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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Occurrence

Psilocybin is present in varying concentrations in over 200 species of Basidiomycota mushrooms. In a 2000 review on the worldwide distribution of psilocybin mushrooms, Gastón Guzmán and colleagues considered these to be distributed amongst the following genera: Psilocybe (116 species), Gymnopilus, Panaeolus, Copelandia, Hypholoma, Pluteus Inocybe, Conocybe, Panaeolina, Gerronema, Agrocybe, Galerina and Mycena. Guzmán increased his estimate of the number of psilocybin-containing Psilocybe to 144 species in a 2005 review. The majority of these are found in Mexico (53 species), with the remainder distributed in the US and Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia and associated islands. In general, psilocybin-containing species are dark-spored, gilled mushrooms that grow in meadows and woods of the subtropics and tropics, usually in soils rich in humus and plant debris. Psilocybin mushrooms occur on all continents, but the majority of species are found in subtropical humid forests. Psilocybe species commonly found in the tropics include P. cubensis and P. subcubensis. P. semilanceata—considered by Guzmán to be the world's most widely distributed psilocybin mushroom is found in Europe, North America, Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand, but is entirely absent from Mexico.

History Modern

In 1955, Valentina and R. Gordon Wasson became the first Westerners to actively participate in an indigenous mushroom ceremony. The Wassons did much to publicize their discovery, even publishing an article on their experiences in Life in 1957. In 1956 Roger Heim identified the psychoactive mushroom that the Wassons had brought back from Mexico as Psilocybe, and in 1958, Albert Hofmann first identified psilocybin and psilocin as the active compounds in these mushrooms. Inspired by the Wassons' Life article, Timothy Leary traveled to Mexico to experience psilocybin mushrooms firsthand. Upon returning to Harvard in 1960, he and Richard Alpert started the Harvard Psilocybin Project, promoting psychological and religious study of psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs. After Leary and Alpert were dismissed by Harvard in 1963, they turned their attention toward promoting the psychedelic experience to the nascent hippie counterculture. The popularization of entheogens by Wasson, Leary, authors Terence McKenna and Robert Anton Wilson, and others has led to an explosion in the use of psilocybin mushrooms throughout the world. By the early 1970s, many psilocybin mushroom species were described from temperate North America, Europe, and Asia and were widely collected. Books describing methods of cultivating Psilocybe cubensis in large quantities were also published. The availability of psilocybin mushrooms from wild and cultivated sources has made it among the most widely used of the psychedelic drugs. At present, psilocybin mushroom use has been reported among some groups spanning from central Mexico to Oaxaca, including groups of Nahua, Mixtecs, Mixe, Mazatecs, Zapotecs, and others. An important figure of mushroom usage in Mexico was María Sabina.

History Early

There is archaeological evidence for the use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms in ancient times. Several mesolithic rock paintings from Tassili n'Ajjer (a prehistoric North African site There is archaeological evidence for the use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms in ancient times. Several mesolithic rock paintings from Tassili n'Ajjer (a prehistoric North African site identified with the Capsian culture) have been identified by author Giorgio Samorini as possibly depicting the shamanic use of mushrooms, possibly Psilocybe. Hallucinogenic species of Psilocybe have a history of use among the native peoples of Mesoamerica for religious communion, divination, and healing, from pre-Columbian times up to the present day. Mushroom-shaped statuettes found at archaeological sites seem to indicate that ritual use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is quite ancient. Mushroom stones and motifs have been found in Mayan temple ruins in Guatemala. A statuette dating from ca. 200 AD and depicting a mushroom strongly resembling Psilocybe mexicana was found in a west Mexican shaft and chamber tomb in the state of Colima. Hallucinogenic Psilocybe were known to the Aztecs as teonanácatl (literally "divine mushroom" - agglutinative form of teó (god, sacred) and nanácatl (mushroom) in Náhuatl) and were reportedly served at the coronation of the Aztec ruler Moctezuma II in 1502. Aztecs and Mazatecs referred to psilocybin mushrooms as genius mushrooms, divinatory mushrooms, and wondrous mushrooms, when translated into English. Bernardino de Sahagún reported ritualistic use of teonanácatl by the Aztecs, when he traveled to Central America after the expedition of Hernán Cortés. After the Spanish conquest, Catholic missionaries campaigned against the "pagan idolatry," and as a result the use of hallucinogenic plants and mushrooms like other pre-Christian traditions were quickly suppressed. The Spanish believed the mushroom allowed the Aztecs and others to communicate with "devils". In converting people to Catholicism, the Spanish pushed for a switch from teonanácatl to the Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist. Despite this history, in some remote areas, the use of teonanácatl has remained. The first mention of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the Western medicinal literature appeared in the London Medical and Physical Journal in 1799: a man had served Psilocybe semilanceata mushrooms that he had picked for breakfast in London's Green Park to his family. The doctor who treated them later described how the youngest child "was attacked with fits of immoderate laughter, nor could the threats of his father or mother refrain him."

