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What are shrooms?
The term “shrooms” is a familiar and abbreviated way to refer to psilocybe mushrooms. The use of the word “shrooms” was popularized in the 1970s under the influence of underground and new-age circles. Simply put, in most cases “shrooms” are associated with recreational use and “magic mushrooms” with spiritual use.
Side Effects of Shrooms
Magic mushrooms – and mushroom side effects – are a fascinating but also controversial topic for their impact on our mental and physical health. The research of the scientific world aims to sort out the truths from the legends. It is therefore always useful to take stock in order to better understand where vigilance should be placed and what are the side effects of shrooms for real.
The Mental Health Impact of Psilocybin Mushrooms
Magic mushrooms contain a substance called psilocybin, which acts on our central nervous system by increasing levels of serotonin. This neurotransmitter plays a key role in regulating mood, appetite, sleep, and sensory perception.
Psilocybin acts as a disruptor and regulator of serotonin. It can lead to an intensification of creativity, compassion, and empathy, as well as a decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression. This action on brain function is favored by people who seek to promote introspective reflection and provoke mystical and spiritual experiences. Magic mushrooms and truffles can thus provide access to hidden corners of the mind (the unconscious) and allow for the exploration of deep thoughts from a new angle. For some, these journeys can be deeply therapeutic and help them better understand their own psyche.
However, there are also risks of negative effects associated with the consumption of magic mushrooms that concern people with a psychotic history. Indeed, any psychedelic can provoke episodes of psychosis, anxiety attacks, hallucinations, or impulsive behaviors in such individuals.
Short-Term Mental Health Impact
In the short term, side effects of psychedelic mushrooms can last from 4 to 6 hours. Many users experience a shift in perception of time and space, an increase in sensory sensitivity, and altered thinking and self-perception. During the final hours of a psychedelic trip, it’s common to feel a strong sense of connection to the world, whether to nature or living beings.
Long-Term Mental Health Impact
The long term side effects of shrooms on mental health is a highly debated topic, and there is still much to be learned. Preliminary studies suggest that occasional or regular consumption of magic mushrooms can lead to positive and lasting changes in the brain. Some studies mention an increase in gray matter density (neurons) and better neural connectivity (glial cells). However, further research is needed to confirm these results.
On the other hand, it can happen in rare cases that the consumer experiences mood swings. This discomfort seems to last only a few days after ingestion.
Magic Mushroom’s Physical Side Effects
The body and mind are highly interdependent, so it’s not irrational to wonder about the physical side effects of psilocybin shrooms on our organism. Yes, several people have reported positive or negative short- and long-term changes. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep in mind that consuming magic mushrooms can be dangerous if mixed with other substances (alcohol, antidepressants, LSD, MDMA) or if done excessively.
Short-Term Physical Health Impact
Although magic mushrooms are considered a relatively safe drug, they can have short-term side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches. These symptoms decrease and disappear completely after digestion. Nausea is maybe the most common side effect of magic mushrooms.
Long-Term Physical Health Impact
The long-term effects on our physical health are not clearly established. Instead, individual testimonies will allow us to learn more. Some psychedelic mushroom consumers report a notable improvement in digestion and sleep.
On another note, regular consumption of magic mushrooms or magic truffles by people with high blood pressure can exacerbate this condition. Therefore, if you have a pre-existing heart condition, it’s essential to be vigilant and consult a doctor before any psychedelic experience.
Physical Harm from Psychedelic Mushrooms
The substance itself is relatively harmless, but it can still lead to disturbing or dangerous behavior. Psychedelic mushrooms can alter our sensory perception and our ability to reason coherently. Some legends tell of disoriented individuals jumping out of hotel windows while under the influence of psychedelics. These stories are not confirmed and may be a form of propaganda aimed at damaging their reputation.
However, it is important to remain objective and consider that the alteration of perception and emotions is completely incompatible with driving a vehicle, certain professional activities, or engaging in risky hobbies. Under the influence of psychedelics, it is always best to stay in a calm and safe place.
The Psychological Side Effects of Psychedelic Mushrooms
While these mushrooms can open the doors of the mind to incredible experiences and altered states of consciousness, they also have their share of psychological side effects that can leave one perplexed and upset. The psychedelic experience can be very intense and sometimes terrifying, plunging some users into a whirlwind of confusing thoughts, intense emotions, and visual and auditory hallucinations. The alternation between moments of joy and sadness, euphoria and anxiety can become emotionally challenging to manage.
The best option to avoid such discomfort is to be accompanied during the psychedelic journey. Whether in a psychedelic retreat or with a trusted companion, the presence of an experienced third party is intended to prevent the experience from becoming overwhelming, unable to distinguish what is real from what is not.
The facilitator or trusted person can interact with the consumer at any time and help them channel any disturbances to return to a stable and reassuring emotional state.
Special Precautions and Warnings
If you are considering venturing into the world of magic mushrooms, there are five precautions and warnings to consider. Although these mushrooms may seem fascinating, it is important to approach them with caution to avoid dealing with a whirlwind of confusing or unpleasant thoughts.
