Psychedelic mushrooms were all the rave in the hippie era. In fact, these trippy sprouts are so incredibly linked to the whole movement that they have gained this hazy reputation that’s both alluring and questionable.
As for today, experiencing psilocybin’s euphoric effects are on the rise. “Magic mushrooms” are psychedelic mushrooms. Thus, it can be inferred that their psychotropic effects are mesmerizing.
But the psychedelic experience is more than just the colorful visuals and trippy hallucinations you see portrayed in movies. Shrooms hold so much more profoundness that we would love to share with you.
Ahuevo is here to shed light on some of the most confusing facts about magic mushrooms, and let you in on other facts that will come in handy for when it’s your turn to trip.
Our goal is to clear up some crucial misunderstandings about the infamous, enigmatic fungi. If you’ve ever heard someone say “They made me see music!” or “It was the best trip of my life!”, chances are they were tripping on magic mushrooms. So let’s not waste any more time, and dig into what makes these little guys so fascinating.
Before that, a short introduction.
What are psychedelic mushrooms?
Psychedelic mushrooms, also known as magic shrooms or simply shrooms, are fungi that produce psychoactive compounds. Those compounds can cause hallucinations and other psychedelic effects in humans who consume the fungus.
The shrooms are often taken for spiritual or religious purposes. They are also used to help relax, deal with mental disorders, and even serve as a treatment for cluster headaches.
Psychedelic mushrooms aren’t considered addictive by the medical community because they don’t cause compulsive drug-seeking behavior in users like most addictive substances do.
With that said, here are 20 things to know about psychedelic mushrooms.
1. Terence and Dennis McKenna’s “Stoned Ape Theory”
Ethnobotanist and “Patron of Psychedelic Drugs” Terence Kemp McKenna, along with brother and fellow ethnobotanist Dennis, developed what’s known as the Stoned Ape Theory, which essentially states that taking magic mushrooms could have changed the brains of our ancestors—how else could their brains have tripled in size in just two million years?
According to the McKennas’ theory, ancient humans could have consumed the magic fungi they found in the wild. The act alone was not enough to expand their knowledge, but it certainly paved the way for it to happen, at least according to the two brothers’ theory.
Right now, it’s all a theory, but who knows? With more research, it might be proven possible!
2. We owe the accessibility of shrooms in part to the McKennas.
Timothy Leary was a psychologist and writer who, like Terence McKenna, was a strong proponent of the psychedelic experience. People had sizable knowledge of psychedelics and the magic fungus, but it was the book entitled, Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide, which they wrote under pseudonyms that brought the mystical mushroom within the ordinary citizen’s reach.
In the manual, the McKenna brothers detail easy and effective methods for propagating magic mushrooms. It includes black-and-white photos that illustrate the techniques of the time.
3. Magic mushrooms are airbenders—sort of.
Despite what many of us believe, mushrooms don’t only exist for the sole purpose of getting us high. They also have other life purposes, and that’s why they also reproduce. How do they do this? Like other fungi, they reproduce via air-travelling spores.
Since most mushrooms are found in places where there isn’t too much breeze, some species create their own wind. They do this by increasing the rate at which water evaporates. This evaporated water now surrounds the shroom and it works with the resulting cool air to lift the spores.
4. Psychedelic mushrooms can hyperconnect the brain.
Aside from causing trippy visuals, psilocybin also helps boost the brain’s connectivity, according to a study from October 2014. This could very well be the reason we get these tripped out experiences in the first place.
Psilocybin, according to Paul Expert, a physicist who co-authored the research at King’s College London, connects “brain areas that don’t normally communicate with one another” to disrupt normal brain communication networks.
In their study, the team used fMRI to scan the brain activity of 15 volunteers twice—the first scan done after they had taken a fake pill, and a second time after they took the mushrooms.
The scans revealed how normally unconnected brain regions were in sync with each other. They deemed this proof that the shrooms stimulated long-range connections the brain wouldn’t normally make.
5. Magic mushrooms are older than we think.
A 1992 paper in the journal, Integration: Journal of Mind-Moving Plants and Culture, mentioned that rock art in the Sahara that dates back to 7,000-9,000 years ago depicts hallucinogenic mushrooms. The art shows masked figures holding mushroom-like objects.
Anthropomorphic figures are often shown in the presence of mushrooms, as if to symbolize that these fungi grow where they do; namely on our farms or around human habitation.
Whether the ancient Saharans used magic mushrooms or not remains an open question.
6. There exists a rare species of psychedelic mushrooms.
Mycologist Steven H. Pollock discovered a rare mushroom specimen, Psilocybe tampanensis, which he later cloned in order to produce a pure culture. The descendants of this species are widely distributed today, but it’s so scarce in the wild that it would be impossible to “accidentally” find one.
7. There is a wide spectrum of habitat for magic mushrooms.
If you think magic mushrooms only grow on animal waste, then I have some news for you—they actually do pretty much everywhere! From grasses and gardens to blooming forests, or even one of those old-fashioned fields with piglets running around in it.
8. Animals can also trip on shrooms.
Since mushrooms can grow practically anywhere in the wild, animals are most likely fated to have a brush or two with the trippy fungi. One example of such a meeting is reported to have happened back in 2010, where three pygmy goats at actress Alexandra Bastedo’s animal sanctuary came into contact with magic mushrooms.
