Are you thinking about taking shrooms or magic mushrooms? Individuals consume shrooms for a variety of reasons. Some want to enhance their creativity. Some are seeking a way to alter their perception of reality or incite feelings of euphoria. Others take shrooms for religious purposes to feel closer to their deity or to help with reflection and introspection, and if you’re up-to-date on the latest medical news, you’ll know that shrooms are currently being studied to see if they’d be effective in treating PTSD, depression and anxiety. Let’s take a look at what shrooms are and how to consume them responsibly.
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What are Shrooms?
Shrooms are psilocybe mushrooms that grow naturally in the United States, Central America and Mexico. They are considered hallucinogens due to the chemicals psilocybin and psilocin. There are believed to be more than 200 species of these types of fungi, and they can be identified by their long, thin stems and a brown or tan cap with dark ridges on the underside. They are typically eaten or brewed into tea. The effects of magic mushrooms can last up to six hours.
Most people will start to feel the effects of the shrooms after 30 minutes. However, if the shrooms are crushed and brewed into a tea or soaked in lemon juice, the individual may start to feel the effects in as little as 15 minutes. They also tend to take effect faster if the individual is consuming them on an empty stomach. At the onset, the individual may feel a sense of euphoria and see colors more vividly.
The peak of the effects of the magic mushrooms is usually felt within 60 to 90 minutes. At this stage, the individual may feel euphoric or at peace, or they may feel as though they’re having a spiritual awakening. Furniture or inanimate objects may also appear to breathe. Additionally, the individual may experience depersonalization or derealization. These effects typically last three to six hours after the onset.
The effects of the magic mushrooms will start to decline after the peak experience. Individuals may experience a headache and become fatigued. They may also have increased symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Individuals who consume magic mushrooms may have flashbacks. These flashbacks can happen at any point after the effects have worn off. Some individuals have even reported flashbacks years later. These flashbacks usually only last a couple of minutes and are typically brought on by elevated levels of stress, exhaustion, exercising or consuming other drugs.
Factors Influencing Duration and Intensity
When consuming shrooms, several factors may influence the duration and intensity, including:
- Dosage – Consuming more shrooms can result in more intense effects. When shrooms are prescribed in scientific studies for the treatment of certain mental disorders, they are sometimes prescribed according to body weight in the experimental group, while the participants in the control group are all given the same dosage.
- Individual metabolism and body weight – Individuals with faster metabolisms may feel the effects of shrooms sooner than those with slower metabolisms. Individuals who weigh less may also feel stronger effects when compared to those who weigh more.
- Interaction with other substances – Other drugs, alcohol and even medications can interact with the psilocybin in the shroom. This can alter the effects and result in unpredictability.
- Mental and emotional state – The individual’s mental state can have an effect on the experience. Individuals who are apprehensive or scared will experience different effects than someone who is calm.
- Other individuals – If the individual is taking the shrooms with other people, their moods and presence can alter the experience.
- Tolerance – While shrooms aren’t considered addictive, individuals who have used shrooms frequently may develop a tolerance.
Maximizing the Shelf Life of Shrooms
Magic mushrooms or shrooms expire just like any other type of food. In order to ensure they are fresh and safe to consume, you should keep them dry until you plan to use them. Mushrooms tend to soak up water, so it’s not advisable to wash them before putting them in storage. Instead, any loose dirt should be brushed off of them. Then, the shrooms should be put in a brown paper bag before being put in the refrigerator. Refrigerating the mushrooms should keep them fresh for between five and seven days. If you opt to leave them out in the open, you can expect them to last a day or two.
Shrooms can be frozen. However, if they’re frozen without first being dried, they turn mushy due to their high water content. Magic mushrooms that are properly frozen can last up to nine months.
The best way to store shrooms is to dry them in a dehydrator. Once the mushrooms are completely dry, they can be stored in an airtight container on a shelf or frozen. Using this method can keep fresh for up to nine months.
It’s important to note that magic mushrooms will lose their potency over time, regardless of how they’re stored. For full potency, it’s best to use them as soon as possible.
Signs of Spoilage
No matter how well you store your shrooms, they may still spoil. Signs that your magic mushrooms have gone bad include:
- Changing colors or appearing darker
- Having a slimy texture
- Growing mold
- Having an unpleasant odor
If you suspect that your shrooms have gone bad, it’s best not to consume them. Eating rotten mushrooms can result in symptoms of food poisoning.
Risks and Safety Considerations
While many shroom experiences produce the desired results, individuals can experience a bad trip. Some short-term negative effects can include increased feelings of anxiety, nervousness, paranoia and panic.
Long-term use can lead to changes in the chemistry of the brain. Individuals may also develop Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD), which is the development of persistent and frequent flashbacks that result from the shroom experience. These flashbacks can include visual disturbances, halos around lights, distorted colors and seeing images within images.
Consider the Set and Setting
Set and setting are also very important when it comes to producing the desired result from consuming shrooms. When we talk about set, we’re talking about a person’s mindset. Before consuming shrooms, it’s best to be relaxed and calm. Feeling anxious or stressed can result in a bad experience.
The setting is the environment where the individual consumes the shrooms. Ideally, the setting should be calm and relaxing. Consuming shrooms in a noisy or uncomfortable setting can increase the odds of having a bad trip.
Combining Shrooms with Other Substances
It’s not recommended to combine shrooms with other substances as this may increase the odds of experiencing a bad trip. When magic mushrooms are combined with ecstasy, MDMA, speed or ice, it can increase the chances of having a bad experience. When shrooms are combined with medications for mental health, it can result in a worsening of symptoms.
Hallucinogens are considered a Schedule 1 substance in the United States. This means that they have an increased risk of being abused, and there’s no known medical use for them. However, studies are being done in the United States to test their ability to treat certain mental health disorders. Additionally, some cities and states have legalized the use of shrooms under certain conditions/ These cities include San Francisco, Denver, Oakland, Santa Cruz, Seattle, Detroit and Port Townsend. They’re also legal in Washington DC.
In Canada, shrooms are not approved for therapeutic use, and there are no approved products in Canada that contain psilocybin. However, like the United States, Canada is performing studies on the potential therapeutic effects of psilocybin. In other parts of the world, shrooms are considered illegal, but criminal prosecutions may be unenforced. Shrooms are legal to some degree in Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Nepal, Netherlands and Samoa.
If you plan on using shrooms, it’s best to be informed and act responsibly. If you choose to take shrooms, you should make sure that your medications do not conflict with psilocybin. It’s also a good idea not to take other substances with shrooms as they could affect the experience.
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