#Mushroomart has been booming this year! And if you've found yourself scouring this hashtag on social media for new aesthetic pics, you've probably seen the famed amanita muscaria without even knowing it.
- Amanita muscaria mushrooms contain muscimol and ibotenic acid
- These active ingredients together produce hallucinogenic effects
- Effects of the amanita mushroom vary for each individual user
- The psychoactive effects can typically be broken up into three stages: 1) energy, 2) tranquility, and 3) psychedelic
- Common psychedelic effects reported include the sensation of flying, lucidity, being in a dreamlike state, heightened sensory awareness, feeling either light or heavy, a hyperawareness of one's body, a shift in visual perception, and euphoria
- Common toxic side effects reported include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, sweating, salivating, lack of muscle coordination, low blood pressure, mood changes, irritability, increased urination, delirium, and, very rarely, seizures
- While the amanita mushroom is poisonous, no deaths have been reported in relation to the mushroom in the past 100 years
- For the safest way to consume amanita mushrooms, go with a reputable company that has lab tested their products thoroughly
- Start with small amounts and have a sober buddy by your side throughout your trip
Nothing is quite as iconic as those fly agaric red mushroom caps. But the psychedelic properties these amanita mushrooms offer might be the next big boom of 2023.
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What Are Amanita Muscaria Mushrooms?
Amanita muscaria mushrooms are different from the magic mushrooms you've heard about. While typical "magic mushrooms" are otherwise known as psilocybin, amanita mushrooms offer a whole new realm of possibility.
The amanita muscaria, or fly agaric mushrooms as they're also called, are poisonous mushrooms that can be found practically anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. They usually crop up during the end of the summer months, just in time to give off some autumn aesthetic realness.
But you're probably wondering about a crucial word we mentioned - "poisonous." While amanita muscaria is technically poisonous, modern medicinal chemistry has made it possible to consume amanita mushrooms without falling prey to these negative side effects.
In fact, the prominence of amanita mushroom gummies is a perfect example of how the fly agaric mushroom is becoming popularized. And only after they've been thoroughly detoxed, of course.
So, how exactly does this magic mushroom produce its psychoactive effects? And what can you expect from an amanita muscaria trip?
How Do Amanita Muscaria Mushrooms Work?
Amanita mushrooms contain two active ingredients - muscimol and ibotenic acid. Here's how each of these compounds gets to work.
Muscimol is a potent and selective orthosteric agonist for the GABA receptors. Translation: this compound can induce sedative-hypnotic and depressant effects due to its hallucinogenic properties.
Unlike most classical psychedelics, ibotenic acid and muscimol do not interact with either your dopamine or serotonin neurotransmitters. Since they interact solely with your GABA receptors, fly agarics aren't typically classified as psychedelic fungi despite their psychoactive effects.
Ibotenic acid is a chemical compound - more accurately, a neurotoxin - that occurs naturally in amanita muscaria (as well as other fungi in the amanita genus, such as amanita pantherina, amanita persicina, and more.)
It is an agonist of glutamate receptors, namely NMDA receptors, which are present in multiple systems within the central nervous system. The toxic effects of amanita muscaria are caused by ibotenic acid.
But boiling amanita mushrooms removes the acid and makes the amanita muscaria mushroom mostly harmless. (More on these risk factors below.)
While a rather unstable molecule, ibotenic acid can actually convert into muscimol when exposed to temperature and other factors. But unlike muscimol, ibotenic acid has stimulant effects rather than depressant effects.
Together, ibotenic acid and muscimol produce the hallucinogenic properties amanita mushrooms are known for. So if you've got some dried amanita muscaria you've looking to consume (only after boiling, of course!!), here's what you can expect from its psychoactive substances.
What Amanita Muscaria Effects Should I Expect?
If you've ever experienced the high caused by psilocybin, don't expect to feel the same high with amanita mushrooms. Instead, you can expect these active ingredients and their hallucinogenic effects to take place about 30 to 90 minutes after ingestion.
(Before we dive in though, it's important to note that a trip on amanita muscaria feels different for every individual user. Below is just a baseline of what to expect, but should not be considered the end-all-be-all of amanita mushrooms experiences.)
Phase 1: Energy
Usually, the effects of amanita muscaria start with energetic feelings. This is typically caused by the ibotenic acid which hasn't been converted into the more sedating muscimol yet.
But over time, these energetic feelings can start to make the user feel strange. The best way users have been able to describe their experiences with these psychoactive plants is that things just go "weird."
Phase 2: Tranquility
Around the 3-hour mark, the effects of amanita muscaria start to shift as ibotenic acid converts into the haziness and sedative nature of muscimol. At this stage, it's common for people to fall in and out of sleep.
In fact, many report that the more lucid effects of the amanita muscaria mushroom don't even begin to occur until people fall asleep. During this time, users have reported experiencing bizarre and vivid dreams - so bizarre that it becomes nearly impossible to describe them or make sense of their contents.
Phrase 3: Psychedelic
While each individual user will experience something different with amanita muscaria, here are the most common experiences users report:
- The sensation of flying
- Lucidity and a dreamlike haziness
- A heightened sensory awareness
- Feeling either very light or very heavy
- A hyperawareness of one's body
- Visual distortions that may feel either crisp or fuzzy
- A general sense of euphoria
These effects can linger for anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. But again, all these effects and their timelines will be unique to the individual user.
