what-are-magic-mushrooms

What are Magic Mushrooms and Why Should I Care?

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Wanna know more about the mysterious world of psilocybin mushrooms – also known as magic mushrooms? You’ve hit the jackpot! Here’s your go-to guide for everything mushroom related.

Psilocybin Mushrooms Benefits

Not all mushrooms have the potential to give you a psychedelic experience. Mushroom varieties that contain psilocybin are more commonly known as magic mushrooms.

Psilocybin is what’s known as a ‘prodrug’ chemical which naturally occurs in some fungi. A ‘prodrug’ is something which either turns into an effective drug or enables the absorption of a drug once digested by the body.

So, in the case of magic mushrooms, psilocybin turns into psilocin – and psilocin is what makes you trip. If you’re eating mushrooms, this chemical exchange happens inside the body. If you’re taking it as a drink, then the psilocybin is converted in the liquid prior to you drinking it.

This means that drinking your mushrooms usually results in a much quicker coming up time (the time it takes to get high), as you don’t have to wait for your body to convert the compounds.

Medical

It’s long been known that psilocybin has positive effects on the mind.

There is a huge push in the United States and Canada to legalize magic mushrooms. In both places, they are a scheduled drug; Schedule I drug in America under the controlled substances act, and in Canada they’re Schedule III. Canada’s slightly lower scheduling means they’re more often used in research and studies.

The most recent studies on psilocybin mushrooms have found that they massively benefit those experiencing mental health problems. Whether that’s depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, or bipolar disorder, hallucinogenic mushrooms have been shown to alleviate the symptoms of many mental disorders.

Users report lower levels of anxiety, as well as happier feelings and less despair, even for long after tripping. I.e., this doesn’t just help patients whilst they’re tripping, but afterwards, too.

It’s even been shown that one psilocybin trip, paired with therapy, can help with the management of mental health problems for up to 5 years! That’s how powerful and healing psilocybin and psilocin can be to those experiencing high levels of distress.

For these reasons, it’s being increasingly trialed with cancer patients who are facing a sense of hopelessness following their diagnoses. Psilocybin helps these patients to not feel so scared about their diagnosis, and to live a fairly normal life in spite of the disease.

The other thing it’s been proven to help with is drug use – meaning, harmful drugs such as opioids. The same goes for tobacco use. For some reason, use of psilocybin seems to negate the harmful effects of other drugs that have a high potential for abuse. It stops users from feeling like they need to continue using harmful substances, and eventually leads them to stop using altogether.

Recreational

It’s been cited that humans have been using psilocybin mushrooms for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations have left cave paintings and other artifacts that clearly show magic mushroom use as a healing ritual.

So, even if you’re not looking to use psilocybin medicinally, it can still have huge physical effects and mental benefits for you.

Users of mushrooms containing psilocybin and psilocin report much higher levels of feeling inspired and creative, feeling uplifted, and having a more spiritual connection with the world.

Psychedelic drugs, including mushrooms and LSD, are known to help people confront repressed emotions and trauma, which massively reduces ego. This spills over into people’s everyday lives, even when they’re not high – hallucinogenic drugs aren’t simply recreational fun, but they’re a way to alter your entire perception of the world and your life.

Even if you don’t think you need it, magic mushrooms can alter your life for the better. They’re fun, uplifting, and help you to become more open.

Think that hallucinogens are for hippies? Wrong! Many artists and professionals have been known to reap the positive psychedelic effects of the humble magic mushroom. Steve Jobs was even famous for using psychedelic drugs in the 70’s, as he thought them the gateway to maximum creativity and originality – many believe this is why the iPhone exists.

Bad trip?

If you’ve never taken mushrooms before, one of your top questions is probably something to do with the potential for a bad trip.

Yes, bad trips do exist in real life – they’re not simply made up by movies and governments to try to stop you from using hallucinogens.

However, they’re probably not quite what you think they are, and if you’re taking magic mushrooms in the right conditions and for the right reasons, the potential that you’ll actually have a bad trip is very low.

