Magic mushrooms | FRANK
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‘Shrooms or ‘magic mushrooms’ grow in the wild. They can be swallowed or made into tea.
Many poisonous mushrooms look very similar to ‘magic mushrooms’ and it’s easy for pickers to mistake them. People have fallen severely ill or even died from eating a poisonous mushroom.
Magic mushrooms are often sold raw or dried. In the UK, the most common types are liberty caps (Psilocybe semilanceata) and fly agaric (Amanita muscaria).
- Liberty caps look small tan-coloured mushrooms
- Fly agarics look red and white spotted toadstools
It’s important to know that some types of magic mushroom are stronger than others. For example, the fly agaric mushroom is usually more potent than the liberty cap mushroom.
Liquid psilocybin is another way of taking magic mushrooms. It’s made by extracting psilocybin, the naturally occurring psychedelic drug found in mushrooms liberty caps, and is a clearish pale brown colour. It comes in vials (small bottles).
Liberty caps are usually eaten raw and have a strong earthy taste and rubber- texture – which makes them very chewy.
They don’t taste the mushrooms you cook with at home, and some people try to hide the flavour by putting them in an omelette or in tea.
After picking, liberty caps are often eaten raw or are dried out and stored. People don’t tend to eat fly agaric mushrooms raw as they can make you feel very sick.
By taking drops of liquid psilocybin
Liquid psilocybin is made by extracting psilocybin, the naturally occurring psychedelic drug found in mushrooms liberty caps.
The strength of magic mushrooms varies depending on their freshness, the season and where they grow. It's very difficult to predict the strength of magic mushrooms.
For most people, the world appears distorted when they take mushrooms. Colours, sounds, objects and even time can all seem very different.
Some people get mild hallucinations, which are also called ‘visuals’.
Taking mushrooms can make you feel:
- very giggly
- in awe of the people and things around you
It can also make you feel:
How you feel will be affected by how much you take, your surroundings, who you’re with and how comfortable you are with them, as well as by your mood.
So if you’re in a bad mood, feeling worried or depressed, the magic mushrooms might just make those feelings worse.
This depends on how many magic mushrooms the person takes. If the person takes a small dose of mushrooms you may not even notice that they’re on it.
People who take larger doses of mushrooms can act unpredictably. They can laugh a lot, become fixated on certain things, be emotional or get paranoid.
How long the effects last and the drug stays in your system depends on how much you’ve taken, your size and what other drugs you may have also taken.
If you feel you’re having – or are going to have – a bad trip, let your friends know and get their help. Go to a nice quiet spot where you feel safe and can relax.
Psilocybin is detectable for up to 8 hours.
How long a drug can be detected for depends on how much is taken and which testing kit is used. This is only a general guide.
The biggest danger to your health when taking magic mushrooms is eating a poisonous mushroom by mistake.
There are many types of mushroom in the UK and some, the fly agaric, can kill you.
If you have eaten poisonous mushrooms you’ll soon know, and you’ll need to get medical help as soon as possible. Always keep an example of the mushroom you’ve eaten so doctors can identify it.
Eating magic mushrooms can make you:
- have diarrhoea
- get stomach pains
If you have any mental health issues, magic mushrooms can make them worse.
Eating magic mushrooms can make you:
- have a bad trip, which can be frightening and unsettling
- get flashbacks that are frightening or unsettling
- lose complete control of what you're doing, and put you at risk
Magic mushrooms are not addictive, but as with LSD, you can become tolerant to the effects quite quickly – and that means you’ll need to take more to get the same effect as before.
- This is a Class A drug, which means it's illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell.
- Possession can get you up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
- Supplying someone else, even your friends, can get you life in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
drink-driving, driving when high is dangerous and illegal. If you’re caught driving under the influence, you may receive a heavy fine, driving ban, or prison sentence.
If the police catch people supplying illegal drugs in a home, club, bar or hostel, they can potentially prosecute the landlord, club owner or any other person concerned in the management of the premises.
