As marijuana use continues to gain more acceptance by the general public due to the lifting of most of its restrictions both for medicinal and recreational use, it looks like people are also looking into other substances that may have psychoactive effects. Psilocybin mushrooms, or “shroom chocolates,” seem to be the next mind-altering drug making a breakthrough.
With the apparent growth in the popularity of mushrooms, psychedelic drug users are finding tastier ways to consume and ingest these substances for their unique side effects. This article discusses what these mushrooms are, how they affect the body, and what are some of their side effects.
Shroom Chocolate Bars and Psilocybin
Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic substance that comes from a variety of types of mushrooms found in select areas in Europe, South America, Mexico, and the United States. Many users dub these mushrooms species that contain psilocybin as “magic mushrooms” or “shroom chocolates.” Other street names currently being used to identify psilocybin include:
- Little Smoke
- Purple Passion
- Sacred Mushrooms
- Simple Simon
Individuals use psilocybin as a form of recreational drug. It can induce various effects in the body like euphoria and sensory distortion, which is common to LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs. While these mushrooms have been around for many years, people have discovered many new ways of ingesting and consuming them.
How are Shroom Chocolate Bars Made?
There are many ways to consume magic mushrooms, but one method seems to be quite a popular one–shroom chocolates. Although they can be consumed straight up, mushrooms are thought to be enjoyed better when mixed with a popular dessert.
To make these desserts, some users create their own chocolate while some buy chocolates from the supermarket and use it for their shroom chocolate recipe. First, they determine the dosage of the mushroom to use for cooking. Normally, one gram of raw, ground-up magic mushrooms is enough for one bar or one piece of shroom chocolate.
They then melt the chocolate in a saucepan and mix the ground-up mushrooms in to distribute it evenly. The chocolate is then poured onto a baking sheet and molds to create the chocolate pieces.
The process itself is simple enough but still quite dangerous since the dosage measurements may not be as exact as one might think. The one gram is to one piece ratio is an oversimplification that could lead to higher doses than usual.
How is Potency Measured for Shroom Chocolates?
When talking about how strong the effects of a drug or substance are, potency is measured. For magic mushrooms, you need to take into account but the psilocybin and psilocin contents of the substance. Knowing the species of the mushroom can be helpful in determining the high-water-mark potency associated with that species.
Potency may be measured as a percentage of dry weight or in milligrams. Take the commonly consumed species Psilocybe cubensis as an example. A single gram of cubensis that hypothetically contains 0.5 percent psilocybin by dry weight would contain 5 mg—or 0.005 grams—of psilocybin.
In a clinical setting, however, doses used may vary. In one 2008 study, researchers used 4 mg and 2 mg of psilocybin on participants that were diagnosed with anxiety associated with stage IV melanoma. Other researchers have used the same substance in higher doses when studying its effects on treatment-resistant depression. This just means that even experts in the field of medicine and chemistry are still trying to figure out the right dose for different people and for different purposes.
How Does Psilocybin Affect the Human Body?
As a hallucinogen, psilocybin works by activating a person’s serotonin receptors, most often in the prefrontal cortex. Serotonin is your body’s mood stabilizer and is sometimes referred to as a “feel-good hormone” because of its inherent effects on a person’s mood. Your serotonin receptors, when activated, can easily influence your mood, cognition, and perception.
After the gut ingests and absorbs the substance, your body automatically converts it to psilocin. Both psilocybin and psilocin occur naturally within magic mushrooms, but outside of the body, psilocin is very unstable. When exposed outside, psilocin becomes quickly degraded when exposed to heat or oxygen. This is why fresh magic mushrooms bruise so easily when they are picked – it is the psilocin held within reacting and degrading. However, even if they are bruised, they can still be quite potent.
Psilocybin and Hallucinations
Hallucinogens also work in other regions of the brain that regulate arousal and panic responses. When a person is under the influence of such a substance as psilocybin, it doesn’t always cause active visual or auditory hallucinations. Instead, it distorts how some people that use the drug perceive objects and people already in their environment. Contrary to those depictions you see in Hollywood movies, magic mushrooms don’t actually create vivid hallucinations. They work better in distorting things that you already see around you. The effects vary depending on the amount of consumption.
Psychedelic Mushroom Chocolate Bars Effects
Generally speaking, psilocybin can induce similar effects to those of LSD. They also include an altered perception of time and space along with the aforementioned changes in mood and feeling. Other possible effects of the substance include:
- Auditory Hallucinations
- Dilated Pupils
- Distorted Thinking
- Frightening Hallucinations
- Muscle Weakness
- Panic Attacks and Paranoia
- Impaired Concentration
There’s also the possibility of experience derealization or that feeling that your surroundings aren’t real at all. Some people experience what seems to be a dream-like sense of being disengaged from their surroundings.
Are Shroom Chocolates Illegal?
Under federal law, the possession or distribution of these mushrooms is considered illegal. They are still considered a Schedule 1 substance listed under the UN’s protocol on psychotropic substances. However, many states have already started decriminalizing the use of it due to the supposed health benefits. Some states that have declared psilocybin legal include Oakland, Santa Cruz, Massachusetts, and Colorado.
In those states, adult possession and cultivation of these mushrooms for personal isn’t illegal at all. So if you’re consuming it creating chocolate bars for your own consumption, you won’t be prosecuted if you’re living in any of those states. However, cultivating mushrooms with psilocybin for commercial use would still give you trouble as it is illegal.
Like any other form of recreational drug or psychoactive substance, psilocybin has the potential to be misused and abused. Although it can induce some dangerous psychological effects, psilocybin isn’t chemically addictive and produces no physical symptoms after stopping use.
Regular usage of psilocybin, however, can cause an individual to become tolerant to its effects, which makes users crave much more potent doses and varieties of the mushroom. This could easily lead to drug addiction. Cross-tolerance also occurs with other drugs, including LSD and Mescaline. People who use these drugs must wait at least several days between doses to experience the full effect. After several days of psilocybin use, individuals might experience psychological withdrawal and have difficulty adjusting to reality.
Whether it’s magic mushrooms, shroom chocolates, or gummies, these psychedelic mushrooms all have the potential of producing mental reactions to people who consume them. As such, consumption of these substances should be taken with extreme caution. The feeling you get while under the influence of psilocybin may be great at first, but it can easily lead to other side effects that could prove to be dangerous and detrimental to your health.