Is it Safe to Mix Antidepressants with Psilocybin Mushrooms?

magic mushrooms antidepressants

Psilocybin is a highly effective chemical in treating depression is a pretty well-accepted fact around medical circles. Thanks to the positive results that clinical trials have yielded, Medical professionals are now embracing psychedelics as an alternative to treating depression and other mental health conditions.

The only problem is those who stand to gain most from this development are patients who are already on prescribed antidepressants. It’s a catch 22 situation because they can’t automatically switch to psilocybin – or other psychedelics, for that matter– without risking their mental health. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information out there on how psychedelics affect people with a history of antidepressant use.

A lot of research still needs to be done to figure out how psychedelics interact with antidepressants, especially those that contain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs happen to be the most widely prescribed antidepressants, making up almost 80% of the antidepressant market.

Serotonin Receptors – where it all happens

One thing we know for sure is that both SSRIs in antidepressants and psilocybin in magic mushrooms have an effect on serotonin receptors in our brain. Serotonin is a “feel-good” hormone that’s produced in our brain, which is responsible for our overall sense of well-being. By attaching to these receptors psilocybin alters brain function and elevates our mood when we consume shrooms.

SSRIs, on the other hand, increase the levels of serotonin in the brain when they block this hormone from being absorbed into the neurons. This means that when SSRIs and psilocybin meet in the brain there’s a chance that SSRIs could blunt the effect of psilocybin, making it difficult to treat depression.

There’s a second school of thought that says taking psilocybin mushrooms while on an SSRI antidepressant can lead to overstimulation of your brain due to a temporary surge in levels of serotonin there – a condition known as serotonin syndrome. Some psilocybin treatment retreats do not accept visitors who are on SSRI treatment, or any other prescription medicine, because of how seriously they consider this risk to be.

It’s also not clear whether tapering off antidepressants can restore the full effects of a psilocybin trip on patients receiving magic mushroom therapeutic treatment. Experts such as Dr. Julie Holland, a New York-based psychopharmacologist, feel that past use of SSRIs could still hinder the effectiveness of psychedelic-assisted treatment even years after the patient has stopped taking antidepressants.

What about other antidepressants?

SNRIs

Like SSRIs, Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) also act by boosting serotonin, although they also increase the levels of noradrenaline- a stress hormone – in the brain. There’s a good chance that SNRIs can have an overlapping effect when combined with psilocybin. However, there haven’t been any formal reports showing negative effects of taking SNRI in combination with psilocybin.

The opposite sometimes appears to be the case, with SNRIs seemingly reducing the effects of psychedelics. Nonetheless, SNRIs shouldn’t be mixed with psilocybin until there’s enough research to prove such a combination is harmless.

MAOIs

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) is another category of antidepressants that’s sometimes used to treat anxiety disorders. They help boost the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, by preventing their breakdown. Considering that MAOIs alter the levels of serotonin in the brain, there’s a good chance that mixing them with psilocybin can result in negative effects like serotonin syndrome. It’s therefore best that the two are not mixed.

TCAs

TCAs are Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) or Tetracyclic Antidepressants (TeCAs), another class of antidepressants that are less commonly used in the Western world. That’s because they’ve been overtaken by SSRI and SNRIs – the third generation antidepressants.

Again, TCAs and TeCAs work pretty much the same as SNRIs, where they increase serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain. But they’re also much less selective as to which receptors they work on, which makes mixing them with psilocybin very dangerous because of the numerous side effects they cause. SSRIs have also been reported to cause fatalities due to their effects on the heart, which only makes the case for not mixing them with psychedelics stronger. Also, the fact that Lithium is commonly administered in combination with TCAs, it’s not advisable to mix TCA based antidepressants with psychedelics as it can result in heart attacks or fatal seizures associated with Lithium.

Tapering off antidepressants to take psychedelics

For patients to experience the benefits of psychedelics they may need to taper off antidepressants. However, tapering off antidepressants can be risky and patients shouldn’t try it before consulting a qualified doctor. Stopping your antidepressant medication at once can lead to severe side effects like insomnia, fatigue, dizziness, irritability and even physical effects like diarrhea and flu-like symptoms. It can also evoke suicidal feelings; the long and short of it is that it’s probably not worth doing even when you consider the positive effects of a psychedelic trip.

Conclusion

Although psilocybin has been proven to be highly effective in treating depression and other mental issues, it’s not advisable to take psilocybin if you’re already on antidepressants. If you decide to go off antidepressants you should be really careful about how you do it and be sure to consult a qualified doctor to advise you on how to go about it.

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10 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid When Tripping on Magic Mushrooms

10 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid When Tripping on Magic Mushrooms

Just because magic mushrooms have a long history of safe use where fatalities from overdoses are virtually unheard of, it doesn’t mean they can’t give you a bad experience. To enjoy and get the maximum benefits from psychedelics you must approach them with respect.

Here are 10 mistakes a lot of newbies (and sometimes even experienced shroomers) make you’ll want to avoid:

 

1.    Tripping in the Wrong Setting

The place where you choose to consume your magic mushrooms is just as important as the dosage itself. If you’re tripping in an uncontrolled environment without professional supervision then you must do everything in your power to ensure that all sources of discomfort, distraction, or commotion are eliminated. You’re also less likely to have a bad trip if you’re in a safe, familiar and comfortable place like your living room or bedroom. You might also find it helpful to adjust the lights and ensure the place isn’t too warm or too cold. Playing some soft background music can produce some positive vibes.

 

2.    Over-consuming, especially edibles

Deciding on how much shrooms you should you take and measuring the quantities, can be a tricky question.  Our favorite saying here at Magic Mushrooms Dispensary is it’s always better to err on the side of caution. If you’re unsure and inexperienced, start slowly with a microdose of, say, 0.5g and then refill once you reach the peak. 2 to 3 grams of dried mushrooms is considered a full trip dose, and you don’t want to do a full dose when it’s your first time because you may not be able to handle the mushroom’s potency. If you’re taking edibles like chocolate choconauts or gummies, you should be really careful. The effects take longer to kick in but are more intense than those of dried mushrooms, so you need to wait things out before popping another gummy into your mouth.

