There are more than 2,500 mushroom varieties grown in the world.
In the forest and wilderness of Vancouver Island there are numerous varieties that grow in the wild. There have also been illegal operations of growing magic mushrooms uncovered in BC.
Out of those, there are several species of mushrooms that have hallucinogenic properties. They are often referred to as "magic mushrooms."
Hallucinogenic mushrooms contain two psychoactive ingredients: psylocybin and psilocin. Psylocybin is the main psychoactive ingredient and psilocin is found in smaller amounts yet is more potent.
Dried mushrooms contain two to four per cent psilocybin and trace amounts of psilocyn. The hallucinogenic dose of both substances is about four to eight milligrams with the effects lasting for six to eight hours.
Mushrooms are eaten, brewed in tea, dried and put in capsule form or dried and laced with cigarettes or marijuana joints for their hallucinogenic effects.
Signs and Symptoms of ingesting magic mushrooms: dilated pupils, aggressive behavior, confusion, hallucinations, synesthesia, disorientation, impaired coordination, and sweating.
Psilocybin use causes elevated heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
A mushroom experience is similar to a mild LSD experience, but less acute hallucinations and high durations are attributed to psilocybin.
Long term effects are physical tolerance and psychological dependence, including psychosis.
Local trends show that youth think because the mushrooms grow naturally that they are harmless. As you can see "magic mushrooms" have some potentially serious effects.
Const. Beth Blackburn is drug awareness coordinator for central Vancouver Island.
(c) Copyright 2005 Nanaimo News Bulletin
Found: Sun May 22 02:47:27 2005 PDT
Source: Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005, BC Newspaper Group