I love mushrooms, in soups, sandwiches, grilled, sautéed, the list goes on! Of course I am talking about mushrooms, such as shiitake, button, or Portobello. What were you thinking? Of course if you are on this site you are thinking of the infamous magic mushrooms, the ones that gives you pretty colors, calming hallucinations and an out of body experience. Although some of the side affects of consuming certain mushrooms can be quite the trip, the effects can also be down right scary, and addictive.
In the past decade or so, scientists at a United States University decided to test the potency of mushrooms, and had volunteers come in and use the drug. Surprisingly 14 months after taking part in the one day 8 hour experiment, 64% of the volunteers, consisting of 36 men and women, felt more grounded and that they had at least a moderate increase in their well-being. While 61% felt they had at least a moderate positive behavioral change.
Results like this from such a controversial drug would, and did, bring some doubts to the actual danger of mushrooms. Why is it that mushrooms have been given such a bad rep if, as shown in the University experiment, they can enlighten and make peoples lives better than they were before the experiment? Can we not use this drug to help alleviate the symptoms of depression, or even help cancer patients like medical marijuana does?
The answer is simple, although mushrooms can give an individual these feelings and changes, the drug is still dangerous to use, even in a laboratory setting, as said by one of the scientists who ran the experiment. For those who participated in the experiment, a third of the volunteers still felt an immense feeling of fear, and the scientists warned that without proper supervision, someone could be seriously harmed.
In addition, 24 hours after the first use of the drug, in order to get the same feeling and high from the first time, one would have to take double the dose of the drug. The experience of the trip is also so unpredictable, that you could either have a good or bad trip and the bad trips can include feelings of paranoia, extreme fear, severe stomach pains, and diarrhea. If the use of the drug is frequent, taking so much can only lead to one trip where you will not come back.
Although there is some hope for mushrooms to be used medically, the biggest hurdle of mushrooms has yet to come, eliminating the often-frightening trips one can have when using mushrooms. Until then, it is wiser to not take the drug, the negative effects of the drug out way the benefits, and with such unpredictable trips, why take the risk?
Have you ever had a frightening experience with mushrooms?
Do you think it would be beneficial to introduce mushrooms in the future as a way to help alleviate the effects of some illnesses?
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