 

3.    Tripping With the Wrong Company

Who you trip with is an important part of your set and setting. The best people to share your magic mushroom experience with are those who understand what a psychedelic journey means. They should be able to empathize with you during your periods of elation, or during your lows, like when you purge. Being in the company of noisy people who make fun of you when you experience discomfort is not only a waste of good shrooms, it could turn your experience into something nasty you’ll forever want to forget.

 

4.    Taking Shrooms with Alcohol or Other Drugs

Psilocybin mushrooms are highly potent, mind-altering substances. When taken in combination with alcohol, caffeine, or other hallucinogens, there can only be one outcome – disaster. Taking alcohol before or during your psilocybin trip can result in nausea, paranoia, panic attacks and even episodes of violence. Other drugs, especially synthetics, can produce even worse outcomes like a trip to the emergency room. Such reckless actions are what gives a wonderful drug like psilocybin a bad name, and you probably don’t want to do that. If you want to intensify your trip, take your shrooms in small increments. Eventually you’ll get the high you desire. If you’re going to mix shrooms with weed, make sure your timing is perfect, otherwise it could also result in a long bad trip.

 

5.    Being in the Wrong Mind Frame

Before taking magic mushrooms, make sure you’re in the right state of mind. Being positive and relaxed, rather than anxious about the experience can determine whether you have a great trip or a bad one. Mushrooms have a way of amplifying your worst fears, meaning any dark thoughts before you take the shrooms are likely to play out in the form of a bad trip.  If you’re already annoyed or anxious about something, reschedule your trip until you’re calm enough to handle the shrooms. Most importantly, don’t take magic mushrooms if you’re scheduled for an important meeting or job interview.

 

6.    Excessive Stimulation

It’s no secret that our brains become hyper-connected when we trip on magic mushrooms. Studies have shown that psilocybin has a way of disrupting the communication networks in our brains and reconnecting different regions that usually don’t talk to each other. This is what causes us to go through changes of perception like illusions, loss of sense of time and synaesthesia – hearing images and feeling sounds. If you’re in an environment where there are loud noises and very bright colors – like a night club, or out in the streets – this may overstimulate your already hyper-sensitive brain causing you to have a meltdown.  The best thing is to stay in-doors in a calm, relaxed environment.

 

7.    Not Hydrating Enough

It can never be said enough. Tripping and drinking water go together like peas and carrots. That’s because tripping does come with some side effects like having a dry mouth. You can also experience cold sweats during your trip and you’ll need to replenish the water that your body loses. It’s also advisable to take sugar containing drinks as they can lessen the intensity of your mushroom trip.

 

8.    Not Setting Enough Time Aside for your Trip

When going on your first psychedelic trip, there’s no such thing as being over-prepared. One of the most important aspects of your planning is ensuring you put aside everything else and create enough time to savour your trip. After all, a psilocybin trip lasts anywhere between 4 to 6 hours, so you want to be sure there’s adequate time for the effects to wear off. Free up at least 8 hours of your time and, if possible, do it on a weekend when you don’t have to report to work the next day. Feeling under pressure because you don’t have enough time to enjoy the trip can trigger feelings of anxiety and paranoia which will only ruin your trip.

 

9.    Tripping Without a Specific Intent

There’s nothing wrong with tripping purely for recreational purposes, but a trip that’s full of introspection is usually so much better. As Leo Zeff, a pioneer in the use of psychedelic therapy, put it: the quality of a trip is not determined by your experience that day but by your subsequent growth in the following months. Having a specific purpose for tripping before the event means you stand a greater chance of experiencing long term positive psychological effects compared to tripping just for the sake of it.

 

10. Not Drawing Lessons from Bad Trips

Although no one really wants to go through a bad trip, sometimes they can prove to be very beneficial. Bad trips are simply a reflection of your worst fears and could be a way of telling you there’s an emotional issue you need to deal with in your life. A lot of people usually write off bad trips as something to forget, rather than look at them as an opportunity to correct or at least confront something that’s gone wrong in your life. By using the come down from a bad trip as a period for deep reflection, we can turn this time into a profound moment of revelation about ourselves and use the lessons learned to improve on the next trip.

 

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Using Magic Mushrooms for Self Improvement

Using Magic Mushrooms for Self Improvement

There are all kinds of reasons why people use psychedelics. For some, it’s a path to self-discovery. For others, it’s a way to commune with nature. Still, for many others, it’s a way to kick back and socialize with friends.

Shrooms and psychedelics in general can be everything to everyone. They can be intoxicating, they can give you mind blowing visuals, or they can take you on a spiritual journey that’s completely transformational. It all depends on your attitude as the user.

One thing’s for sure, if you want an experience that goes beyond mere recreation, you need to approach magic mushrooms with a clear focus and the right preparation. Beyond the intoxication, geometric shapes and synesthesia lies a much bigger potential in magic mushrooms that you can miss out on if you don’t take them more seriously.

How can magic mushrooms transform you?

Magic mushrooms are catalysts that can initiate change in our personality. Research has shown that the effects of psilocybin mushrooms last more than 6 months after a trip on a substantial dose. They act as mirrors, showing you your other hidden side, and bring to the surface all your emotional battles and inadequacies for closer scrutiny.

Magic mushrooms take you through an emotional cathartic release, helping you get more in touch with your subconscious. In the process they dissolve your ego, enabling you to break the cycle of rigid thoughts and habits that hold you back in life.

Having the right attitude towards psychedelics means having a more open mind where you encourage deeper self-examination and purpose to come out of your spiritual trip a better person.

Tripping on shrooms with intent

Casual trippers usually miss out on the potential magic mushrooms and other psychedelics have of transforming lives. Whether by design or default, they often don’t prepare enough or integrate any lessons they pick up into their daily lives. By failing to do these two things, recreational users cannot enjoy the full potential of the trip.

Myron Stolaroff a researcher and author best known for his work in psychedelic psychotherapy says this about psychedelics, “Their true purpose is to enhance growth and interior development. Used only for pleasure, or abused, the Inner Self is thwarted, which leads to unpleasant experiences and depression.”

If you’ve never tried tripping with a specific intent from the outset, it’s something you need to consider. Like you do when preparing for a journey, have an itinerary of where you want to go, questions you want to explore during the trip. Think of it as a therapeutic session that should not be taken lightly, an honest appraisal about yourself.

