Wide open topics discussed on Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms! But what are Psilocybe cubensis? Why research and take a deep dive?
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- Psilocybe Cubensis Effects
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- Psilocybe Cubensis Legal States
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Questions on “Magic” Mushrooms Applications & Therapeutics
In this edition of the Quality Spores blog, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common questions about this species of “magic” mushroom, including its effects on the human brain, why there’s a growing interest in its use for therapeutic applications.
Here’s what we’ll be discussing today:
- The effects of Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms on the human brain
- How Psilocybe cubensis has been shown to benefit therapy patients
- Understanding Psilocybe cubensis potency; why some mushrooms are more potent than others and the difference between whole fungi therapy and synthetic psilocybin-containing mushrooms
- What you need to know about dried cubensis mushrooms vs. fresh mushrooms
- Whether or not Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms are safe
- The current legal status of Psilocybe cubensis in the United States, Canada, and Australia
- How to study Psilocybe cubensis mushroom spores at home legally
Let’s begin with one of the most fascinating areas of study—how Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms affect the brain:
Psilocybe Cubensis Effects on Brain
The effects of Psilocybe cubensis and other psilocybin containing mushrooms is a complex neurological topic, so we’ll just be going over the broad strokes here.
Contrary to popular belief, psilocybin is not the compound responsible for causing hallucinatory or psychedelic effects on the individual consuming it, whether synthesized or in the form of whole fungi. The brain actually converts psilocybin into another compound called psilocin, which becomes the active compound responsible for the psychedelic effects. This is why you’ll often see that both psilocybin and psilocin are illegal.
The effects of psilocybin on the brain are largely dependent on the dosage consumed and the tolerance of the individual. Common experiences include visual distortions such as patterning or elongation or shortening of objects, changes in thinking, changes in the perception of colors, and emotional changes.
Most notably, those under the effects of psilocybin often express feeling a sense of empathy for others and the world around them; a sense of “oneness” is a commonly reported sensation. For these reasons, Psilocybe cubensis and similar mushrooms or psilocybin extracts have become an important topic of discussion among the medical community as the compound shows promise as a treatment for anxiety, depression, and a host of other medical concerns.
Psilocybe Cubensis Benefits in Therapeutic Patients Explained
In recent years, clinical trials and other studies concerning the efficacy of psilocybin as a therapeutic compound have been popping up more and more—each with similar and undeniably promising results. Psilocybin, the active psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms, is being shown to have a multitude of therapeutic benefits for patients suffering from a wide variety of ailments, including some which were previously considered treatment resistance.
The benefit of Psilocybe cubensis in these studies is multifaceted. At first, psilocybin was being looked at as a possible treatment for mental conditions such as depression or anxiety. As time has gone on, researchers have discovered a number of other areas where psilocybin can have positive results, such as in treating obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction to nicotine or alcohol, and as an added therapy for palliative care patients.
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The last bit is particularly noteworthy; as we discussed above, psilocybin could often have an effect which engenders a sense of empathy or connectedness in patients. This feeling of oneness or connection to the self and one’s place within the universe as being part of a greater whole can have remarkably effective psychological effects on end-of-life patients experiencing depression or anxiety concerning their own mortality.
In fact, these effects for terminally ill patients has been a major driving force behind some of the changes within the legal framework surrounding Psilocybe cubensis and psilocybin, largely thanks in part to the dictates of the Right to Try act in the United States, which says that terminally ill patients are allowed to try experimental therapies when approved by medical professionals.
Psilocybe Cubensis Potency: Difference Between Strains, Whole Fungi Therapy, and Synthetic Psilocybin
Psilocybe cubensis potency can vary depending on how the mushroom is administered to a patient or, in jurisdictions where doing so is legal, when being used for recreational purposes or for religious and spiritual practices.
Psilocybe cubensis strains are known for being many; there are hundreds of different strains of Psilocybe cubensis, each with varying levels of psilocybin content (and thus potency). Some strains, such as the commonly known Golden Teacher Psilocybe cubensis strain are known for being relatively mild; others, such as the famous McKenna strain known humorously as Penis Envy are quite potent. The strain matters if potency is of interest to the researcher.
For this reason, many clinical trials use synthesized psilocybin—which doesn’t mean “fake” psilocybin, but rather an extracted, purified form of the compound. However, some researchers believe that using the entire mushroom, called whole fungi therapy, can have additional effects on the patient. This is because Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms contain many other chemicals and compounds in addition to psilocybin, and researchers believe that these elements may work in tandem to influence the overall effects of the psychedelic experience.