What are magic mushrooms ?

In the past people used the term ‘magic mushrooms’ as slang for the psilocybe semilanceata or ‘liberty cap’ mushroom, the most common type of ‘magic mushroom’ in the UK. More recently people have used the term ‘magic mushrooms’ to include other mushrooms that have similar ’trippy’ effects, like hallucinations. But it is important to know that different types of ‘magic mushroom’ will differ in how strong and how toxic they are. For example, the amanita muscaria or ‘fly agaric’ mushroom is stronger than the traditional ‘liberty cap’ mushroom. After picking, magic mushrooms are often eaten raw or are dried out and stored. Some people use the dried mushrooms to make tea. Drying reduces the weight of the ‘magic mushrooms’, but not their potency. People don’t tend to eat fly agaric mushrooms raw as they can make you feel really sick and also because there is a greater risk of poisoning and death from this family of mushrooms. Here are the main effects and risks of magic mushrooms: Colours, sounds and objects appear distorted. Your sense of time and movement can speed up – or slow down. You may feel disoriented, tired or sick – and some users can get stomach pains or diarrhoea.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Criminological evidence and seizures

In 2000, when a risk assessment was carried out in the Netherlands a number of smartshop owners
were thought to have ties with the synthetic drugs market and they were not prepared to disclose the
names of mushroom suppliers (CAM, 2000). The risk assessment report provides information on an
investigation carried out by the National Criminal Intelligence Service (CRI) to assess the frequency
of public nuisance related to hallucinogenic mushrooms. The CRI contacted various municipalities
but found no evidence of public nuisance as a result of sale or use of these substances.
In 2004, police or customs seizures of hallucinogenic mushrooms were reported in Czech Republic,
Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden (National reports, 2005, Estonia, Germany, Netherlands, Norway
(reporting form 2005, Detecting, tracking and understanding emerging trends, Czech Republic,
Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden). Estonia reported the confiscation
of 14 mail deliveries of psilocybin mushrooms or their spores or mycelium (EMCDDA, national report
Estonia, 2005). Reported trends in seizures of hallucinogenic mushrooms were mixed. Data from
customs in Sweden show an increase in 2004, while Norway reported a decrease. Germany also
reported an increase (EMCDDA, national report Germany, 2005). The largest quantity seized was
reported in Poland where police seized a total of 11.5 kg of hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2004.
Since the reclassification of hallucinogenic mushroom as a Class A drug in the UK, seizures made
by law enforcement authorities have also been recorded. One report involved hallucinogenic
mushrooms worth £6,000 (€8,700) seized in Glasgow in 2005
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4699343.stm, 20.07.2005). In Cyprus, for the first time the
police seized hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2006 which apparently had been purchased through a
Dutch retailer (national focal point, Cyprus).
Very few data are available as regards drug law offences. In the Czech Republic the Police National
Drug Squad reported nine offences related to hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2003 and 2004. In
Greece, a total of 37 and 20 offences (20) were reported in relation to hallucinogenic mushrooms
in 2003 and 2004 respectively (reporting form, 2005, Detecting, tracking and understanding
emerging trends, Czech Republic, Greece).