If you’re tripping in a group setting, try and set aside some time where you’re by yourself. This will help you do some quiet introspection.

Ask yourself the more profound questions regarding your life, questions like:

  • What keeps me from reaching my full potential?
  • Does my behavior complement my goals and beliefs?
  • What changes do I need to make my life better?

Take time to think about each question. Feel it and reflect deeply upon it. If you focus your mind on these things during the trip, you’ll come back from the experience having learned some extraordinary things about yourself.

How to use your trip for self-improvement

Leo Zeff, who pioneered the use of psychedelic therapy, put it best by saying the quality of a trip is not determined by your experience that day, but by your subsequent growth in the following months.

As long as we pay attention to any insights we get from our trip and commit to applying the lessons learned in our daily lives, then our psychedelic experiences can become events that catalysis change, helping us to reach the highest level of self-awareness. One of the best ways to measure the quality of your trip is to consider how much you’ve grown from it.

As you go through a number of psychedelic trips, each new insight you get from the experience can act as a kind of feedback where you deal with disturbing issues one at a time. Think of it as a to-do list where you keep eliminating issues that give you a bad trip.

Using bad trips to grow

No one wants to go through a bad trip. But, contrary to what many people think, bad trips can prove to be very beneficial.

Bad trips are simply a reflection of your worst fears. They tend to bubble to the surface whenever your subconscious is set free. Needless to say, the emotions we undergo during a bad trip usually come from unresolved negative experiences we’ve had in our lives.

When we keep ignoring these deep lying concerns, they manifest themselves in the form of deep paranoia and anxiety, an amplified version of the concern itself. When this concern presents itself in a bad trip, it gives us an opportunity to confront it and do something about it.

By using the come down from a bad trip as a period for deep reflection, we can turn this time into a profound moment of revelation about ourselves.

When we reflect this way after each trip, even the good ones, you’ll get pointers on the things you need to address in your life, and the kind of changes you need to undertake for a positive transformation. As you make these changes, your trips will also change for the better.

What magic mushrooms can’t do for you

There’s no doubt psilocybin mushrooms can be very effective in helping identify the issues behind destructive behavior and thought patterns. However, they cannot be used to self-medicate for mental problems that require professional counseling. If you suffer from psychological illness, you’re better off getting psilocybin therapy in the right clinical setting under the close supervision of a psychologist.

Shrooms are also not a one-size-fits-all therapeutic remedy for a broad range of behavioral issues. The changes you undergo from psychedelic trips are progressive, and you have to manage your expectations of any positive personality change.

Conclusion

Once you’ve experienced the benefits of tripping with intent, make sure you share what you’ve gone through with your friends. Let them know that it’s fine to use psychedelics for recreation, but it’s much more fulfilling when you trip with the intention of self-improvement. Who knows, you might change their lives for the better!

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How to Overcome a Bad Magic Mushroom Trip

How to Overcome a Bad Magic Mushroom Trip

The mind is a powerful thing. When you introduce it to psychedelics it can open up a completely different world to you, one of spiritual nirvana, or another that’s full of nightmares. Luckily, bad trips on shrooms are a rare thing, but it’s always good to be prepared in case you have one.

What’s a bad trip, and what causes it?

A bad trip can range from experiencing mild anxiety and paranoia to having a full-scale psychedelic crisis where you go through some deeply disturbing emotions. The worst part is a bad trip can last as long as a good one, which is basically six to eight hours depending on the dosage you’ve taken. During the trip it feels as though time is standing still, making a bad experience even worse.

The reasons for having a bad trip vary from person to person, but they can usually be traced back to the following things:

  • Taking higher doses of magic mushrooms. 2 to 3 grams of dried mushrooms is considered a full trip dose. Anything higher than this, and you’re courting trouble especially if you don’t have enough experience with psychedelics. Here’s how much magic mushrooms you should take to get the desired effects.
  • Being in a negative frame of mind before taking shrooms or during the trip.
  • Having a setting where there’s excessive stimulation.
  • Mixing psilocybin mushroom with other drugs or alcohol.
  • Taking psychedelic drugs without a trip sitter to sooth you in case things go south.
  • Not taking enough water.

Can you avoid a bad trip?

You can minimize the chances of having a bad trip by creating the right set and setting from the start. Try to be positive and relaxed rather than anxious about the psychedelic experience. Make sure your surroundings are familiar and comfortable. Take a dosage of shrooms that your body can handle. A good way to go is to start with small doses and work your way up to a level that feels right for you. Whatever you do, don’t take alcohol because this will create panic or even make you violent.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated and have some snacks at hand in case you get hungry. You don’t want to have a dry mouth or get hungry while tripping because this will only make you grumpy.

How to stop a bad trip

Sometimes, however well we prepare, things still fail to go according to plan. You may get a distressing phone call in the middle of your trip, or you might see something and get a negative flashback. Whichever the case, you can’t completely eliminate surprises that may put a damper on your shrooms experience. Here’s what to do when start getting bad vibes during your trip:

  • Pause and take a deep breath. This will help calm your nerves. If this doesn’t work, you can go a step further and try counting your breaths to bring your breathing and heart rate under control. It can do wonders when your nerves begin to fray.
  • Talk to someone, it can be a trip sitter or a friend. Their gentle voice can help sooth you and make you feel more secure. The fact that they’re sober will help you realize that what you’re going through isn’t real and it will all be over at some point.
  • Go for a walk. Being in a different place might help lift your mood. However it shouldn’t be in a noisy area, or a place with too much traffic.
  • Find a distraction. Switching your focus to something else when you start feeling anxious can calm your trip. You can turn on some music or look at a picture on the wall. The good thing with hallucinogens is it’s not that hard to switch your attention to something else because everything appears interesting while you’re high.
  • Do some light exercise like stretching. This will ease any discomfort you might have as well as decrease your tension and boost your mood. Also try drinking some water.
  • Try humor. Sometimes not taking things too seriously and having a laugh at yourself about the situation you’re in helps lighten the mood. If you can’t manage a laugh, try smiling. Even a plastic smile is better than not smiling at all.
  • Give it time. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you’re not able to shake off the negative emotions of a bad trip. Your best option in such a situation may be to simply ride it out.

