For billions of years, fungi have grown and flourished on earth. While some are harmful and cause illnesses, others have been used to great effect in areas such as nutrition and medicine. Among these used for medicine are mushrooms. Psilocybin and some other mushroom varieties are called “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms.” These mushrooms are popular because of the psychedelic effects they have on people after being ingested. Though they were discovered centuries ago, some of their effects are still yet to be discovered. It is this uncertainty that has led to a lawful classification of magic mushrooms as drugs that have no discernable medical benefit. Here are some quick facts about these beneficial fungi.
They Reorganize the Brain
Reorganizing the brain my sound like something that you want to avoid at all costs considering the organ’s function. However, what mushrooms such as psilocybin achieve is not necessarily a detrimental effect. These mushrooms do cause a hallucinogenic effect that can distort your reality, especially when heavy doses are used. A change in mood is also a strong possibility.
However, the mushrooms also promote brain function in an almost unusual way. One illustration of this was seen during a 2014 study where researchers observed the brains of 15 people who were provided with magic mushrooms to ingest. The results showed that there was an incredible level of activity in the brain’s network.
Neural connections make up a lot of how the brain works. There are certain pathways that exist that promote the normal function of the brain. However, after psilocybin, researchers noted the creation and progression of new pathways that don’t normally exist. The result is a smoother neural network operation that allows for a better sense of thought. Magic mushrooms are also believed to perform healing functions such as the repair and growth of brain cells.
Potential Personality Change
One of the reasons why magic mushrooms are used at college parties and raves is that the effects are temporary. Therefore, once the party has ended, and it’s time to return to normal life, this can be done effectively. Be that as it may, a 2011 study showed that there are potentially longer-term effects associated with the chemical.
You can think of a personality as the combination of varying levels of five qualities. These are extroversion, openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and neuroticism. It was discovered that openness increases greatly if the dose of a magic mushroom such as psilocybin is high.
Imagine openness as how you behave when thrown into new experiences. Qualities such as visual appreciation, creativity, and imagination are linked with this personality domain as well. The rising of openness is not the end of the line as over a year after the dose, the personality did not return to its normal baseline. This applied after the age of 30 as well, which is where the shocker was, as personalities don’t go through much change after 30. In fact, the researchers highlighted the fact that the openness trait is more likely to decrease at that point than it is to increase.
Mental Health Improvement
Magic mushrooms are banned by federal law as they are billed as addictive drugs with no medical merit. However, as more research is done, the potential benefits of magic mushrooms continue to come to light.
One of these is habit negation as psychedelics can go a long way in the treatment of addictions to drugs such as nicotine and cocaine.
Promising effects are also being seen where conditions such as anxiety and depression are concerned. It is believed to do this through the rebooting of key brain circuit activity, even in patients that are depressed or anxious over conditions such as cancer.