Hallucinogenic mushrooms: the chemistry

Beside psilocybin and psilocin, two further
tryptamines — baeocystin and norbaeocystin —
could also be present but are thought to be less
active than the former two. Psilocybin and psilocin
which could be chemically classified as
indolealkylamnies (i.e. belonging to the same group
as LSD) are structurally similar to the neurotransmitter
serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT). Psilocybin,
4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (4-PO-DMT)
is the phosphate ester of psilocin, 4-hydroxy-N,Ndimethyltryptamine
(4-HO-DMT); it is more stable in
air and is water soluble. Psilocybin, however, is
converted in the body into psilocin which is the
pharmacologically active compound. Psilocin
appears to act on the serotonin system as a 5-HT2A
post-synaptic agonist or partial agonist.

Hallucinogenic or psychedelic?

Issues related to hallucinogenic drugs have aroused
vehement discussions and often controversy among
both concerned experts (psychiatrists, psychologists,
psychopharmacologists etc.) and people using
them. At different times, these drugs have been
called 'psychedelic' (mind opening, mind
expanding), 'psychotomimetic' (resembling
psychosis), 'psychodysleptic' (mind disrupting),
'hallucinogenic', or the less familiar - 'phantastica',
'oneirogenic' etc. All these names depend on the
purposes and starting premises of those using them
and bring different positive or negative
connotations (Gossop, 1993). The scientific
community has largely adopted the term
'hallucinogens', however inaccurate it might be,
whereas most of the users naturally prefer the term
'psychedelic'. In practice, the two terms are being
used interchangeably.
The term 'hallucinogens' refers to the hallucinogenproducing
properties of these drugs. However, the
hallucinations are not the only effects caused by
these drugs and often occur only at very high
doses. The hallucinations are most often visual, but
can affect any of the senses, as well as the
individual's perception of time, the world, and the
self (Jacob and Fehr, 1987).
The term hallucinogens. However, is misleading as
these drugs do not generally cause true
hallucinations (i.e. sensory perceptions in the
absence of external stimuli). The effects could be
more accurately described as perceptual distortions
than hallucinations, though the effects also extend
beyond perceptions. Changes of thought, mood,
and personality integration (self-awareness) are all
important effects (Gossop, 1993; Pechnick and
Ungerleider, 2005).
Hallucinogens can be classified by chemical
structure and the compound from which they are
derived. Chemically related substances tend to
exhibit similar effects. Many other agents can be
classified as pseudo-hallucinogens because they
produce psychotic and delirious effects without the
classic visual disturbances of true hallucinogens.
Grouping the hallucinogens based on their
chemical structure includes, but is not limited to,
three major groups: indolealkilamines (tryptamines)
e.g. LSD, psilocin, psilocybin; phenylethylamines
e.g. mescaline; and cannabinoids (Pechnick and
Ungerleider, 2005).

Hallucinogenic mushrooms

The hallucinogens are a chemically diverse class
of drugs, which are characterised by their ability
to produce distortions in sensations and to
markedly alter mood and thought processes.
They include substances from a wide variety of
natural and synthetic sources, and are
structurally dissimilar (Jacob and Fehr, 1987).
Naturally occurring hallucinogens can be found
in mushrooms, plants (for example, cannabis,
peyote cactus, ayahuasca, morning glory,
iboga, Salvia divinorum, etc.) and even animals
(for example, toads and fish) and are known to
have been used for thousands of years in various
parts of the world for religious, spiritual or
healing purposes.
There are more than 100 known hallucinogenic
mushrooms (Guzmán, Allen and Garrtz, 2000).
The complexity of their mycological
classification, together with their different
chemical make up and the effects of various
hallucinogenic mushrooms may lead to
inconsistencies and confusion in their
description. The subject of this thematic study is
the psilocybin and psilocin containing fungi,
belonging mainly to the Strophariaceae family
(Psilocybe genus), Bolbitiaceae family (Conocybe
genus), Coprinaceae family (Copelandia and
Panaeolus genera) and Cortinariaceae family
(Inocybe genus). The list of species and their
geographical distribution is constantly critically
revised by mycologists. However, the genus
Psilocybe is predominant in terms of recreational
use followed by genus Panaeolus (Courtecuisse
and Deveaux, 2004).