Conclusion

Bad trips shouldn’t be written off as merely ugly encounters that are best forgotten. As torturous as these experiences might be, they can unearth some unresolved issues that we have, and start a healing process in our lives. Like a near death experience or a painful divorce, surviving the scare of a harrowing trip can only make us stronger in the end and even teach us something about ourselves that we didn’t know. If you’ve ever had a bad trip consider it a feather on your cap and an important milestone in your psychedelic experience.

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Guide on How to Be a Good Psychedelic Trip Sitter

Guide on How to Be a Good Psychedelic Trip Sitter

If your friend called you up and asked you to be their psychedelic trip sitter (sober sitter or co-pilot), how would you react? In all likelihood, you’d freak out and tell them you’re not ready for that kind of responsibility. True, a tripsitter isn’t exactly the same as a designated driver, but with the right kind of preparation it’s certainly something you can hack. More importantly, you can also be there for your friend in their hour of need.

 

What’s a trip sitter?

A trip sitter is someone who’s assigned to look after the person who’s taking a hallucinogen, whether it’s LSD, Magic Mushrooms or DMT. This usually happens when it’s the tripper’s first experience with psychedelics. Ideally, the tripsitter should stay sober so they can monitor the tripper while they’re under the influence of the drug.

The concept of trip sitting can be traced back to Timothy Leary’s book The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which was written as a guide on what to do when someone’s going through a psychedelic trip, especially how to handle ego death.  The book advocates for the presence of psychedelic guides to help trippers during the different phases of ego death.

 

What does it take to be an effective trip sitter?

Having first-hand experience with the substance being used, or training on how to handle any psychological or medical emergency that may arise certainly helps. But even more importantly, it’s your willingness to help, and being responsible enough to remain sober during the trip that really matter. Good trip sitters are able to empathize with the tripper without intervening beyond what the tripper would want. Of course, it always a plus when there’s already an existing relationship between the sitter and the tripper.

A sitter, like the one Leary had in mind, can play an active role in guiding the tripper’s experience. For example, people who sign up for psychedelic retreats have shamans to sit with them during their journey. In this case, the shamans have a lot of experience with hallucinogens and know how to react in case anything out of the norm happens.

 

The tripsitter’s responsibilities

A key responsibility of the sitter is to be there for the tripper throughout their psychedelic experience. That means before, during, and after their trip. It’s always good to ensure the surroundings are welcoming and do whatever you can to put the user at ease, especially when it’s their first time on the substance they’re taking.

A question many people ask is can the tripsitter be high themselves? Some sitters find it more effective when they microdose or smoke a joint earlier on in order to connect better with the tripper. However, it’s probably best to play it safe as a sitter and stay sober so that you can make the right decisions in case things go south.

 

What to do before the trip?

  1. Do some research

If you don’t have that much experience with psychoactive drugs, you need to do your homework first. Find out all you can about the substance the tripper is using (including the dosage) so as to fully appreciate what its effects are and how long they may last. Most magic mushrooms, for example, take 10 to 30 minutes for the effects to kick in, and a full psychedelic trip may last 6 to 8 hours depending on the dosage taken.

Understanding the five levels of psychedelic experience is also important. At level 1 the user will feel relaxed and only experience subtle changes in their visuals, while at level 5 they’ll be completely disconnected with reality.

Needless to say, it’s also important to know if the tripper has a medical condition that could be affected by taking the hallucinogen.

  1. Create the right set and setting

Ensure the tripper is in the right state of mind i.e. they’re positive and relaxed, rather than anxious about the experience. Discuss with the user what you’ve gathered from your research and agree on some ground rules before starting the session like what dosage they should take and any guidance they may want during the experience. You should also agree on how to deal with emergencies that may arise, and whom to call in case of an emergency.

As for the setting, you’re less likely to have a bad trip if the surroundings are familiar and comfortable. Your friend’s living room or bedroom, for example, can provide the right environment for a trip. Adjust the lights, ensure the place isn’t too warm or too cold, and turn on some music to create the right ambience.

 

During the psychedelic experience

  1. Whatever you do, be present throughout the tripper’s experience. Even if you don’t say anything, just being there may actually be enough to reassure them during the session. However, if they have questions that you can answer, indulge them, and try not to be judgmental. When talking to them keep your tone down to soothe them.

 

  1. Don’t forget to provide for their physical needs like keeping them hydrated at all times. Help them if they need assistance moving around, but if they need their personal space, respect that. When communicating, speak to them in a calm soothing voice.

 

  1. Lastly, it’s always good to recognize when the user is peaking and when the user is gradually coming back to reality.

 

After the psychedelic trip

The first thing to do is to monitor the aftereffects of the psychoactive substance. You may find that the tripper is still anxious or paranoid during the comedown, and you may need to reassure them that everything’s okay. They may experience a dry mouth, in which case, you should give them some water to drink.

Afterwards when they’re more comfortable, talk about the psychedelic journey with the user. If you had made an audio or video recording, play it back. This may help the tripper understand their experience better. If they’re anxious about something, reassure them once again.

Give the user time to rest as they may be tired after the trip.

 

What to do in case of a bad psychedelic trip?

If you’ve prepared the tripper adequately in terms of the right set and setting bad trips are less likely to happen. However, they are a reality and you should always be prepared to handle them.

When someone’s having a bad trip, the first thing you’ll notice is they become really fearful or paranoid. They may even get hysterical and violent. Stay calm and reassure them that what they’re going through is the effect of a psychoactive substance and it isn’t real. Let them know that they’re safe and that nothing bad is going to happen to them.

You can try moving them to a different room that’s more comfortable and help them relax by reminding them that the experience will be over soon. If the situation gets out of hand, call for professional medical help so that they can be kept in a safe place and sedated if the need arises.

 

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that trip sitting is an important part of safe recreational drug use and a great help to the psychedelic community. It’s always a good thing when the more experienced psychonauts step up and lend a helping hand to the newbies. Hopefully, this article has shed more light on what this actually entails. Happy tripping!

 

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Psilocybin and Cannabis, How Safe is it to Mix the Two?

