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One dose of magic mushrooms could affects your brain for months!

brain psilocybin

We don’t have to tell you guys anymore how much we love our magic mushrooms and magic truffles. These psilocybin containing delicacies are life-changing, the effects are intense and more and more is being found out about the potential use in the medical world. Well, let’s be honest: they aren’t the most delicious things out there, but that's about all negative we can say about them. New research now shows that psilocybin, the active ingredient in these magic mushrooms and truffles, can cause changes in the brain for at least up to a month after using a single dose! 

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Long lasting impact

Reading this article, odds are you are one of the many psychonauts visiting Avalon Magic Plants. Being one, you already know one portion of shrooms or magic truffels will make you trip for about 5 to 8 hours long. The effects are mind-bending. The world around you changes, you look at yourself from a different perspective and time seems to last forever. But what actually happens after coming down from that trip? Previous studies have already shown that there may be a link between a mushroom trip and, for example, quitting smoking, but new research now shows that there are actually noticeable changes in the brain. 

Instead of examining the brain while under the influence of psilocybin, the researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine this time were primarily interested in the substance's lasting impact. “Almost all psychedelic imaging studies have been conducted during acute effects of psychedelic drugs. While the acute effects of psychedelics on the brain are of course incredibly interesting, the lasting effects of psychedelics on brain function are of great value to help us understand more about the brain, the affect and the treatment of psychiatric disorders”, says Frederick S Barrett on this, assistant professor and author of the study.

For the specific study, 12 volunteers received a single administration of a high dose of psilocybin. A day before, a week after and a month taking the psilocybin, the volunteers completed three different tasks to assess the processing of emotional information (especially facial expressions), while the researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to record their brain activity. During these three sessions, the volunteers also completed various studies about their emotional functioning. They basically mapped the entire brain for emotional processing. 

Lees ook: The wonderful link between psilocybin and brain elasticity

Less emotional distress

The researchers found that self-reported emotional distress was reduced a week after psilocybin administration, but returned to baseline one month after psilocybin administration. Barrett and colleagues also saw a decrease in amygdala responses to emotional information a week after psilocybin administration, but it also returned to normal up to a month after psilocybin. 

In addition, the researchers found increases in resting-state functional connectivity, which measures how blood oxygen-level-dependent signals are coordinated across the brain, both a week and a month after psilocybin administration. In other words, certain brain functions act differently for at least a month after using magic mushrooms or truffles. 

“A single high dose of psilocybin administered to well-screened individuals in a carefully controlled setting can have lasting positive effects on emotional functioning in healthy individuals. These effects were reflected in transient changes in the function of brain regions that support emotional processing”, Barrett told PsyPost, a large online medium that focuses on the human psyche. 

"This study should be replicated in a larger sample with the appropriate experimental controls, and we should determine whether psilocybin exerts the observed effects by acting directly on emotional brain circuits, or acting on brain circuits that control attention and cognition that may have effects. affect brain circuits that control emotion”, Barrett explained. 

So next time you take a dose of shrooms or magic truffles, keep in mind some of your brain functions might be affected for quite some time!