Consequences

Psychological and physical dependency does not occur with mushrooms and there are no
withdrawal symptoms.
Somatic health risks
Acute toxicity of psilocybin is believed to be low so fatal intoxications related to consumptions of
hallucinogenic mushrooms are rare. One, allegedly toxicologically confirmed, death case directly
attributed to ingestion of a large amount of mushrooms in recent years is reported to have occurred
in France (Erowid). The Czech Republic reported one death case, a suicide in 2004, in which the
presence of 'hallucinogenic mushrooms' was detected and mentioned in the autopsy report.
The reported number of people seeking medical assistance because of intoxications from
hallucinogenic mushrooms is very low. The Czech Republic, reported 4 and 10 cases, in 2003 and
2004 respectively, of people who sought assistance following the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms.
In Poland, one toxicological centre reported psilocybin/psilocin intoxications — 2 cases in 2003
and 3 cases in 2004. Slovenia reported 2 intoxications in 2005. The number of cases reported by
the Swedish Poisons Information Centre remained relatively low and stable in the last five years at
around 30 to 40 calls annually. However, the coverage and capacity of the reporting systems and
case definitions across the EU vary substantially which makes it difficult to interpret findings or draw
firm conclusions (reporting form, 2005, Detecting, tracking and understanding emerging trends).
Intoxication with hallucinogenic mushrooms is not always easily diagnosed unless there is
information about recent ingestion from the user or from friends or family. First aid usually aims at
reassuring and preventing users from possibly harming themselves or others and assisting them to
an appropriate medical unit. Benzodiazepines are reported to be the safest medication of choice,
effective for most patients (WebMD).
There is no systematic research, but so far there is no evidence of chronic toxicity. Not enough data
is available about mutagenicity and teratogenicity to draw any conclusion. There is no irreversible
organ damage by psilocybin reported (CAM, 2000).
Mental health risks
Use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is more commonly linked to mental health risks. Although there is
no evidence of what proportion of users experience a 'bad trip', it is these users who are most likely
to contact emergency care systems. In such cases, the intoxicated individuals are usually extremely
anxious, severely agitated, confused and disoriented, with impaired concentration and judgement.
In serious cases, acute psychotic episodes may occur, including bizarre and frightening images,
severe paranoia and total loss of reality, which may lead to accidents, self-injury or suicide attempts.
A UK clubbing magazine survey conducted in 2005 found that nearly a quarter of those who had
used hallucinogenic mushrooms in the last year had experienced a panic attack (Mixmag,
2000–2005).
A bad trip is usually followed by faintness, sadness and depression, paranoid interpretations etc.

Dosage

Dosage of mushrooms containing psilocybin depends on the potency of the mushroom (the total psilocybin and psilocin content of the mushrooms), which varies significantly both between species and within the same species, but is typically around 0.5–2% of the dried weight of the mushroom. A typical dose of the rather common species, Psilocybe cubensis, is approximately 1 to 2.5 grams, while about 2.5 to 5 grams dried mushroom material is considered a strong dose. Above 5 dried grams is often considered a heavy dose.
The concentration of active psilocybin mushroom compounds varies not only from species to species, but also from mushroom to mushroom inside a given species, subspecies or variety. The same holds true even for different parts of the same mushroom. In the species Psilocybe samuiensis Guzmán, Bandala and Allen, the dried cap of the mushroom contains the most psilocybin at about 0.23%–0.90%. The mycelia contain about 0.24%–0.32%.

