Horticulturalist Wants Magic Mushrooms Legalised

THE magical effect of magic mushrooms was hailed in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, during an application by a horticulturist, who is fighting to have this fungus legalized.

Channelie Vanderberg (corr) turned to the court for a stay of her prosecution in the lower court on charges of possession and cultivating magic, mushrooms, pending a legal challenge in the Western Cape High Court.

But prior to her present employment, while she was living in Pretoria with her estranged husband, they cultivated a range of natural healing plants, which they distributed to the public.

Vandenberg explained that Psilocybin is a naturally occurring hallucinogenic substance found in various types of mushrooms.

“It is known to have therapeutic applications and its use dates back thousands of years where it was used by ancient indigenous cultures around the globe.”

IOL

Is Magic Mushrooms are the Safest Drug?

If you’re looking to play it safe when it comes to illicit substances, look no further than the humble shroom. It’s non-addictive, hard to overdose on, and you can grow it yourself. And, according to a massive report by the Global Drug Survey, it sends the fewest people to the emergency room of any drug on the market. Take that, meth.

Perhaps the most dangerous thing about psychedelic mushrooms is that they’re easily confused for the poisonous kind. There are over 100 varieties of psilocybin-producing shroomies, which is the chemical that makes you trip when you eat them. Some of them are bound to look like toxic varietals, especially if you’re in a hurry to get high.

Instead, you should befriend a mycologist (a person who studies mushrooms) so that they can help you find the sort of shroom. Most people who don’t buy their mushrooms tend to pick them themselves rather than grow them, which is the riskier—albeit faster—option. The magic varieties grow on every continent, though if you happen to be somewhere subtropical and humid you’ll find more types.

LSD also lasts longer and affects way more receptors in your brain than shrooms do. Psychedelic mushrooms only directly affect your serotonin receptors, whereas LSD affects serotonin, dopamine, and a whole host of other stimulating receptors in your brain. Shrooms may have some indirect effect on dopamine levels, but it’s minimal at best. The longer, potentially more intense results from LSD aren’t likely to do actual damage to your brain. But they are likely to give you a bad trip. And really, that’s the main danger with all psychedelics—if you’re anxious before you start or you begin to feel paranoid, the mind-altering impacts from the drugs only amplify those feelings.

Other than that, hallucinogens are pretty safe. They can reduce anxiety, ease the intense pain of cluster headaches, alleviate OCD symptoms, improve depression, and boost the psychological state of terminal cancer patients. A 2006 double-blind study sponsored by the U.S. government found that about 80 percent of people who took psilocybin reported that their well-being improved and remained that way for months after their psychedelic experience (the control group did not).

Read more at Popular Science

Magic Mushrooms Are Shaping the Future of Psychiatric Treatment

You may know the chemical 4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine by its more common name, psilocybin. Long used as a sacrament among indigenous peoples in the Americas — and more recently branded as an illicit party drug — in recent years, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms has received a lot of attention from scientists for potential to treat substance use disorder, anxiety, and depression.

In their review of seven published psilocybin clinical trials, the team led by Kelan Thomas, assistant professor of clinical sciences at Touro University California, concluded that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy shows strong potential for improving outcomes in patients living with depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder.

The advantage of psilocybin-assisted therapy, they write, is that it provides significant benefits for patients who haven’t responded to therapy or medication. Patients can also show improvement after just a few six-hour “medicated” therapy sessions and a few weeks of follow-up therapy.

These studies all investigated the use of psilocybin in strictly controlled clinical conditions under the supervision of therapists and other health professionals. Additionally, all of the clinical trials investigated by the researchers consisted of small groups of subjects — as few as nine for an open-label (non-blinded) trial investigating obsessive-compulsive disorder and as many as 51 in a double-blind study of cancer-related depression and anxiety.

As psychological and psychiatric researchers have gained greater access to brain imaging technologies like fMRI, scientists have formed new hypotheses about the physiological roots of psychological disorders.

