About “magic mushrooms”
The natural, active ingredients in p. cubensis are psychedelic compounds called psilocybin and psilocin. Therefore, individuals using magic mushrooms experience illusions and altered or distorted states of consciousness. While effects appear within 15-45 minutes they can usually last for up to four to six hours.
Even so the strength of magic mushrooms can vary greatly from one mushroom to another.
Magic mushrooms may be sold as either dried or as a powder. Therefore people may choose to take the mushrooms as:
- eaten raw or cooked
- drunk as a tea or as a mixture with a fruit juice
- as a powder or in tablets or capsules
Using magic mushrooms can lead to short-term mental and physical effects.
Emotions and senses may be heightened, and people may feel happy and creative. Also they may laugh or giggle a lot.
They can also cause illusions and affect people by:
- altering their sense of reality (they see and hear things that are not there)
- mixing up their senses (they believe they can see music or hear colours)
- distorting their sense of time
Negative mental effects of taking psychedelic compounds may or may not include:
- changes in mood
- anxiety and panic attacks
- confusion and disorientation
- fear or paranoia
Some people may experience:
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- dry mouth, sometimes leading to nausea and vomiting
- muscle weakness and twitching, or convulsions
- exaggerated reflexes
- sweating and high body temperature, often followed by chills and shivering
- loss of urinary control
Long term effects of “magic mushrooms”
Currently, no studies have evaluated the long-term effects of repetitive use of magic mushrooms.
Risks related to recreational use
- For some, a “bad trip” may occur, particularly at high doses. Also these experiences may be frightening and may include paranoia, loss of boundaries and a distorted sense of self. Impaired judgment during these “bad trips” may lead to risk-taking behaviour, traumatic injuries and even death.
- In certain cases, users may experience intense events that may induce abrupt “flashbacks”, i.e. reliving the previous experience.
- Co-use of magic mushrooms with substances such as cannabis and amphetamines elevates the risks of side effects
- For individuals predisposed to or with existing psychiatric conditions, there may be an elevated risk of side effects.
- For individuals with cardiac diseases, short term effects such as increased blood pressure and heart rate could be potentially harmful
Studies of Psilocybin have outlined its potential to treat various conditions such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and problematic drug use. Also it is important to note that these studies administered purified active ingredients in clinically supervised settings.
Currently there are no approved therapeutic products containing psilocybin in Canada.