as a medicine


Psilocybe villarrealiae, which is only known to a small area of Mexico

There have been calls for medical investigation of the use of synthetic and mushroom-derived psilocybin for the development of improved treatments of various mental conditions, including chronic cluster headaches, following numerous anecdotal reports of benefits. There are also studies which include reports of psilocybin mushrooms sending both obsessive-compulsive disorders ("OCD") and OCD-related clinical depression (both being widespread and debilitating mental health conditions) into complete remission immediately and for up to months at a time, compared to current medications which often have both limited efficacy and frequent undesirable side-effects.

Emotional

As with other psychedelics such as LSD, the experience, or "trip," is strongly dependent upon set and setting. A negative environment could likely induce a bad trip, whereas a comfortable and familiar environment would allow for a pleasant experience. Many users find it preferable to ingest the mushrooms with friends, people they are familiar with, or people who are also 'tripping'. Similarly, "tripping" outdoors in a natural environment is considered anecdotally as conducive to a more pleasant experience.

Sensory

Noticeable changes to the audio, visual, and tactile senses may become apparent around thirty minutes to an hour after ingestion. These shifts in perception visually include enhancement and contrasting of colors, strange light phenomena (such as auras or "halos" around light sources), increased visual acuity, surfaces that seem to ripple, shimmer, or breathe; complex open and closed eye visuals of form constants or images, objects that warp, morph, or change solid colours; a sense of melting into the environment, and trails behind moving objects. Sounds seem to be heard with increased clarity; music, for example, can often take on a profound sense of cadence and depth. Some users experience synesthesia, wherein they perceive, for example, a visualization of color upon hearing a particular sound.

Effects

The effects of psilocybin mushrooms come from psilocybin and psilocin. They create short-term increases in tolerance of users, thus making it difficult to abuse them because the more often they are taken within a short period of time, the weaker the resultant effects are. Poisonous (sometimes lethal) wild picked mushrooms can be easily mistaken for psilocybin mushrooms. When psilocybin is ingested, it is broken down to produce psilocin, which is responsible for the psychedelic effects.
As with many psychedelic substances, the effects of psychedelic mushrooms are subjective and can vary considerably among individual users. The mind-altering effects of psilocybin-containing mushrooms typically last anywhere from 3 to 8 hours depending on dosage, preparation method, and personal metabolism. However, the effects can seem to last much longer to the user because of psilocybin's ability to alter time perception.
Some users suffer from hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, although this is uncommon. Perceptual disturbances causing discomfort are rarely reported after using psilocybin mushrooms, but they may be more likely if the drug is mixed with cannabis. There have been reports of such disturbances lasting months or years. Magic mushrooms have also been controversially associated with long term effects such as panic attacks, depression and paranoid delusions. On the other hand, magic mushrooms were rated as causing some of the least damage in the UK compared to other recreational drugs by experts in a study by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs. Other researchers have said that psilocybin is "remarkably non-toxic to the body's organ systems", explaining that the risks are indirect: higher dosages are more likely to cause fear and may result in dangerous behavior.
One study found that the most desirable results may come from starting with very low doses first, and trying slightly higher doses over months. The researchers explain that the peak experiences occur at quantities that are only slightly lower than a sort of anxiety threshold. Although risks of experiencing fear and anxiety increased somewhat consistently along with dosage and overall quality of experience, at dosages exceeding the individual's threshold, there was suddenly greater increases in anxiety than before. In other words, after finding the optimum dose, there are diminishing returns for using more (since risks of anxiety now increase at a greater rate).

