Eli5 How do psychedelics like magic mushrooms work?


I just watched a documentary about fungi where they showed that there are mushrooms that are psychedelics. Does consuming the mushroom change the way our neurons work? I also found it interesting that people who consumed such psychedelics experience a strong loving and powerful force (kinda like God). Does this have any connection with people who experience closeness to a higher power after meditating for a long time like Buddhist monks, sages, etc.?
I’m just curious to know whether such psychosis episodes after consuming shrooms are similar to that attained after gaining enlightenment by meditating. Or probably this just some bs that I’m talking about.

In: Biology


Psychadelic mushrooms contain the chemical psilosyben which is converted to psilosen in your gut. Psilosen binds to neurotransmitters similar to serotonin and activates your visual cortex.

Its an interesting experience, but the netflix mushroom doc that i think you are referring to makes it seem like its all super spiritual and loving. It can be, but it can also be awkward and scary.

When you experience “senses”, you’re actually experiencing your brain interpreting chemicals that your sensory organ converted the actual sense into.

I.e., when you see things, your eyes convert light into electrical signals. They are fed to the brain where they are converted into chemical signals which is what our brain perceived as “seeing”.

So when you take shrooms, it just sends a bunch of chemicals to the brain that the brain _thinks_ is seeing.

Anyone who says it’s “unlocking” some extra sensory perception is being fooled by their lack of understanding — all it may do is allow you to be more introspective.

Yes they change the way neurons work by binding to serotonin receptors and stimulating them.

It’s not a psychotic experience. The neurotransmitter implicated in psychosis is dopamine not serotonin.

The experience is not the same as that experienced by monks etc. since the psychedelic experience is essentially a delusion which is not lasting. And monks do not experience distortions of color and shape. I know a few monks, their experience is quite different than your average psychonaut.