Bunchofnushroom in bowl

Muscimol vs. Psilocybin

With amanita muscaria slowly climbing its way back into the psychedelic ladder, more and more consumers are getting intrigued by how it compares to the much better-known hallucinogenic mushroom psilocybin, which is also commonly known as the “magic mushroom.”

Let’s closely examine the similarities and differences between the two psychedelic mushrooms, particularly in their compounds, psilocybin, and muscimol.

Overview of Muscimol and Psilocybin

Muscimol is one of the infamous Amanita muscaria mushroom’s psychotropic ingredients, along with ibotenic acid and muscazone. Muscimol may be produced by decarboxylating ibotenic acid and is also found naturally in various mushrooms.

Muscimol is less like a psychedelic at low dosages and more like a dissociative drug or alcohol. Others rumor it is similar to hypnotic medicines like Ambien and has more significant psychedelic effects at higher dosages.

The most varied kind of psychedelic found in nature is psychedelic mushrooms. The substance psilocybin is what makes the majority of psychedelic mushroom varieties hallucinogenic.

The hallucinogenic substances psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin are present in almost all Psilocybe mushroom species. Psilocybin mushrooms are the collective name for all of these different kinds of psychoactive mushrooms. However, it is not the only genus of mushrooms that contain psilocybin.

As contrasting as it may sound, the compound psilocybin found in the mushroom is inactive. It only becomes psychoactive when ingested as the body converts it into psilocin, one of the psychoactive compounds of the psilocybin mushroom.

Effects of muscimol and psilocybin

People more often use muscimol for recreational purposes because of its psychoactive characteristics. It interacts with the GABAA receptor when ingested, which may result in feelings of euphoria and tranquility, modifications to taste and hearing perception, changes to sensory perception, and vivid dreams.

In addition, muscimol shows the ability to relax muscles and possesses sedative, hypnotic, and analgesic effects. (Note: Further studies are still needed to verify this.)

Muscimol’s effects should kick in around an hour after ingestion and usually peak three hours later. Some lingering effects, however, can endure for up to ten hours.

The appropriate muscimol dose for an individual depends on their metabolism, body composition, and tolerance level. Therefore, it takes careful dose modification and trial with a specific goal to determine what works best for a consumer. The advisable intoxication dose range for muscimol is 2.5 mg to 10 mg

While its chemical makeup significantly differs from LSD and mescaline, psilocybin is a fundamental tryptamine hallucinogen with characteristics comparable to those drugs. Research over the years suggests a shared mechanism of action via serotonergic (5-HT) channels. Psilocybin strongly agonizes the 5-HT receptors in the brain’s thalamus and cortex.

There is an about 1-hour-long peak in the middle of the trip. The effects begin approximately 30 minutes after intake and extend for 4 to 8 hours. It takes around 40 mcg/kg of body weight to become psilocybin-intoxicated. The typical dosage for most strains is 2 to 4 grams. In comparison, some users may take “heroic doses” of up to 7 grams at once to get a good psychedelic experience.

In that timeframe, the user may experience euphoria, change in consciousness, mood, thought and perception (commonly called a trip), dilation of pupils, perceptual changes, such as visual and auditory hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there, or are distorted), stomach discomfort and nausea, headaches, fast or irregular heartbeat, increased body temperature, breathing quickly, vomiting, facial flushes, sweating and chills.

Amanita muscaria mushroom

Legality of muscimol and psilocybin

Muscimol is legal in the US, except for Louisiana, which prohibits cultivating and possessing the amanita mushroom, permitting it only for ornamental or aesthetic reasons. In addition, a Louisiana law bans amanita compounds intended for human consumption, such as muscimol.

On the other hand, psilocybin is an illegal compound. Under the Controlled Substances Act, it classifies as a Schedule I drug. Drugs classified as Schedule I in the United States, such as heroin and LSD, are highly addictive and have no accepted medical value.

Muscimol and psilocybin consumption

Several kinds of muscimol products may exist. Gummies and powder are two of the product categories that are most popular. Each individual’s body type, metabolism, and tolerance level will affect what muscimol dosage is best for them. Finding what works best for you requires thoughtful dosage testing and adjustment with a clear objective.  

Meanwhile, oral ingestion of psilocybin mushrooms is the most common form of consumption. Psilocybin can be made into a tea or added to other dishes to disguise its bitter flavor. In addition, some people cover the mushrooms in chocolate to masquerade them as candies to cover the taste. 
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