The main active ingredient in magic mushrooms, their “fuel” if you will, is a naturally occurring compound known as psilocybin, which produces hallucinogenic effects when ingested.
They belong to a group of drugs known as psychedelics, because of the changes experienced to perception, mood and thought. When psilocybin is taken, it is broken down in the body into psilocin, a psychoactive chemical.
In most cases, magic mushrooms closely resemble most other wild mushrooms found growing in forests and fields.
Magic mushrooms look similar to poisonous mushrooms, and hence it is imperative that no one try to find their own magic mushrooms while out in the wilderness. The mushrooms can be dried and made into powder form. Synthetic psilocybin appears as a white crystalline powder that can be processed into tablets or capsules, or dissolved in water.
When psilocybin is broken down into psilocin, it connects regions of the brain that normally do not have any interaction. This is the reason for thought loops, and surreal questions about the universe, social governance, and societal dilemmas, from a perspective that users previously could not see.
Visual effects of magic mushrooms include Mandala-esque patterns, heightened colour recognition, and distorted proportions. The strongest visuals are typically seen during the “peak” which occurs 2-4 hours into the trip, depending on factors such as tolerance and metabolism.