The Safest Way To Try Amanita Mushrooms
As previously stated, amanita muscaria are poisonous. So it's important to make sure that any and all toxins are effectively eliminated before consuming fly agaric.
Here are our top tips for ingesting fly agaric in the safest way possible. Whether you're looking to enjoy amanita mushroom gummies or an amanita muscaria tea, here are some things you should know before you get started:
The amount of ibotenic acid and muscimol in one small mushroom cap can be highly variable. But for the most part, you can expect fly agaric to contain 6mg muscimol and 40mg ibotenic acid.
Again, factors like ambient temperatures, host tree species, altitude, and more can all influence the ratio of these active ingredients. So if you want accurate dosing, you'll need to vet the fly agaric mushroom through lab testing.
For the most part, here's how you can measure out your approximate dosage with amanita mushrooms:
- Microdose - Less than 1 gram of dried mushrooms
- Threshold - 2-3 grams of dried mushrooms
- Standard Psychoactive - 5-10 grams of a dried mushroom
- Heavy - 10-30 grams of dried mushrooms
Even if you have experience with amanita extract or other mushrooms, we always recommend starting small. In fact, we recommend never exceeding 10 grams of this mushroom as the side effects only grow more severe with quantity.
Know The Risks
While even one small mushroom cap of the amanita muscaria gets deemed a "death cap," it's important to note that, according to the North American Mycological Association, there hasn't been a reported death from this mushroom in over 100 years.
That being said, toxic side effects have been known to occur, making it extremely important for users to consume the mushroom in the safest fashion.
Just as the psychedelic effects are unique to each individual user, so too are the mushroom's side effects. Some of the most common side effects reported are nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness.
But here's a list of other potential side effects that users have also reported:
- Lack of muscle coordination
- Low blood pressure
- Mood changes
- Increased urination
- Seizures (albeit extremely rare)
Given these potential side effects, it is extremely important to vet the mushroom or mushrooms you're intending to consume and have a game plan for how and when you will consume them safely and responsibly.
Have A Sober Friend With You
Because the muscimol in fly agaric can induce users into a dream-like state, it's important to have a sober buddy with you at the time you embark on your amanita muscaria trip.
Make sure this is a trusted friend who will not consume the mushroom with you. You'll want to have someone sober there to make sure you avoid any potentially dangerous situations.
Again, we always urge users to take small doses, and to develop a relationship with the mushroom first before diving into a deeper experience. In fact, smaller amounts of muscimol may actually offer more potential therapeutic benefits.
Recent studies have used muscimol to record the compound's potential ability to affect stress, anxiety, and sleep. That being said, no conclusive evidence has been made to determine the nature of muscimol's true influence.
Go With A Reputable Company
While the talk of amanita mushrooms has likely had you dreaming of foraging for a mushroom or two in the forest, we highly recommend you do not do this.
Instead, there are several companies out there that not only study the amanita mushroom, but have dedicated themselves to crafting commercially viable amanita mushroom products.
Psyched Wellness, for example, is a Canadian company that has been researching and producing products made from the medicinal properties of the amanita muscaria mushroom. Furthermore, certain CBD companies have started to branch out into the mushroom realm, crafting products with quality and safety-assured amanita mushroom extract.
While it may be tempting to play real-life Mario and go hunting for these cartoonish-looking mushrooms in the forest, we guarantee you'll have a safer experience with these commercial-approved products.
FAQs About Amanita Muscaria
While we could write plenty more blogs on amanita muscaria (and we will!), here are the most prominent questions that come up that we want to answer for you:
Is Amanita Muscaria Poisonous?
Yes. The amanita muscaria mushroom is poisonous but modern medicine has made it so that no human deaths have been reported due to these toxic mushrooms within the past 100 years.
If the amanita muscaria mushroom is eaten raw, it will produce toxic effects. Therefore, these mushrooms must be boiled to eliminate any toxicity and/or handled by a laboratory in order to confirm their non-toxicity upon detoxing.
That being said, users have still reported potential toxic side effects including nausea and vomiting. These toxic properties may be particularly dangerous for those with preexisting liver or kidney disease.
Is Amanita Muscaria Legal?
Mostly, yes. The amanita mushroom is not a controlled substance in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom. But the US state of Louisiana has banned amanita muscaria along with a dozen other psychoactive plants and fungi under Louisiana State Act 159.
This mushroom is, however, illegal in Australia as muscimol is listed as a Schedule 9 drug.
Trying new things is what life is all about. But at Clean Remedies, we like to arm you with the facts before encouraging you to dive straight in.
Research into the effects of amanita muscaria is still ongoing. And as a field of study, experimental psychological studies remain in their infancy.
That being said, what we do know offers an exciting new prospect into how to utilize these plant-based substances. And with what we've learned about CBD, we're very excited at the promising aspects that accompany amanita muscaria research.
So as you go about your mushroom journeys, remember to keep our safety tips in mind! At Clean Remedies, we're always here to offer you a helping hand as you explore new ways to enjoy plant-based medicine and substances.
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