Psilocybin and psilocin are hallucinogenic chemical compounds in the tryptamine family. These substances are formed by various species of fungus, also known as magic truffles and magic mushrooms, also known as “shrooms”.
When you eat shrooms or truffles, you ingest psilocybin and psilocin, which makes certain chemical connections in your brain. As a result, your consciousness changes and you experience things more intensely; even seeing, hearing or feeling things that aren’t there. But how does that work exactly? And is it dangerous?
In this article, I will provide some background information regarding the active substances in magic mushrooms and truffles. It is always good to know what type of effect certain substances can have on your brain, and if you understand what is happening, you do not need to fear it.
Effects of shrooms
What exactly happens in your brain when you take truffles or magic mushrooms? I will first briefly explain how your brain works and what happens when you ingest psilocybin and psilocin.
The brain is a network of around 100 billion brain cells called neurons. All these 100 billion neurons communicate with each other by means of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the substances that they pass on to each other.
Each neuron consists of a head and a tail. At the end of the tail, the neurotransmitters are excreted into the space between the neurons. From there, they are absorbed by the head of another neuron. This is how they pass on information.
The head is covered with different doors through which neurotransmitters can flow. These different doors each have a specific form through which one specific type of neurotransmitter can enter. Most of the doors are actually locked, preventing any neurotransmitters from passing through.
This lock can only be opened by one specific neurotransmitter. If the key fits the lock, the door opens and the neurotransmitters can flow in. These doors are called receptors.
The substances psilocybin and psilocin, which can be found in magic mushrooms and truffles are what is called an agonist for several serotonin receptors. An agonist is a substance that is added from the outside, like a medicine or drug, and that has exactly the same shape as the specific neurotransmitter key that fits in the receptor lock.
The receptor has exactly the same response to the neurotransmitter key as the agonist, because they have the same shape. Thus, the key fits the lock. The receptor is opened, allowing ions to flow in. This means that when you take magic mushrooms or truffles, your brain responds as though there is a lot of serotonin present.
Because your brain responds like there is a heightened concentration of serotonin present, part of your brain becomes more active. The areas of the brain that process visual and other sensual information in particular become more active. Due to this, you experience everything far more intensely and can start seeing things that aren’t there. Would you like to know more about the effects of truffles and magic mushrooms? Download my free e-book via this link.
Effects on the body
Psilocybin and psilocin are absorbed by the mucous membranes of the mouth and the stomach. The effects are noticeable within 15 to 60 minutes and last between 2 and 8 hours. The duration depends on the type of truffles or magic mushrooms you are taking, the quantity you have taken and your metabolism. The chemical makeup of your brain also has an influence on the effects.
The usual dose is between 10 and 30 milligrams, but some people have a heightened sensitivity to psilocybin and psilocin, causing them to already notice effects after ingesting 2 milligrams. Therefore, when taking truffles or magic mushrooms for the first time, it is important to not take too much and to find out how your body responds to truffles and magic mushrooms.
Your mind and body quickly get used to the use of psilocybin and psilocin, but that habituation also disappears quickly. If you take magic mushrooms or truffles three or four times a week, the effects may diminish, but that habituation will also disappear within a few days. If you take truffles or magic mushrooms often, you will sometimes have to take a break for 5 to 7 days to avoid diminishing effects.
A study in the United States over the period 2000 – 2002 showed that the use of hallucinogenic substances at an early age (between 11 and 17), amongst which psilocybin and psilocin, did not cause a heightened risk of drug addiction in adulthood. This, in contrast to the use of cocaine and amphetamine at an early age. This group can be associated with an “above average risk of developing drug dependency”.
Despite the fact that I discourage people below 18 years of age of using magic mushrooms or truffles, this is positive news. Magic mushrooms and truffles are not known for being physically addictive, and this study shows that once again. Psilocybin and psilocin are definitely not toxic. Nobody has ever died of the substance.
The active substances psilocybin and psilocin are chemically related to dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a tryptamine that naturally occurs in our brains. From a physical perspective, psilocybin and psilocin are safe and do not harm the body.
If you would like to know more about DMT and all dialkyltryptamines, DMT analogues and derivatives 5-MeO-DMT, psilocybin and psilocin, the beta-Carbolines such as harmine and harmaline, you should read the book TIHKAL, The Continuation by Alexander Shulgin. It’s a real treat for trip enthusiasts.
The brain effects of psilocybin and psilocin are wide-ranging and strongly depend on your mood and broader emotional constitution. In the beginning, you may feel a little disoriented. Sleepiness, euphoria, and sometimes even depression, are common symptoms.
In small doses, light hallucinations may occur, such as seeing brighter colours or moving patterns. Hallucinations may also occur with closed eyes. You can perceive multi-coloured, strange shapes or a series of connected, fantastically lively images. When using small doses, there is rarely such as thing as a “bad trip” because you still have a reasonable sense of control over the situation and can put the experience into perspective.
When taking large doses, hallucinations increase and the experiences become less realistic and more introverted. Even with your eyes open, you can often see very clear and detailed images that aren’t to be mistaken for reality. Disruptions in the perception of time and space are also familiar at high doses. Sometimes it seems like time is standing still, but you might also feel like you’ve had an entire journey in the space of two minutes.
After a positive experience, you often feel ecstatic. You might also feel strongly connected to others, nature and the universe. For many people, it also works therapeutically. Deep in the subconscious, you might discover hidden emotions or emotional blockages that come to the surface, so that they can be resolved. They can help you face your fears and your insecurities. It helps people to open more to feelings of love and trust in life.
Many users claim that they can also open their souls to spiritual dimensions on magic mushrooms and truffles. Dimensions such as unity, harmony and peace can be felt deeply. Spiritual entities – such as the ghosts of the psychedelic plants, totem animals and guides – can show themselves to you in your visuals. You can become more aware of the higher aspects of yourself and connect with a sense of love, unity and harmony. Everybody has it in them, but it is not often accessible, perhaps because they still carry a lot of negativity in them. As soon as they dissolve, there is space for other feelings to arise; feelings that often remain with you for the rest of your life.
The use of magic mushrooms and truffles could also lead to a bad trip. In such an event, you don’t feel well, experience a lot of fear and you may panic. After the trip is over, these feelings disappear, but it’s something you want to avoid. Therefore, it’s important to prepare well and make sure there is someone there in case things don’t go well. There’s everything you need to know to prevent a bad trip in my free e-book about magic truffles. Make sure you read it well before tripping.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and it has taught you something. If you have any questions, remarks or additions, you can leave them in the comments below. I am also always curious to hear about the experiences of other users, so feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.