POISONOUS AND HALLUCINOGENIC MUSHROOMS
by Michael W. Beug Email: beugm@evergreen.edu
The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
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Slide 34.
The Amanita gemmata-like mushroom shown here integrades with Amanita pantherina. In studying the amino acid composition of the mushroom found in the Pacific Northwest, I and others before me have observed that the browner the cap, the higher the levels of muscimol and ibotenic acid. However, in the Colorado Rockies they find a generally small but extremely potent creamy-white to pure white variety with indistinct warts, so cap color is not always a reliable guide to toxicity. The toxins are structurally similar to g -aminobutyric acid (GABA) and appear to bind competitively with GABA receptors in the brain leading to disordered neurotransmission. Ironically, it is not illegal to posses mushrooms containing muscimol and ibotenic acid, even though the compounds are significantly more dangerous than psilocybin and psilocin.
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