Saturday, 27 October 2012

IDENTIFICATION PROLOGUE

All of the psilocybin species described herein may be most conclusively
identified by an enzyme that occurs with the psilocybin. This enzyme turns
blue thru an oxidation process after the flesh of the mushroom is damaged.
Crack the stem to check for the reaction, which takes from 20 to 120 minutes
to occur. The blue is similar to blue ink, unless the flesh of the mushroom is
yellowish, in which case the color will appear blue-green. All psilocybin
mushrooms (with the exception of one uncommon species that is not covered in
this manual) turn blue in this manner. A few chemicals will speed up the
oxidation/bluing process but are not readily available. Because these
chemicals are unstable and are difficult to work with, to hassle with them in
the field, for most people, is not worth the trouble.
This natural bluing-reaction noted in the psilocybin species is also
noted in one other non-psychedelic genus. To even the least observant person
the difference in physical appearance is extremely obvious. The non-psilocybin
mushrooms that turn blue are: large, bulbous and usually very smooth. This
fat cap cannot be confused with the psilocybin cap. The cap and stem will be
yellow or yellow-brownish evenly over the entire surface. With age, the
specimens of this genus may be noted to turn blue on parts of the stem. The
underside of the cap has pores instead of gills. These pores, appearing as an
organic sponge, will be of the same color-range. The stem is proportioned like
the cap and is quite solid and fleshy. These species do not occur on dung but
may be located in pastures and lawns after rains.

Friday, 26 October 2012

!!PSILOCYBE CAERULESCENS!!

The
CAP of this species measures from 1 inch to over 3 inches wide and
is cone-shaped when young, gradually expanding to the traditional
convex-to-flat shape of the mature specimen. The margin will exhibit a
downward curve. The surface of the cap is smooth and sticky, particularly in
the young specimen. This species is translucent when moist and the dark lines
of the gills will be obvious at these times. In mature specimens the margin of
the cap will be either lighter or darker than the center of the cap appearing
as a ring. In young specimens the color will be a deep green to black that
will fade with age. The separation of the center and the opposite colored
margin of the cap is irregularly shaped. In mature specimens the faded color
may be from a cinnamon to rust but often times it will retain the faded
olive-green color.
The GILLS will be closely spaced, wide and light-cinnamon to light-brown
color and will become dark brown to black with age. The edges of the gills
will be a lighter color.
The STEM of this species will range from 1.5 inches to 4 inches tall and
will be up to 1/2 inch thick depending on the size of the specimen. It is
usually very even, hollow and smooth and the top with thick fibrous hairs
balling up the rest of the way to the even base of the stem. The veil usually
falls away very early in the life of the mushroom and the stem is fibrous and
tough.
The FLESH of this species is off-white to yellowish occasionally with
tints of light brown in the cap. It has a strong grain-like odor and turns
blue, particularly after being handled.
This species occurs on the banks of streams and rivers and has been
located thoughout the entire southern U.S.

!!PANNAEOLUS SUBBALTEATUS!!

The
CAP in young specimens will appear bluntly cone-shaped with an
incurved margin. As maturity is reached the cap will expand but the incurved
margin will usually still be observed. The color of the cap is light-cinnamon
and is uniform and will be covered by a small white flecks in the younger
stages. With age the center of the cap will become lighter or darker thus
forming a distinctive ring that is the margin coloration. In younger specimens
the veil will be off-white, never bluing, and will hang downward from the
closed (cone-shaped) cap. The veil will disappear as the cap expands wil age.
The GILLS will usually be very closely spaced and in young specimens will
be very light-brown. This color will become black as the specimen matures.
The STEM will be from 1.5 inches to almost 4 inches high and never over
1/2 inch thick. The stem will be very uniform and evenly shaped. The top of
the stem will be vertically grooved and the lower portion of the stem will be
covered with a mat of hairlike scales and fine white powder. The stem color
will usually be white but a tint of sepia of light-cinnamon may be noted. The
stem is hollow. The bluing-reaction is noted best in the stem of this species.
The FLESH of this species will be white to yellowish. It has a taste and
odor that is like that of fine table-mushrooms purchased at the store.
This species has been collected by our team (on cow-dung) while
harvesting the Ps. cubensis. These notes have been placed in this book so that
you will not throw away this species when it occurs with the Ps. cubensis. It
is not extremely common (for every 25 Ps. cubensis collected you may find as
many as 3 this species [12% as common]) and will be discovered only
occasionally. This species matures slowly so that it will rarely be seen in
older stages if it is discovered while harvesting the Ps. cubEn7Zs.

