Are you ready to enter the fascinating world of psilocybin mushrooms?
First, what are psilocybin mushrooms? They are a special type of mushrooms (which are also called, more frequently, “magic mushrooms”) which contain psychoactive compounds.
More specifically, these little brown and white mushrooms have the potential to completely change your outlook on life, both on the long-term and short-term, by facilitating a psychedelic experience.
This happens due to their two main psychoactive compounds, psilocybin and psilocin. People who were courageous enough to undergo such an experience describe a wide range of experiences, from hallucinations to euphoria, nausea or vomiting.
Fortunately, there are more and more medical studies which prove the fact that these mushrooms may be our allies towards a more healthy and healthy life.
Let’s explore a couple of interesting facts regarding these mushrooms…
Psilocybin Mushrooms Fact #1 – The “Magic Mushroom” Name Is Vague
Psilocybin mushrooms are not the only psychoactive mushrooms out there. There is also Amanita muscaria (the reddish mushroom with white dots on it, which frequently appears in fairytales) and Claviceps purpurea (which is the fungus from which LSD was synthesized).
All of them are referred to as “magic mushrooms” by a vast majority of psychonauts (explorers of the human psyche) although their effects are completely different.
However, due to their popularity, psychonauts usually refer to psilocybin mushrooms when they say “magic mushrooms.”
Psilocybin Mushrooms Fact #2 – More Than 200 Species
You would think that there is just one type of psilocybin mushroom which is psychoactive and that’s that – right? Well, it turns out that there are approximately 200 species of mushrooms which can be classified as “magic mushrooms” (which means they have psychoactive compounds) – out of which many of them are psilocybin mushrooms.
There is the classic Psilocybe cubensis (Golden Teacher), Psilocybe semilanceata (Liberty Cap), Psilocybe cyanescens (Wavy Cap), and many more, each with their own “flavor” when it comes to the actual psychedelic experience.
Psilocybin Mushrooms Fact #3 – Psilocybin Mushrooms Is Legal In Several Countries
Although psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in most countries, there are some where it’s legal to purchase, consume, and even grow magic mushrooms.
In Holland, you can purchase magic truffles (an earlier stage of mushroom development) without breaking the law. Many other countries, such as Jamaica and Czech Republic, allow you to grow your own magic mushrooms.
Read more about the legality of magic mushrooms worldwide!
Psilocybin Mushrooms Fact #4 – Psilocybin Mushrooms Are Considered Schedule 1 Drugs
The US is much harsher in this regard. Psilocybin mushrooms are considered Schedule 1 drugs (along with heroin and cocaine, which is a very inaccurate classification to put these together in the same category).
This means that the DEA considers psilocybin mushrooms to have a high potential for abuse and there are no accepted medical uses, which makes it completely illegal to use.
Psilocybin Mushrooms Fact #5 – Psilocybin Mushrooms Are Not Addictive
Studies performed at Johns Hopkins University seem to suggest that psilocybin, one of the main psychedelic ingredient in psilocybin mushrooms, may be useful in overcoming nicotine addiction. Other similar studies seem to suggest that they can also be used to treat anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and other psychiatric disorders.
Psilocybin Mushrooms Fact #6 – They Dissolve The Control Mechanisms Of The Brain
Functional MRIs performed during the psychedelic experience induced by psilocybin mushrooms suggest that these “magic mushrooms” break up the usual control mechanisms of the brain, facilitating unusual states of consciousness, and potentially helping to treat depression.
Psilocybin Mushrooms Fact #7 – Magic Mushrooms Have A Long History
Although Western civilization has only recently discovered the power of these psychoactive mushrooms, they have been around for a long time.
For thousands of years, psilocybin mushrooms have been used frequently in Central America for religious and spiritual ceremonies. The Aztecs called psilocybin mushrooms “teonanacatl”, which translates to “flesh of the gods”.
The several rock paintings at Tassili n’Ajjer in Algeria created in the Mesolithic period are depicting the ritual and ceremonial use of mushrooms.
Read more about the history of magic mushrooms.
Psilocybin Mushrooms Fact #8 – They Were Potentially Essential To Humanity’s Evolution
There are many other fascinating theories surrounding psilocybin mushrooms and some of them actually make sense. For example, a theory put forward by American philosopher and psychonaut Terrence McKenna suggests that psilocybin mushrooms were essential in the psychological and physical evolution of humanity.
He suggests that by eating Psilocybe cubensis, a species of mushroom often found growing out of cow manure, Homo erectus developed better visual acuity and subsequently became better hunters, which increased our chances of survival and evolution.
Psilocybin Mushrooms Fact #9 – They Induce Significant Spiritual Experiences
Another study done by Johns Hopkins University researched the spiritual effects of psilocybin. They were shocked by the results.
Out of 36 test subjects, a third said that their experience was the most significant (spiritual) experience of their lives, while over two thirds stated that it was definitely in their top five most significant life experiences.
More so, 79% of the subjects reported increased well-being in the months following the study.
Psilocybin Mushrooms Fact #10 – You Can Grow Them At Home
You do not need to deal with dubious people in shady places to get access to psilocybin mushrooms. Although still (technically) illegal in most countries, you can grow them in your own home with ease, hence with greater peace of mind and in full control of what you grow.
Starting to grow your psilocybin mushrooms can be as easy as ordering a growth kit online and just watering it occasionally. However, please make sure that you do exercise caution in consuming these mind-altering mushrooms. These are not “toys” to play around with and they require assuming complete responsibility over your own experience.
Learn more about psilocybin mushrooms in our Beginner’s Guide to Magic Mushrooms.