While it’s fascinating in and of itself that a little mushroom can lead you down a mystical, mind-expansive journey, there’s still more than meets the eye to psilocybin cubensis and their psychedelic properties.
Individuals around the globe have long since recognized the therapeutic potential of Ontario’s magic mushroom. However, the United Nations’ Convention on Psychotropic Substances brought all clinical research on hallucinogens — including shrooms — to a halt globally in 1971.
Recently, researchers have revived the study of shrooms in a laboratory setting. While there’s still plenty to learn about psilocybin, what we know so far is sure to blow your mind.
There Are Over 200 Species of Psilocybe Mushrooms
According to a Science & Justice Journal study, there are over 200 species of magic mushrooms. Furthermore, they grow all around the world.
You can find psilocybe mushrooms naturally throughout North America, South America, Hawaii, Australia, Europe, and Asia. There’s a possibility you may have some growing in your backyard without realizing it!
Scientific Study of Shrooms Began in the 1950s
Shrooms have sustained a unique role in South American culture for centuries. Researchers have uncovered ceramics, metal objects, and textiles of psilocybe mushrooms in Peru that date back to 1200-200 BCE, says author Peter Trutmann.
However, the term “magic mushrooms” wasn’t coined by Robert Gordon Wasson until 1957, explains a Neuropsychopharmacology Journal review. The nickname first came about in his article, “Seeking the Magic Mushroom,” which was published in LIFE magazine.
One year later, Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman discovered the magic behind said mushrooms: psilocybin.
“Microdosing” Magic Mushrooms Has Taken Over the STEM Field
Among biohacking and other productivity trends that have taken hold of STEM professionals, microdosing mushrooms are among them.
“Microdosing” means you’re consuming a sub-perceptual dose of psilocybin. This allows you to experience the benefits of shrooms, such as boosting your mood, without the hallucinogenic effects typically associated with tripping.
In more ways than one, microdosing is to psilocybin as CBD is to THC.
According to an International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology study, many STEM field professionals report microdosing shrooms for the following reasons:
- Performance enhancement (36 percent)
- Mood enhancement (29 percent)
- Symptom relief (14 percent)
- Curiosity (15 percent)
- Enhancing empathy and spirituality (5 percent)
Microdosing shrooms have other benefits, as well. A Frontiers in Psychiatry study found microdosing effectively alleviated symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD, migraines, and chronic pain, among other conditions.
Magic Mushrooms Are Among the Most Effective Smoking Cessation Tools to Date
Tobacco is at the root of at least seven million deaths annually around the globe. Despite the detrimental consequences of smoking, experts say it’s still “just as hard (or harder)” to quit as cocaine or heroin.
From nicotine patches to cognitive behavioral therapy, current tools to help individuals stop smoking are lackluster. According to a study published by The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, less than 31 percent of individuals remain smoke-free one-year after using these tools.
That’s where magic mushrooms unexpectedly pop into the picture. Their study found 67 percent of participants were still smoke-free during 12-months after receiving two to three moderate to high psilocybin doses. At an even longer-term follow-up, 60 percent were still smoke-free.
Additionally, almost 87 percent of the participants rated their experiences with shrooms as one of the top five “most personally meaningful and spiritually significant” experiences of their lives.
Shrooms May Cause “Ego Death”
While microdoses of magic mushrooms boost your mood and productivity, higher doses may trigger a phenomenon known as “ego death.”
Ego death is a mystical-type experience in which one “loses their sense of self.” It’s comparable to an extreme state of disassociation, yet it’s regarded as a profoundly positive experience.
A Frontiers in Human Neuroscience study says ego distortions are “central to the psychedelic experience.” From a psychoanalytical perspective, ego death is viewed as a “disruption of ego boundaries.” This causes the lines between your sense of self and the world around you to become blurred.
The respondents in their study said “ego death” made them feel:
- “At one with the universe”
- “A sense of union with others”
- “Less absorbed by my own issues and concerns”
- “All notions of self and identity dissolved away”
While this is an overwhelming experience for some, set and setting play major roles in the outcome of your trip. If you’re in a safe, comforting environment, it’s likely you’ll embrace the process positively.
You Can Brew Magic Mushrooms Into Tea
For those who aren’t too fond of shrooms’ signature bitter taste, you can brew them into a magical tea. In addition to its mystical properties, the tea looks quite mythical thanks to its bright blue color.
It’s quite easy to brew magic mushroom tea, too. All you’ll need is boiling water, reusable tea-bags, and some dried shrooms.
After boiling your shrooms into tea, you can flavor it however you please. Some may opt for lemon while others will stick to good ole fashion honey. You may also brew your shrooms with another tea, such as black tea or herbal tea, for additional flavor.
Psilocybin Increases Serotonin
The active compound in shrooms, psilocybin, is a serotonin agonist. Serotonin is a very important hormone that regulates your mood, digestion, sleep, and blood clotting, says the Hormone Health Network.
Serotonin irregularity is also implicated in several conditions ranging from depression to migraines. This further supports the potential of psilocybin in a clinical setting.
Magic mushrooms are a fascinating, powerful psychedelic with the potential to open your mind in enriching and therapeutic ways. Although shrooms are everywhere, they didn’t make their way into scientific study until the mid-20th century.
With the current revival of psychedelic research, there’s still plenty for researchers to learn about the mystical world of magic mushrooms. However, research thus far has placed great emphasis on their potential for healing psychological disorders.
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Disclaimer: Psilocybin is potentially an illegal substance, and we do not advise you to take psilocybin where it is unlawful to do so. The following information exists solely for educational purposes. Ann Arbor dispensary receives the first recreational marijuana license in Michigan.