- Oregon, the first state to legalize “magic” mushrooms, is debating what species it will allow in 2023.
- It is propped up against wooden mushrooms amid reports of an anecdotally related condition.
- Two people who suffered the so-called paralysis of wood lovers told Insider what the condition was like.
Some people say they have been temporarily paralyzed after eating certain “magic” mushrooms, an unproven risk that Oregon officials are taking seriously as the state becomes the first to legalize psilocybin, l psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms, for therapeutic use early next year.
“I couldn’t even chew. I had to scrape a chip from my mouth with my hand,” a user who suffered the so-called paralysis of wood lovers told Insider and asked that they not be his identity. .
Bob, another regular user of magic mushrooms who asked to omit his last name due to the illegality of psilocybin in most places, told Insider that he had suffered paralysis from wood lovers three times.
On one occasion, Bob was crossing a street and “without warning” his legs sank beneath him, he said.
“I had no control over them. I couldn’t even bend my knees. I started dragging my body off the street just with my arms and with the help of my friend,” he said.
WLP is not a scientifically proven side effect of wood mushrooms, but a draft of the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Council, the expert group that guides state decisions on how psilocybin is legally deployed, hints that even all hypothetical risk could influence what Oregon residents have access to. by 2023. It is likely that Oregon will ban almost all species of magic mushrooms, except one that is considered safe, to avoid the theoretical risk of WLP.
Jessie K. Uehling, a member of Oregon’s Psilocybin Advisory Board, said the WLP accounts “were not trivial” and raised some “very serious concerns.”
“These people are paralyzed in a field at night because they go out for a walk and lose the ability to use their legs,” he told Insider Uehling, a professor and head of a research lab at Oregon State University.
“I personally would take the paralysis of wood lovers pretty seriously until we know more,” Uehling said.
Paralysis of wood lovers seems to be related to certain species of mushrooms, but there are many unanswered questions.
According to Dr Simon Beck, a former psychiatric apprentice who helped conduct a survey of 400 magic mushroom users in Australia to characterize the experience, said there were hundreds of reports of people saying they had been unable to control parts of his body. hours after taking magic mushrooms that tend to grow on wood.
But he warned that we do not know exactly how often it occurs because there is no central database to report it.
“We still don’t think it’s that common in relation to the amount of people out there harvesting and eating wood-loving mushrooms, especially in North America and Australia,” he said.
Some examples of mushrooms associated with WLP include:
- Psilocybe azurescens found in the USA
- Psilocybe cyanescens collected in Europe and Canada
- Psilocybe subaeruginosa from Australia
However, not everyone who ingests a particular species or batch of mushrooms will experience WLP, and we don’t know how or why it happens.
Beck said it was “really hard” to convince people that WLP exists. “All I would say is that we have now heard very consistent reports that all seem like a very consistent syndrome,” he said.
According to Beck, there have been no reports of people needing hospital treatment or dying from not being able to breathe from WLP. “But I’m worried that if you were consuming other respiratory depressants and then had a bad enough episode of paralysis of wood lovers, there could be a possibility,” he said.
“You can’t move, even if you had to”
About 40% of people in the Beck survey said they experienced WLP as a temporary weakness that worsened with movement and improvement with rest, and about half reported altered sensations, such as numbness or needles, in addition to weak muscles, Beck said. Any effect was temporary, he said.
Beck added that WLP was not the result of being too intoxicated and feeling “heavy” or unable to coordinate movement.
“With the paralysis of wood lovers, it’s a real weakness,” he said. “You can’t move, even if you had to.”
Beck warned that respondents reported WLP crashes, such as push-bike crashes and near-crash car crashes, up to three days after the psychedelic effects disappeared.
“You’re pretty sure you’ve gotten back to normal,” he said. “And then all of a sudden, your arm drops to where you’re trying to head.”
Users told Insider that they couldn’t do much when it happened, other than resting and waiting for the effects to go away, and added that it’s best to bring psychedelic mushrooms in a safe place, for example, not near a road and with a sober person present.
It’s hard to give harm reduction tips for a syndrome that appears to appear randomly, Beck said.
“The WLP does not guarantee panic or fear in my eyes, but I think this prudent approach is reasonable for a new system that the rest of the world will see as an example of how to do things safely,” he said.