Psilocybin and Cannabis How Safe is it to Mix the Two

Conventional wisdom has it that mixing drugs is a no go zone. Stories abound of users who’ve experienced not just bad trips, but also stints in hospital, and in the worst case scenario – death. Those who are into poly-drug use say that mixing synthetics can be a problem, but it’s a different story when it comes to natural stuff like weed and magic mushrooms.

So who’s right? Let’s look at the individual effects of the two to get a better understanding of how they work together.

 

Cannabis

THC is the primary active compound of the cannabis plant. When it gets to the brain, it binds to cannabinoid receptors to create the high that users experience. The effects of cannabis have been variously described as stimulating, exhilarating, and relaxing depending on the strain you use. Strains are generally categorized into two types – sativas and indicas. Sativas are considered more stimulating, while indicas are more relaxing.

Cannabis affects your senses mainly through your visual perception, where colors appear brighter. Music will also sound more beautiful while the taste of food and aroma become more enjoyable.

As for your mood, cannabis makes you feel upbeat. You’ll get funny spur of the moment thoughts, although they may also be insightful and in some instances paranoid. Thoughts that are at first clear become clouded as lethargy seeps in.

Cannabis users also typically experience the munchies, drowsiness and an altered perception of time. They may also feel more sensual and a heightened libido.

Generally, the effects of smoking weed kick in after about 30 minutes, but the high lasts for 1 to 3 hours. However, if you take marijuana as food or drink it takes longer to hit you, but the high lasts for many more hours than smoking.

 

Magic Mushrooms

Like cannabis, psilocybin – the active ingredient in psilocybe magic mushrooms – works by binding itself to receptors in your brain. In this case they are serotonin receptors responsible for the communication between nerve cells.

When you take shrooms, the first feeling is that of a pleasant energy coursing through your veins. Your entire psychological functioning is altered as you go through a transient state between being awake and sleep.

You’ll feel an uplift in your mood, clarity in your thinking and a deeper level of introspection.

Once the full effects kick in, about an hour after ingesting psilocybin mushrooms, you will start to go through changes of perception like illusions, loss of sense of time and synaesthesia. Visuals will become more enhanced including seeing things like halos around lights and sometimes even geometric patterns when you close your eyes.

As is the case with cannabis, your magic mushroom trip will depend on the dosage and strain you take. Of course, microdoses of either have a different effect than a full dose.

 

Magic Mushrooms and Cannabis Are Strikingly Similar

When all is said and done weed and magic mushrooms have an uncanny likeness to each other. For starters, both affect your thought process and perceptions in certain ways. They lift your mood to the point of elation, trigger creative thoughts, and enrich the beauty of music, art and nature in general. However, they also have a dark side and can open a Pandora’s box, bringing to the surface any inner demons and deep-rooted bad feelings you may have.

 

Mixing Shrooms and Cannabis – The Experience

So what happens when these two titans come together? Well, it depends on the person (how drug tolerant they are) and the timing.

When everything falls into place, a melting pot of cannabis and shrooms will intensify your psychedelic experience by provoking more abstract visuals and sensations.

It’s always best to let the magic mushroom trip take the centre stage, while the cannabis plays a more supporting role. That means taking it easy on the weed. If you’re smoking, don’t overdo it – no big joints or bong rips. Just small puffs to first test the waters and then playing it by ear from that point.

Psychonauts who’ve learned to get the best out of the two avoid smoking weed during the peak. They say cannabis taken before the mushroom come-up helps to temper it. It also gives the peak an edge, and prolongs the come-down. Those who have more weed tolerance smoke before the peak then wait for the come-down before taking some more cannabis. Again, this is a fine balancing act, if you overdo it you may completely reignite your high which may not be very pleasant.

One heads up we can give users who mix weed and magic mushrooms is to start with low-THC, sativa-dominant strains. Something else to consider is that sativa strains provide that extra bit of energy and positivity, while indica a CBD-rich strain helps fight off nausea and manage any jittery feelings that may creep up.

 

The Downside

Of course things may not always go according to script. Sometimes cannabis induces lethargy and dulls any visuals you’re likely to experience as well as numbing your sensations. In short, your psychedelic peak could end up becoming an anti-climax.

Combining cannabis and shrooms can also trigger a bout of paranoia and anxiety, not to mention there’s the risk of getting mired in negative or repetitive thoughts and emotions. The worst part is that if you’re having a bad trip it’ll feel even longer because of the disorientation of time that comes with taking mushrooms.

 

Conclusion

Weed and psilocybin can be a wonderful combination, when done right. The weed can reinvigorate your shrooms trip when it goes off-peak and make the whole experience smoother. However, when your timing is off, or your head’s simply not in the right place, combining the two can dampen the best parts of the trip and unleash chaos. If you have any doubts, it’s better to err on the side of caution and not mix the two.

 

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What’s the Legal Status of Magic Mushrooms and How Does It Affect You?

What’s the Legal Status of Magic Mushrooms and How Does It Affect You

If you know your psilocybin history, then you’ve probably heard of Timothy Leary, the psychologist and strong advocate of psychedelic drugs whose psilocybin studies contributed greatly to the American counter culture movement in the 60s. Leary was actually inspired by a 1955 article published in Life magazine in which R. Gordon Wasson gave an account of his first-hand experience with magic mushrooms down in Mexico. Wasson and a colleague had also brought back some psychedelic mushrooms from Mexico which Albert Hofmann, the father of LSD, isolated and extracted psilocybin and psilocin.

From that point, life would never be the same again for Leary, who began experimenting with magic mushrooms at Harvard University, a quest that would cost him his job and have him labelled “the most dangerous man in America” by President Nixon. In 1968, magic mushrooms were declared illegal in the United States, and other countries like Canada followed suit. In 1971 Canada signed onto the Convention on Psychotropic Substances which formalized the banning of psychedelics across the world.

 

The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act was passed in 1996 and is a repeal of the Narcotic Control Act as well as parts of the Food and Drugs Act. Psilocybin is listed as a schedule III drug in the act. The passage of this law was actually a shift in the way Canadian authorities think and handle drug and substance-related offences. Although you can still incur a fine or jail time for possession of these prohibited drugs, the act considers extraneous circumstances during sentencing because it now views drug offences as a public health concern.

