Different types of mushrooms

What Muscimol does to the human body

Muscimol, along with ibotenic acid and muscazone, is one of the naturally occurring psychoactive components of the most famous mushroom in the world, the Amanita muscaria.

How exactly does muscimol impact the human body? And how long do its effects persist? Let’s find out as we dig deeper below.

The GABAA receptors

Muscimol, a component of Amanita muscaria, is a 3-isoxazolyl derivative of GABA having potent but non-selective interactions with GABAA receptors.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) interacts with the GABAA receptor on signal-receiving neurons to suppress the activity of these cells. In addition, chloride ions can enter cells through the GABAA receptor, a protein that creates channels.

GABAA receptors regulate the bulk of inhibitory signals in the central nervous system. GABA activates them as hetero-pentameric, ligand-gated ion channels that convey chloride ions, causing neuronal hyperpolarization and inhibiting neuronal signaling.

Muscimol is a GABA-A receptor agonist that temporarily deactivates neurons by imitating GABA’s inhibitory effects on the nervous system. That is how muscimol gives off psychoactive effects to the human body.

For instance, muscimol (3 mg/kg, i.p.) causes a surge in serotonin, like LSD and ibotenic acid, while lowering catecholamine levels in the brain. The chemical binds to GABAA receptors primarily in the forebrain regions of the caudate nucleus and putamen, thalamus, and hippocampal formation. That causes the chloride ion channel receptor to open, inhibiting neuronal activity in the areas where these receptors are found.

Muscimol benefits

Due to its psychoactive qualities, muscimol is more often used for recreational purposes. When ingested, muscimol can produce feelings of joy and serenity, as well as alterations in sensory perception, changes in taste and hearing perception, and vivid dreams.

Muscimol also demonstrates having sedative, hypnotic, and analgesic qualities, muscimol aids in muscular relaxation. According to user reports, its benefits accounts include the potential to address various medical conditions, including insomnia, anxiety, and spasticity. One study also reports that it offers a potential new approach to treating epilepsy.

One amanita muscaria mushroom

Negative effects of muscimol

While muscimol is regarded to be more user-friendly compared to other psychedelics in terms of side effects, consumers must still be wary when ingesting very high levels of the compound.

Adverse side effects may include:

  • Visual distortion.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Experiences of a dream-like nature.
  • Dizziness.
  • Visual and auditory impairment.
  • Difficulty concentrating on external tasks.
  • The sensation of macropsia and/or micropsia (perceiving objects as either very large or very small).
  • Nausea and vomiting.

Although some user reports attribute more intense drowsiness and numbness to ibotenic acid, compared to when ingesting muscimol. 

Duration of effects of muscimol

Muscimol’s effects should start to kick in around an hour after ingestion and usually peak three hours later. Depending on the dose, the effects last 6 to 8 hours. Some lingering effects, however, can endure for up to ten hours.

Be aware that muscimol can be harmful if misused and can have adverse side effects if taken in large amounts. For instance, improper ibotenic acid to muscimol conversion might result in unpleasant side effects such as sweating, nausea, loss of balance, and uncontrollable physical movements.

Microdosing muscimol

The phrase “microdose” might be interpreted in various ways depending on the context. According to science, it alludes to a minimal amount of a chemical that affects the subconscious mind but has no overt psychoactive effects. Microdosing, as used in popular culture, is ingesting a little dose of a psychoactive substance to feel some of its impact without impairing daily activities. Advisors typically recommend starting with a small amount and gradually increasing it until the desired benefits are achieved to determine the appropriate microdose for an individual.

The individual can determine their specific minimum effective dose during titration. The method of microdosing is highly customized, so what is effective for one person may be ineffective for another. That is a crucial point to keep in mind.

Metabolism, body composition, and an individual’s tolerance level influence the ideal muscimol dosage for them. Determining what works best for you requires cautious dosage adjustment and experimentation with a precise aim in mind. Muscimol has a 2.5mg to 10mg dosing range and has the potential to be intoxicating.
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