And now it’s time for the drug of the month, where we dive into the background, science, history, and current news and trends surrounding a different drug each month. October’s drug of the month is psilocybin, and last week, we talked about its history, why people started using it, and how its active compound was finally isolated and identified. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at the recent news and trends surrounding magic mushrooms. For centuries psilocybin mushrooms have been used for social, religious, and medicinal purposes by cultures around the world.
But only in recent years, have medical researchers begun to seriously consider psilocybin’s potential as a therapeutic treatment. In the past decade or so, studies have shown psilocybin’s effectiveness in treating a number of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), s well as treating addiction, alcoholism, and in helping people to quit smoking. David Nutt, a professor of neuro-psycho-pharmacology and former drug advisor to the UK government, is leading a team of scientists studying the effects of psilocybin on depression. He believes psilocybin could be a game-changer in how depression is treated. Currently, the most common course of action are pharmaceuticals called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (or SSRIs), such as Prozac, which increase levels of serotonin in the brain. But SSRIs are generally prescribed for long periods of time to maintain their effect.
Oftentimes, depressive symptoms return if SSRI treatment is interrupted. It would be part of a holistic package that required just one or two doses combined with guided therapy, and no need for long-term maintenance of the drug use. Unlike SSRIs, which have to be constantly administered, in order to trigger the correct brain signals, the goal of psilocybin-assisted therapy would be, according to Dr. Nutt to “ create a paradigm shift to help people into a different state of thinking that they can then stay in.” One even more fascinating and less explored area of research is that of magic mushrooms and mysticism. We know that the mushrooms have long held a spiritual significance for many cultures, and users report sometimes ecstatic experiences, visions, and a feeling of connectedness to the Universe. Recently, researchers at NYU and Johns Hopkins recruited church ministers to participate in an experiment comparing their experiences with psilocybin-mystical states and those induced by meditation or other religious practices. Currently, the same researchers at the Johns Hopkins University led by Dr. Roland Griffiths are seeking volunteers who have an interest in exploring and developing their spiritual lives to participate in a scientific study on the combined effects of meditation, spiritual practice, and psilocybin. If you are interested in participating, check out our website at ThisWeekInDrugs.org, and we’ll have some more information about the study posted there. Now, when it comes to purely recreational use, one trend that is increasingly popular is micro-dosing. A friend informs me that this practice is sometimes known or maybe used to be known as “twinkling.” That’s because micro-dosing means purposefully taking a smaller dose than is normally necessary to achieve the full psychedelic effects. Instead, at low doses, mushrooms produce feelings of relaxation and giddiness, a lightness and tendency to laugh or be easily amused, a sparkly, bubbly effect, not unlike the effects of marijuana. Cooking with cannabis has become relatively trendy since marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington, with such high-brow foodies as Jeffrey Steingarten, food editor for Vogue, and Iron Chef food critic, writing pieces simply titled “Cooking With Marijuana.” And now, the classy kitchen trend is simmering its way into psilocybin use as well. Unlike with cannabis, where the goal is to extract the THC from the plant matter and infuse it into a fatty substance, usually butter– with mushrooms, the vegetable is integrated itself into the dish. A Vice Munchies article from May explains that cooking with magic mushrooms is easy to adapt to existing recipes, because many already involve rehydrating dried mushrooms, such as morels and chanterelles. The important point to remember when cooking with shrooms is that some of the psilocybin is absorbed into the water when rehydrating the mushrooms, so the recipe should involve incorporating the water somewhere into the rest of the dish. The Vice article provides examples of recipes like risotto, in which the mushrooms are rehydrated in the soup stock, and then the soup stock is used to cook the rice. A more common and more traditional way of preparing mushrooms for consumption, of course, is the reliable method of tea. Drinking mushroom tea rather than eating them whole is a good alternative for people who tend to get upset stomachs. Most preparations are combined with other herbal teas, and other nausea-relieving herbs like mint or ginger. Even for those recreational mushroom users who do not use it for spiritual or religious purposes, there is often still a ritual like process associated with making and drinking the mushroom tea. That’s all for this week’s segment of Drug of the Month, recent news and trends in psilocylobin, and our fourth and last episode on magic mushrooms! Next week, we’ll be back with an overview of November’s drug of the month, a regular pick-me-up for probably many of our listeners — caffeine. Hey fellas I was wondering about whether or not it would be ok to pick some of these mushrooms that my gf has growing out of her horses shit in the fields. They are literally everywhere just growing out of the piles of horse shit.
I know people say dont pick shrooms if you dont know what you are doing, and I have heard everyone talk about how they just grow in cow shit. Do you think horse-shit shrooms would be any different?? Anyone had any experinence picking them before that might help me out. If nobody knows for sure I was gonna take some pics and post them to see what you thought. If I were you, though, I wouldn't risk my life on the advice of some anonymous pinhead who thinks he knows what you took a picture of. I would try to find someone with experience who you trust to actually look at the mushrooms with you. Supposedly there are look-alike mushrooms that can kill you dead. The age-old myth of holding in a hit of weed smoke is said to make you feel higher. Read on to find out what holding a hit does to your body. Firing up a joint, taking a few hits, and holding it in stronger than the vaults at Fort Knox.
You proceed to pass the joint along to your friends while holding the hit in, mimicking Houdini’s underwater escape. It is the standard no-cost approach to getting higher, right? Hold the smoke in for longer, and the body will have extra time to absorb more THC through the lung’s alveoli. Unfortunately, despite the apparent logical reasoning behind this notion, this theory does not hold up. Our lungs on average can hold 6 litres of air in one breath.