Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Are Golden Teacher Mushrooms the Best Strain For Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy?


Golden Teacher mushrooms, also known as Psilocybe cubensis, are a type of psychedelic mushroom that is popular among those who seek a natural way to expand their consciousness whether with a qualified therapist or by other means.

The Golden Teacher mushrooms are known for their unique golden cap and their ability to induce a powerful and transformative psychedelic experience. Golden Teachers are among the most common psychedelic mushroom species found in North America. (But they’re not the only psychedelic mushrooms on the planet. There are at least 200 recognized species of psychedelic mushrooms.)

Golden Teacher mushrooms Indigenous history

Golden Teacher mushrooms have a long and fascinating history. They have been used for centuries by Indigenous cultures in Mesoamerica for their spiritual and healing properties. The Aztecs, in particular, used these mushrooms as part of their religious ceremonies.

Shamans and spiritual leaders believed that consuming these mushrooms allowed them to communicate with the gods and other spiritual entities. They were also used to induce visionary experiences, which were believed to provide important insights into the nature of reality and the human condition.

tribal elder
An Indigenous elder in Amazonas, Colombia. Courtesy Camilo Arango M | Unsplash

The use of Golden Teacher mushrooms was also associated with a variety of healing practices. These mushrooms were believed to have powerful medicinal properties that could be used to treat a wide range of physical and mental illnesses. In some Mesoamerican cultures, they were used to treat conditions such as headaches, fever, and even paralysis.

Despite their widespread use, Golden Teacher mushrooms were not without controversy in Mesoamerican societies. Some religious and political leaders saw them as a threat to their power and authority, and attempts were made to suppress their use. However, their popularity persisted, and they continued to be an important part of Mesoamerican culture.

Today, Golden Teacher mushrooms are still used in Mesoamerican cultures for their spiritual and medicinal properties.

Modern mushroom use

In the 20th century, Golden Teacher mushrooms became popular among Westerners looking for new and alternative ways to expand their consciousness. In the 1960s, they were embraced by the counterculture movement, which saw them as a means of breaking free from the constraints of mainstream society and exploring new ways of thinking and being.

The late writer and counterculture icon Ken Kesey said the use of psychedelics such as Golden Teachers was a way to break free from the constraints of society and experience a deeper sense of connection with the world around us. A proponent of LSD, Kesey said acid and other psychedelics are not “for every brain.” He said the substances are “only for those who know how to deal with their own trip, their own psyche, their own flashback.”

timothy leary
Timothy Leary was a proponent of psychedelic use. Image courtesy TollsHero

Similarly, the late psychologist Timothy Leary who became a figurehead for the psychedelic revolution, saw the use of psilocybin and other psychedelics, as a way to expand consciousness and challenge the limitations of the human mind. He famously said, “Turn on, tune in, drop out,” encouraging people to embrace a new way of living that rejected the traditional values of society, which was deeply tied to the shift in consciousness facilitated by mushrooms and other psychedelics.

For many members of the counterculture, the use of Golden Teacher mushrooms was also a way to explore their own personal spirituality. The author, activist, and Leary associate, Ram Dass (formerly Richard Alpert) noted, “Psychedelics are just tools for opening the doors of perception. But they are not necessarily the answer to spiritual growth. They can only give you a glimpse of the truth. You still have to walk the path yourself.”

Benefits of Golden Teacher Mushrooms

Golden Teacher mushrooms are known for their powerful and transformative effects on the mind and body because of their psilocybin content. Psilocybin works as a serotonin receptor agonist, meaning that it binds to serotonin receptors in the brain and produces a wide range of effects, including altered perceptions, changes in mood and emotions, and enhanced creativity and introspection.

In addition to their potential therapeutic benefits, Golden Teacher mushrooms are also known for their ability to enhance creativity and introspection. Many artists, writers, and musicians have reported using these mushrooms to tap into their creative potential and explore their inner selves. They can also help people to gain a new perspective on their lives and the world around them, leading to greater insight and understanding.

“Psilocybin [the active compound in golden teacher mushrooms] has a similar mechanism of action as LSD or mescaline, but it has a much shorter duration of action. It can produce mystical experiences or feelings of transcendence and can be used to enhance creativity and problem-solving abilities,” Dr. Charles Grob, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine said in Paul Devereux’s 1997 “The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia.”

best psychedelic retreats
Psilocybin mushrooms Courtesy Mushroom Tao

While Golden Teacher mushrooms have been used for millennia, research into their effects on the mind and body is still relatively new. However, there has been a growing body of research in recent years that suggests that these mushrooms could have significant therapeutic potential.

Research has shown that Golden Teacher mushrooms can be effective in treating a range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD. A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that psilocybin-assisted therapy could significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer. Another study also published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that psilocybin could help people overcome nicotine addiction.

Studies into psilocybin have also found just a single dose of psychedelic mushrooms can abate depression and anxiety for months. The substance has also shown promise in treating patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression, which is defined as two or more pharmaceuticals failing to yield results.

How to use Golden Teacher Mushrooms

If you are interested in using Golden Teacher mushrooms, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with using these mushrooms. They can produce powerful and unpredictable effects, and should not be used by individuals with a history of mental illness or those who are currently taking medication that interacts with serotonin.

Psychedelic mushrooms are also illegal in much of the U.S. and around the world. While that’s changing, the only place where psilocybin use is legal in the country is in the state of Oregon. There are cities and municipalities that have decriminalized psychedelics but Oregon is the only state where the therapeutic use of psilocybin is legal.

woman with mushroom
Can psychedelics improve your mental health? Courtesy Vinícius Müller | Unsplash

Because of the illegal nature of Golden Teachers and other mushrooms, they are often sold on the black market. This means that the quality and potency of the mushrooms can vary widely, and they may be contaminated with other substances. If you choose to use Golden Teacher mushrooms, it is important to obtain them from a reputable and trusted source.

Some people report feeling a sense of euphoria, increased creativity, and spiritual or mystical experiences. They may also experience changes in their sensory perceptions, such as seeing brighter colors, feeling more connected to nature, or experiencing synesthesia (where different senses blend together).

“Psilocybin produces an altered state of consciousness that can be characterized by the feeling of merging with one’s surroundings or experiencing unity with the universe,” noted Dr. Roland Griffiths, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the 2006 research Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance.

It is also important to note that if you are using Golden Teacher mushrooms, to do it in a safe and supportive environment. Many people prefer to use them in a group setting, with a trusted guide or therapist to help them navigate the experience. This can help to ensure that the experience is positive and transformative, and that any potential risks are minimized.

Before starting a psychedelic treatment regimen, always be sure to discuss with your primary care physician and mental health practitioner. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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