-PSILOCYBE CUBENSIS-

The CAP is 1/2 inch to 4 inches wide. For the first few hours
cone-shaped, quickly becomes convex, then flat and finally edges uplift,
forming a bowl-shaped cap in the mature mushroom (age 24-48 hours after the
rain). The bowl-shaped cap will have an umbo or may become a depression. A
sticky protective film will be observed over the entire cap in fresh
specimens. The color varies widely, from an almost pure white with a gold
center-spot to an overall light-brown still retaining the gold center-spot.
This species becomes translucent when it has absorbed excess water. At this
time the cap (except for the center spot) will appear a dark-olive which is
actually the dark spore color showing through. Both the water-soaked and
normal specimens will dry to a yellow-rust color still retaining the
orange-to-gold center spot.
The GILLS are rather closely spaceed and are light-brown in the young
stages, becoming a deep purple or black with maturity. In early stages the
gills will be connected to the stem but may separate with age.
The STEM will be from 1.5 inches to almost 6 inches tall and up to 1/2
inch thick. The stem base (volva) is many times, although not always,
thickened. The stem will be hollow, fibrous and generally white or at least a
lighter color than the cap. There will usually be a ring of tissue hanging on
the upper portion of the stem (the veil) which usually turns blue with age.
The inside flesh of the broken stem will usually yield the fastest bluingreaction.
The FLESH of this species is white, has little odor and tastes like fresh
grain. It is usually located on cow-manure (although it is located on the
manure of other grain-fed animals as well) or on soil that has been enriched with such manure.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

There are two types of magic mushroom in the UK - Psilocybe cubensis and Psilocybe semilanceata. The most common one is Psilocybe semilanceata or the liberty cap. These contain compounds called psilocybin and psilocin which give you a mild trip.

Liberty caps are tan coloured. The cap is no more that 5-15mm across with a 'nipple' on top. They grow on grassy meadows where sheep and cows have grazed and appear between September and November. WARNING: There are some poisonous look-a-likes which may be harmful to consume.

Magic mushrooms can be eaten raw or dried, cooked in food or brewed up in tea.
BOTANICAL CLASSIFICATION
Family :
Strophariaceae
Genus :
Psilocybe
Species :
cubensis; cyanescens; semilanceata; ...
Genus :
Panaeolus
Species :
campanulatus; subbalteatus; ...
COMMON NAMES
Shrooms; Magic Mushrooms; Sacred Mushrooms; teonanácatl
EFFECTS CLASSIFICATION
Psychedelic
DESCRIPTION
There are more than 180 species of mushrooms which contain the psychedelics psilocybin or psilocin. They have a long history of use in Mexico and are currently one of the most popular and commonly available natural psychedelics.
Psilocybin mushrooms are fungi that contain psychoactive indole alkaloids. There are multiple colloquial terms for psilocybin mushrooms, the most common being shrooms and magic mushrooms.[1] Biological genera containing psilocybin mushrooms include Agrocybe, Conocybe, Copelandia, Galerina, Gerronema, Gymnopilus, Hypholoma, Inocybe, Mycena, Panaeolus, Pluteus, and Psilocybe. There are approximately 190 species of psilocybin mushrooms and most of them fall in the genus Psilocybe.
Psilocybin mushrooms have likely been used since prehistoric times and may have been depicted in rock art. Many native peoples have used these mushrooms in religious rites. In modern Western society they are used recreationally for their psychedelic effects. Recent studies done at Imperial College London and also at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine conclude that when used properly, psilocybin acts as an anti-depressant as suggested by fMRI brain scans.[2]