Magic mushrooms have been around forever. One of the first documented cases of people ingesting magic mushrooms is when a family accidentally ate them as part of their meal. But their use goes back even further when they were used as part of various rituals.
Today, these mushrooms are going through a resurgence of sorts. As the cannabis industry continues to evolve and more places start to legalize the use of cannabis both for recreational and medicinal purposes, it’s no surprise that magic mushrooms are also becoming more prominent.
Though not legal everywhere, people are starting to use mushrooms for the strong high, and potent effects they offer. But these are not ideal for everyone to use, and knowing what to expect can help you have a better shroom experience.
What Are Magic Mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms are sometimes called psilocybin mushrooms due to their crucial ingredient: psilocybin. These are wild mushrooms that can undoubtedly be cultivated, but they can also be found in nature.
These mushrooms look like ordinary mushrooms people eat every day. But the psilocybin they contain will take people on a very intense trip as this naturally-occurring psychoactive is one of the most potent psychedelics known to science.
In addition to being referred to as magic mushrooms or psilocybin mushrooms, you may see them referred to as:
- Liberty Caps
- Blue Meanies
- Philosopher’s Stones
Some of these names refer to specific strains of shrooms, while others refer to the shape they have.
While you can, in theory, go out and pick your shrooms, they look so much like all other mushrooms, they may be difficult for you to recognize. Plus, they look similar to a poisonous mushroom that could make you ill. So, unless you are positive you know what you are looking for, it is probably easier for you to buy mushrooms from a dispensary.
How Shrooms Work
The impact psilocybin has on our brains is still being researched. Science is looking to learn more about how it works and the potential benefits it can have in treating various illnesses and mental health disorders.
But here’s the simple version of how shrooms work. When the psilocybin in the mushroom is ingested, your body processes it and converts the psilocybin to psilocin, a chemical with psychoactive properties. It is also thought to influence serotonin levels in the brain.
The Effects of Shrooms
Magic mushrooms are known for producing a powerful trip. But the specific effects that you will experience can vary based on a few factors, such as:
- How much you take
- Your weight
- Your emotional state
- Your environment
- History of mental illness
Because of the hallucinogenic nature of magic mushrooms, the way your body (and brain) responds to them will be unique to you, whether that results in a good experience or a bad one.
That being said, magic mushrooms will, in general, provide users with both physical and mental effects. Common effects you may experience when using shrooms include:
- Dilated pupils
- Feelings of euphoria
- Increased heartbeat
- Altered perceptions
- Visual or auditory hallucinations
- Increased sensitivity
- Improved mood
- Increased creativity
When you take magic mushrooms, don’t expect to experience any of these effects right away. Like cannabis edibles, your body needs time to process and digest the shroom and the psilocybin. As such, it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to almost an hour for the shrooms to take effect.
But, the wait is often worth it as you can expect long-lasting results. The mushroom effects generally peak (or are the strongest) in the first three to four hours after taking them. They will then start to wear off and typically will wear off completely within six to 12 hours.
Because they are so long-lasting, it is best to ensure you don’t take mushrooms for the first time before work or when you have plans in a few hours. You’ll need plenty of time to go through your shroom experience.
A Bad Trip
Though most people enjoy using shrooms and the experience they offer (that’s why they take them after all), sometimes the effects can be scary or overwhelming for users. This is called “having a bad trip.”
A bad trip is more than just having the somewhat adverse reaction of dilated pupils. Instead, you may feel paranoia, intense anxiety, or even have symptoms of PTSD triggered. You may even experience flashbacks of traumatic experiences while on a bad trip.
If you are experiencing a bad trip, you can do a few things to help the situation.
- Find a quiet, safe place to lie down. Removing as many external stimuli as possible can help you calm down.
- Try to remain calm. Remind yourself these effects will wear off soon and won’t last forever.
- Talk to a buddy. This will help your mind focus on other things. Just be sure you both keep the conversation light.
As we mentioned, shrooms are most potent in the first few hours after taking them, so once you get through that period while on a bad trip, you’ll start to feel better.
Ways to Take Magic Mushrooms
Like there are tons of cannabis products on the market today, there are also many ways you can take shrooms and many shroom-infused products you can buy. The method you chose is a matter of preference and tolerance.
Common ways to take shrooms and magic mushroom products include:
- Eat them raw. You can purchase raw magic mushrooms to eat plain. This is the easiest way to ingest them, but some people find their rubbery texture and earthy flavour off-putting.
- Mix them in food. To mask the magic mushrooms’ flavour and texture, many users will cut up their mushrooms and use them for cooking. They’ll use them as a pizza topping or put them in a sauce. Only do this if everyone who will eat the food is aware the mushrooms in them are magic.
