What are the Long-Term Effects of Magic Mushrooms?

Different types of magic mushrooms are found on every continent on earth except Antarctica, and there is evidence that their use by humans is thousands of years old.

None of this use of magic mushrooms in the ancient world automatically eliminates the possibility of negative long-term effects, but its use for at least thousands of years suggests that there is a lot we don’t know about it yet.

We have short-term effects like happiness, bright colors, and other visual effects, as well as potential short-term dangers, usually related to anxiety or panic, and how to handle them successfully. 

Less obvious short-term effects may include increased creativity and empathy and increased neuroplasticity through neuritogenesis.

The long term is difficult to define. A recent study in 2020 that showed the long-term positive effect of psilocybin on mood showed a long-term effect only one month later.

But while it’s interesting, I am probably less worried about what happens a month later. I want to know if magic mushrooms will do anything to show us the way forward.

The problem is that magic mushrooms only became popular in American and Canadian cultures in 1957, with the first reported usage of magic mushrooms in Vancouver in 1965. 

However, with the ongoing revival, now you can pretty much shop for mushrooms online at places like shroom kingdom and others.

Anyone looking for a study showing the long-term negative effects of magic mushroom use immediately realizes that there are none.

In the book Drugs Without the Hot Air: Making Sense of Legal and Illegal Drugs, David Nutt (author) named psilocybin the least harmful drug, ten times less than alcohol. 

Authors Terry S. Krebs and Paul Arjun Johansson in their paper, Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study, begins with the following statements.

The classic serotonergic psychedelics LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline are not known to cause brain damage and are not considered addictive. 

Medical studies do not suggest that psychedelics cause long-term mental health problems. Currently, more than thirty million people in the United States have used LSD, psilocybin or mescaline.

Cases of adverse effects are found here and there, but it is very difficult to find a wide range of long-term negative effects that warrant investigation. The most common flashbacks or hallucinogen persisting perception disorders.  

Evidence of long-term damage can still be discovered, but it is almost impossible to find one at this time. However, there are some interesting positive results.

For example, one study suggests that psilocybin can affect personality openness, which is one of the five broad domains of personality, and that the effects of increased openness were stable after one year.

There is a less strong but equally interesting article showing that psilocybin therapy can have a positive effect on the mental health of cancer patients after four years.

A 2013 article in which over twenty-one thousand respondents reported lifetime use of psychedelics. Lifetime use of any psychedelics in such cases did not indicate any increasing rate of mental health outcomes. In many cases, psychedelic use was associated with a lower rate of mental health problems.

The group that used psychedelics in many cases at some point in their life had a lower rate of mental health problems. There is even a survey that shows some success in the use of psilocybin to quit smoking, the results of which have been going on for two years.

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