This change of attitude towards illicit drugs was set into motion in 1969 when the Canadian government set up a commission to review the system’s policy on drugs. The Le Dain Commission, as it was known, finished its work in 1972 and recommended several things, including decriminalizing the possession and use of marijuana. It also called for the gradual decriminalization of other drugs as further investigation into the drugs was undertaken. What the Commission was saying, in a nut shell, is that drug possession and use should be viewed as a public health issue and not as a criminal court matter. Unfortunately, the Canadian government sat on its hands on the issue, and only in 2018 decriminalized recreational use of marijuana for persons over 18.

 

Where Does This Leave Magic Mushrooms?

At the moment magic mushrooms are illegal under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, meaning you’re not permitted to possess, obtain or produce them without a prescription or license. However, magic mushroom spores and spore kits are not in themselves illegal, and you can grow and consume the mushrooms without running into trouble with the law.

In September 2019, there was an attempt to crack down on the sale of magic mushrooms by the Vancouver council, but the motion was defeated. Clearly, magic mushrooms are no longer seen as the threat they were thought to be during the counter culture movement of the ‘60s.

The relaxed mood regarding enforcement of the Controlled Drug and Substances Act means that users can take this opportunity to enjoy the benefits that magic mushrooms provide. The best way to do this is by buying magic mushrooms online which guarantees the privacy of your package. Using mail order means that the police are unlikely to interfere with your parcel. That said, we still recommend utmost discretion when consuming magic mushrooms.

After 50 years of psychedelics being illegal in the United States, the FDA has recently approved studies to explore their positive effects in treating depression, PTSD, addiction, and more. The early results are impressive.

Denver has become the first city in America to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms. The city of Oakland is now the 2nd city in the US to decriminalize the adult use and procession of magic mushrooms (counsel unanimously agreed to decriminalize the use, procession, and cultivation of psychedelic plants). It’s likely just a matter of time before Canada does the same similar to Cannabis. The adventures have just begun.

 

Treatment Prospects

Luckily, the act having recognized the potential benefits of some psychoactive compounds allows the Health Minister to exempt substances like psilocybin for medical or scientific purposes. Several institutions have applied for these exemptions as they seek treatments for psychological problems such as depression and anxiety related to terminal illness.

The University of Toronto Mississauga is one such institution. It has already applied to Health Canada for the approval of its Psychedelic Studies Research Program. The University of Toronto plans to carry out the world’s first clinical trials on microdosing psilocybin.

 

The People Behind The Fight For Legalization

There are also individuals who have taken on the fight to have the ban on magic mushrooms fully lifted such as Bruce Tobin, a Psychotherapist and professor at the University of Victoria. Tobin is driven a strong desire to see cancer patients suffering from end of life distress get psychological support using psychoactive drugs like psilocybin.

He got interested in psilocybin a decade ago when a cancer patient who was suffering from intense depression approached him for help. Even after going through remission the woman still lived in constant fear that the cancer would return. But after trying psilocybin mushrooms she was able to overcome her depression and anxiety.

Since then Tobin has been fighting for patients to access psilocybin, and believes there are about 3,000 people in Canada who can benefit from medical psilocybin. He’s already written to Health Canada requesting special exemption from the current drug laws to allow him to acquire psilocybin for use in treating terminally ill cancer patients who have depression that can’t be treated through conventional means.

Tobin says he’ll file a motion in federal court asking for a judicial review of The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act if Health Canada fail to respond to his request for exemption. If his motion is defeated there, he plans to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

 

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Must Watch Films, Documentaries & Videos for Shroom Lovers

Must Watch Films Documentaries Videos for Shroom Lovers

Like all magic mushroom enthusiasts, here at MagicMushroomsDispensary.ca we love being at the forefront of discovering any new information on our favorite pastime – shrooms. We thought we’d take time to highlight some TV programs, documentaries and films that we think might be beneficial in helping you have an even better psychedelic experience.

The Goop Lab 

You probably don’t need an introduction to Gwyneth Paltrow, the host and producer of this show that airs on Netflix. The Goop Lab is a documentary that talks about wellness and lifestyle. Paltrow and her Goop team created 6 episodes on wellness that you’ll find interesting. In the first episode titled “The Healing Trip”, Paltrow takes a look at the benefits of psychedelics in an interview with Mark Haden, the executive director of MAPS Canada. MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) has been promoting academic research and clinical studies regarding the healing potential of psychedelics while also collaborating with the FDA on this subject.

 

Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics

Here’s a good way to benchmark your psychedelic experiences. In this new 1hr 25 min documentary with celebrities like Sarah Silverman, Ben Stiller, and Sting share the highs and lows of their encounters with psychedelics albeit with a light touch. Comedy aside, there’s also an in-depth look at the history and science of hallucinogens as well as the impact they’ve had on pop culture.

 

The Push to Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms

After Denver became the first U.S. city to decriminalize psilocybin, in May 2019, debate raged on whether Canada should follow suit. This interview between CBC News Network and Mark Haden, of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Canada discusses the push to legalize the drug as well as increasing research on psilocybin so as to treat conditions like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

The Science of Psilocybin and Its Use to Relieve Suffering

In case you missed this TEDMED talk, it’s a great way to remind yourself what the psychedelic journey is all about, and what benefits it can bring to your life. Although the 15 minute talk was given in 2016 the material is just as relevant today, if not more, as it was back then.

Roland Griffiths, a psychiatrist and behavioral scientist reveals how psychedelic drugs can give patients, especially the terminally ill, spiritually meaningful, life changing experiences. In the talk Griffiths mainly focuses on the Psilocybin Research Project at Johns Hopkins, which he leads, and discloses how psilocybin has been tested in over 250 volunteers, including healthy people, cancer patients, smokers.

 

Fantastic Fungi

Forbes describes it as “a must see for anyone interested in life, death and the pursuit of the planet’s well-being”. Fantastic fungi is a nature documentary which looks at the connection between humans and mycelium. Narrated by Brie Larson, this captivating 74 minute film argues that the very core of the world and humanity depends on mushrooms, stating boldly, “We are creation, we are resurrection, condemnation and regeneration. We are mushrooms.”

