Magic mushrooms (psilocbye cubensis) can provoke hallucinations, spiritual insights, and serious hilarity, but just what do they do to your brain?
They're illegal under federal law--a Schedule I controlled substance, like heroin, LSD, and marijuana--but scientists say they can have thereapeutic uses for people suffering from disorders such as PTSD and depression. And a widely-cited 2010 British study found magic mushrooms to be the least dangerous of any of the 20 drugs evaluated, both for users and for society at large.
Those science sleuths at ASAPScience have a nifty little three-minute animated video that explains just what psilocybin, the active ingredient in 'shrooms, does in and to your brain as your mind melts. The science is firm and the viewpoint is balanced--they don't shy away from the possibility of unhappy experiences--but in the end they come out for loosening up the laws in light of what we know now.
"Ultimately," ASAPScience's Mitchell Moffitt explains in the video, "scientists believe that the laws need to change around clinical testing of the drugs so advanced research can be executed to fully understand both the negative and positive effects this 'magic fungus' has on our brain."
Check it out below: