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      Liberty caps uk

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      About Liberty caps uk

      Liberty caps uk is a common Autumn mushroom has been illegal to pick, prepare, eat or sell since 2005 as they are now considered a class A drug. Liberty Caps contain the active ingredients psilocybin and psilocin, which can cause hallucinations and in some cases, nausea or vomiting.

      What does liberty caps look like 

      Psilocybe semilanceata is a tall thin field mushroom. The Liberty cap uk is quite distinctive, with a pronounced papilla on top of a tall and slender cap. The stem is long and thin, enough to raise the cap above the grass to distribute its spores. Although delicate looking, these are tough mushrooms, and a common identification test is to twist the stem around your little finger to see if the stem breaks. In most cases, a Panaeolus or Conocybe stem will readily break, but Liberty Caps uk are very fibrous and should not snap.

      Liberty caps have a cap that is approximately 5–25 mm (0.2–1.0 in) in diameter and a height of  6–22 mm (0.24–0.87 in). The cap can vary in shape from sharply conical to bell-shaped.  A distinctive feature is their prominent papilla (the nipple-shaped top of the cap). At maturity, the cap margin is straight and can become slightly curled upwards. When moist, radial grooves (striations) can be seen on the cap that corresponds to the positions of the gills underneath.

      A feature of Psilocybe spp. is their hygrophanous cap, and this is no different with P. semilanceata. The cap has a gelatinous layer called a separable pellicle; as this dries out, the cap can take on different colours depending on the moisture present. When the cap is moist, it can be pale brown to dark chestnut brown, often with a green-blue tinge. The pellicle can be used as an identifying feature by gently breaking the cap and bending it back to reveal the layer. When the cap is dry, it becomes much paler, a light yellow-brown color, and the pellicle is no longer peelable

      The gills are narrow and moderately crowded together, initially pale brown, but becoming dark grey to purple-brown as the spores mature. Their attachment to the stem is narrowly adnexed, almost free. P. semilanceata are reported to have a thin cobweb-like partial veil, but these are rarely visible. The partial veil can leave an annular zone on the stem, to which spores stick, leaving a darkened ring around the stem. The stem is slender, off-white turning yellow-brown, 45–140 mm (1.8–5.5 in) in length, and 1–3.5 mm (0.04–0.14 in) thick, usually equal thickness becoming slightly thicker towards the base.

      An important diagnostic feature of the genus Psilocybe is the blue bruising; Liberty Caps do not bruise as readily as other Psilocybe spp., but will show some bruising on the base of their stem, hence the name “Blue Legs.”  As with other Psilocybe spp. they have a farinaceous, flour or starch-like odor.

      How strong is liberty cap

      Most Psilocybe species will bruise a variety of shades of blue or blue-green when damaged, but in the case of P. semilanceata, they only tend to bruise a small amount at the base of their stem. Given their tall thin stature, you would probably pass on these given a familiarity with other species such as Psilocybe cubensis. To look at, you wouldn’t think they are very potent, but by the percentage of dry weight, they are more potent than P. cubensis.

      Psilocybe semilanceata has been analyzed several times with variations in results. Tjakko Stijve and Thom Kuyper, in 1985 analysing a single specimen, found a concentration of psilocybin of 1.7 percent dry weight, with a concentration of baeocystin at 0.36 percent. In 1993, Gartz reported P. semilanceata having an average of 1.0 percent psilocybin by dry weight, ranging from 0.2-2.37 percent psilocybin. Analyzing specimens from the Pacific Northwest, Michael Beug and Jeremy Bigwood found psilocybin concentrations ranging from 0.62-1.28 percent, with an average of 1 percent. Psilocybe cubensis contain psilocin and psilocybin at 0.14-0.42 percent and 0.37-1.30 percent, respectively.

      Psilocybe semilanceata contain significantly more psilocybin than psilocin (psilocybin being more stable, deteriorating more slowly than psilocin) so that after a few months of storage in a cool dark environment, the mushrooms tend to retain most of their original potency. The main issue with P. semilanceata is that they dry to a tiny dry, thin mushroom; therefore, you need to collect a lot for a dose.

      How to find liberty caps

      Psilocybe semilanceata is very difficult to cultivate, so the primary way of obtaining mushrooms of the species is to forage for them. The best way to start is to get to know your target species, learn the description, their habitat, and the timing of the seasons. If you live in areas where they are known to grow, fields, meadows, and lawns are the best places to look for Liberty Caps, especially if livestock have been present.

      It is essential to know the lookalike species—species that may be confused with your target species. The most common lookalike species is Protostropharia semiglobata, various Panaeolus spp, Conocybe spp, and possibly Deconica spp. There are poisonous Psathyrella species that can easily be misidentified as Liberty Caps. Given the worldwide distribution of P. semilanceata, there will be different lookalike species on each respective continent and region. For example, in Europe, there is the poisonous species Cortinarius rubellus that has been confused for P. semilanceata, the consumption of which may result in kidney failure.
      When foraging, be sure to take a field guide for your area, and have a couple of forums handy on your phone. Shroomery has the “Mushrooms hunting and identification” subforum. The iNaturalist app is also very useful and can provide identifications when photos of the mushrooms are uploaded. There are numerous Facebook groups, as well, so you can join one local to the area where you are foraging, and members will be aware of local lookalikes. Check all the mushrooms as you collect them; try to avoid picking those that don’t fit the description. It is best to not trespass: Always seek the permission of the landowner; the gift of a bottle of wine or six-pack of beer can go a long way and may provide extra advice. Also, keep in mind, being found in possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms is illegal in most parts of the world.