If you’re researching magic mushrooms for their medicinal abilities, you’re best off seeing if you can get on a study, or go to a designated medicinal mushroom dispensary where the staff can evaluate your individual case and match you to a course of psilocybin.

I.e., if you’re experiencing any form of extreme distress or mental health problem, don’t take matters into your own hands, as you could easily trigger a bad trip.

The key to a good trip is making sure you have optimal surroundings, both physically and in relation to who’s around you. You have to be self assured enough that you’re in a decent frame of mind and won’t panic after consuming psilocybin mushrooms.

If you’re just getting started with taking mushrooms, it’s best to have a ‘trip sitter’ with you if possible. This is someone who either remains sober or has had enough experience in tripping to know what they’re doing – someone who you know and trust very well.

This person can help to guide you through the trip, especially if you start to feel lost or bad in any way.

This method really helps you to get comfortable with tripping the first few times you consume magic mushrooms.

You also want to make sure you’re in a place that’s physically comfortable and doesn’t pose any particular hazards – don’t start lighting candles, for instance, unless you’re experienced and know how to override the physical effects that psilocybin has on your body.

The final thing to guarantee that you have a positive, constructive time is to make sure that you start off your doses of psilocybin small and work your way up. It’s not a sprint, and nobody’s judging you if you take a small amount.

Don’t start taking grams upon grams at a time, as you’re not experienced, and the potential to harm yourself or someone around you is greater. Psilocybin use is most effective when you start off with smaller doses and over time increase that dose as you learn how to navigate your way through a trip.

Bad trips aren’t really as common or as scary as you think they are (films tend to overemphasize these things), and as long as you’re relaxed and comfortable, you should be just fine.

Where to Get Magic Mushrooms

Hopefully the benefits have laid out why magic mushrooms are good for you, and now you’ll be wanting to get your hands on some sweet psilocybin and psilocin! Here are the most common ways of acquiring legit magic mushrooms, outside of going to your shady dealer who’s still in high school.

Online

If you’re in Canada, you can buy psilocybin mushrooms online and have them delivered to your front door, just like your regular mail.

There are a range of reputable places you can buy from, and each tends to specialize in a different type of psilocybin product.

If you’re looking for long-term solutions to a medical problem, try somewhere like Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary. Founded by Dana Larsen, long term advocate of psychedelic drug use as a medicine, you have to sign up and hand over your medical information. Based on your diagnoses, they work out a plan for microdosing psilocybin in a way that you can live your life without succumbing to the hallucinogenic side effects of psilocybin and psilocin.

Or, if you’re just looking to get started in experimenting with psilocybin mushroom, head over to a dispensary such as shrooms247 where you’ll find specially grown magic mushrooms for recreational use.

Recreational dispensaries grow their species of mushrooms under the highest controlled conditions, guaranteeing you high quality magic mushrooms for a sensible price. They offer a wide variety of mushroom species at any quantity you like (up to 28 grams). Also, they stock other psilocybin products such as ready-made edibles and microdosing caps.

Whilst these dispensaries operate illegally, there’s no risk involved – law enforcement do not regulate the sale of magic mushrooms as they’re considered less important than using resources to tackle more important issues such as opioid drug use in inner cities.

You pay through a secure, encrypted transfer, meaning there is no paper trail to your order. Simply pay, and you’ll receive your magic mushrooms through Canada Post!

Foraging

You can forage for your own mushrooms if you live in North America. Different types of magic mushroom grow in different climates, but most of the United States and Canada are good locations for at least one species of mushroom.

Double Blind has a good guide to foraging your own magic mushrooms, as it can be quite difficult to do. The basics are, though, that you need to learn – really learn – how to differentiate species of mushrooms, as mushroom poisoning from those who thought they were taking psilocybin mushrooms is fairly common.

For instance, many people go after the coveted fly agaric mushrooms (also known as amanita muscaria) – the ones you see in fairy tales that are red and white.

