Published on October 23, 2023

What Are Shrooms (Magic Mushrooms)? 

by Psych Times Staff

For centuries, civilizations around the world have been using mushrooms for medicinal and spiritual purposes. Among these mushrooms, certain species contain psychoactive compounds that can cause hallucinations and altered states of consciousness. These mushrooms are commonly known as “shrooms” or magic mushrooms.

What Makes Shrooms Magical?

The ‘magic’ in magic mushrooms stems from a naturally occurring compound known as psilocybin. When consumed, this compound is converted into psilocin, which has psychoactive properties. This leads to the alteration of perception, mood, and thought. The intensity of these effects can vary based on several factors, such as the amount ingested, the individual’s state of mind, and the environment.

It’s these effects that have drawn interest from certain sectors of the medical community, with ongoing research into their potential therapeutic applications, particularly in mental health treatment. However, it’s important to note that while there may be potential benefits, there are also risks involved, including negative psychological reactions. Always consult a healthcare professional before making health-related decisions.

What Are the Effects of Shrooms?

Typically, the effects of shrooms start to kick in roughly 30 minutes after consumption and can last for about 3 to 6 hours. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that mushrooms can affect different people in different ways. Several factors can influence your experience with mushrooms:

  • Your Age: Age can significantly impact how your body processes and responds to substances like magic mushrooms. Younger individuals may have different reactions compared to older individuals due to differences in metabolism, brain development, and life experiences.
  • Your Weight: As is the case with most substances, weight plays a pivotal role. Heavier individuals may require a larger dose to feel the same effects as someone who is lighter, simply due to the way substances are distributed and metabolized in the body.
  • The Amount You Use: The dosage is a key determinant of the intensity of the effects. Larger amounts typically lead to more intense and longer-lasting effects.
  • How Much You’ve Eaten That Day: Consuming mushrooms on an empty stomach can intensify the effects, as the psychoactive compounds are absorbed more quickly.
  • Your Surroundings: Your environment can greatly influence your experience with magic mushrooms. A safe, comfortable, and familiar setting can help foster a more positive experience.
  • Your Expectations: If you approach the experience expecting positive outcomes, you’re more likely to have a positive trip. Conversely, apprehension or negative expectations can lead to unpleasant experiences.
  • Your Experience with Any Previous Drug Use: Individuals with previous experience with psychedelics or other substances may find they have a different reaction or increased tolerance compared to those trying it for the first time.
  • Your Personality: As with any mind-altering substance, your personality traits and current mental state can influence the experience. People with certain psychological conditions or those prone to negative thinking may have a higher risk of having a bad trip.

Remember, while understanding these factors can help you anticipate potential experiences, the effects of shrooms are inherently unpredictable and can vary from one experience to another. Always prioritize safety and consult a healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns.

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