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Psilocybe cubensis

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Psilocybe cubensis or psychedelic mushrooms are a psychedelic fungus whose active ingredient is psilocybin. They belong to the Agaricaceae[?] family. Psychedelic mushrooms, known as "magic mushrooms" or "shrooms" in slang, tend to grow on cow dung and bruise with a bluish/purplish color, often still visible on dried stems. In the US, they are sometimes found growing wild in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest. Like many mushrooms, they are also relatively simple for hobbyists to cultivate.

Effects of psilocybin generally resemble a shorter LSD trip.

Psychedelic mushrooms have rich and varied spiritual significance -- they have been used in religious ceremonies for centuries. The Aztecs reserved them for their holiest ceremonies and called them Teonancatl ("divine flesh").

For a modest psychedelic effect, a minimum of 1 gram dried mushrooms is ingested orally. One gram is usually sufficient to produce a mild effect and up to 5-6 dried grams would be considered a very high dose and would be likely to produce an extremely intense experience. Effects often take effect after approximately 45 minutes and last from 4-5 hours. Hallucinatory effects often occur, including walls that seem to breathe, a vivid enhancement of colors and the animation of organic shapes. At higher doses, experiences tend to be less social and more entheogenic, often intense and spiritual in nature.

The effects are often pleasant, even ecstatic, including a deep sense of connection to others (especially those also participating with the drug), and a general feeling of connection to nature and the universe. However, as with all psychedelic chemicals, not all experiences are positive. This is especially true when they are taken with other drugs, in huge doses, during times of mental instability, or by people with psychoemotional problems. In such situations, "bad trips" are much more likely to occur. Anxiety, frightening hallucinations, confronting (symbolically or literally) past or deep-seated internal conflicts, and feelings of permanent disconnection from reality and the Self can be quite intense and cause panic. The possibility of such experiences can be mitigated by being cognizant of one's "set and setting."

Experimentation with psychedelics should be done with a lot of information and significant discretion.

Psilocybin and Medicine

Psilocybin has been studied as a treatment for several disorders.

In the US, an FDA-approved study began in 2001 to study the effects of psilocybin on patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Psilocybin and the Law

Psilocybin and psilocybin mushrooms are DEA Schedule 1, making them illegal to possess under federal law. (Researchers and their subjects are granted exemptions by the DEA.)

Under state law, it is illegal to possess psilocybin and psilocybin mushrooms in all states except Florida, where a court decision ruled that wild psilocybin mushrooms themselves are not illegal to possess.

Related compounds (related experientially, not chemically): LSD, Mescaline

See also:

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