By Ethan Ball

Psilocybin mushrooms, otherwise known by their street names of psychedelic mushrooms or “boomers,” are nothing new to humans.

Historians believe that hallucinogens may have been used as far back as 9000 BCE in North Africa.

There are collectively more than 200 species of psilocybin mushrooms, ranging from the psilocybe azurescens, aka “Flying Saucer Mushrooms,” to psilocybe cubensis, aka “Shrooms.”

I have first-hand witnessed multiple people “tripping” on mushrooms in the past couple of years, and I have seen no negative effects. Users report an altered perception of reality, time, and of being sent into a transcendent state such as meditation.

Many users report intensely spiritual experiences, and some studies suggest that one transcendent trip can alter personalities for the better, allowing people to be more open to new experiences and more appreciative of art, curiosity, and emotion.

Psilocybin is considered a prodrug, meaning it is inactive until eaten and metabolized, or broken down, within the body. Upon metabolism, psilocybin is then converted to the active metabolite “psilocin,” which binds to the same receptors in the brain as the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, exciting the nerves and causing the brain to activate.

After ingesting the mushroom, it takes between 15 minutes to an hour to feel the effects. You’ll start off feeling slightly drowsy before noticing colors changing, objects appearing, and other typical hallucinogenic visuals.

Recent research has found that psilocybin seems to completely disrupt the normal communication networks in the brain, by connecting “brain regions that don’t normally talk together,” said study co-author Paul Expert, a physicist at King’s College London.

One may think that a drug with such perception-altering qualities would be expensive, but the going rate of psychedelic mushrooms is $10 per gram. A 2-gram trip will offer you light hallucinations and an altered state of mind, whereas 3.5 grams will result in intense visuals and hallucinations.

It is not possible to overdose on mushrooms. However, taking a small dose can cause temporary anxiety just as taking a very large dose can.

“Boomers” are classified as a Schedule 1 drug and are illegal throughout the United States. Possession of these mushrooms results in a Class A non-person misdemeanor.

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