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The Magic Mushroom Blood Guy, And Why We Don’t Inject Shrooms

Inject shrooms
Written by Sarah Friedman

Sound like a strange headline? Oh, it is. But it’s also true, and acts as a great lesson to all those wondering about the ability to inject shrooms. This is a story of negative self-exploration, and a cautionary tale for anyone willing to jump into new territory, when nothing is yet written. Read on to find out about the guy who ended up with magic mushrooms growing in his blood, after he made the bad decision to inject shrooms.

Did you think it might be a good idea to inject shrooms? Perhaps you should think of another way of ingestion, as this is not a good idea. This is a cannabis and psychedelics news platform that focuses on independent reporting of these fields and beyond. Play along by subscribing to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, for regular updates, as well as a selection of deals on all kinds of merchandise.


This is what happens when you inject shrooms

In early 2021, a story came out with pretty shocking headlines blurting out about magic mushrooms growing in a guy’s blood. As it turns out, the story is the true result of what happened to a guy when he decided to inject magic mushrooms directly into his blood stream. He did this move by making the mushrooms into a tea, and then injecting the tea into his veins.

The basic result of all this is that the guy spent 22 days in a hospital, with eight days specifically in intensive care due to organ failure of multiple organs like the liver and kidneys. He also spent some time on a ventilator due to acute respiratory failure, because of built up fluid in the air sacs of his lungs. Apparently also a result of his little experiment.

Luckily, he lived, but upon release from the hospital, he was still required to take antibiotics and antifungals on a long-term basis. Just in case you’re thinking ‘no, I don’t believe any of this. I think Sarah made it up’, have no fear, you can find a detailed description of the case here through ScienceDirect. It was published January 11th, 2021 in the Journal of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry.

Sick from shrooms injection
Sick from shrooms injection

If you’re wondering, ‘did the guy get super high from this experience?’, its best to remember that whatever high he might have felt would have been completely overshadowed by the extreme medical issues that ensued. Unless someone is being fed opioids, not many people in intensive care are excited about their predicament, or feeling really good. However, the report didn’t make a mention of this aspect, so we really don’t know for sure.

Who is this guy and why did he do it?

What drives a person to inject shrooms into their veins? In this case, it wasn’t just a random experiment that came from boredom and nothing to do, but more of a medical experiment. The 30-year-old in question (name not given) suffered from bi-polar disorder, as well as being an opioid addict, and hoped that this was a way to cure himself of his afflictions. While this man did do reading to establish the possible psychiatric benefits of using magic mushrooms, he clearly didn’t investigate the ways they’re taken.

Instead, he opted for the tea in the vein idea, first filtering the tea with cotton swabs. The negative reaction wasn’t immediate. It took a few days for symptoms to build, but within a few days time, he was experiencing a yellowing of his skin, nausea, and lethargy. This soon turned into diarrhea, and even more concerning, vomiting blood. He didn’t actually opt to go to the hospital, but was found in a highly confused state by his family, who brought him in. He presented with so much confusion that he couldn’t take part in a normal conversation.

What did test results for this pioneer in mushroom-injecting show? Both bacterial and fungal infections in his blood. The bacterial infection was caused by the bacterium Brevibacillus, and the fungal infection was found involving the Psilocybe cubensis fungus he had injected. This infection implies that injecting the mushrooms, led to their growth in his blood.

That was NOT the first time a person tried to inject mushrooms!

Funny thing is, if you look a little harder, there’s a similar case file that pops up from 1985, also involving a 30-year-old guy injecting mushrooms. Less was said in this case about the growing of fungal infections in the guy’s blood, but he did present in an emergency room with similar symptoms. He was vomiting, as well as showing signs of “severe myalgias, hyperpyrexia, hypoxemia, and mild methemoglobinemia.”

According to that paper, the patient recovered quickly once in supportive care, meaning in both cases, the patient was lucky enough to survive their injection. The other interesting aspect about the 1985 write-up, is that it cites two examples previous to that case, in which two other people made the same mistake of injecting mushrooms, and had similar symptoms. In all cases, magic mushrooms were used for injection, but it suffices to say that injecting any mushroom could lead to the same response.

