Psilocybin is produced synthetically or extracted from the psilocybe mexicana mushroom and other mushroom species. It is chemically related to LSD. Many indigenous cultures in Mexico and Central America have been using mushrooms for religious purposes for thousands of years. Today, psilocybin mushrooms are used recreationally because of the hallucinogen affect it has on the user, which is a lot less potent then LSD.

Usually taken orally, psilocybin is found in dried or fresh mushrooms or as a powder in capsules. It is sometimes brewed into a tea. Typical doses range from 4 to 10 milligrams, but are hard to control because the active amount of hallucinogens in mushrooms differ widely according to the genus, strength, and condition (fresh or dried) of the mushrooms. Users will experience feelings of mild euphoria and tingling physical sensations and often report increased sensitivity to music and visual sensations.

Side Effects of Psilocybin

The amount of active hallucinogen can vary, which is why it can be dangerous to take too many mushrooms. Small doses (4 to 8 mg.) of Psilocybin produce effects within half an hour which continue for 4 to 5 hours and may include mental and physical relaxation, tiredness, a sense of separateness from surroundings, feelings of physical heaviness or lightness, mood swings and perceptual distortions.

In some cases, hallucinating can be unpleasant or even terrifying and the memory of this intense fear can remain with the person for life. A bad trip can occur at any dose. Signs of a bad trip include anxiety, confused or disordered thinking and panic.

At doses of 13 mg or more, users' perceptions become altered, and they develop the same symptoms as a LSD user. They also might experience facial flushing, sweating, a slowed sense of time, and the sense that they are separate from their bodies. At these higher doses some of the warning signs of a potential overdose include:

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Numbness of the tongue, lips, or mouth
  • Shivering or sweating
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety

Users can have an unpleasant trip experience and frequent use of psilocybin can aggravate mental conditions such as mania, depression, or schizophrenia. While psilocybin does not cause compulsive drug-seeking behavior and addiction, overdoses are common.

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