 

Neurons to Nirvana: Understanding Psychedelic Medicines

This fascinating feature documentary talks about the recent revival in psychedelic research, specifically on the various ways that psychedelics can be used in medicine. In a series of interviews with top researchers, psychologists and writers the 69 minute film tackles five powerful psychedelics LSD, Psilocybin, MDMA, Ayahuasca and Cannabis and the potential they have in medicinal use. The film features interviews with Gabor Maté, author of the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, and psychiatrist Julie Holland, among other guests.

 

DMT: The Spirit Molecule

This is an adaptation of Rick Strassman’s book that goes by the same name. This documentary investigates the psychoactive compound dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is found in Ayahuasca, and almost every living organism on earth. DMT is believed to be one of the most powerful psychedelics known, and this documentary gives us a behind-the-scenes look at ground breaking psychedelic research.

 

 A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin

Society gives a great deal of attention to cancer treatment, but not much focus goes into the emotions of the person who’s dying of cancer. A New Understanding tells the other side of the story while exploring the benefits of using psilocybin to treat the whole human being, and helping them to come to terms with death. For anyone interested in understanding the healing power of psychedelics, this is a must watch.

 

Aya: Awakenings

Aya: Awakenings is a documentary adapted from Rak Razam’s book Aya Awakenings: A Shamanic Odyssey. The film studies the powerful plant medicine ayahuasca which has been used traditionally for centuries but whose discovery by the modern world is a relatively recent event. Through the eyes of Razam, who tours the Amazon jungle to uncover this plant and the shamans who administer it, the film tells a wonderful story that blends narration, sound and mesmerising psychedelic visuals to great effect.

 

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7 Magic Mushroom Recipes That’ll Make Your Mouth Water

7 Magic Mushroom Recipes That’ll Make Your Mouth Water

We all know that magic mushrooms are the next best thing since sliced bread, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to chew and swallow raw. We’ve thought of a way around this and put together these seven shrooms recipes to make your tripping experience that little bit more satisfactory. Bon appetite!

1.    Mushroom Sesame Balls

What better way to enjoy the medicinal properties of oil-rich sesame seeds than by adding your favorite shrooms for a more wholesome trip? The best part is you can take them anywhere with you.

Ingredients
Your favorite Magic mushrooms dried and crushed into powder form
Twice the volume of whole sesame seeds
Fine honey
Pinch of salt

Method

Set your stove at medium high temperature. Using a dry frying pan, lightly toast and stir your sesame seeds until they start to pop. Pour them into a bowl and leave them to cool. Set some seeds aside and use a blender to grind the rest until you can only see about 30% whole seeds. Throw in the mushrooms and blend some more, then pour the mixture into a bowl. Add a dash of salt and enough honey to attain a clay-like paste. Roll the mixture into one-inch balls then roll again in the whole sesame seeds you’d set aside. Using a tightly sealed container, store the sesame balls in a cool place.

 

2.    Honey Mushrooms

Another great but simple dish to prepare with honey. Although it’s somewhat a wasteful way of eating them, it’s so worth it because the honey mushrooms are so delicious.

Ingredients

Magic mushrooms & honey.

Method

Use coarsely chopped mushrooms, dried or fresh as you please. Loosely pack them into a jar that’s shallow enough for you to reach the bottom using your fingers. Pour in some honey until there’s no more space in the jar. Hide them in a cool dark place and leave them for about a month or two, after which they should be ready to eat by fingerful. You can add mushroom crumbs into the jar when your done eating, and occasionally top up with more mushrooms and honey as the need arises.

Enjoy tripping in the company of friends while listening to music or enjoying some art.

 

3.    Mushghurt

What do you get when you add mushrooms to yogurt? More mushroom tea for you, if you said mushghurt. Nothing goes down smoother than mushroom yogurt, we guarantee!

Dice up your magic mushrooms and add them into your favorite yogurt. We recommend fruit yogurt because of the texture. In fact, the mushrooms really blend in well with chunks of apricot or whichever flavor of yogurt you choose.

Don’t forget to guard against any food raiders.

 

4.    Mushroom Jello

Some jello to go with your shrooms? Excellent idea!

Ingredients:

Magic mushrooms

1 packet of jello

Water

Method

Heat 2 cups of water to just below the boiling point. Remove from the stove and steep your shrooms in the water for a few minutes, stirring every now and then. Strain out the mushrooms and use the water to mix with your favorite jello flavour. Refrigerate until it hardens.

For a more potent treat, stir the jello mixture with diced mushrooms before it sets, that is around one and a half hours after you’ve put it in the refrigerator.  Enjoy in the company of psychonauts for some psychedelic musings.

 

5.    Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Balls

This is a special treat that really goes down well with the holidays.

Ingredients:

Magic mushrooms

1/4 cup of peanut butter

1 to 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

Chocolate chips

Method

Measure the amount of mushrooms you need to fit your dosage and grind with a blender or coffee maker. Add the powdered sugar to your peanut butter and mix together with the mushrooms until the mixture is stiff like dough. Divide it into four and roll into balls.

Melt the chocolate chips in a shallow dish using a microwave oven. Roll the peanut butter plus shroom balls in the melted chocolate until they are fully coated. Remove the balls and place them on paper cup cakes or waxed paper before placing them in the refrigerator.

Serve when ready to party.

 

6.    Magic mushroom Fruit Smoothie

What better way to get your fruit fix than by lacing your smoothie with some psilocybin?

Ingredients:

Magic mushrooms
Frozen Fruit or ice with fresh fruit
Pulpy orange Juice e.g. HEB or a variant
Apple Juice
Yogurt

Method

Take a couple of grams of mushrooms and toss them in the blender together with the other ingredients listed above. If you don’t have frozen fruit, you can always add dry ice to fresh fruit, although it could end up dilute the mixture more. If you’re using dried mushrooms you can first of all grind them with a coffee maker, before adding them otherwise blend them fresh together with the fruits.

Presto! You’re ready for your first psychedelic smoothie.

 

7.    Magic Mushroom Jacket Potato

Ever thought of serving your crisply baked potatoes with some mushrooms fillings? We mean the magic type, of course.

