Recent research suggests that psilocybin, the active component of magic mushrooms, has numerous benefits. They include improved mood and relationships, enhanced cognitive functioning, and increased nature-relatedness and spirituality. Moreover, psilocybin-assisted therapy appears to be a safe and effective way of managing mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and addictions.
Many people also use magic mushrooms just for fun, and proponents say they are the safest recreational drug. This article will explore whether there is any truth behind this claim and discuss how to use shrooms safely.
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Why People Use Magic Mushrooms
Humans have used magic mushrooms for centuries. They played a crucial role in religious ceremonies for ancient cultures such as the Aztecs, who believed they facilitated communication with the gods.
Nowadays, many people use magic mushrooms for personal development or therapeutic purposes. They appear to benefit one’s relationship with the self and others and enhance mood and mental function. They are also being investigated as a treatment for various mental health conditions, and the emerging evidence is overwhelmingly positive.
However, many people enjoy magic mushrooms purely for their psychedelic effects. Therefore, recreational users often use practices such as lemon tekking to make their shrooms kick in faster and harder. The danger of this is that it could potentially increase the risk of side effects, especially for those lacking experience with psychedelics.
Magic Mushrooms’ Effects and Side Effects
Shrooms cause significant alterations in one’s mood, perception, and bodily sensations. They can induce a state of euphoria, enhance music and physical touch, and cause visual hallucinations, such as bright, swirling colors or geometric patterns.
Most people enjoy these effects, but they can be disorienting, especially when experiencing them for the first time. Magic mushrooms also cause rapid emotional shifts, leading to fear and anxiety in some individuals. These effects may be more likely to occur when taking mushrooms in a negative state of mind.
Magic mushrooms can also cause physical side effects, including increased heart rate and blood pressure, temperature changes, sweating, shivering, yawning, and digestive symptoms. Again, these symptoms can be scary or confusing if they occur unexpectedly.
Despite this, many people consider magic mushrooms to be the safest recreational drug. There is also some scientific data to support this belief.
Magic Mushrooms Are the Safest Recreational Drug
In 2010, a study titled Drug Harms in the UK investigated the effects of 20 different drugs on individuals and society. They scored each drug out of 100 in terms of the harm it causes to the user and others. Some of the key criteria included:
- Drug-specific and drug-related damage and mortality
- Drug-specific and drug-related impairment of mental function
- Loss of employment, income, housing, and relationships
- Environmental damage
- Economic cost
The study found that magic mushrooms were by far the least harmful drug, scoring just 6 out of 100. They caused impaired mental function in users but no harm to others or society.
In comparison, the most harmful drug overall and the most harmful to others was alcohol, with a total score of 72. The most harmful drug to users was crack cocaine, with a total score of 54. Heroin scored 55, tobacco scored 26, cannabis scored 20, ketamine scored 15, and ecstasy scored 9.
These results align with more recent studies, which found magic mushrooms’ side effects are mild and transient in most cases. In fact, they appear to produce more tolerable side effects than conventional medicines like antidepressants.
Using Magic Mushrooms Safely
Although magic mushrooms are relatively safe, they are certainly not risk-free. People under the influence of shrooms have reduced mental capacity and could put themselves or others in danger if they are not careful.
Furthermore, there have been rare instances of people experiencing worsening mental health symptoms after taking shrooms.
The best way to stay safe while taking magic mushrooms is to do it under the supervision of a trained professional. This might mean attending a retreat somewhere where mushrooms are legal or applying to participate in a clinical trial.
If this is not possible, inexperienced individuals should have a sober “trip-sitter” present the first time they try shrooms. This person will ideally be someone the user knows well, feels comfortable with, and who has some psychedelic experience. They can reassure the user if they become anxious and ensure they stay physically safe.
It is also essential to consider dosage and “set and setting.” This means taking an appropriate amount of mushrooms in a safe, controlled environment while in a positive state of mind. This will reduce the chances of having a challenging experience and minimize the risk of ongoing harm.