The active components within hallucinogenic mushrooms
However there are more substances that create specific ‘psychodelic’ effects. Two of these substances are baeocystin and norbaeocystin. A third substance, which is speculated to be a product from psilocybin mushrooms, is 4-AcO-DMT. However, it is unconfirmed that 4-AcO-DMT is produced from natural magic mushrooms. It is so far only available as an artificial chemical product.
Why are these components, especially Psilocybin, psychoactive?
This is one very important question. In order to understand why any drug has its effects, you should be aware that its molecular structure has a main body which is similar to substances normally created by our own body. In this case the substances act on our serotonin system via what are known as 5-HT receptors.
The serotonin system is also the main area where LSD and mescaline have their effects on but unlike magic mushrooms they also affect the dopamine system. The active components from magic mushrooms have no effect on dopamine at all. And yes LSD is in the same chemical category, it is also a tryptamine. Mescaline on the other hand is a ß-Phenethylamine and is closer related to amphetamine and ephedrine than to Psilocybin.
That means that it is also possible to reach the same receptor group with drugs from different chemical groups. But most of the tryptamine based drugs affect the serotonin system, the ß-Phenethylamines mainly affects dopamine and adrenaline and only a few of them serotonine. Most known examples for these two groups are: tryptamines – LSD, DMT (Ayahuasca), Psilocybin; ß-Phenethylamines – Mescaline, MDMA, Amphetamine, Ephedrine, 2C-B.
Most of you will know most of these substances and do now understand the main difference in Effects.
The pharmacological facts of Psilocybin
Psilocin is also known as 4-HO-DMT, so here you see already how far it is related to our own bodily produced chemicals. Of DMT (Ayahuasca, Yopo) it could be said it is only a drug when the body levels of DMT exceed the normal amount. Because Psilocin is so closely related, it can perfectly make use of the way DMT takes in our body.
The other substances mentioned above, baeocystin, norbaeocystin and 4-AcO-DMT, are also transformed to Psilocin and then become psychoactive. For the baeocystin that still has to be finally confirmed, as research on this substance is very limited. But all routes lead back to Psilocin, known as 4-HO-DMT. Baeocystin seems to take two steps to Psilocin, first it is converted to Psilocybin and that is finally changed into Psilocin.
Self-administered tests from scientists had proven this, reports state that 10 mg of baeocystin had the same effects as 10 mg of Psilocybin.
But why do magic mushrooms then have different effects?
There are many things that affect the effects from hallucinogenic mushrooms. Most important is the Set and Setting. The set is the area where you take the psilocybin mushrooms, at home, with friends, at a party, with strangers and so on. The setting is your own current state, do you feel happy, sad, angry, tired and so on.
Another important aspect is the way in which you administer the magic mushrooms and if your stomach is empty or full. When you take the mushrooms on an empty stomach your body can quickly digest them and the active components are rapidly absorbed. That means the effects start quickly and the peak is reached fast. When your stomach is full, the digestion of the magic mushrooms is much slower, thus the active components are absorbed much slower. In that case it takes more time until the effects begin and it takes longer until the peak is reached.
The routes of administration can also decide how fast the active components are absorbed and transported. If you chew the magic mushrooms for a long time, a lot of psilocybin can be absorbed by the mucosa in your mouth. This speeds up the onset and the time to reach the peak. When you just chew them a few times, so that you can swallow them as quickly as possible, your stomach has to do all the work and the psilocybin is absorbed in your intestine.
Another way to make the psilocybin quickly available in your body is to make a tea or shred the magic mushrooms in a mixer before taking them. But these methods sometimes create unwanted side effects, especially nausea and vomiting.
But also the amount of active components in your magic mushrooms has influence on the effects. When you are taking strong magic mushrooms the effects also start earlier and the coming up feels more intense that directly influences your setting and can create different effects.
Last but not least, the relation between the active components in magic mushrooms and the main substance also influences the onset, coming up, peak and total duration. Since you know about set and setting, you know why that can change the experience you have. Copelandia Cyanescens is so far one of the strongest magic mushrooms available today, but it also contains Psilocin as main substance. Your body doesn´t have to transform it before it is active, if that is combined with long chewing and an empty stomach, it is likely that the effects start within 15 minutes after consumption. The peak is than reached within 45 minutes, that´s the time before some other magic mushrooms become active at all.
For 4-AcO-DMT the next step is also Psilocin and it will work similar like Psilocybin in onset, coming up, peak and total duration. With baeocystin the data is limited and so it can not be said how it compares in these matters with the other substances.
One more thing; it is also not the same when taking pure substances, no matter if extracted from natural mushrooms or produced the chemical way. A pure substance is absorbed rapidly, as there is nothing else that needs to be digested. So do not directly take the same amount of the chemical that would be in your average dosage of magic mushrooms. The quick onset and coming up then is sometimes overwhelmingly strong!
I get nausea when using magic mushrooms, is psilocybin producing this?
Some people get sick through the effects, but Psilocybin and the others do not produce nausea and vomiting through themselves. The people who get nauseous also often get that when taking other psychedelics like LSD or Mescaline.
But in most cases this comes from the use of dried magic mushrooms. Dried mushrooms are rather hard for your body to digest and can so cause some trouble in your body. Ranging from nausea and vomiting to diarrhea. The worst case would be that you have everything at the same time, but luckily that only happens to very few people.
Side effects like this can be avoided through chewing your magic mushrooms for a while until they are nearly dissolved. Also do not chew all the magic mushrooms at once when you receive such problems, spread your dosage over 15 minutes. Pure substances (the components themselves of the magic mushrooms in pure chemical form) do not produce any of these side effects, as they are no problem for your digesting system.