Psilocybe Cubensis Dried vs. Fresh (or “Wet Weight”)
In clinical trials or licensed therapeutic uses for psilocybin, a synthesized version of the compound is often used. However, researchers working in clinical trials for whole fungi therapy use the Psilocybe cubensis mushroom as it would be found in nature.
Therefore, these researchers need to have an understanding of the difference between the dried version for preservation and the state when fresh, sometimes referred to as the mushroom’s wet weight.
This, obviously, is because when dosing Psilocybe cubensis by weight, there’s a huge difference between so-called dry weight and wet weight; two grams of fresh mushrooms will not contain nearly as much psilocybin as two grams of Psilocybe cubensis dried out and preserved.
It’s also important to know that some jurisdictions have different laws concerning dried Psilocybe cubensis and fresh mushrooms, which we’ll discuss at more length in a later section. For now, let’s explore the notion of whether or not Psilocybe cubensis is safe.
Are Psilocybe Cubensis Safe?
This species of mushroom does have a powerful psychedelic effect. Magic mushrooms are not poisonous, but as to whether they’re safe – that required more conversation.
Generally, researchers agree that Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms are safe. There are no recorded cases of “overdose” or long term health effects from consuming these mushrooms that this author is aware of.
Having said that, it’s important to note that the psychedelic effects of cubensis strains can be extremely powerful. Psilocybin is a mind and mood altering substance that can change the user’s perceptions to a fairly dramatic degree, especially at high enough dosages. Some people find these experiences pleasant (or at the very least interesting), but others may find them incredibly disturbing or otherwise difficult to deal with.
During a magic mushroom trip, a person might behave in ways they normally wouldn’t. While stories of people jumping from rooftops in an attempt to fly are largely false relics of the “Reefer Madness” era, it is true that anyone under the influence of Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms shouldn’t operate a motor vehicle or engage in any other potentially dangerous activity—and thank goodness that this is just common sense for the majority of people.
In therapeutic settings, those undergoing a psilocybin experience will have a “sitter,” meaning someone who is completely sober that sits with the person on the trip. The sitter is there to provide support in case the person under the effects of psilocybin finds the experience overwhelming or tries to do anything that could accidentally harm themselves.
Is Psilocybe Cubensis Legal in the US, Canada, or Australia?
In the United States, psilocybin and psilocybin-containing mushrooms are currently illegal throughout most jurisdictions. However, this is also a tumultuous time regarding the legal framework of psilocybin law—many changes have occurred in the past few years and more are likely to occur in the future.
At the time of this writing, many jurisdictions have decriminalized psilocybin. This doesn’t mean that the Psilocybe cubensis legal status has changed. The mushrooms are still illegal, however, they are just no longer a priority for law enforcement. However, psilocybin advocates see this as a major step forward in the battle for legalization. Most experts believe that eventually psilocybin and mushrooms like Psilocybe cubensis will be legal—but we’re not there yet.
A notable exception regarding legality exists in the United States. In New Mexico, it has been deemed legal to cultivate Psilocybe cubensis for personal use. However, the mushrooms may not be dried or preserved in any way. This is because it’s believed that dried mushrooms will be easier for people to preserve and potentially sell as an illegal drug.
Is Psilocybe cubensis legal in Canada? It’s a complicated question, because the answer basically boils down to “sometimes.” Health officials in Canada have made it legal for certain people in Canada to possess magic mushrooms like Psilocybe cubensis for therapeutic purposes, such as for mental wellness purposes or if the individual is suffering from a terminal disease. Therefore, Psilocybe cubensis are legal in Canada but only under certain circumstances—it is not carte blanche legal.
But is Psilocybe cubensis legal in Australia? At the time of this writing, magic mushrooms and psilocybin are illegal in Australia for recreational purposes. However, it is expected that Australia will follow suit with other western countries and eventually allow for the use of Psilocybe cubensis under therapeutic supervision—clinical trials to study the efficacy of psilocybin as a therapeutic are already underway.
Discover the Joys of At-Home Science Education With Amateur Microscopy and Exotic Fungal Spores – Legally!
We’ve covered a lot about Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms today. As you now know, these magical mushrooms are, at the time of this writing, currently illegal to grow in most jurisdictions. It is, however, legal in most states throughout the US to purchase and possess the spores of these mushrooms.
Why is this important? Because it allows for amateur mycologists and microscopists to study the earliest stages in the development of these fascinating fungi. Studying spores, particularly from the Psilocybe cubensis species, is one of the best ways to develop your microscopy skills and develop an understanding of fungal reproduction.
Since Psilocybe cubensis has so many different strains—many of which are available right here on Quality Spores—it’s also idea for any home researcher looking to expand their taxonomical identification skill set.
Learn more about how to get started in one of the quickest growing scientific hobbies in the country:
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