Psychedelic mushrooms is the name given to certain kinds of mushrooms. They contain the alkaloid psilocybin and other related tryptamine derivatives. Psilocybin changes certain things in the brain. This leads to the nerve cells giving more signals - generally translated to a different consciousness. This can lead to effects like hallucinations or visions. They can also be used for medical purposes to treat cluster headaches, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and certain kinds of depression.
Some people who use them later have psychological problems.
Psilocybin can kill in extremely high doses. The LD50 of Psilocybin is 280 mg/kg for rats, this is about 1.5 times that of caffeine. In normal psychedelic mushrooms, psilocybin makes up about 1% of their weight. Therefore, nearly 1.7 kilograms of dried mushrooms, or 17 kilograms of fresh mushrooms, would be required for a 60kg person to reach the 280mg/kg LD50 rate of rats.
- Clusterbusters. "Psilocybin Mushrooms" (html). http://www.clusterbusters.com/hallucinogens.html. Retrieved 2006-12-01.
- "Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of Psilocybin in 9 Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder" (PDF). University of Washington. http://courses.washington.edu/psy202/Readings/Psilocybin%20for%20OCD.pdf.