When it comes to using magic shrooms, which are a popular fungus that causes psychoactive effects, many people focus on the psilocybin in them. The psilocybin is the most common psychoactive component of magic mushrooms, which are also known as shrooms. Many times, the research done on shrooms focuses on only psilocybin, and not the entire mushroom. But the researchers have known for many years that shrooms also have many other psychoactive parts in them, including baeocystin and psilocin.
Entourage Effect Advantages
As with weed, magic mushrooms have multiple molecules in it that can cause psychoactive effects. When it comes to using natural things like shrooms and cannabis, many plants offer synergistic combinations of ingredients. That just means that the effects that you get from the plant offer a better experience than you would get by using just one of the components. This has been studied in cannabis, and it is most likely present in shrooms, as well.
Today, it is being discovered that there are more components in shrooms than just psilocybin. It is possible that these components are determining the psychedelic effects that shrooms have on you. This is what is known as the entourage effect. Of course, in cannabis, this effect is well-known. But the researchers are still learning about it in shrooms.
Baeocystin in Your Shrooms
The three most common components in shrooms are baeocystin, psilocybin, and psilocin. Of course, you are probably the most familiar with psilocybin. Shrooms usually have around 0.2 to 1.8 percent psilocybin in them when they are dry, depending on the kind that you get. Once you ingest it, your body will convert it to psilocin, which is the active metabolite. Both psilocin and psilocybin will bind the serotonin receptors in your brain, and this is what will cause you to feel the psychoactive effects of the shrooms.
Your body not only creates psilocin from the psilocybin, but you can also find it in the shrooms themselves. Somewhere around 0.02 to 0.6 percent of the shrooms’ dry weight is made up of psilocin, depending on what species you have.
The next most common molecule in shrooms is baeocystin. But not much is known about its effects. Like psilocin, it is from psilocybin, so it most likely has a psychoactive effect on you. Even taking a small dose might give you hallucinations. You can find the component at around 0.005 to 0.36 percent of the dry weight of shrooms, depending on what species it is.
Beta-Carbolines and Magic Mushrooms
The three listed above are the main components of shrooms. However, there are some more that you may not know about. The beta-carbolines are a kind of alkaloid that you can find in many species of plants. The plant brew ayahuasca has harmaline, tetrahydroharmine, and harmine, which are beta-carbolines.
These all block the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MOA). The ayahuasca brews also have DMT, which is a psychoactive molecule. Normally, the MAO enzyme destroys it. The beta-carbolines will then block MAO so that DMT can be in your body for longer. That means you will feel a psychoactive effect.
Several species of shrooms have also been found to have beta-carbolines in them. These are Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe Mexicana, Psilocybe semilanceata, and Psilocybe cubensis. All of the beta-carbolines were found in these species.
The MAO enzyme can also break down psilocin in your body, the same way that it does with DMT. Since the beta-carbolines are in shrooms, they might block the MAO enzyme. That might prevent the psilocin from getting broken down and becoming inactive. That might enhance or extend your experience with magic mushrooms.
Magic Mushrooms vs. Ayahuasca
You have already seen that ayahuasca is a plant brew that is psychedelic and has beta-carbolines in it. These are an important part of the psychoactive effect since they can help the psychedelic DMT to stay in your body longer. Since it was discovered that shrooms have beta-carbolines in them, it might mean that magic mushrooms and ayahuasca are more similar than you thought.
However, you might be wondering if there are enough of the beta-carbolines in shrooms to affect your experience. The most common beta-carboline in shrooms is harmane, which was found at around 0.2 to 21 microgram/gram of dried shrooms. In an ayahuasca brew, the beta-carbolines are found at levels down to 0.5 microgram/gram. That suggested that having a moderate dose of shrooms of 2 grams would be enough for the beta-carbolines to have an effect on you. That is known as the entourage effect of shrooms.
Magic Mushrooms vs. Psilocybin
There is not much information out there to compare the effects of whole mushrooms to only psilocybin. However, one 2009 study showed that when mice had either shrooms or psilocybin, the shrooms worked better for reducing their anxiety. Another 2015 study showed that an extract from magic mushrooms was about 10 times more effective when it came to changing the behaviour of mice compared to only psilocin.
These findings confirmed that the entourage effect might help to enhance or extend the psycho-activity of all of the components of shrooms.
The findings have suggested that there is a difference between shrooms and psilocybin. The different species of shrooms can differ in the amounts of active components in them, just like strains of cannabis can differ.
Even the different parts of shrooms can have varying levels of components. For instance, the caps of some species might have twice as much psilocybin in them as the stems do. Plus, magic truffles also have varying levels of psilocybin in them.
