Reports have started circulating of an unexplained paralysis that comes over magic mushroom users a few hours into a trip. Scientists can’t explain it, psychedelic companies can’t explain it – for now it’s a mystery.
Those affected often experience muscle weakness or a complete loss of co-ordination and motor function hours after dosing. It’s thought that the condition is born from a particular species of shrooms known to grow on wood, hence the name “wood lovers paralysis.”
Although magic mushrooms are considered to be one of the safest drugs out there, some users are coming down with a condition known as “wood lovers paralysis” after dosing.
Researchers have found that the condition is most commonly affiliated with these three species of mushrooms, all known for their potent psilocybin content; Psilocybe azurescens, Psilocybe cyanescens, and Psilocybe subaeruginosa. This leads me to wonder, is this a genuine paralysis? Or were they just a bit too generous with their dose?
Turns out the condition is more common than you would think! “I peed my bed while I was completely paralysed,” one user recalled to Vice. “My legs were buckling under me—it was honestly like The Wolf of Wall Street when he is trying to drive that car,” another said.
One user even experienced the condition while on a bushwalk; “at first I was sort of laughing thinking it was a bit funny—but it advanced really quickly, within a couple of minutes, and I struggled to stay on my feet. I was struggling to hold a phone and even hold my head up at times”. Their wife was promptly called, and the individual was taken to hospital.
Users reportedly can experience varying degrees of paralysis, often with a weakness reported in their facial muscles first, before the condition slowly works its way through your entire body.
There are a few theories out there on why this could be, one of the most prominent attributing the condition to the aeruginascin chemical. This little guy only pops up in a few magic mushroom species, and is ironically being tested as a cure for bad trips.
All the advice scientists can give for now is that the condition is very rare, the effects are only temporary, and your best strategy for riding out the experience is to practice mindfulness.