These new attitudes among scientists run counter to those of the law enforcement community. In most of the United States — New Mexico seems to have found a loophole — psilocybin is still classified as a Schedule I substance. This means it has “a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. When — or whether — the DEA will take the most recent scientific data into account, however, remains to be seen.

Inverse

New Study Claims: Magic Mushrooms and other Psychedelic Drugs Really Seem to Elevate Consciousness

Three different psychedelic drugs that are known to produce altered states of consciousness and that have been used illegally for recreation are the subject of a new study. Psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound that is produced by magic mushrooms, Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and ketamine are the subjects of the new study. Researchers set out to determine if magic mushrooms, LSD, and ketamine actually increase “global neural signal diversity.” The researchers wanted to know if the psychedelic state is actually an elevated state of consciousness. The research was published this month in Scientific Reports in Nature.

They say that their research indicates that magic mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs really do push the user into an elevated state of consciousness.

“For all three, we find reliably higher spontaneous signal diversity, even when controlling for spectral changes. This increase is most pronounced for the single-channel LZ complexity measure, and hence for temporal, as opposed to spatial, signal diversity. We also uncover selective correlations between changes in signal diversity and phenomenological reports of the intensity of psychedelic experience. This is the first time that these measures have been applied to the psychedelic state and, crucially, that they have yielded values exceeding those of normal waking consciousness. These findings suggest that the sustained occurrence of psychedelic phenomenology constitutes an elevated level of consciousness – as measured by neural signal diversity.”

The researchers say that their data suggests that the psychedelic state brought on by magic mushrooms and some other drugs lies above other states, including wakeful rest, when compared using a one-dimensional scale that is defined by brain signal diversity.

Magic mushrooms have been gaining greater recognition for the drug’s potentially positive effects. For example, the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, which researches drug abuse in British Columbia, is actually planning clinical trials to see if psychedelic drugs might be able to help people overcome addiction to opioid drugs, CBC reported. A John Hopkins University study from a couple of years ago found that magic mushroom’s active ingredient could help smokers overcome their addiction to cigarettes. Eight out of 10 study participants were still not smoking six months after they quit when using the compound in magic mushrooms and cognitive behavioral therapy.

“Therapeutic outcomes are often correlated with a mystical or a spiritual-type experience. People often have deep insights about themselves and their relationships with others and with God — and sometimes, as a consequence, have significant behavioral changes,” Dr. Kenneth Tupper, of the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, told CBC.

Inquisitr

The Difference between LSD and Magic Mushroom

Hallucinogens are a wide group of drugs with a diverse range of capabilities. Some have been proven to alleviate ailments like PTSD and anxiety; others will definitely make you crap your pants while thinking your roommate has turned into a giant crane. The two most popular hallucinogens are magic mushrooms and LSD, technically known as lysergic acid diethylamide. While they have similar effects, both drugs have enough differences between them that any potential user should be less than chill about considering them the same.

Here’s the science you need to know to understand how LSD and magic mushrooms affect the body in their own, trippy way:

Magic Mushrooms Are Natural, LSD Is Not

While LSD was invented in 1938, mushrooms containing the naturally occurring psychedelic compound psilocybin can be found in regions within South America, Mexico, and the United States. It’s estimated that there are over 200 species of psychedelic mushrooms.

LSD was synthesized by Swiss scientist Albert Hoffman, who later famously took the drug himself and went on a bike ride on April 19, 1934. The clear, odorless, and tasteless drug is made from lysergic acid, which is found on the fungus that typically grows on grains.

Both Drugs Trip Out the Brain, but One Lasts Way Longer

Magic mushrooms and LSD involve chemicals that bond with the brain’s serotonin receptors. When someone takes LSD, their sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, which causes a rise in blood-sugar levels, an increase in body temperature, and pupillary dilation. The body confuses LSD for serotonin and sends it towards the brain’s synaptic cleft. This allows LSD molecules to bind to serotonin receptor proteins.

LSD and Mushrooms May Both Be Future Antidepressants

An increasing swath of scientific evidence demonstrates both substances have the potential to treat addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and PTSD. In a small study conducted in 2014, scientists found that it could be magic mushroom’s impact on serotonin receptors that causes heightened emotions and a slight loss of identity — which may be why the substance helps with anxiety. A brain on mushrooms, they note, is much like a brain that is dreaming.