Nearly all of the research done on humans on how shrooms may offer healing powers have focused on using only isolated psilocybin instead of the entire shroom. Unfortunately, in many countries, the regulatory systems mean that it is difficult to be approved to study substances on humans that have unstudied components in them.
Even going to a different species of shrooms can produce dramatically varying effects. Depending on how you take it, these effects might be very desirable, such as euphoria and visual hallucinations. But in other cases, they are not as desirable since you might experience loss of muscle coordination and paralysis. No matter what, the presence of multiple ingredients and their different effects shows that psilocybin is not the only active component.
Using Shrooms for the First Time
The best way to learn more about the entourage effect in shrooms is by trying it out for yourself. Remember to start with a smaller dose and work your way up. This is the best way to experience the positive effects from them. So, you might want to try around 0.8 grams first and then go up to around 1.6 grams. Remember that some strains are more potent than others, so you might want to go with a weaker strain to start off or try using a smaller dose in the beginning.
When it is your first time using shrooms, you should start by having a friend with you. They should have experience using shrooms, so they can help you through your trip. If you do not have an experienced person with you, then you might be more likely to have an unpleasant experience.
They should know about possible adverse reactions and what to look for. They also need to have good people skills, so they can help to walk you through any negative experiences. They should know what an altered state of consciousness will be like for you. Make sure that this person is someone who you can express your thoughts to, even if they make you feel embarrassed.
It is a good idea to try shrooms in a comfortable environment, so you can feel more relaxed. The person you choose to sit with you should be able to sit for at least eight hours or longer since the trip will last for a while. Consider taking some time off from work before you go on your first trip with shrooms.
The Cannabis Entourage Effect
Until recent years, it was disputed whether cannabis actually had an entourage effect. Some researchers believed that THC was the only active ingredient in marijuana. But now, the cannabis community has accepted the entourage effect because of new research done in the area. Today, many cannabis users do not believe that pure THC offers as good of an experience as the entire plant does since the whole plant offers many active ingredients.
There is still more to be learned about the entourage effect. However, it is known that the effect can help with the therapeutic advantages of cannabis, so the plant has a stronger medicinal impact. This is good for both medical marijuana patients and those who are using it for fun.
There is a strong relationship between the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemicals that are in the plant. The therapeutic potential of the plant is responsible for this. You have probably heard about CBD and THC. These cannabinoids may have some potential advantages, such as helping with anxiety or depression. However, this is only part of why the cannabis plant can be so effective. On their own, CBD and THC may not work as well as when you combine them with the terpenes.
Both terpenes and the cannabinoids work by affecting your endocannabinoid system’s receptors. This is why the weed may work therapeutically in your body. That can also help you feel high and make it last longer than if you were to use only THC.
The terpenes in marijuana are what can control or modify the effect that they can have on you. You probably know that different strains of weed have varying levels of terpenes in them. This is why some strains tend to have different effects. Plus, the terpenes are what give cannabis its flavour, which is why one strain may smell like lemon, while another one reminds you of bubble-gum.
If you had two kinds of cannabis and each one had a THC level of 15 percent, one could still make you feel sedated while the other could make you feel energized and ready for a night out. The reason for this is because each one has a different terpene profile.
Terpenes like nerolidol, terpinolene, and myrcene can make you feel relaxed and ready to sleep. Combinations of these terpenes in your cannabis may result in a feeling of “couch lock.” On the other hand, terpenes such as alpha-pinene can make you feel more uplifted and might be better for you to use during the daytime. There are independent effects of terpenes and cannabinoids, but together, they can be much more effective for you.
You might not have realized that you can use terpenes by themselves or to make your cannabis more effective. You can add them to diffusers, lotions, cleaners, plant extracts, and your joints. They can also be used in cannabis edibles. Of course, you will want to be careful with them since they are extremely potent. You should avoid inhaling them, consuming them, or putting them on your skin without diluting them.
You should dilute them to about 1 to 5 percent. Depending on the flavour, blend, or terpene, you can vary the dilution. That will give you different experiences and outcomes. They will come with Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to help you stay safe while you work with terpenes. They can help you figure out what personal protective equipment you will need, such as rubber gloves.
Whenever you read new research done on psilocin or psilocybin, you should keep in mind that the shrooms are more than just a simple molecule that affects you. Whenever you are taking a magic mushroom trip, you should remember that the experience will be dependent on the specific components in the magic shrooms that you have grown or picked. When it comes to cannabis, whole-plant extracts may offer you a better experience than if you use THC by itself.