What Is Mushroom Tea?

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Mushroom tea is like any other tea variant except that it's made with psychedelic or medicinal mushrooms rather than traditional tea leaves. This results in a hallucinogenic effect, caused by psilocybin within the mushrooms. In most countries, the mushrooms themselves are not illegal, but the psilocybin compound is unless the user has a licence from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Method

  • To prepare mushroom tea, the mushrooms are chopped or crushed while enough water is boiled so each person can have one cup. Ideally, five grams of mushrooms are appropriate for each cup. The hot water is poured over the mushrooms and left for five to 10 minutes, depending on how strong the tea is to be. The tea is then strained into a cup. More boiling water can be added to the strained mushrooms for a second infusion.

Effects

  • According to The Good Drugs Guide, a website that connects drug users with treatment centers, the effect of magic mushroom consumption lasts as long as six hours and takes users on mental "trips" that involve a sense of euphoria and lightness and may be combined with giggling. Often, users become more aware of colors and sounds as the screens between conscious mind and outside world are erased. This sensory flood can be overwhelming and result in "bad trips," during which users become paranoid and fearful.

Science

  • The hallucinogenic ingredient in magic mushrooms is psilocybin, which is close to mescaline in atomic structure. Both psilocybin and mescaline, which are famous for their hallucinogenic effects, were used for centuries by Aztec cultures that believed the visions they saw had religious significance. Both these elements cause visions because they closely resemble neuro-transmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine that the brain uses to function. The receptors in the brain accept both the natural molecules and the hallucinogens, over-stimulating them and resulting in false signals, or "visions."

Legality

  • According to the University of Bristol, magic mushrooms became popular in the UK throughout the 1970s as a legal alternative to LSD. Since then, possessing or consuming magic mushrooms has become illegal in most countries. In the U.S., mushrooms aren't specifically named under federal law, but the primary active chemical psilocybin is. In practice, this means they're illegal to manufacture, possess or distribute without a license from the DEA. Under state law, magic mushrooms are illegal everywhere except Florida. The Florida Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that wild-picked psilocybin mushrooms couldn't be legally considered "containers" of psilocybin unless specifically named in Florida law, which has never since been done. Up until 2008, magic mushrooms were legal in the Netherlands, but this is no longer the case.

References

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