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An Introduction to Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms)

A logo from Clinical Cognitive Training an Oregon Psilocybin and Psychedelic Training ProgramA logo from Clinical Cognitive Training an Oregon Psilocybin and Psychedelic Training ProgramA logo from Clinical Cognitive Training an Oregon Psilocybin and Psychedelic Training Program
July 31, 2023
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Psilocybin, magic mushrooms, shrooms, mushies –– you may hear these terms floating around in conversations more often since Oregon became the first state to legalize the use of psilocybin in the care of a licensed facilitator.

So what are magic mushrooms and how can you join the new wave of services that are helping people harness their benefits?

Many are curious about the psychedelic substance and how it made its way to consumption under a legal framework that is spearheading an exciting new industry.

Take a trip with us as we explore the effects, benefits, and dangers of magic mushrooms and what makes them different from the ones you put on your pizza.

What Are Magic Mushrooms?

Magic mushrooms are a specific type of fungi that can be found growing naturally all over the world and contain a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug compound called psilocybin.

When consumed, the body metabolizes psilocybin into psilocin whose psychoactive properties can create an altered state of consciousness.

There are more than 180 mushroom species that contain psilocybin and can induce hallucinogenic effects when ingested.

The most common wild-grown magic mushroom is Psilocybe semilanceata, while Psilocybe cubensis is the species legally cultivated in Oregon laboratories for psilocybin products.

Why Do People Consume Magic Mushrooms?

Everyone has their reasons for taking magic mushrooms.

Many people take them for recreational purposes, to increase creativity and neural plasticity, to find relief from depression and anxiety, or to heal from trauma.

The traditional use of psychedelic mushrooms can be traced back centuries.

Historically, magic mushrooms have been used by various cultures across the world for many purposes, including:

  • Physical and emotional healing
  • Spiritual exploration
  • Religious ceremonies
  • Rite of passage ceremonies
  • And more

At Clinical Cognitive Training, we train psilocybin facilitators in Portland, Oregon, to work with clients who want to take psilocybin for various reasons.

Our skilled, ethical, and compassionate facilitators are educated to be respectful of ancient cultures and traditions while employing the foremost psychological methods to support clients on their journey.

Contact us to find out more.

How Are Magic Mushrooms Ingested?

Most people take magic mushrooms by eating them.

They can be eaten fresh or cooked and mixed with food to disguise the bitter taste.

Dried mushrooms can be brewed and consumed as tea or mixed with tobacco or cannabis and smoked.

Sometimes dried mushrooms are powdered and swallowed as capsules or snorted.

Psilocybin can also be found in tincture form that is taken by mouth, injected, or added to fruit juice to drink.

What Are the Effects of Magic Mushrooms?

Different species of mushrooms may produce very different experiences, from relaxed and mild to intense and psychotropic.

After consuming the mushrooms, the effects usually begin 30–45 minutes later and may last up to six hours, depending on the amount of mushrooms consumed.  

Generally, magic mushrooms affect all senses.

People often report:

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Physical sensations
  • Distorted sense of time
  • Altered state of mind; and
  • Extreme emotions

Factors That May Affect What Someone Will Experience During a Trip

In addition to the species and potency of the mushroom, other factors can influence what someone may experience during a trip and the intensity of the effects.

A person’s size, weight, overall health, and personality can determine how they will experience magic mushrooms and how strong the effects will be.

If the mushrooms have been taken with or around the same time as other drugs, and if the person has a low tolerance for psychedelics, they may have a more intense trip.

The amount of mushrooms or dosage taken can also affect what someone may experience during a trip.

Mood and Environment

Psychoactive drugs, like magic mushrooms, affect a person’s mental state and can have different effects based on their mood and environment.

A person’s state of mind, mood, expectations, and intentions can determine their experience.

Psychedelic mushrooms intensify a person’s emotional state. For example, feelings of fear, anxiety, and stress can create a negative, even frightening experience. However, someone who is relaxed, with expectations and intentions to have a positive experience, is more likely to have an administration session that meets their expectations.

What Are the Benefits of Magic Mushrooms?

Researchers at The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins are studying many positive effects of psychedelic mushrooms.

Studies show that psilocybin can have positive effects on substance abuse disorders, and certain mental health disorders, including:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Mood disorders; and
  • Addictions

Additional research reports magic mushrooms effectively helped relieve emotional distress in people with life-threatening cancer diagnoses.

As the psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy benefits continue to be investigated, many link its effectiveness to certain personality traits.

One study found that psilocybin therapy helped lower neuroticism scores and increased the scores of extraversion, openness, and conscientiousness in subjects with treatment-resistant depression.

Another study uncovered that people who self-medicated with small doses of psilocybin were able to relieve cluster headaches without the psychoactive effects.

What Are the Dangers of Magic Mushrooms?

No psychotropic drug comes without risk.

Taking any hallucinogen can trigger unanticipated physical and mental side effects.

Physical side effects of magic mushrooms may include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Lack of coordination
  • Drowsiness; and
  • Nausea; slight queasiness for the first 15 minutes being the biggest side effect

Some mental and emotional side effects may include:

  • Mild feelings of anxiety
  • Resurfacing of emotional trauma; and
  • Altered state of mind

In instances of uncontrolled consumption of wild magic mushrooms, poisoning is the biggest potential danger.

In many cases, toxic mushrooms look similar to magic mushrooms and are ingested by mistake.Mushroom poisoning can cause severe illness, seizures, chest pain, organ failure, and even death.

Additionally, taking magic mushrooms in combination with alcohol and other drugs increases the psychological and physical risks.

All hallucinogens carry a risk of a bad trip, though research shows that psilocybin is relatively safe to use in a controlled setting.

Psilocybin remains a federal Schedule 1 illegal drug and should be taken in a facilitated session to ensure that all requirements are followed under Oregon law.

At Clinical Cognitive Training, our facilitators learn how to provide support in a safe, controlled environment with predetermined doses of state-regulated psilocybin products.

Can Mushroom Use Lead To Tolerance, Addiction, or Withdrawal?

Taking mushrooms regularly, like most drugs and alcohol, will build a tolerance for the drug.

That means, the more you use, the more you need to take to achieve the same effect.

Psilocybin tolerance can build quickly and daily use may make it hard to have any effect at all. Yet as quickly as tolerance builds, it is eliminated from your body within 24 hours. There are many microdosing schedules to avoid building a tolerance and still find positive results by consuming a subperceptual amount of mushroom.

Though regular consumption of psilocybin can lead to compulsive use, it’s not considered addictive.

Thanks to its low addiction properties, withdrawal symptoms are rarely reported. Still, some may experience psychological withdrawal effects like depression or flashbacks.

Learn To Facilitate Highly-Effective Psychedelic Therapy Sessions With Clinical Cognitive Training

Our facilitators started as curious, open-minded, and altruistic people just like you who want to help others heal themselves.

Clinical Cognitive Training is at the forefront of the country’s psilocybin facilitator training facilities and we lead with our belief that affordable and equitable psilocybin services begin with access to affordable education.

Accordingly, our educational program offers two programs to fit the needs of our students:

  1. A full-time, eight-week onsite program that exceeds the state-mandated requirements
  2. The online/on-campus hybrid program allows up to one year to complete the same curriculum

With small classes intentionally built to foster supportive relationships between our students and instructors, we offer a more personal experience, allowing students to explore the process in depth.

Our nation is experiencing a mental health crisis. Now more than ever, people are struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and trauma.

Help us create sustainable change with the healing power of psilocybin. Become a trusted, licensed psilocybin facilitator at Clinical Cognitive Training.

The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.