily with the brain to evoke a powerful psychedelic trip experience, shorter-lived but similar in tone and effect to LSD.
There are over 90 species of magic mushrooms worldwide. Common varieties include UK and Northern Europe's 'Liberty Caps' (Psilocybe semilanceata) and North America's Psilocybe cubensis.
The world's most famous magic mushroom is the European Fly Agaric (amanita muscaria), the red-and-white spotted toadstool which often pops up in children's literature. However, it contains not psilocybin, but ibotenic acid and muscimol which have very different effects.
Mushrooms are light to dark brown in color and come in fresh, dried or powdered forms. All of them taste disgusting.
They smell distinctively 'mushroomy' and are impossible to confuse with any other powdered drug.
They usually sell for around $7 per gram.
Magic mushrooms are schedule 1 drugs in the US. In the UK, mushrooms and psilocybin are class A drugs, alongside LSD, cocaine and heroin.
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