Mushrooms taken for the “high” are labeled psilocybin mushrooms. This is the organic compound naturally produced in mushrooms, in over 200 varietal types. Most users take these mushrooms in much the same way that everyone eats them…on pizza, in salads, stir fries, etc.
Immediate Effects of Mushrooms
Ingesting these types of mushrooms has a strong hallucinogenic effect that begins to affect the user within 20-30 minutes. Early effects of the active ingredients in mushrooms, psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin, are broken down into psilocin once they have been taken. The initial feelings are described as mild anxiety or anticipatory sensations. Entire physical body sensation of energy or mild electricity running through the body is common.
As the drug begins to take effect more powerfully, visual and mental changes take place. These are beginnings of strong emotional and mental charges, such as insight, new perspectives, and changing feelings, sometimes confusion and mild anxiety. Most users report a lot of laughter and strong visual hallucinations when eyes are closed.
The effects one feels on shrooms is similar to those experienced on LSD or mescaline. Users generally report high euphoric sensations, along with great mental and emotional clarity and vision. As the drug becomes more powerfully integrated into the body of the user, vivid visual hallucinations occur.
Some users experience mild nausea and anxiety that may border on paranoia. This occurs most often with high doses of psilocybin. The effects last most strongly for 4-6 hours, with a residual period of up to three hours while the drug wears off for the user. This can prevent users from falling asleep or being able to mentally function.
Research since 2010 is beginning to show the effects of mushrooms, using brain imaging. This data is proving to be of some value in treatment for depression and other psychological problems. Beneficial applications of psilocybin may include treatment for memory loss, such as amnesia or possibly Alzheimer’s as well as other mental health problems where decreases in ruminating thought patterns are required.
Positive Effects of Mushrooms
- mood enhancing, euphoric
- laughing and giggling, general feeling of happiness
- strong flow of creativity, which can be in various forms
- insightful ideas and sense of creative energy
- users experience a strong sense of wonder and awe
- most users report feeling spiritually uplifted and impacted
- some medical research indicates relief from cluster headaches
- newer research shows possible treatment benefits for depression and ruminating thoughts
Neutral Effects of Mushrooms
- becoming more intensely aware of emotions and sensations
- change in focus of attention such as seen in other psychoactive drugs
- slows down perception of time, allowing some users to reduce anxiety and stress
- visual and perceptual hallucinations
- dilation of pupils
- retrieval of memories
- sensations of energetic experience (such as buzzing, humming) in the body
- increased heart rate, although some may experience decrease in heart rate
- high blood pressure, especially for those with hypertension
- physical sensation of “stretchiness” of limbs
Negative Effects of Mushrooms
- headaches, often experienced as the effects of the drug wear off, even occurring the next day, and lasting up to 24 hours after taking mushrooms
- intense fear, even paranoia
- nausea, primarily experienced when mushrooms are eaten raw or in dried form
- anxiety, which ranges from mild to extreme and may be caused by higher doses
- some users report being dizzy or experiencing confusion with mushrooms
- can exacerbate mental illness or push latent mental disorders into expression
- attention disruption
- serious interactions have been recognized when mixed with other drugs, especially alcohol
- can cause problems for those with low blood pressure, who may experience lightheadedness and/or loss of consciousness
Permanent Effects of Mushrooms
Few permanent effects are recognized with mushroom use. Those who have psychotic reactions to the drug may have pre-existing mental illness that has not yet been diagnosed. A psychotic experience on hallucinogenic drugs is a risk for those who have latent mental illness. The psychotic experience may have permanent effects on the user. These can be recognized as panic attacks, anxiety and paranoia. A complete psychotic episode of audio or visual hallucinations will occur with use of the drug, but may continue in users with additional mental illness.
Some users reported long-term, even some permanent, effects of using mushrooms including increased memory and insight. Others have reported flashbacks. These are occasions of recurrence of hallucinations that are similar to the high of mushrooms. These are random experiences and few have been substantiated as having been caused by use of mushrooms.
Other mushroom dangers include increased schizophrenic symptoms from those who suffer from that illness. Some users report recurring problems with panic attacks for up to one year after taking mushrooms.