On request:precisions about the case of fatality after cosuming Psilocybe.

Stamets 1 stamets1 at aol.com
Thu Jun 6 22:45:06 EST 1996


I think it is important to note that tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds
of thousands, probably millions of people have been ingesting this
mushroom over the past 25 years without a similar authenticated incident.
(The P. baeocystis is in doubt....) How confident are the toxicologists
that there is direct linkage or is it just a candidate cause? P.
semilanceata can vary (up to 2%) in its psilocybin content, but averages
in at 1% which means a gram of dried P. semilanceata mushrooms has about
10 milligrams.  (Actually .98% psilocybin, .02% psilocin, .35% baeocystin;
Gartz 1994). In terms of mg. per kg of body weight, a person ingesting .25
mg/kg.  would have what most would describe as a mild experience; .50
mg/kg would be strong and 1 mg/kg. would be overwhelming (for some
people). 

If the analysis was of psilocybin in the blood, what is the extrapolation
to the probable number of mg. of psilocybin consumed ? 

There is no doubt these are powerful substances, and have other inherent
dangers, but if this case is truly connected to ingesting P. semilanceata,
it is so exceedingly rare as to be a medical anomaly. 

paul stamets



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