Shrooms Effects

Magic mushrooms cause physical and psychological effects. The drug is famous for causing hallucinations. It also alters the body’s involuntary processes, such as breathing and heart rate. Long-term side effects include flashbacks and memory problems.
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Shrooms, magic mushrooms and psychedelic mushrooms are street names for mushrooms containing psilocybin. Psilocybin is an illicit drug that affects how the brain works. It changes the way different parts of the central nervous system communicate.

Psilocybin causes a wide range of effects because it’s chemically similar to serotonin, a chemical that plays a role in almost every type of bodily function.

The psychoactive chemicals in magic mushrooms are Schedule I controlled substances because they have a high potential for abuse and no proven medical use.

Several factors can influence the effects a person experiences, including the type of mushroom, the dosage taken and the setting where it is used, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research. The person’s mood, past drug experiences and personality also play a role.

Studies suggest that using psilocybin in safe environments may reduce the risk of negative psychological side effects.

Psychological Effects

Psilocybin mushrooms are notorious for causing hallucinations that cause people to see, hear, feel, taste or smell things that aren’t real. The experience can be positive or negative.

An example of a good trip may be hallucinating that you’re on top of the world. A bad trip may feel like a living nightmare. You may see scary things or believe someone is out to get you.

Magic mushrooms also cause a wide range of other psychological effects, such as:

  • Heightened senses
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble focusing
  • Disorientation
  • Thinking problems
  • Inability to determine what’s real
  • Feeling connected with the environment
  • Tension
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Panic

Some people who use psilocybin mushrooms experience a condition called synesthesia, which blends the senses together. It may cause you to see sounds or hear colors.

Aggression and violence are uncommon, but these side effects do occur, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Several participants in the study also reported self-harm or suicide attempts.

Many people describe the effects of magic mushrooms as a spiritual experience. Studies have found that a single trip can cause long-lasting psychological changes.

The effects of psychedelic mushrooms usually last between three and six hours. But the chemicals in the drug can stay in your system for between one and three days depending on how frequently you use it. Some people report persisting side effects of shrooms for multiple days.

Physical Effects

Psychedelic mushrooms aren’t as famous for physical effects as they are for psychological effects. Unlike other drugs of abuse, most hallucinogens don’t cause intense rushes or euphoria.

But magic mushrooms do cause increased tolerance to other drugs, such as LSD and mescaline — the drug in peyote. However, psilocybin isn’t associated with physical dependence.

Taking magic mushrooms can cause the following physical effects:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pupil dilation
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Numbness
  • Drowsiness

Eating the wrong type of mushroom is the greatest physical risk associated with magic mushroom use. Mushrooms containing psilocybin aren’t associated with deadly overdoses. But people have mistaken poisonous mushrooms for psilocybin mushrooms.

Other physical risks stem from the drug’s psychological effects. People who use mushrooms are at an increased risk of accidental injury. They’re also at risk of being assaulted or robbed.

Long-Term Effects

The long-term effects of magic mushrooms are relatively unknown. The drug doesn’t cause addiction, and it isn’t associated with long-lasting physical symptoms. In controlled settings, studies suggest that psilocybin may cause positive psychological effects.

In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, participants were given various doses of psilocybin in controlled settings. After 14 months, more than half of participants said the experience was “personally meaningful.” More than 60 percent said the experience “increased their sense of well-being or life satisfaction moderately or very much.”

And a 2016 study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that a single high dose of psilocybin improved symptoms of depression and anxiety among terminal cancer patients for at least six months.

However, current research has not proven that psilocybin is a safe and effective medical treatment. The effects of psychedelic mushrooms in real-world conditions can vary.

Case reports indicate that magic mushroom abuse can increase the risk of mental illness and cause flashbacks and memory problems.

Hallucinogen persisting perceptual disorder is a potential side effect of hallucinogens. HPPD is characterized by flashbacks to visual distortions that affect daily functioning. However, only one case report exists of a person experiencing HPPD after using psilocybin mushrooms. The man consumed the drug alongside marijuana, according to the 2005 report published in European Psychiatry.

Psychedelic mushrooms cause physical and psychological effects. Consuming higher doses of the drug or using it in high-risk environments increases the risk of negative side effects. The long-term effects of magic mushrooms are unknown, but the drug isn’t associated with addiction or dependence.

Medical Disclaimer: aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Chris Elkins, MA
Senior Content Writer,
Chris Elkins worked as a journalist for three years and was published by multiple newspapers and online publications. Since 2015, he’s written about health-related topics, interviewed addiction experts and authored stories of recovery. Chris has a master’s degree in strategic communication and a graduate certificate in health communication.

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