Also Known As
Magic Mushrooms, Boomers, Mushies, Shrooms, Cubes, Cubensis, Fungi
Psilocybin mushrooms are a family of psychoactive fungi that contain psilocybin, a psychedelic substance of the tryptamine class. Psilocybin mushrooms occur on all continents and have been taxonomically classified into over 200 species, the most potent of which belong to the genus Psilocybe, the most common psychedelic mushroom and average user encounters. Other notably potent species include Panaeolus, Inocybes, Copelandia, and Gymnopilus.
Psilocybin mushrooms are thought to have been used by various human cultures since before the time of recorded history, based on imagery found on prehistoric rock art. In Mesoamerica, they have been consumed in ritual ceremonies for at least 3000 years.
Renowned psychonaut Terrance Mckenna, and his brother Denis, developers of the “Stoned Ape Theory” theorized that our early human ancestors experienced a rapid jump in cognitive abilities and overall brain size due to eating psychedelic mushrooms that were privy to grow in dung piles, particularly those of elephants.
Observing how the cradles of humanity were closely intertwined with the range of elephants and fertile lands populated with livestock, at the time and the subsequent close bond between our species give the theory more legs to stand on. This should all be taken with a grain of salt though as there is no hard evidence to support the theory yet, making it more of a hypothesis.
How It Works
Psilocybin, or 4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (4-PO-DMT) is a precursor molecule that is converted by the body into its active form known as psilocin. Both psilocybin and psilocin are organic tryptamine compounds, related closely to tryptophan and structurally similar to the neurotransmitter serotonin. As revealed in the name 4-PO-DMT, it is essentially an analog or form of DMT, with an active compound shifted from the 5 to the 4 position in it’s chemical structure.
Psilocin’s psychedelic effects are believed to come from its agonist activity on serotonin receptors, specifically type 5-HTP-2A, necessary for a hallucinogenic activity. Unlike LSD, psilocin has no significant effect on dopamine receptors and only affects levels of circulating adrenaline in the system at very high dosages.
Psilocybin has also been shown by MRI imaging to have a dampening effect on certain brain regions, most notably throughout the Default Mode Network which is a network of nerves that are linked to emotions and memory, being activated when the thoughts and experience individual enter into the patterns that forms the basis of their cognitive processes and self identity.
How It Feels
Psilocybin mushrooms effects provide a strong body high, mild sedation, tactile enhancement, changes in felt body form, senses of unity, warmth, and excessive yawning which is uniquely pronounced in mushrooms, Vision typically becomes saturated with color enhancement, morphing, melting, shifting, color tinting, haze, tracers, and symmetrical texture repetition throughout the field.
Other effects individuals commonly experience when ingesting mushrooms includes upset stomach and nausea, watery eyes, frequent urination, olfactory hallucination, and a runny nose, At higher doses it can create an intense sense of confusion, anxiety, and existential dread for those who are in an improper environment with less than supportive individuals.
Emotional enhancement, This can lead to strong feelings of compassion, urgency and even completely sporadic moments of intense emotional significance that can also be periodically affected by enhancement and suppression cycles.
About an hour or two after ingesting the microdose, people notice an increase in focus and energy. Many users find that it helps with weaning off — and staying off — antidepressants. It can help lessen the side effects of withdrawal and even mitigate depression. Many speak to the drug’s ability to increase empathy, too.
Psilocybin is not habit-forming and has a low abuse potential, with the desire to use it actually decreasing in some with sustained use. Cases of abuse and addiction have been documented but are rare but are more easily treated as it doesn’t not result in any withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of ingestion.
Tolerance to the effects of psilocin is built almost immediately after ingestion, taking about 3 days for the tolerance to be reduced to half and 7 days to be back at baseline (in the absence of further consumption). Psilocin presents cross-tolerance with all psychedelics, meaning that after the consumption of psilocin all psychedelics will have a reduced effect.
Psilocybin is non-addictive, is not known to cause brain damage, and has an extremely low toxicity relative to dose. Similar to other psychedelic drugs, there are relatively few physical side effects associated with acute psilocin exposure. Various studies have shown that in reasonable doses in a careful context, it presents little to no negative cognitive, psychiatric or toxic physical consequences.
The toxicity of psilocybin and psilocin is extremely low. In rats, the median lethal dose being about 37 pounds of dry mushrooms for an average, healthy adult. Based on the results of animal studies, the lethal dose of psilocybin has been extrapolated to be 6 grams, 1000 times greater than the effective dose of 6 milligrams.
How To Microdose Mushrooms
Microdosing magic mushrooms or psilocybin is probably the most common way that people are exposed to microdosing and maybe even psychedelics in general. Their natural raw form makes them an approachable place to start as finely powdered, research chemicals with low dosing thresholds may ward most first time users off.
An average, healthy dose of mushrooms can generally be considered to be between 1 to 2 grams of dried mushrooms depending on their overall potency. A microdose would typically be around 100 to 300 milligrams of dried magic mushrooms. 100 milligrams being sub-perceptual, or not noticeable in any way, while 300 milligrams would have a more noticeable effect on mood, cognition, sight, and felt senses.
We always recommend shooting for a 200 microgram dose as it is generally sub-perceptual, but still produces significant beneficial effects for the user.
What you need:
- Coffee grinder
- Milligram or jewelry scale
- Dried magic mushrooms
- Empty capsules – preferably size 3 or size 2 capsules,
- Capsule press (optional but recommended)
- Weigh out your mushrooms based on how many capsules or doses you’d like to make, estimating for about 200mg per dose.
- Example – 12 microdose capsules would require 2.4 grams of mushrooms.
- Place the mushrooms in the grinder and pulse until the powder is fine enough to get into the capsules without any large chunks. You may need to shake the grinder to get it to grind everything evenly.
- Fill your capsule maker with separated capsules.
- Pour the ground mushrooms onto the capsule press that is holding the large portion of the capsule.
- Spread the mushroom powder around until all the capsules are completely filled. Tamp down in between spreading the powder out, if you kit came with a tampering tool.
- Once all the powder is in the capsules, press the top of the capsules onto the filled body portion, and voila… you have a magic mushroom microdose.
The Latest Science
An open-label study was carried out in 2016 in the UK to investigate the feasibility, safety and efficacy of psilocybin in treating patients with unipolar treatment-resistant depression with promising results; although the study was small and involved only twelve patients, seven of those patients met formal criteria for remission one week following psilocybin treatment and five of those were still in remission from their depression at three months.
The mechanism behind this is not known as of yet, but researchers have suggested that psilocin’s deactivation of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) may be relevant to its antidepressant effects, as the mPFC is known to be elevated in depression and normalized after effective treatment. mPFC hyperactivity has been associated with trait rumination. Another possible factor to psilocybin’s potential against depression may be that depressed patients with high levels of dysfunctional attitudes were found to have low levels of 5-HT(2A) agonism.