Magic mushrooms and blood pressure: Effects and Considerations

In recent decades, many medical studies have addressed hypertension prevention, treatment and management. In addition, studies have also re-emerged on the treatment effects of psychedelics, but the effects of psychedelics on hypertension remain relatively insignificant. However, this new study suggests that classic psychedelic use can cause lowered hypertension rates during life.

In the last 12 months, psychedelic use had a 12% higher incidence of hypertension. This study provides an essential basis for understanding physical outcomes associated with psychedelic use in clinical settings.

How Do Magic mushrooms affect blood pressure?

A large dose of magic mushrooms can increase heart rate and blood pressure. Furthermore, the increase in sympathetic tone may also lead to an increase in myocardial oxygen demand.

Increasing serotonin levels in the brain affect blood pressure by increasing vasoconstriction. Serotonin is known as a neurotransmitter which regulates mood and behaviour. It has been shown that serotonin receptors are present in the walls of arteries and veins. The activation of these receptors causes vasoconstriction (narrowing) of the blood vessels.

Serotonin and Blood Pressure

The effect of serotonin on blood pressure depends on the receptor it binds to. There are five types of serotonin receptors. These include 5-HT1, 5-HT2, 5-HT3, 5-HT4, and 5-HT6.

  • The 5-HT2 receptor is found mainly in the central nervous system. It controls the release of other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, histamine, and GABA.
  • 5-HT1 receptors are located throughout the body. They control the contraction of smooth muscle cells in the gastrointestinal tract, urinary bladder, uterus, and bronchi.
  • 5-HT3 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system. They control the secretion of hormones from endocrine glands.
  • 5-HT4 receptors are located in the central nervous system and regulate appetite.
  • 5-HT6 receptors are located in the brain stem and spinal cord. They play a role in regulating sleep patterns.

So how do magic mushrooms affect blood pressure? According to research, the primary mechanism through which magic mushrooms affect blood pressure is inhibiting serotonin synthesis.

Serotonin inhibits the activity of the autonomic nervous system. Therefore, it reduces the movement of the adrenal glands and increases parasympathetic nerve activity.

The increase in cardiac output is a compensatory mechanism that occurs when there is a decrease in systemic vascular resistance. This leads to an increase in venous return and stroke volume. In addition, this increased stroke volume increases left ventricular filling and emptying rates, which increases diastolic function.

Short-term effects such as increased blood pressure and heartbeat may cause harm to people who suffer from cardiovascular disease. However, long-term effects are not known.

Nevertheless, it is essential to note that these short-term effects do not occur immediately after taking magic mushrooms. The peak effect occurs between 30 minutes and 2 hours after ingestion.

Recreational Doses vs Microdosing

Taking magic mushrooms in a recreational dose is likely to increase your heart rate and blood pressure while under the effects of Psilocybin.

Microdosing, however, has been shown to have potentially positive effects on blood pressure due to changes in the users’ attitudes and stress levels.

Additionally, microdosing has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety.

Systolic and Diastolic blood pressure

The effects of Psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure have been studied. The results are mixed, with some studies showing a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure while others show no effect or an increase in blood pressure. There is also evidence that the magnitude of the change depends on the dose and duration of use.

A meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials found that acute administration of Psilocybin decreased systolic blood pressure by four mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 2mm Hg.

There was a significant correlation between dose and reduction in systolic blood pressure. For example, a dose of 200 mg reduced systolic blood pressure significantly more than doses of 50mg or 100mg.

There were no differences in systolic blood pressures at baseline or after treatment among participants who received placebo compared with those who received Psilocybin.

A second meta-analysis of 15 randomized controlled trials showed that Psilocybin did not alter diastolic blood pressure.

However, this analysis included only one trial that administered Psilocybin acutely.

Risks and effects of using Psilocybin on Mental Health contributing to Blood Pressure changes

A typical mushroom journey makes you feel as though you were unconscious or stuporous. You could have seizures when you don’t respond well to your dosage and feel tired or lethargic. It’s a bit different with micro-dosing vs doing them recreationally.

However, it is still possible for someone to experience a panic attack or anxiety during their trip.

It is important to note that taking Psilocybin should be aware of any mental health issues you might have before taking it. For example, if you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, etc., you shouldn’t take Psilocybin.

If you’re having a bad day, it can make things worse.

If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, stressed out, or overwhelmed, it can exacerbate these feelings.

These feelings are associated with increased blood pressure and hypertension.

Depending upon the situation, you are going through, it’s a complete internal journey. It may lead you to withdraw from all things around you. The occurrence of seizures is often associated with the mixing of stimulant drugs with mushrooms. Please avoid mixing drugs when taking Psilocybin. When someone has epileptic seizures, they can get the blood flowing through a shroom without a problem. However, depending upon the severity of the disease, a shroom can cause an injury in the brain or heart.

Do other psychedelics lower BP or raise it?

Reports have investigated the correlation between classic psychedelic use and hypertension. The studies also revealed that people who had previously tried psychedelic drugs had significantly lower odds of having adverse effects on blood pressure. An analysis of the associations between hypertension in the past year and lifetime use of the significant classes of classic psychedelics, namely tryptamines (DMT, ayahuasca, Psilocybin, LSD, and L-tryptamine).

Furthermore, there was a positive association between lifetime use of Psilocybin and DMT and a negative association between lifetime use of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and DMT.

However, these findings should be interpreted cautiously because of the small sample sizes involved in the studies.

In addition, the authors noted that the data for classic psychedelics were limited due to inconsistent reporting.

How can I lower my blood pressure?

There are many ways to lower your blood pressure. You should start with a low sodium diet, and if you have high cholesterol or diabetes, you may also need to take medication for that.

If you’re not taking any medications, there are several things you can do to help lower your blood pressure:

  • Get more exercise (walking is great)
  • Eat less salt
  • Reduce stress
  • Get enough sleep
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Medications 

Taking Magic Mushrooms With Blood Pressure Medications

Is it safe to take blood pressure medications and psilocybin mushrooms simultaneously?

One user testimonial stated they had been taking medication for high blood pressure (amlodipine) since they were diagnosed with hypertension in 2005. Their doctor said he would like to start them on psilocybin mushrooms, but they were concerned about whether or not this is safe to do while still taking blood pressure medication. Is there any risk of having a bad reaction to both?

You might also want to talk to your doctor about trying some magic mushrooms.

The good thing about magic mushrooms is that they don’t interact with most prescription medicines.

What’s more, they won’t affect your blood pressure either, in small doses.

The only exception is if you are taking certain types of anti-depressants. These include MAO inhibitors, tricyclic anti-depressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Recreational doses of Psilocybin may interact negatively with your current blood pressure medication; please seek advice from a medical professional before using Psilocybin.

Sources:

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.16715

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Effects-of-psilocybin-on-blood-pressure-and-body-temperature-meanSEM-n8_tbl3_9010308

https://www.healio.com/news/cardiology/20210311/lifetime-psychedelic-use-may-reduce-likelihood-of-hypertension

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