However, these can be easily confused with other mushrooms that are poisonous, and the fly agaric itself can be toxic. It also produces fairly inconsistent results, with some users reporting muscle weakness, lack of coordination, and delirium – while others have a positive trip.

Basically, stick to the most common and easily identifiable mushrooms (such as liberty caps), and you should be pretty sweet.

Growing your own

Growing your own is becoming increasingly popular, especially outside of Canada where it’s harder to get your hands on fresh, pre-grown psilocybin mushrooms.

Usually, the easiest way to do this is to purchase a grow kit – a company will send you the right materials such as mushroom spores and substrates in order to effectively grow mushrooms in your own home.

Be wary that many of these kits don’t include much health information, which can lead to negative consequences for the mushroom you grow and how you ingest it.

Make sure you follow the instructions strictly to preserve the health of your mushrooms and yourself.

Strains

When it comes to magic mushrooms, there’s more than just one option! There are a number of different strains and species which contain psilocybin, and each is touted to have slightly different effects.

Psilocybe mexicana, a species most commonly found in South America, was used by the Aztecs and popularized by Dr Albert Hoffman. Hoffman is the first person to categorize mushrooms and realize that psilocin is what gets us high (and how it is transferred from psilocybin), and is also the person who created lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD, or acid).

People usually associate the mexicana strain with truffles.

Psilocybe cubensis is one of the most commonly sold species, and encompasses strains such as the famous Golden Teacher, B+, and Blue Meanie. You’ll find these strains pretty readily at online dispensaries and in grow kits. They offer the traditional mushroom trip and should get you feeling good in no time.

Psilocybe semilanceata, better known by its street names ‘liberty caps’, are often cited as the most potent magic mushrooms out there. You can order them online, forage for them, or grow them. Despite being the strongest, it’s one of the most common naturally occurring  psychedelic mushrooms out there.

How to take magic mushrooms

You can take mushrooms in a few different ways – how you take it depends on your personal preferences and tolerance for the earthy taste of dried mushrooms.

Raw

The easiest way to consume a magic mushroom is to simply eat it (dried). There’s nothing wrong with eating the raw, dried mushroom – it will give you the same side effects as any other method of consumption.

It is noted, however, that eating them raw is one of the slowest ways to come up – though this is a positive for first-timers, as you start to gain a better sense of the drug’s effect on you over a slower period of time.

One thing to bear in mind is that magic mushrooms are known for their earthy taste, which many people don’t enjoy. It can also make some people feel nauseous, as they contain a lot of plant matter which is difficult for humans to digest.

If your stomach is on the more sensitive side, or you’re trying to minimize the amount of negative side effects you experience in order to have a good trip, you might want to try a different method of consumption.

Edibles

If you still want to eat your magic mushrooms, just not raw, then you can either buy or turn them into edibles. This means crushing the mushrooms into a powder or mixing them into something else, then adding them to a different food.

Commonly, at shroom dispensaries, you’ll find shroom chocolate – it’s one of the more pleasant ways to engage in mushroom use.

Or, you could always experiment – why not try Abbi and Ilana’s infamous shroom yoghurt with fennel? There’s no rules – it’s your trip!

Tea

One of the best ways to consume magic mushrooms once you’ve gotten a little experience in navigating a trip is to drink it as a tea.

There’s a few different methods to creating mushroom tea. You can either add the raw mushrooms to hot water and let them steep for 20 minutes before straining, or alternatively, you can powder the mushrooms before turning them into tea.

Experts favor the powdered method as it increases the surface area of the psilocybin in your digestive system, which gives you a quicker, punchier high.

This method, as mentioned earlier, means the psilocybin is converted into psilocin before it enters your body, resulting in the trip hitting you much quicker.

Turning it into tea is another way to make psilocybin more palatable, as you can easily add your own favorite flavors and sweeteners into the mix. It’s also quite a nice way to make the whole thing feel ritualistic, making it an excellent addition to your weekend self-care routine!

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