The more researchers examine a tripped out brain, the more they’ll be able to leverage the power of these drugs to help us out in the future.

Inverse

Key differences of Psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms and LSD: Here’s What you Should Know

What we do know, however, is that psychedelics have a fundamentally different effect on the brain than addictive drugs like alcohol and cocaine do. Cocaine, for example, elicits a deep, euphoric sensation by temporarily flooding the brain’s reward and motivation centers. In some people, this can trigger a cycle of reinforcement that traps them in addition, even when the same amount of the drug no longer results in a characteristic “high.” The psychedelic drug psilocybin, on the other hand (the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms), appears to fundamentally alter the infrastructure of the brain’s prefrontal cortex and change how information in this area of the brain is exchanged.

Psilocybin isn’t the only psychedelic drug that researchers are studying for its potentially therapeutic effects, however. They’re also looking at LSD (“acid”), DMT (ayahuasca), and more. Each drug has a different trip length and varies in terms of its legality across the globe.

Methods for producing, brewing, and taking the drugs differ as well.

While magic mushrooms are typically either grown and eaten, brewed into tea, or ground up and taken in pill form, LSD is made synthetically and usually processed into strips that can be absorbed by placing them on the tongue.

Ayahuasca, on the other hand, is usually consumed as a beverage. It’s brewed from the macerated and boiled vines of the Banisteriopsis caapi (yage) plant and the Psychotria viridis (chacruna) leaf, and it has been used for centuries as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies among the indigenous peoples of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Ayahuasca’s effects come from mixing the drug dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, from the chacruna plant, and the MAO inhibitor from the yage plant, which allows the DMT to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Business Insider

How Psychedelic Mushrooms Change Cancer Patients Dealing With Anxiety

With medical marijuana now legalized in 28 states and the District of Columbia, the debate over when, and if, a previously illegal and often stigmatized drug should be used to treat serious symptoms will likely carry on through the foreseeable future. However, new research shows that another illegal, and far more psychedelic, the substance may also have certain health advantages as well.

According to the results of two studies released last year, psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, can help ease feelings of anxiety and depression in cancer patients.

In both studies, one conducted at NYU and the other at Johns Hopkins University, 80 percent of cancer patients reported a decrease in anxiety and depression for at least six months. Psychiatric evaluators also supported their patients’ claims, noting an increase in optimism as well as overall quality of life. In the NYU-led research, 70 percent of participants said taking psilocybin was one of the five most important experiences they’d ever had.

That being said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that psilocybin is still considered a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning psychedelic mushrooms are legally considered to have no legitimate medical use and possess a high potential for abuse. Additionally, the treatment given in both studies was conducted under the care of medical professionals, meaning it isn’t recommended as some sort of catchall, home remedy for anxiety and depression.

Other, smaller studies have even found evidence that psilocybin may be beneficial in alcoholism, smoking addiction and obsessive compulsive disorder, meaning there may be even more reasons to call mushrooms “magic.”

Paste Magazine

Magic Mushrooms: Reveals Negative Effects Of Psilocybin Mushrooms

Psilocybin is considered as a drug with high potential for abuse and is not considered for medicinal use. However, mushroom-derived psilocybin is used in developing treatment for neurological disorders. When used properly, psilocybin mushrooms are found to be effective antidepressants. It can also be used to treat alcoholism and other addictions.

In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers surveyed 2,000 people who experienced negative effects while taking psilocybin-containing “magic mushrooms,” The survey was focused on the challenging experiences the respondents had linked to the drug.

Results revealed that 10.7 percent of the participants have exposed themselves or others to physical harm, meanwhile, 2.6 percent said there were times when they acted violently or aggressively. Some 2.7 percent said they had the need to seek medical help while five of the participants said they attempted suicide at worst.