The animals were reported to have had feelings of lethargy and were vomiting. The goats also staggered around and took two days to recover.
9. Flying Reindeer Myth
Reindeers have been associated with flying for a very long time, with the connection amplified ten times over Christmas. As with other modern myths, the flying reindeer myth is a mixture of fact and fiction.
Andrew Haynes wrote in an article that deers, among other animals, deliberately seek out and consume hallucinogenic fungi in order to entertain themselves during long winters. “For humans, a common side-effect of mushrooms is the feeling of flying, so it’s interesting [that] the legend about Santa’s reindeer is [that] they can fly.”
10. Psilocybin is not the only psychedelic ingredient in mushrooms.
While psilocybin is the most common compound in psychedelic mushrooms, there is another compound called muscimol. The Amanita muscaria mushrooms (more commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita) are among the most common sources of this compound. They can be identified by their iconic red and white colors.
Trivia: The mushroom emoji on your phone is a fly agaric!
11. Magic mushrooms can have a positive effect on your personality.
According to a 2018 study, people reported an improved feeling of well-being after continuous consumption of psilocybin.
The changes in personality include being open-minded, becoming self-confident, being optimistic, and being happy overall.
12. Psychedelic mushrooms can potentially help treat depression.
Despite the fact that psilocybin mushrooms are classified by the DEA as illegal Schedule I substances, there has been a renewed and continuous interest in their abilities to battle depression and other mental disorders.
The psychoactive compounds of magic mushrooms reset your brain and can have a significant long term positive effect when taken with supervision. Magic mushrooms can also help correct alcoholism, addiction, PTSD, and more.
13. Magic mushrooms are non-addictive.
Whether you believe it or not, there is no such thing as a craving for mushrooms. The human body simply does not develop an addiction to mushrooms the way tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs do.
14. Shrooms are legal in various countries.
Despite being illegal in most countries, there are some that recommend them because of their health benefits. This means that people can grow, and consume mushrooms without having to worry about getting caught. Countries like Holland and Austria support them and this trend is slowly gaining a lot of popularity worldwide.
How amazing it would be when magic mushrooms become legal worldwide!
15. The first recorded hallucinogenic experience with magic mushrooms was more than 200 years ago.
When a father unknowingly gathered psychedelic mushrooms to feed his family for breakfast, what followed was the first medical report of a trip on shrooms. The event is recorded in the London Medical and Physical Journal.
The family was taken to the doctor for fits of uncontrollable laughter and other symptoms of hallucinogens. The particular mushrooms they took were later identified as Psilocybe semilanceata.
16. Psychedelic mushrooms are also known by other names.
While ‘magic mushrooms’ is a widely known name for psilocybin, it is also called mushies, blue meanies, golden tops, liberty caps, alice, boomers, buttons, hongos, and pizza toppings.
17. There are about 200 species of psilocybin mushrooms.
Ever since its discovery, there have been numerous discoveries of various kinds of psilocybin mushrooms. The most notable ones are Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe semilanceata, Psilocybe cyanescens, among many others. These types of shrooms contain psilocybin and are in the genus Psilocybe.
Psilocybin, Gymnopilus, Panaeolus, and Copelandia are among the common genera of mushrooms that can be found in different areas of the world. The amount of psilocybin is the main differentiating factor among the many types of psychedelic mushrooms. They also vary in potency.
18. Magic mushrooms don’t only contain psilocybin.
Aside from psilocybin, the compound that causes psychedelic effects, mushrooms also contain other compounds such as aeruginascin, biocytin, psilocin, norbaeocystin, and many more. Even if there are similarities in the compounds’ chemical structures, there are still minor differences that can dramatically change and affect the cellular and clinical pharmacology of molecules.
19. Psychedelic mushrooms can help unlock creativity in an individual.
When you take magic mushrooms, you experience psychedelic effects that can help trigger the regions of your brain responsible for creativity. There have been numerous claims from different artists like writers and painters whose creative processes have been altered significantly by the psychedelic experiences that they had with magic mushrooms.
In fact, because of this, psychedelic art slowly became prevalent in the art scene. These are works of art made under the influence of magic mushrooms, LSD, and other psychedelic drugs or inspired by the life-changing psychedelic experiences of the individuals.
20. Fear is destroyed by psilocybin mushrooms.
Magic mushrooms can have positive effects on mental health, including the reduction of fear. A 2013 study on mice found that those who were given psilocybin had lessened their freezing behaviors when they heard noises which were associated with an electric shock. Mice that were not dosed with hallucinogen eventually relaxed, too, but it took them longer.
There is much more to learn about psychedelic mushrooms, and society’s gentler approach to the magic fungi is opening doors to more studies to discover new truths. While we wait for the tides to fully shift and the world to fully grasp and appreciate psychedelics, why don’t you go and see for yourself? We at Ahuevo can help you out.
Ahuevo Online is home to all your cannabis and psychedelic needs. We offer different strains of cannabis and mushrooms for you to experience, study, research, and purchase. We have a team of experts to help guide you through your journey should you decide to take the trip.
We’re here for all your needs—from getting high to learning about psychedelics. We would love to see you click into Ahuevo and get all your psychedelic mushroom needs. Feel free to reach out to us and we can get started!