You may know them as something different from “Magic Mushrooms,” but “shrooms,” “booms,” and “mushies” are all nicknames that different people use to identify these psychedelic mushrooms. They are relatively easy to access – found all over the world – so it’s not exactly a huge surprise that they’re such a popular option for people that like a little bit of “high” fun, but what do mushrooms do to your body? When a person ingests far more than a single dose of magic mushrooms, they are likely to experience a “shroom high,” which may lead to some bad side effects of shrooms.
The active ingredients in these small but powerful shrooms are hallucinogenic – especially the psilocybin. Interestingly, magic mushrooms are also associated with some medicinal side effects – in a somewhat similar manner to marijuana. These extra qualities further increase the appeal of the drug for people that want to experience magic mushrooms’ effects.
So, how do shrooms affect the brain? There are cases where effects on the brain are permanent. Yes, some people genuinely never remain the same after ingesting magic mushrooms. However, these permanent effects are generally positive, and they commonly involve mood changes. Over time, science has tried to understand and collate shrooms’ effects on the brain and body, and the result of all that research has shown some pretty interesting facts.
Shroom Effects: What Do Shrooms Do To Your Brain?
This is already a commonly known psilocybin effect on the brain, so it applies to magic mushrooms. The impact here is on the mind of the user, which seems just to go haywire when psilocybin is introduced. The results of your brain on shrooms here are hallucinations of very vivid proportions, including an exaggerated sense of smell, hearing, taste, and even sight.
Unlike some other drugs that only trigger specific parts of the brain at a time, one of the major shroom effects on the brain is the ramping up of overall activity in the brain, causing areas that wouldn’t normally interact with each other to do so. The results of all this activity are the aforementioned side effects.
Increased Physical Ability
For many people, another effect of mushrooms on the brain is the stimulation of neuropathways, which consequently leads to an unusual upward spike in physical strength. This magic mushroom effect is characterized by an extreme feeling of euphoria that is not too dissimilar to an intense rush of adrenaline.
With the constant discovery of new facts from ongoing scientific research, it has been discovered that another one of magic mushroom drug effects is an anti-depressant reaction on the brain. In fact, science is now leaning toward the fact that there could be a genuine, new – albeit untapped – class of anti-depressants for a brain on shrooms.
Psychedelics such as psilocybin bind to the same serotonin receptors in the brain (5-HT2A) that regular SSRI anti-depressants bind to. Considering the fact that SSRI anti-depressants are some of the most effective currently available to science, it makes perfect sense that the psilocybin effect on the brain is similar to that of SSRI anti-depressants.
Impact on mental illness
Yes, some research actually shows that using magic mushrooms for patients with mental disorders such as OCD, anxiety, and depression may have as much effect as a “surgical intervention.” Two separate studies cover this magic mushroom effect with facts involving real test subjects.
The first study (by Johns Hopkins University) showed that 80% of the subjects exhibited a significant drop in depression and anxiety levels up to six months after using a single dose of the drug. The second study (by New York University) showed similar results with 60-80% of test subjects showing reduced levels of anxiety and depression six and a half months after one dose of the drug.
Dangers of a Shroom High
Are shrooms bad for your brain? Among all the side effects that appear to be positive, there are a few things to note about the not-so-positive side effects of magic mushrooms. Chances of one or more of these magic mushroom effects on the brain are greatly increased if the dose ingested is a lot, and the user begins to experience a “shroom high.” Such side effects may include:
- Dilated pupils
- Distorted sense of time
- Visual distortion of reality
- Clammy skin
- Out-of-body experiences
At the moment, there is no allowance for further experimentation with the relationship between shrooms and the brain, but if ongoing research continues to point to positive qualities, that may change soon.