When is the best time to hunt for morel mushrooms?

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The morel mushroom is a big prize of mushroom hunting. Learn the science behind these exotic-looking mushrooms!

IOWA, USA — The morel mushroom is no doubt a culinary delicacy and prize of mushroom hunting. Psilocybin mushrooms spores

During the months of April and May, social media becomes flooded with pictures of mushroom hunters’ treasures. 

If you aren’t lucky enough to have a friend to take you, how do you find them? And where do they grow? 

Brian Ritter, the executive director at Nahant Marsh, offered some expertise on the exotic-looking mushroom. 

“Morels are kind of interesting in that they have this symbiotic relationship with trees,”  said Ritter.

“So they live underground, there’s mycelium that stayed underground for years and once those trees start to become stressed whether it’s because of a fire.

Because of a flood, because the trees are dying that’s when the mushrooms start to pop.”

Mycelium is the vegetative part of the fungus and has a beneficial relationship with trees. 

“The trees make sugar for the mycelium, for the mushroom. And the mushroom provides proteins and provides phosphorus and things like that,” Ritter said.

“And when the tree gets stressed, that causes the mycelium to detect that stress and that’s when they send up their mushrooms. Because they know like our source of food is gonna die.

We have got to reproduce and send our spores out into the world and find a new place to live.” psilocybin mushrooms spores

Credit: WQAD

Bronwyn, 3, holds out two beautiful morel mushrooms she found a few weeks ago “somewhere in Illinois.”

Looking around dead or dying trees is going to be the best area to find a morel mushroom.

Elm, ash, cottonwoods, and sycamores are all typical species to find morels near. Usually, we see mushroom growth during the spring, so the weather needs to be in our favor. 

“Really has to do with soil temperature. If soil temperatures are above about 50 degrees that’s when you’re going to start seeing these things emerge,” said Ritter. 

With the spring rains on top of the warming temperatures, the magic happens. 

Every season is going to offer its own challenges. psilocybin mushrooms spores

It can’t be too dry and you don’t want it to be warm too soon when we transition to the spring months.

This year we saw temperatures warm pretty quickly, which allowed rapid growth of grass and other vegetation.

This made finding morels a more challenging task. Psilocybin mushrooms spores

Nahant Marsh has also offered a mycology introduction class this year and plans to do it again later this year!

If you are interested in learning more about all the different types of mushrooms that can enhance your kitchen creations, you can learn more here

Mushroom side effects long term

Obviously, not all hallucinogenic experiences are positive, so nearly every study on psychedelic drugs has included therapists trained to intercede if a trip turns bad and to maximize the outcome if the trip is good.

“This is about allowing someone access into deeper access into their own mental processes, with hopefully greater insight,” Johnson said.

“While others might disagree, it does seem very clear that you need therapy to maximize the benefits.”

There are also side effects from psychedelics that go beyond a bad trip.

LSD, mescaline and DMT, which is the active ingredient in ayahuasca tea, can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

Ayahuasca tea can also induce vomiting. LSD can cause tremors, numbness and weakness, while the use of mescaline can lead to uncoordinated movements. psilocybin mushrooms spores.

People hunting for psychedelic mushrooms can easily mistake a toxic species for one with psilocybin, “leading to unintentional, fatal poisoning.”

Another issue: Not everyone is a candidate for psychedelic treatment. It won’t work on people currently on SSRIs — the receptors in their brains are already flooded with serotonin.

People diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. psilocybin mushrooms spores

Or who have a family history of psychosis are always screened out of clinical trials, said Frederick Barrett, associate director of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins.

“If you have a vulnerability to psychosis, it could be that exposing you to a psychedelic could unmask that psychosis or could lead to a psychotic event,” Barnes said.

Then there are the thousands of people with mental health concerns who will never agree to undergo a psychedelic trip.

For those people, scientists such as Roth are attempting to find an alternative approach.

He and his team recently identified the mechanisms by which psychedelics bond to the brain’s serotonin receptors and are using the knowledge to identify new compounds.

“Our hope is that we can use this information to ultimately make drugs that mimic the benefits of psychedelic drugs without the psychedelic experience,” Roth said.

“What if we could give people who are depressed or suffer from PTSD or anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder a medication.

And they could wake up the next day and be fine without any side effects? That would be transformative.” psilocybin mushrooms spores.

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