Magic mushrooms (shrooms or psilocybin mushrooms) have fascinated humanity for thousands of years. So it is no surprise that today interest is growing in magic mushroom benefits, what shrooms are, and whether shrooms are bad for you.
In this post, we discuss what therapeutic benefits shrooms offer and how long magic mushroom benefits last. Also, what are the benefits of psilocybin mushrooms and psilocybin therapy specifically?
Magic mushrooms are a type of fungi that can grow in the wild or be cultivated for recreational use or utilized by researchers. This fungi is hallucinogenic, can make users feel euphoric, and also have mind-altering effects.
What causes these effects? When you use magic mushrooms , you ingest a chemical compound called psilocybin. It's naturally occurring in the shrooms and is considered a psychedelic. Therefore, when you take psilocybin, your body metabolizes it into psilocin, another chemical with psychoactive properties.
Using magic mushrooms leads to mood changes, altered thoughts, and changes in your subjective experience of time. The psychoactive effects of shrooms are caused by two psychoactive compounds (psilocybin and psilocin).
But are shrooms bad for you, or do they offer any therapeutic potential?
So are shrooms bad for you? Of course, taking any drug carries some risk.
Shrooms can be bad for you if their effects are overwhelming and scary, referred to as a bad trip.
This is typically caused by taking higher doses of psilocybin mushrooms, or being in a stress inducing environment, or being in a negative emotional state. These two factors are referred to as “set and setting” and they are relevant for your cannabis experiences as well. The people you are with and the environment you are in can both impact your cannabis or mushroom experiences.
But you can reduce the risk of shrooms causing a bad trip by microdosing shrooms. Microdosing shrooms involves taking tiny amounts of magic mushrooms, often multiple times per week.
Here at Jointly, we often discuss how microdosing cannabis can uplift and energize your mind, but did you know that a microdose of magic mushrooms may have similar effects? Uplift & Energize is one of the 12 cannabis wellness goals supported by the Jointly app.
Shrooms can also be good for you. As we will discuss in the next section, magic mushrooms potentially aid in relief from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction.
This psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms is gaining interest from researchers because of its potential benefits to your health.
Although there are limited studies on this topic, the ones available show promising outcomes for shroom users.
Here are some of these potential psilocybin benefits:
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by constant feelings of sadness. It affects your emotions, thoughts, and actions.
Anxiety is a mental health condition where you experience fear, nervousness, sweating, and rapid heartbeat.
Can the psychoactive compound psilocybin help treat depression and anxiety?
A 2016 study involving cancer patients investigated whether psilocybin may decrease depression and anxiety. Psilocybin produced large and significant decreases in depression, anxiety, or mood disturbance.
Hence, when administered, a single dose of psilocybin produced a decrease in depressed mood and anxiety, along with increases in quality of life and decreases in death anxiety in patients with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis.
PTSD is a mental health condition usually triggered by traumatic experiences.
So what is the deal with psilocybin for PTSD? Therefore, can psilocybin aid in helping patients with PTSD deal with their traumatic events? According to studies, psilocybin also causes fear extinction in animal models, but does it work for humans?
A 2022 study investigated psychoactive drugs such as psilocybin in PTSD management.
Psilocybin interacts with fear and anxiety pathways in the brain. These unique properties may potentially aid in addressing symptoms of trauma in those with treatment-resistant PTSD.
It also enhances positive mood, potentially reducing negative thoughts in PTSD patients who experience depression.
According to research, psilocybin can relieve addictions like smoking and alcohol use. A 2016 study had 15 participants using psilocybin to curb their smoking addiction.
At the 12-month follow-up, ten (10) participants (67%) confirmed smoking abstinent. At long-term follow-up, nine (9) participants (60%) were smoking abstinent.
Therefore, psilocybin may be a feasible adjunct to smoking cessation treatment.
What is psilocybin therapy? It is also known as psilocybin-assisted therapy, and it involves the ingestion of the psychoactive compound psilocybin found in shrooms under the support and supervision of an experienced therapist.
According to a 2022 study, psilocybin is a potential therapy for hard-to-treat disorders such as addiction, depression, and end-of-life anxiety. Thus, psilocybin-assisted therapy might provide a new treatment option for millions of patients. It has also demonstrated potential as a therapeutic aid in psychiatric diseases like PTSD.
This type of therapy involves a trained therapist, and it's performed in a safe and supportive environment. The therapist is there to help you through the psychedelic journey.
Some of the therapeutic benefits of shrooms include depression and anxiety relief, but do they last? And how long do shroom trips last?
After ingesting magic mushrooms, you'll most likely feel its effects in around 30 minutes. Those effects can last 3-6 hours and will be in your system for 24 hours or longer. But it depends on factors like dosage, age, or body composition.
But when it involves therapeutic magic mushroom benefits, expect the effects to either be long or short-term.
A 2022 study stated that the therapeutic and personality effects of psilocybin appear to persist for months. And in some cases, it has been reported to last more than a year.
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