A mushroom is a form of fungus that is very common. They can be found growing in forests or grassy areas with plenty of moisture all over the world. Some mushroom species are edible, while others are poisonous. Toadstools are another name for poisonous varieties. They have the potential to cause serious illness and even death. Unless they are with an expert who knows which mushrooms are safe to consume, people should never pick and eat mushrooms growing in the wild.
The majority of a mushroom is made up of tiny threadlike strands that grow underground. The strands tangle together to form a mycelium, which is a twisted mass. A part of the fungus that develops above the surface takes the shape of a mushroom.
Mushrooms come in a variety of colors and shapes. The button mushroom, which is the most commonly cultivated, resembles a small white umbrella. It is made up of two parts: a cap and a stalk. These are often referred to as “true” mushrooms. On the other hand, Mushrooms are fungi that emerge from the earth, on tree trunks, or on other surfaces. They come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, lavender, silvery blue, pink, orange, gray, brown, and black. They can also take on various forms. Some of them resemble golf balls. Others resemble funnels, bells, stars, a bird’s nest, a honeycomb, or a piece of coral.
The fruiting, or reproductive, part of the mushroom is the part that grows above ground. It creates spores, which are millions of tiny particles. As spores are released, they begin forming new mycelium wherever they land. The spores in true mushrooms come from the many brownish ribs, or gills, that are crammed together under the cap.
Psilocybin, a hallucinogen found in mushrooms, causes a strong, dreamy delirium. Mushrooms’ main pharmacological effect is to change the user’s perception, emotions, and thoughts.
Psilocybin is present in about 75 different mushroom species belonging to three different genera. Doses ranging from 10 to 60 mg can produce psychic effects. And they usually last 5 to 6 hours. Since the potency of both wild and cultivated mushrooms varies greatly, one potent plant can contain as much psilocybin as ten weak ones. Psilocybin has a chemical structure that is similar to LSD.
Before the mental effects kick in, most psilocybin-containing mushrooms cause nausea and other physical symptoms. Visceral hallucinations, changes in sight, sound, taste, touch, and altered states of consciousness are some of the mental symptoms. And compared to LSD, there is generally less dissociation and fear. Long-term psychotic responses are uncommon. On the other hand, the mental effects are variable and rely on the context in which the drug is consumed and the user’s mentality.
Mistaken mushroom harvesting is the source of problems (harvesting poisonous varieties of mushrooms instead of the ones containing psilocybin). Within hours of ingestion, some of these can cause death or permanent liver damage.
There are two tried-and-true methods for identifying mushrooms. The first is to go out into the field with experienced mushroom collectors and study each mushroom’s appearance and behaviors one at a time until you are fully familiar with it. The second choice is to get some mushroom identification books and learn how to recognize mushrooms based on diagnostic characteristics. Each strategy has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, but combining the two is by far the best option.