For years, researchers have largely ignored psychedelics, but recent research suggests that they might have therapeutic benefits. A recent study of magic truffles, a form of psilocybin, found that it increased the two types of thinking-convergent and divergent–both of which are associated with creativity and problem-solving. The true impact of psychedelics remains unknown, but they may help treat mental health problems.
Despite the dangers, research has shown that psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms, may have therapeutic benefits for people suffering from major depression. In one recent study, participants of a five-year study reported that their symptoms of depression and anxiety ceased after a single dose of the psychedelic substance. These positive effects lasted several years after the test, and the effects persisted for most of the patients.
People who regularly use psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms, may experience tolerance. Cross-tolerance occurs when psilocybin is taken with other substances. Therefore, it’s important to wait at least several days between doses.
The risk of a “bad trip” is also elevated, and can include feelings of anxiety, panic, and despair. The duration of these feelings can last hours or even days. In such a case, it’s best to refrain from taking mushrooms altogether, since a negative trip could result from a higher dose.
Although the effects of psilocybin are unpredictable, they are often life-changing. For a decade, people have been using magic mushrooms for healing as part of their spiritual or medical rituals. Studies show that people who take magic mushrooms experience a mystical experience.
The effects of psilocybin are associated with altered perceptions of time and space, euphoria, and a contemplative, dream-like state.
Microdosing is the practice of taking a tiny amount of psilocybin, which varies from 10 to 30 percent of the full dosage. This technique avoids the negative effects of psilocybin, which can include hallucinations, paranoia, and other unpleasant emotions. Micro doses of psychedelics can provide some benefits but can be risky for people with certain health conditions.
Microdosing (taking small doses of the psychedelic compound psilocybin) has become popular, with many people turning to the practice to relieve their depression and anxiety. The drug is difficult to get, and some people choose to forage for them in the wild. Because psilocybin affects serotonin levels in the brain, microdosing could cause more harm than good.
Researchers have shown that psilocybin is most effective when taken in conjunction with other therapeutic approaches. Patients typically meet with a therapist, who administers the drug and stays with them through the whole experience.
In non-psilocybin sessions, the patient and therapist follow up. The goal is to help patients step out of their internal narratives, which are often overactive in depression. The process may even help the patient deal with underlying phobias.
Research has also shown that psychedelics cause ego dissolution, a distortion in one’s sense of self. Some people experience this negatively, while others report feelings of anxiety and feeling like a puppet. During the experiment, 60 subjects were given psilocybin and monitored for changes in glutamate levels in various brain areas. The researchers used imaging instruments to monitor these changes in the participants’ brains. Once the participants were in the scanners for several hours, they were able to observe how they changed.
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