Beginners Guide to Psilocybin – Your Brain on Magic Mushrooms (Shrooms)

Three upside down magic mushrooms on a black surface

Psilocybin Mushrooms – more commonly known as “shrooms” or “magic mushrooms” is one of the most popular hallucinogenic psychoactive compounds found in Canada. Shrooms have been used for thousands of years, in many cultures they were ingested in the hopes of producing visions and communicating with gods. 

Magic Mushrooms contain a chemical called psilocybin, which causes hallucinations and other effects. 

When you ingest psilocybin, it gets converted to the active ingredient psilocin, which is similar to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is generally known for regulating mood and producing feelings of happiness. Psilocin then makes its way to the brain and begins to uptick the production of serotonin. Since Psilocin is similar to serotonin it is able to bind and stimulate receptors in the brain. This is what causes hallucinations. 

Scientists have suggested the brain may temporarily rearrange itself by inhibiting normal brain activity and immediately creating new biologically stable brain connections. This makes it difficult to tell  reality from fantasy and intensifies thought which makes self conscious thinking almost impossible.

Because the brain creates new biologically stable brain connections, thinking outside the box becomes normal. 

There is also activation in the hippocampus and anterior  cingulate cortex, the area of the brain that is associated with dreaming. Finally, specific emotional regions of the brain are chemically activated which can lead to a sense of expanding consciousness. 

Studies have found magic mushrooms to be not addictive and also have limited toxicity to other parts of the human body. 

Although there are many positive effects, there are also potential negatives such as nausea, dizziness, mood swings, anxiety, confusion, and paranoia. 

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