The researchers advised caution in using the magic mushrooms. They added it must be used under supportive and safe environments, like those in ongoing studies, to prevent negative effects.

iTech Post

Magic Mushrooms: Scientists Warn Against Psilocybin Use

In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, the researchers conducted a survey of nearly 2,000 people who said they encountered a past negative experience when taking psilocybin-containing “magic mushrooms”. In fact, more than 10 percent believed their worst “bad trip” could put themselves or other at risk for physical harm.
Another 2.5 percent of the respondents said that behaved aggressively after taking magic mushrooms while 2.7 percent had to seek medical help. The researchers, however, warned that the survey they conducted dud not apply to all psilocybin use because the questionnaire used wasn’t designed to study the “good trip” experiences.

Positive Experiences Too

According to PsychCentral, despite the risk of psilocybin use, most of them still reported the experience to be “worthwhile” and “meaningful”. About half of the positive responses by users of magic mushrooms claimed that it was one of the top most valuable experiences in their life.

What Are Magic Mushrooms And Psilocybin?
The U.S. Department of Justice reports that psilocybin is a hallucinogenic substance obtained from magic mushrooms which are indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions of Mexico, South America and the United States.

Though many studies have shown that psilocybin could be used to treat anxiety and depression, the use of this substance is associated with negative psychological and physical consequences. The physical effects of magic mushrooms usually take place within 20 minutes of ingestion. These could last for about 6 hours and include muscle weakness, drowsiness, lack of coordination, nausea and vomiting.

On the other hand, psychological effects of magic mushrooms include hallucinations and an inability to discern reality from fantasy. In large doses, however, panic and psychosis may occur.

Counsel & Heal

Researchers recently published the results of a large survey they conducted with magic mushroom consumers, one in which they specifically looked for details about bad trips and their lasting effects.

The survey was recently published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, where it details the survey results of nearly 2,000 magic mushroom consumers. The researchers, who are with Johns Hopkins, specifically asked for individuals who experienced difficult or bad trips after consuming these mushrooms.

More than half of these ‘beneficial’ bad trip experiencers went on to say the difficult experience ultimately ranks among the top ten most valuable experiences they’ve ever had. Of those surveyed, 66% were from the U.S., 78% were men, 89% were white, and 51% were college educated.

There’s a note of caution among it all, though — of those surveyed, more than 7% said they had to seek treatment for ‘enduring psychological symptoms,’ three cases resulted in ‘enduring psychotic symptoms,’ and three cases resulted in an attempted suicide.

Slash Gear

Magic Mushroom: Caution Is The Word

Psilocybin, the main active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is responsible for the hallucinogenic effects. In the U.S, the magic mushroom is considered a Schedule I substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse.

In 2014, an estimated 22.9 million people in the U.S. reported lifetime use of Psilocybin, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Recent studies have documented a wide range of positive effects of Psilocybin on the human brain, say easing depression or anxiety. But it is equally important to inform consumers about the risks associated with its use.

According to the survey data, 39% of the respondents rated acute and enduring adverse effects of Psilocybin among the top five most challenging experiences of his/her lifetime. Eleven percent put self or others at risk of physical harm during their difficult or challenging experience (i.e., a “bad trip”). There were also three cases of attempted suicide.

But, that said the rates of adverse effects after psilocybin use have been fund to be very low relative to adverse effects associated with other psychoactive drugs, according to the survey data.

RTT News

Fighting Depression with Magic Mushroom for Cancer Patients

Psilocybin—the hallucinogenic compound in so-called “magic” mushrooms—can effectively ease cancer patients’ depression and anxiety, according to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. As many as 40% of cancer patients experience depression.

A 2014 study found users of hallucinogenic mushrooms might experience more happiness. A 2015 study linked psychedelic drugs to a reduction in thoughts of suicide, and a 2016 study found psychedelic drug use was linked to lower rates of domestic violence among men with a history of substance abuse.

Participants completed interviews and questionnaires about their mood, feelings about life, and behavior before the first session, seven hours after each dose, five weeks after each dose, and six months following the final session. At the six-month mark, 80% of participants had reductions in depression and anxiety, with 60% no longer experiencing symptoms severe enough to warrant a diagnosis

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