       Benefits of Psilocybe Semilanceata

       Liberty Caps

      Psilocybe semilanceata. Known as “liberty caps” in North America, they are referred to simply as “the magic mushroom” across the pond in the UK. But whatever name you use, these fungi are prized for their psychedelic effects.

      Of course, there is more to these magic fungi than the fun psychedelic-trip-in-wonderland part. Psilocybe semilanceata, AKA liberty caps, offer a surprising range of interesting benefits, some of them therapeutic.

      Shrooms decrease depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer

      Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Psychiatry studied the effect of psilocybin on 51 cancer patients who displayed symptoms of depression and anxiety.

      In this randomized, double-blind, cross-over trial, researchers tested the effect of low-dose and high-dose psilocybin.

      The scientists found that a high dose of psilocybin produced substantial decreases in depressed mood and anxiety, as well as increases in quality of life and optimism.

      Six months later the follow-up revealed that this improved state of mind was still experienced by about 80% of patients. The paper appeared in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

       The psilocybin in magic mushrooms may relieve depression

      Over the years there have been several studies on the effect of psilocybin on depression. These studies show great promise for the use of psilocybin for the treatment of depression.

      The Beckley/Imperial Psychedelic Research Programme has been researching the effects of psychedelics since 2008. In a 2017 study, scientists gave 19 patients with moderate to severe treatment-resistant depression one low dose and one higher dose of psilocybin one week apart. All the patients experienced fewer depressive symptoms 1 week after the treatment and 12 patients had more than a 50% reduction in symptoms. What’s more, after 5 weeks all the patients except one still felt less depressed. The psychoactive ingredients in magic mushrooms might just bring an end to this worrying situation.

      Results are promising enough that the FDA has accorded psilocybin “breakthrough therapy” status, fast-tracking it for approval for use in treating depression.

       The compounds in magic mushrooms could help you to stop smoking

      Everyone knows it’s really hard to quit smoking. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just take a shot of something and be done with the problem? The psilocybin in shrooms might be the answer.

      A recent open-label pilot study conducted at John Hopkins University found that psilocybin shows a lot of promise in helping people to stop smoking.

      The researchers administered two to three moderate to high doses of psilocybin to 15 smokers and combined it with cognitive behavioral therapy.

      At the 12-month follow-up, 10 participants had not smoked again and at a later follow-up, 9 still had not started smoking again. Also, at the 12-month follow-up, almost all (13) said they found the experience personally meaningful and spiritually significant.

       Shrooms may be useful in the treatment of alcohol dependence

      It’s early days, but scientists are optimistic that psilocybin may help with alcohol and drug addiction.

      A small open-label study at the University of New Mexico found that after administration of psilocybin heavy drinking days as well as usual drinking days decreased. The scientists wrote in their paper that these preliminary findings provide a strong basis for further studies with larger groups of study volunteers.

       Taking psilocybe semilanceata AKA liberty caps can change your life

      Scientists have always thought that an individual’s personality has stabilized by the age of 30. Experiments with psilocybin seem to have proven them wrong.

      Photo source: Very Well Mind

      One study at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore looked at the effect of psilocybin on five broad categories of personality – neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. The researchers found ‘’significant increases in openness following a high-dose psilocybin session.’’

      What’s more, in volunteers who had a mystical experience during their psilocybin session, openness remained significantly higher than baseline more than 1 year after the session. The biggest improvement in openness was associated with a mystical experience that went hand in hand with feelings of peace, joy, and connectedness.

      Openness refers to one’s attitude towards experiences. According to Simply Psychology, it refers to a person’s willingness to try new things and try imaginative and intellectual activities. It includes the ability to “think outside of the box.” People who score high on openness are curious about their surroundings and enjoy traveling and learning new things.

      A mystical experience is a profound experience where the person feels a connectedness with everyone and everything.

      Not only did participants show more openness, but the fact that their openness increased was totally unexpected as people normally become less open as they age.

      The researchers came to the conclusion that the effects of psilocybin are significant and may have huge implications for a range of therapeutic purposes.

      Hopefully there’s more good news to come!

      Though most countries still treat liberty caps and other shroom strains as illegal drugs, psilocybin has been classified as a “breakthrough therapy” by the FDA and is being fast-tracked for approval for therapeutic use. In Canada, psilocybin is still classified as a Schedule 3 controlled substance, but the Canadian Minister of health has granted some medical professionals permission to use and administer psilocybin. As more medical professionals become involved and research done, it can only mean we’ll discover more beneficial uses of Psilocybe semilanceata AKA liberty caps, and all psilocybin-producing shrooms in the future.

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