Mushrooms have a lot in common with LSD in terms of how they affect the body. Both are psychotropic drugs and act on the central nervous system to produce their effects. Many people have described a mushroom trip as a milder, shorter version of an LSD trip. Like LSD, magic mushrooms don’t technically cause hallucinations, or visions of things that aren’t actually there. Instead, they distort the perception of actual objects.

p.cubensis

People tripping on mushrooms might see things in different colors or see patterns. Existing colors, sounds, tastes and textures may be distorted, while feelings and emotions intensify. It can feel like time has sped up, slowed down or stopped completely. There can be a changed perception of one’s place in the universe and a feeling of communing with a higher power.

As with LSD, what happens on a mushroom trip varies by person, dosage and the type of mushroom eaten, as some are more powerful than others. “Set and setting,” or the emotional state of the user and the type of environment he or she is in, play a big part in whether the trip is positive. Users who are in a poor mental state or a highly structured environment are more likely to have a bad trip, which is when you feel paranoid, anxious, nervous or even terrified instead of euphoric. The only way to get over a bad trip is to wait it out. New users are often advised to have an experienced friend with them to guide them through the experience.

Taking mushrooms can cause dizziness, nausea and other stomach problems, muscle weakness, loss of appetite and numbness. These symptoms subside as the trip comes to an end. Some mushroom users smoke marijuana to combat the nausea.

Mushrooms aren’t considered to be addictive, but tolerance builds up very quickly — taking mushrooms two days in a row often results in a less intense experience the second day, for example. There may be cross-tolerance with some other psychotropic drugs like LSD, mescaline and peyote, which means that taking one can build up tolerance for another.

So, are they dangerous? People with mental illnesses (diagnosed or not) have had their symptoms exacerbated through the use of mushrooms. There’s no evidence of death caused by magic mushrooms; the amount that one would have to eat to cause death is hundreds of times greater than the normal dose. Death can result from taking misidentified mushrooms, however. With that in mind, let’s look at the different types of magic mushrooms next.

Mushrooms have a lot in common with LSD in terms of how they affect the body. Both are psychotropic drugs and act on the central nervous system to produce their effects. Many people have described a mushroom trip as a milder, shorter version of an LSD trip. Like LSD, magic mushrooms don’t technically cause hallucinations, or visions of things that aren’t actually there. Instead, they distort the perception of actual objects.

People tripping on mushrooms might see things in different colors or see patterns. Existing colors, sounds, tastes and textures may be distorted, while feelings and emotions intensify. It can feel like time has sped up, slowed down or stopped completely. There can be a changed perception of one’s place in the universe and a feeling of communing with a higher power.

As with LSD, what happens on a mushroom trip varies by person, dosage and the type of mushroom eaten, as some are more powerful than others. “Set and setting,” or the emotional state of the user and the type of environment he or she is in, play a big part in whether the trip is positive. Users who are in a poor mental state or a highly structured environment are more likely to have a bad trip, which is when you feel paranoid, anxious, nervous or even terrified instead of euphoric. The only way to get over a bad trip is to wait it out. New users are often advised to have an experienced friend with them to guide them through the experience.

Taking mushrooms can cause dizziness, nausea and other stomach problems, muscle weakness, loss of appetite and numbness. These symptoms subside as the trip comes to an end. Some mushroom users smoke Marijuana to combat the nausea.

Mushrooms aren’t considered to be addictive, but tolerance builds up very quickly — taking mushrooms two days in a row often results in a less intense experience the second day, for example. There may be cross-tolerance with some other psychotropic drugs like LSD, mescaline and peyote, which means that taking one can build up tolerance for another.

So, are they dangerous? People with mental illnesses (diagnosed or not) have had their symptoms exacerbated through the use of mushrooms. There’s no evidence of death caused by magic mushrooms; the amount that one would have to eat to cause death is hundreds of times greater than the normal dose. Death can result from taking misidentified mushrooms, however. With that in mind, let’s look at the different types of magic mushrooms next.

Foraging for wild magic mushrooms is dicey. There are thousan­ds of species, many with very similar features. Some toxic mushrooms can simply cause stomach problems, but others can cause organ failure and death. Hunting for any type of edible mushroom is generally best left to people who are very knowledgeable about mushroom identification. Even people who have been hunting mushrooms for decades have made mistakes. One part of the identification process is the creation of a spore print, which involves pressing the cap gill-side down onto a sheet of paper (usually both dark and white to see contrast) so that its spores are released. (We’ll talk more about the uses for spore prints later.)

There are dozens of species of mushroom within the genus Psilocybe. Most of them are on the small side — the average size is a 3-inch stalk and a 1-inch cap. When fresh, they usually have light grayish, yellowish or brownish stems with brown or brown-and-white caps and dark gills. We’ll look at just a few of the most well-known varieties.

  • Psilocybe cubensis is on the larger side as far as magic mushrooms go. It’s also one of the most common. Called the common large Psilocybe, golden cap or Mexican mushroom, it has many different types. The cap is usually reddish brown, with a white or yellowish stem. When bruised or crushed, its sticky flesh often turns bluish. Some people consider this a definitive sign of finding a magic mushroom, but some toxic types of mushrooms bruise as well. It’s usually found in moist, humid climates and grows on the dung of grazing animals like cattle.
  • Psilocybe semilanceata or liberty cap is a common psilocybin mushroom. In general, P. semilanceata is found in damp, grassy fields usually populated by cattle or sheep but unlike P. cubensis, it doesn’t grow directly on the dung. It’s a small mushroom, either light yellow or brown, with a very pointed cap. Another psilocybe mushroom, Psilocybe pelliculosa, is often mistaken for P. semilanceata, but its psychotropic properties are weaker.
  • Psilocybe baeocystis has a dark brown cap and brownish or yellowish stem when fresh. It can be found in fields in addition to growing on rotting logs, peat or mulch. Nicknames include potent Psilocybe, blue bell and bottle cap.

So do people who take magic mushrooms just pop a few into their mouths? Next, let’s learn about what’s considered a “dose” and the ways in which people consume magic mushrooms

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