Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in more than 100 species of mushrooms, which are popularly known as hallucinogenic mushrooms.Common terms for these hallucinogenic fungi include magic mushrooms and kick mushrooms.The genus Psilocybe with about 40 known species are the most potent members of this group. Psilocybe cubensis is the common psilocybin mushroom marketed (black market) and consumed in subtropical countries.
Other species of Psilocy be include P. azurescens, P. semilanceata, and P. cyanescens.In addition to these species psilocybin has also been isolated from about a dozen other genera which include Gymnopilus, Inocybe, Mycena, Panaeolus and Pluteus.These mushrooms are generally consumed as dried whole mushrooms, or as powdered materials in tablets, or in capsules.They are often eaten raw, mixed with eggs or boiled in hot water to make a mushroom "tea". Rarely the powdered mushrooms may be snorted or injected.
Psilocybin and Psilocin
As a pro drug psilocybin- the principal component of the mushroom- when ingested is quickly converted by the body to psilocin, which is responsible for the psychedelic effects ("mind-altering") similar to those of LSD and DMT. The effects of psilocybin are generally felt within a few minutes after consumption and will last for about three to six hours.
The effects include euphoria, visual and mental hallucinations, changes in perception, and spiritual experiences, and adverse reactions such as nausea and vomiting. Psilocybin can cause a person to feel anxious and have panic attacks. Users may also experience hallucinations and a loss of touch with reality.Other short term effects include perceptual distortions (visual or auditory), numbness, exaggerated reflexes, increased blood pressure, loss of urinary control, etc.
Although studies on the effects associated with the long-term use of psilocybin have not been reported, continuous use of psilocybin has been associated with people developing prolonged psychosis resembling paranoid schizophrenia. (Psychosis is a mental disorder that is characterized by a loss of touch with reality). Overdose with psilocybin mushrooms (or psilocybin) alone has not been directly associated with death, however, consumption with other drugs or alcohol may result in serious adverse health effects.
So far there is no report on these psilocybin mushrooms causing physical or psychological dependence (addiction). The legal status of psilocybin mushrooms varies from countries to countries. Both psilocybin and psilocin are listed as Schedule I drugs under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. However, it does not apply to the mushrooms and their cultivation, preparation, and transport.