There is a clear difference between those who are prepared and those who are not. It’s essential to work on your mental state before starting. This can be achieved by putting your thoughts into words, either written or spoken, about the themes that weigh on your mind, or by doing relaxation exercises in the weeks leading up to the ingestion. Facilitators are particularly helpful in providing this kind of support.
Every experience requires some knowledge. In the case of consuming psychedelics, reading books on psychedelic therapy or speaking with experienced individuals is an effective way to understand the different stages of the journey. These valuable insights will prevent you from panicking if any unsettling ideas or images arise.
Since you want to delve deep within yourself, do so in a safe place where you can be vulnerable. The environment you’re in can have a significant impact on your psychedelic experience. Avoid overcrowded, noisy, or stressful places, and choose a calm, peaceful, and familiar location where you feel safe. It’s also wise to have a sober and trusted companion to accompany you throughout the experience.
Supply and Dosage
Just like with food, it’s best to choose quality products. So beware of dubious suppliers and choose a recognized and official shop or retreat. Also, do not pick them yourself, as it’s easy to confuse magic mushrooms with other potentially toxic mushrooms.
A history of mental health issues is a serious contraindication for the consumption of magic mushrooms. Individuals with conditions such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, or dissociative disorders are at risk of experiencing increased or prolonged symptoms, such as paranoia, after ingesting psilocybin. This also applies to individuals with a family history of these conditions. It is crucial to consult a healthcare professional to assess the potential risks of a psychedelic journey.
Side Effects of Magic Mushrooms in Teens
While the human brain continues to evolve throughout life, it undergoes many significant changes until around the age of 20. Therefore, the introduction of psychedelic substances like magic mushrooms may have potential consequences on the brain development of adolescents and young adults.
Furthermore, adolescents are more susceptible to the psychological effects of magic mushrooms due to their emotional vulnerability. Their lack of life experience and maturity is a real obstacle to managing psychological challenges and questioning that may arise during a psychedelic journey.
How We Can Help You on Your Magic Mushroom Journey
The principle of a psilocybin retreat is to benefit from a spiritual journey in conditions of maximum safety and efficacy.
Our team of facilitators ensures preparation, presence during the experience, and follow-up in the weeks following the retreat. The main idea of accompaniment is to prepare the ground by promoting beneficial neural connections. For example, by discussing buried topics, the brain will facilitate access to certain memory elements that will be more available at the time of taking the truffle.
The proposed method allows us to offer a healthy and positive experience to our participants.
- First, preparation is done remotely, via two discussions. The first is a one-to-one conversation with a compassionate and caring facilitator, and the second takes the form of a group conversation. By getting to know the other participants, you help create a climate of trust and proximity necessary for a good experience.
- Once on site, your facilitator devotes another talk to discuss your progress and objectives.
- During the effects of the psychedelic journey, facilitators play relaxing and mystical music and remain focused on each participant. On their side, participants go through the successive stages of the journey autonomously to limit external influences. However, facilitators intervene to reassure their protégés in case of anxious ideas and to provide breathing exercises.
- Once the effects have faded, the group exchanges around individual experiences so that each person can better understand what they have experienced. It is also an opportunity for facilitators to take stock of new routines to apply or ban to prolong the benefits of the retreat.
Finally, once the retreat is over, a collective meeting consolidates the fruits of the experience and takes stock of daily behaviors that can help or harm.
Frequently Asked Questions about psilocybin side effects
How Long Do Magic Mushroom Effects Last?
If you’re ready to embark on a psychedelic journey, it’s important to know that magic mushrooms can produce their effects in three stages.
The first stage, or “come-up,” can last between 30 minutes and an hour after consuming the mushrooms. This is when sensations can begin to intensify, colors can become more vibrant, shapes can transform, and thoughts can race like a wild horse.
Following the come-up, the effects can reach their peak during a period known as the “peak.” During this time, effects can be the most intense, with visual and auditory hallucinations, changes in perception of time and space, and sensations of deep connection with oneself and the universe. The peak can last between 2 and 4 hours, depending on the dosage and individual sensitivity.
Next comes the “come-down” phase, which can last a few hours. During this period, effects can begin to fade, although some may still feel residual sensations from the psychedelic experience. The come-down can be a time for reflection and introspection, where lessons can be gleaned from the experience.
What are the Risks of Using Magic Mushrooms?
Most effects of psilocybin are transient. A bad trip is characterized by frightening hallucinations, but it eventually fades after a few hours.
In fact, the main risk is consuming mushrooms while in a psychotic state or overdosing on the substance.If you have a history of psychiatric or psychological disorders, consult a doctor before attempting the journey. Similarly, adhere to dosages recommended by professionals, and if it’s your first attempt, don’t hesitate to start with a low dose.
Can the Risks of Using Magic Mushrooms be Avoided or Reduced?
Sometimes magic shrooms can be capricious and take you on a tumultuous journey without asking for permission. To avoid the risk of nausea, it’s best to eat lightly before consuming them. However, this will decrease the effects of the substance.If you want to protect yourself from a bad trip, have a trusted friend or professional accompany you during the experience, and plan for relaxing music or activities.