- Steep in tea. Shroom tea is becoming quite popular. By mixing shrooms with your favourite tea flavour, you can mask their taste and discreetly ingest your shrooms.
- Buy a shroom edible. Like cannabis and CBD, shrooms also come in edible form. You can find things like shroom chocolate or even baked goods.
- Try a capsule. Shrooms capsules are pills that have psilocybin in them. This is ideal for users who like to microdose (which involves taking small doses of shrooms daily). It allows users to manage their dosage closely.
There are many other ways you can use shrooms and more shrooms products to buy. Whatever your preferred consumption method, there’s sure to be a shroom option for you.
Preparing for Your First Shroom Experience
Ready to give magic mushrooms a try? Knowing what to expect and taking steps to prepare yourself for them can help ensure you have a better experience.
First, you’ll need to consider whether or not shrooms are an excellent choice for you. If you are in a bad headspace due to a hard day at work, a breakup, or a fight with a loved one, you should wait until you are in a more positive space before trying them.
If you have a history of mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, or PTSD, you may find shrooms trigger these issues and want to explore other products.
If you decide that you’re ready and equipped to take shrooms, here are some tips to help you have the best first experience possible.
- Start with a low dose. It is better to take a few shrooms than too much. Once you ingest it, be sure to allow it time to take effect before taking more. Or, consider just having a low-key first experience and slightly increase your dose the next time.
- Choose a comfortable, safe environment. We learned earlier that your setting could impact your experience. You’ll want to make sure you are in a place you are familiar with and feel comfortable the first time you use shrooms. Make sure you know those who will be around you and that you feel comfortable with them as well.
- Find a buddy. Using the buddy system is an excellent option for first-time shroom users. You can team up with somebody who has experience using shrooms. That somebody could be with you when you use magic mushrooms for the first time (note that your buddy should not take mushrooms with you). Having them there can help ease your mind and help you create a more comfortable environment.
- Read about the product. Shrooms, like cannabis, come in different strains. Before you buy your first shroom or shroom product, read the description and reviews from those who have used that product before. This can give you a better idea of the effects you may experience and better prepare you for your first shroom use.
- Choose the right time to try them. Shrooms stay in your system and work for an extended period. So, you’ll want to try magic mushrooms when you don’t have anything going afterward. Knowing you have a meeting five hours after taking shrooms can cause anxiety and lead to a negative shroom experience.
Now that you know how to set yourself up for success with your first shroom experience, let’s walk through what you can expect throughout this time.
Your shroom experience will start with preparation. This is not only deciding to take shrooms but purchasing or making your shroom product. You may be nervous, but try to stay positive; knowing what to expect can help.
Next, you’ll eat your shrooms. Remember that you won’t feel effects right after you eat them. So, this time you’ll likely feel just as you did earlier in the day. You can still function, and you may find this as an ideal time to clean up before the effects start.
Next is the onset of effects. This is when you will first begin to notice changes and may start to feel slight changes and generally happens between 20 and 40 minutes after ingesting your mushrooms.
Within the first few hours of ingestion, you’ll feel peak effects. This is when your shroom experience will be most potent. You may start to have vivid hallucinations, great feelings of euphoria, and more. The peak effects will be within the first three to four hours.
After your peak effects, you’ll start to come down. The effects will begin to wane, and you’ll start to feel more like yourself. The comedown can last anywhere from an hour to six hours. After six or 12 hours, the shrooms will leave your system, and you’ll start to feel like your usual self again.
Remember that your experience will be unique to you. Set yourself up for a positive one by knowing what to expect and ensuring you are in the right headspace to try it out.
Magic Mushrooms Summary
Magic mushrooms are not new to people, but they are becoming even more popular as the cannabis industry as a whole continues to evolve. While some people enjoy using mushrooms because of the intense, potent high they offer, others still find that taking tiny doses of shrooms every day can help boost their energy and overall alertness, and feelings of well-being.
Shrooms work because they contain a naturally occurring psychoactive called psilocybin. This powerful psychedelic can trigger a wide variety of mental and physical effects. Though the science on how exactly it works is still young, it is believed that psilocybin (which is converted to psilocin in the body) influences serotonin levels and other chemical compounds.
There are many shroom products out there, allowing users to choose the consumption method that most appeals to them. You can eat them raw, cook with them, use them to make things like tea, and even purchase shroom edibles.
Because shrooms are potent, first-time users should be careful not to take too much. This can lead to a bad trip. But magic mushrooms can provide users with a positive, enlightening experience when used in the right amount and in the right environment.