Shrooms” commonly refers to over 200 species of mushrooms containing the active psychedelic compound known as “psilocybin.” Psilocybin itself is a prodrug, meaning it is inactive until ingested and broken down (metabolized) within the body. Upon metabolism of psilocybin, it is converted to the active metabolite “psilocin” which functions primarily as a 5-HT2A receptor partial agonist.
To a lesser extent (than 5-HT2A), the metabolite psilocin acts as a partial agonist at 5-HT1A, 5-HT1D, 5-HT2D receptors – and increases dopamine within the basal ganglia. As a result of its relatively complex mechanism of action, users of “magic mushrooms” tend to experience: dilation of time, mood changes (e.g. euphoria), dissociation, mystical/spiritual experiences, and hallucinations (visual and/or auditory). Due to the hallucinogenic and psychotomimetic properties of psilocybin, many individuals use the drug with spiritual intentions and/or to explore altered states of consciousness.
Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that psilocybin may treat depression and facilitate long-term personality changes, increasing the trait of “openness” for over a year after a single ingestion. Though some individuals have favorable experiences with psilocybin, others experience adverse effects such as: anxiety, increased depression, low mood, and paranoia. In some cases, these adverse effects may linger, leaving people to wonder how long “shrooms” stay in their system