Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical in certain mushrooms that grow in Europe, South America, Mexico, and the United States. Mushrooms that contain psilocybin are known as magic mushrooms.
Individuals use psilocybin as a recreational drug. It can provide feelings of euphoria and sensory distortion that are common to hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research published a landmark studyTrusted Source on the safety and positive effects of psilocybin in 2006. Researchers have also investigated whether it may be used to treat various medical conditions.
In October 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize psilocybin. This allows for a 2-year period to consider regulatory and prescribing requirements.
Psilocybin is a Schedule I substance, meaning that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) believes it has a high potential for abuse and serves no legitimate medical purpose.
What is psilocybin?
Psilocybin is a hallucinogen that people can ingest through certain types of mushrooms.
How it works
Shroom chocolate bars works by activating serotonin receptors, most often in the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain affects mood, cognition, and perception. Hallucinogens also work in other regions of the brain that regulate arousal and panic responses.
Psilocybin does not always cause active visual or auditory hallucinations. Instead, it distorts how some people that use the drug perceive objects and people already in their environment.
The quantity of the drug a person consumes, their past experiences, and their expectations of how the experience will take shape can all impact the effects of psilocybin.
The hallucinogenic effects of psilocybin usually occur within 30 minutes after a person ingests it and last 4–6 hours. In some individuals, changes in sensory perception and thought patterns can last for several days.
The potency of a magic mushroom depends on:
- growing conditions
- harvest period
- whether a person eats them fresh or dried
The amount of psilocybin in dried mushrooms is about 10 times higher than that found in their fresh counterparts.
Mushrooms containing psilocybin are small and usually brown or tan. In the wild, people often mistake mushrooms containing psilocybin for any number of other mushrooms that are poisonous.
People usually consume psilocybin as a brewed tea or prepare it with a food item to mask its bitter taste. Manufacturers also crush dried mushrooms into a powder and prepare them in capsule form. Some people who consume these mushrooms cover them with chocolate.
Extent of use
The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health suggested that 8.5% of people in the U.S. had used psilocybin at some point in their life.
The ritual use of psilocybin for mystical or spiritual purposes dates backTrusted Source to pre-Columbian Mesoamerican societies and continues to this day. Psilocybin is often used recreationally at dance clubs or by people seeking a transcendent spiritual experience.
Some scientists have questioned its effectiveness and safety as a therapeutic measure.
Street names for magic mushrooms
Street names for magic mushrooms
People may also refer to magic mushrooms as:
- simple Simon
- little smoke
- sacred mushrooms
- purple passion
- mushroom soup
Effects Of Shroom Bars
The effects of psilocybin are generally similar to those of LSD. They include altered perception of time and space and intense changes in mood and feeling.
Other possible effects of psilocybin include:
- spiritual awakening
- derealization, or the feeling that surroundings are not real
- depersonalization, or a dream-like sense of being disengaged from surroundings
- distorted thinking
- visual alteration and distortion, such as seeing halos of light and vivid colors
- dilated pupils
- drowsiness and yawning
- impaired concentration
- muscle weakness
- lack of coordination
- unusual body sensations
- nausea and vomiting
- frightening hallucinations
The effects of psilocybin vary between people, based on the user’s mental state, personality, and immediate environment.
If the user has a mental health condition or feels anxious about using the hallucinogen, they face a higher risk of having a bad experience.
Psychological distress is the adverse event most often reported after recreational use of psilocybin. This distress can take the form of extreme anxiety or short-term psychosis.
Psilocybin as a treatment for depression in 2023
Researchers have investigated whether psychological specialists can use psilocybin and similar hallucinogens as a treatment for depression.
One study examined the ability of psilocybin to reduce depression symptoms without dulling emotions. Results indicated that psilocybin may be successful in treating depression with psychological support.
The other study assessed the relationshipTrusted Source between psilocybin-induced hallucinations and positive therapeutic outcomes.