Additional law details
The 2005 Drugs Act amended the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to clarify that both fresh and prepared (e.g. dried or stewed) magic mushrooms containing psilocin or psilocybin (such as the liberty cap) are Class A drugs.
This means it’s illegal to have this type of magic mushroom for yourself, to give away or to sell.
Shrooms, magic mushrooms and psychedelic mushrooms are street names for mushrooms containing psilocybin. Psilocybin is an illicit drug that affects how the brain works. It changes the way different parts of the central nervous system communicate.
Psilocybin causes a wide range of effects because it’s chemically similar to serotonin, a chemical that plays a role in almost every type of bodily function.
The psychoactive chemicals in magic mushrooms are Schedule I controlled substances because they have a high potential for abuse and no proven medical use.
Several factors can influence the effects a person experiences, including the type of mushroom, the dosage taken and the setting where it is used, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research. The person’s mood, past drug experiences and personality also play a role.
Studies suggest that using psilocybin in safe environments may reduce the risk of negative psychological side effects.
Psilocybin mushrooms are notorious for causing hallucinations that cause people to see, hear, feel, taste or smell things that aren’t real. The experience can be positive or negative.
An example of a good trip may be hallucinating that you’re on top of the world. A bad trip may feel a living nightmare. You may see scary things or believe someone is out to get you.
- Heightened senses
- Trouble focusing
- Thinking problems
- Inability to determine what’s real
- Feeling connected with the environment
Some people who use psilocybin mushrooms experience a condition called synesthesia, which blends the senses together. It may cause you to see sounds or hear colors.
Aggression and violence are uncommon, but these side effects do occur, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Several participants in the study also reported self-harm or suicide attempts.
Many people describe the effects of magic mushrooms as a spiritual experience. Studies have found that a single trip can cause long-lasting psychological changes.
The effects of psychedelic mushrooms usually last between three and six hours. But the chemicals in the drug can stay in your system for between one and three days depending on how frequently you use it. Some people report persisting side effects of shrooms for multiple days.
Psychedelic mushrooms aren’t as famous for physical effects as they are for psychological effects. Un other drugs of abuse, most hallucinogens don’t cause intense rushes or euphoria.
But magic mushrooms do cause increased tolerance to other drugs, such as LSD and mescaline — the drug in peyote. However, psilocybin isn’t associated with physical dependence.
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle relaxation
- Pupil dilation
- Dry mouth
Eating the wrong type of mushroom is the greatest physical risk associated with magic mushroom use. Mushrooms containing psilocybin aren’t associated with deadly overdoses. But people have mistaken poisonous mushrooms for psilocybin mushrooms.
Other physical risks stem from the drug’s psychological effects. People who use mushrooms are at an increased risk of accidental injury. They’re also at risk of being assaulted or robbed.
The long-term effects of magic mushrooms are relatively unknown. The drug doesn’t cause addiction, and it isn’t associated with long-lasting physical symptoms. In controlled settings, studies suggest that psilocybin may cause positive psychological effects.
In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, participants were given various doses of psilocybin in controlled settings. After 14 months, more than half of participants said the experience was “personally meaningful.” More than 60 percent said the experience “increased their sense of well-being or life satisfaction moderately or very much.”
And a 2016 study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that a single high dose of psilocybin improved symptoms of depression and anxiety among terminal cancer patients for at least six months.
However, current research has not proven that psilocybin is a safe and effective medical treatment. The effects of psychedelic mushrooms in real-world conditions can vary.
Case reports indicate that magic mushroom abuse can increase the risk of mental illness and cause flashbacks and memory problems.
Hallucinogen persisting perceptual disorder is a potential side effect of hallucinogens. HPPD is characterized by flashbacks to visual distortions that affect daily functioning. However, only one case report exists of a person experiencing HPPD after using psilocybin mushrooms. The man consumed the drug alongside marijuana, according to the 2005 report published in European Psychiatry.
Psychedelic mushrooms cause physical and psychological effects. Consuming higher doses of the drug or using it in high-risk environments increases the risk of negative side effects. The long-term effects of magic mushrooms are unknown, but the drug isn’t associated with addiction or dependence.
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