Magic mushrooms’ Psilocybin – Treatment for Major Depression
Psychedelic mushrooms commonly called magic mushrooms have an active hallucinogen compound called psilocybin. These can alleviate mental depression even when a single dose is administrated. Chemical studies have shown that it raises hope for people who failed existing antidepressants. These indigenous mushroom varieties are also used as recreational drugs. The trials have actually shown encouraging signs in 16 million Americans who were struggling to find treatments with earlier methods of anti-depression.
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Psilocybin the Wonder Drug In Magic Mushrooms
The latest results of psilocybin trials have been proved wonderous for treating depression. These are especially working well on cancer patients undergoing mental trauma. They have been potentially tested to treat drug dependence, anxiety, and mood disorders. The patients have reported a short-lived reviving experience. The precise mechanism by which psilocybin works is also not very clear to the researchers. Although one thing is clear the unique way these hallucinogen works allows people to interrogate and access their emotions.
History Behind The Magic Mushrooms
Many genera have psilocybin mushrooms including Inocybe, Pholiotina, Pluteus, Psilocybe, etc. Among them, Psilocybe has a history of use among the use by native peoples of Mesoamerica. There was a Psilocybe species known as Aztecs, referred to as divine mushrooms and generous or wonderous mushrooms. These mushrooms, containing the hallucinogenic compounds psilocybin, are mainly found in Europe, South America, Mexico, and the United States. The first mention of hallucinogenic magic mushrooms in European medicinal literature was in the London Medical and Physical Journal in 1799.
The composition of these magic mushrooms varies for every genus and from species to species. As mentioned it is composed of psilocybin which has a psychoactive effect as psilocybin gets converted into psilocin. Thus giving hallucinogenic effects. The active chemical compound is psilocybin which is PY, 4-phosphoryloxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine. After ingestion, its pharmacologically active form psilocin releases waves of neurotransmitters in the brain. Psilocybin and psilocin are both indole alkylamines and are structurally similar to the neurotransmitter serotonin which is 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT. Apart from these tryptamine are also present. Though present in less active amounts they are in two forms namely baeocystin and norbaeocystin. Psilocybin is nothing but the dihydrogen phosphate of psilocin.
Psilocybin In The Treatment Of Major Depression
The hallucinogenic drugs in magic mushrooms have as their primary effects perceptual distortions and alterations of thought or mood. Although these hallucinations have minimal effects on memory and orientation. Its main active ingredient psilocybin is broken down into a substance called psilocin, which releases waves of neurotransmitters in the brain. Researchers are investigating the psychological potential of psilocybin for the treatment of major depression. It has the ability to reduce depression without dulling emotions even when taken in minimal amounts.
Consumption And Dosage of Magic Mushrooms
In the wild, people generally get confused with psilocybin for a poisonous mushroom. The dosage or consumption of these mushrooms depends on their psilocybin and psilocin content which varies significantly even within the same species. The composition varies even within subspecies and variety.
- People usually consume psilocybin magic mushrooms as a brewed tea. They are often also cooked along with other food to cover their bitter taste. They are also crushed into powdered forms by manufacturers to form capsules. Sometimes it’s bitter and further covered with chocolate.
- Consumption of 1.0 to 2.5 g of psilocybin is considered ideal while about 2.45 to 5.0 g of it is considered a strong dose. Above 5.0 g dosage of psilocybin is called a “heroic dose” and is generally harmful to the body on consumption.
How does it work?
Magic mushrooms affect the brain receptors directly. It works by stimulating serotonin receptors most often in the prefrontal cortex that affects mood, cognition, and perception. These hallucinogens also work on other regions of the brain regulating arousal and panic responses. It not only causes audio-visual hallucinations but also makes the person lose what he perceives. Therefore the drug distorts the people using this drug to perceive objects and the people in their environment.
How the drug will impact the body of the consumer depends on past experiences, regularity of consumption, and also how the drug will take shape or impact the body of the user. The effect lasts for around 4-5 hours starting after around 30 minutes of consumption. Though some individuals have shown sensory perceptions lasting for several days.
What’s So Wondoerous About The Magic Mushrooms?
A National Survey in 2015 on Drug Use and Health showed that around 8.5% of people in the U.S. had used psilocybin at some point in their life. MRI scans have shown that brain activity becomes more chaotic on psilocin consumption. It causes different regions of the brain to communicate with each other more than usual. This increased connectivity of the brain tends to be a more enduring effect however lasting for a week and making the brain potentially more active in the therapy. All these things make it a wonder drug.
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Also in medical trials, this drug has been tested to be a remedy for cluster headaches, major depression end stage cancer anxiety, and also other forms of anxiety. The breakthrough arises with the drug doing wonders in the treatment of depressive disorders. Yet they must be always taken on experienced prescription.
Effects of Using Magic Mushrooms – Psilocybin
The psilocybin drug causes various effects on the body, some of which are:
- euphoria and wellbeing
- distorted thinking
- dilation of pupils
- perceptual changes such as audio-visual distortion
- peacefulness and spiritual awakening
- muscle weakness and lack of coordination
- quick breathing
- nausea and vomiting
- distorted thinking
- unusual body sensations
- increased body temperature
This wonder drug is under study by researchers to explore it to its fullest potential. Despite the apparent benefits of magic mushrooms, many patients reported side effects in the trial, the most common being headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Here the challenge comes to the researchers to overcome these side effects and launch psilocybin magic mushrooms as a therapy for the treatment of major depression. Some people regularly using magic mushrooms may experience flashbacks involving a previous magic mushroom experience or any other hallucinogenic treatment done earlier.
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