Why not to inject shrooms
Why not to inject shrooms

In the world of drug exploration, particularly psychedelics, self-experimentation has been at the crux of new discovery. Take Albert Hofmann and his finding and testing of LSD. This compound might never have been introduced to us, or learned about, without the guy being brave enough to administer it to himself. And this was the case with tons of other psychiatrists in the mid-1900’s. Before giving it to patients, they tried LSD themselves to understand its capabilities.

Having said that, we are not all trained professionals. Expecting a lay person to understand these compounds like a scientist is not a good bet, and that can mean misinterpreting where danger lies. Sure, if the guy who decided to inject magic mushrooms, had eaten them instead, I wouldn’t have had ammunition for this article. But he did inject, and in doing so, made a cautionary tale out of himself, as to what can happen when an untrained person seeks to do a medical experiment outside of their knowledge purview.

If you can’t inject shrooms, how should you take them?

For the sake of clarity, it is possible to inject psilocybin, just not the actual magic mushrooms, or an extract made from them. Pure psilocybin isn’t often injected, but it can be, as it has no fungi in it, and certainly no spores. This has happened under medical supervision for different studies. It only applies to the pure psilocybin, and should never be done with the mushrooms themselves, as the above story indicates.

Mushrooms are usually ingested orally, although this happens in different ways. In terms of just eating the mushrooms, a person can eat them fresh, or dry them out and eat them that way. A dried mushroom can also be made into a powder and used for tea. Another option is to soak the mushroom in alcohol to draw out the psychedelic constituents, and make it into a tincture. Mushrooms can also be incorporated into different edible recipes and eaten like this.

New research is opening doors to other forms of use, and there are new delivery methods on their way. Recently, the company Madrigal Mental Care released a psilocybin nasal spray, which works like any nasal spray; up through the nostril. The new device was unleashed at Biomed Israel Life Science and HealthTech conference in Tel Aviv, earlier this year in May. The nasal spray uses nano-technology and gets to the brain through the nostrils, which means the compounds don’t go through the digestive tract. This is the second product of its kind, following Silo Wellness’s 2019 psilocybin nasal spray.

Other companies are going a different way, developing skin patches for use with psilocybin. Several companies are currently in the R&D phase for such products, including Nova Mentis and Mycrodose who teamed up to formulate these skin patches for fragile X syndrome. The companies Ei.Ventures and Tioga Research are also in on it, creating their own team to investigate transdermal patches for medicine delivery.

Skin patches
Skin patches

The idea of psilocybin skin patches has even been improved on by the partnership of The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI) and Pharma Ther, Inc., which are employing the use of microneedle patches for this delivery. These patches differ from standard transdermal patches which use an adhesive mixed with medicine; and instead use a layer of microneedles that go into the surface of the skin to release medicinal compounds.

Just in case you’re wondering, smoking shrooms isn’t an option, though less dangerous than injecting them. When it comes to smoking, psilocybin doesn’t last long in high heat, meaning its unlikely a mushroom smoker will ever get any good effects. And just like with injecting, it is possible to introduce fungi into the lungs, which can go on to cause infection.

Conclusion

Not every experiment in life needs to be done, as emphasized by this recent case in which the guy did inject shrooms, and suffered many medical issues because of it. Without intervention, the multiple organ failure indicates that he likely would have died. And death is way worse than what he was trying to accomplish with the injection in the first place. If you’re interested in a drug, please, please, please do your research. Know what you’re doing, and how to do it. This guy is a cautionary tale, and the rest of us should be smart enough to heed that warning.

As a quick last note, I have yet to see anything published about positive results of mushroom injections. Sometimes good and bad stories go alongside each other showing the different results of the same compound. In this case, all written-about instances of this happening, resulted in a negative response.

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About the author

Sarah Friedman

I look stuff up and and write stuff down, in order to make sense of the world around. And I travel a lot too.