Ingredients:

Potatoes, preferably the King Edward variety

You favorite topping eg grated helumi cheese or grated carrots

Dried mint

Freshly ground dried mushrooms

Butter or margarine

Method

Heat your oven to around 2000C and bake for 20 minutes. Bake for another 45 minutes to 1 hour with the heat turned down to around 1800C until the flesh is soft and the skin crisp. Cut the shape of a cross on top of each potato, squeeze the sides, before adding some butter/margarine. Chop up the mushrooms and add them to the potatoes as the base. Throw in the dried mint and other toppings for the perfect finish.

Enjoy with a glass of water.

 

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Top 8 Benefits of Shrooms

Golden Teacher Shrooms Canada

For years, magic mushrooms have been known to give people remarkable spiritual experiences enabling members of ancient tribes such as the Aztecs to communicate with their gods. Now consensus is building among researchers that shrooms aren’t necessarily the harmful and addictive drugs they’re made out to be. In fact, they could provide the key in holistic healing for human beings.

Here’s a look at 8 Benefits Shrooms:

 

1.   Shrooms Soothes Anxiety

If you’re the kind of person who suffers from bouts of anxiety, there’s some good news for you. Psilocybin mushrooms can help reduce your anxiety levels. A study conducted by a team of scientists at John Hopkins showed that moderate doses of shrooms in conjunction with psychotherapy helped terminally ill patients overcome anxiety and depression caused by their diagnosis. After a 6 hour treatment almost 80% of the participants showed significantly reduced anxiety and depression, results that were still evident 6 months down the line. 83% of those treated reported they were more satisfied with their quality of life, while two-thirds admitted their psilocybin session was one of the five most important experiences in their lives.

 

2.   Magic Mushrooms Lowers Depression

You may or may not know this, but Canadians are ranked as one of the highest users of antidepressants in the world. OECD, which released this statistic says that as much as 9% of Canada’s population is on one medication or other for fighting depression. Luckily a lot of research has been done on psilocybin therapy in relation to depression. In fact, psilocybin therapy has been given “breakthrough therapy” status by the FDA for the treatment of depression meaning its approval for such use is now being fast tracked.

Among the more promising outcomes of research is a 2017 study by the Imperial College London which found that psilocybin “may effectively reset the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression.” A different study also showed that psilocybin combined with psychological support can revive one’s emotional responsiveness. It suggested that the chemical works without emotionally blunting patients as is the case with conventional antidepressants.

 

3.   Shrooms Alleviates OCD Symptoms

You’re probably familiar with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a condition that’s associated with unreasonable thoughts and fears that result in compulsive behaviors like constantly washing your hands for fear of germs, or the need to arrange things in a specific way. Patients suffering from bipolar disorders are usually the most affected. Studies done by the University of Arizona showed that magic mushrooms were able to successfully treat the symptoms related to this disorder.

According to Dr. Francisco Moreno and Dr. Brian Bayze who work at the university, psilocybin works together with various serotonin receptors in the brain, including those which control certain brain regions of individuals with OCD. By treating them with multiple doses of shrooms, the binding activity of serotonin receptors changes thereby reducing such symptoms.

 

4.   It Can Treat Addiction

Whether you’re addicted to smoking, alcohol, or cocaine, psilocybin mushrooms could provide the answer to breaking these habits. One pilot study conducted by John Hopkins University researchers revealed that psilocybin therapy enabled participants to abstain from smoking for a period of 12 months during which follow-up was done.

Matthew Johnson, an associate professor of psychiatry, who led the study believes shrooms can potentially treat other substance abuse disorders like alcohol and cocaine addiction. According to him, these disorders are caused by “a narrowed mental and behavioral repertoire”. Such people can be shaken out of their routines using well-coordinated psilocybin therapy sessions.

 

5.   Magic Mushrooms Stimulates Growth of New Brain Cells

We know that psilocybin can help the brain establish new connections across its different regions but, get this, it can also help the growth of neorons in the brain. Research done by the University of South Florida showed that psilocybin enabled lab rats to overcome their fear by promoting the growth of new neurons in their brains, a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. To put it differently, psilocybin repairs and grows brain cells by binding itself to receptors in the nerve cells that stimulate healing. Dr. Briony Catlow, the study leader, hopes the findings can be extended to humans in clinical trials.

 

6.   Psychedelic Mushrooms boost your creativity

It’s no secret that magic mushrooms improve your mood. At higher doses shrooms can send you into a euphoric state, but they can also promote a sense of creativity and insightfulness even at lower doses better known as microdoses. A 2018 study published in the journal Psychopharmacology corroborates this. It found that participants who microdosed on psychedellic mushrooms came up with more ideas on how to solve a task. The researchers found that they “were more fluent, flexible and original in the possibilities they came up with”.

 

7.   They Can Change Your Personality

Although brain function generally returns to normal after psilocybin psychotherapy session, research has shown that some effects can last longer. One such study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, found that psilocybin can result in long-term changes in behaviors, attitudes and values. While studying its effect on five broad domains of personality- neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, it demonstrated that there were “significant increases in openness following a high-dose psilocybin session.”

Openness refers to an individual’s attitude towards new experiences, and goes hand in hand with characteristics like imagination, creativity and aesthetic appreciation. In the study researchers reported that openness not only increased during the psilocybin sessions with participants, but almost 60% of the participants maintained a significantly higher level of openness more than one later. However, those who went through this personality change are only the ones who had a complete mystical experience during their high-dose session. The study went on to explain that the high dose should be administered under supportive conditions.

 

8.   Shrooms Can Potentially Treat Alzheimer’s

Following the findings by scientists that psilocybin promotes neuroplasticity in the brain, psychiatrists like Prof. Roland Griffiths from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine think there’s an opportunity to study the effects of psychedelics in people with early Alzheimer’s disease. Speaking to Forbes, he said, “To the extent that these drugs produce neuroplasticity, there may be some enduring effects on cognitive process,” Although that’s in the future, he’s happy  that for now they know they can treat depression that comes with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis using magic mushroom drugs.

 

Conclusion

As much as magic mushrooms provide the health benefits described above, it’s good to remember that higher doses are administered in a controlled clinical situation. If you’re not highly experienced in taking psilocybin mushrooms we recommend that you start off by microdosing then increase your dosage as you get used to their effects.

 

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