I have mentioned mescaline as one of the oldest psychoactive substances known to mankind, but psilocybin mushrooms probably predate it. Archaeologists have found rock art which suggests that shrooms may have been used for various ritual purposes since way before recorded history.
Also known as magic mushrooms, shrooms and psychedelic mushrooms, psilocybin mushrooms encompass some 200 different species, and they can be found on all continents. Tryptamine psilocybin is the active substance in these mushrooms and it acts upon serotonin receptors in the brain.
Western culture first encountered the magic shrooms in 1855. During the 1960s, shrooms were used for the treatment of various psychological disorders.
As mentioned, there are literally hundreds of different species of mushrooms which belong in this psychoactive category.
The most prominent source of tryptamine psilocybin is Psilocybe cubensis, belonging to the Psilocybe genus of the Strophariaceae family.
The Psilocybe genus alone is comprised of more than 100 different species.
That said, due to their common appearance, Psilocybin mushrooms can be easily mistaken for some other species, which may be toxic. Therefore, extra care is advised when it comes to sourcing your shrooms.
P. cubensis is usually consumed orally, in various forms and formulations. The mushroom itself is first dried. This process removes some 9/10ths of its original weight. Given that the lost weight is water weight, it is safe to conclude that dried shrooms are 10 times more potent than fresh ones.
Shrooms are mostly consumed orally. Besides simply ingesting the right dose, one can brew it into a tea as well. With a 5 g dose of P. cubensis, a cup of tea can be obtained. Users drink the first as well as the second infusions.
Psilocybin mushroom dosage
1-2 g of P. cubensis make a light dose. For a common dose, you will need 2-4 g of dried shrooms.
Going over 4 g makes a heavy dose and going way above it is flirting with overdosing.
Again: this dosage is for dried P. cubensis. The potency of the active compound varies greatly from one species to another, so for other shrooms, different quantities may be in order.
For truffles, a light dose is 3-7.5 g. A common dose requires some 7.5-12.5 g of the dried material, while a strong dose calls for 12.5-15 g. Anything above 15 g is a heavy dose.
Cognitive effects of psilocybin mushrooms
Shrooms are famous for the introspection they generate in users. They also enhance thought connectivity, conceptual thinking, and thought organization. Ego death has also been reported, together with occasional ego replacement, emotional enhancement, empathy and cognitive euphoria.
Autonomous voice communication is one of the more interesting effects. Catharsis and rejuvenation occur during the offset stage of the effect-cycle.
P. cubensis and other magic shrooms are also known (and appreciated) for the hallucinatory stages they induce.
“Proper” internal hallucinations are triggered by higher doses. These come complete with autonomous entities, interactivity and lucidity. The experience has often been likened to lucid dreaming.
External hallucinations triggered by similarly large doses of Psilocybin mushrooms can be just as believable and lucid dreaming-like as the internal ones mentioned.
Auditory hallucinations is a relatively common side effect as well.