Of late, there’s been a spike in interest and usage of magic mushrooms. This is mainly due to their hallucinogenic nature, which gets users on a wild trip. Upon using these, your mind is bombarded with a stream of new ideas and insights, making you feel a lot wiser than in your normal state of mind.
That’s why a growing number of folks are raring to try out the experience. Ingesting shrooms is akin to going up a mountain. The views are breathtaking but you need to be prepared or else you might experience a ‘bad trip.’
This post aims to provide a guide to navigating the entire experience of consuming magic mushrooms. Read on for more insight.
What are Magic Mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms refer to mushrooms that produce a compound called psilocybin. Once ingested, the active psilocybin compound is synthesized by your body’s metabolism. It is then converted into an active ingredient known as psilocin.
Psilocin can easily navigate across the blood-brain barrier. It is chemically comparable to serotonin. As a neurotransmitter, serotonin produces feelings of pleasure. Thus, psilocin boosts the production of serotonin as it attaches to the same serotonin brain receptors in the prefrontal cortex. This is what elicits hallucinations and euphoria among users.
Psilocybin mushrooms resemble dried ordinary mushrooms. They feature long, slim stems that don a whitish-gray color and dark brown caps. Dried shrooms appear as rusty brown with a few segments of off-white.
The effects take almost half an hour to kick in if the shrooms are ingested raw. However, the effects kick in faster if they are consumed as juice, soup, or tea.
Magic mushrooms also go by other names, including:
- Psilocybin mushrooms
- Liberty caps
There are different types of magic mushrooms. In fact, there are more than 200 species of shrooms containing psilocybin in nature. Psilocybe Cubensis is the most popular type because they are very easy to grow.
How to Ingest Magic Mushrooms
To experience the rapid, full-range effects of magic mushrooms, you should consume them on an empty stomach. In this case, mornings are the ideal time as you typically wake up with an empty stomach after several hours of sleep. You can also have a light and easily-digestible snack before your mushroom trip.
That being said, here are some of the most common ways to consume shrooms:
- While it may sound old-fashioned, you can put the mushrooms in your mouth and swallow them. For the brave ones, it’s also possible to chew them raw before swallowing. Oral consumption allows the stomach acid to synthesize the active compound psilocybin into psilocin.
- Shrooms have a strong, bitter taste. So many people find it rather unpleasant for oral consumption. Instead, they brew the shrooms into sweet drinks. This helps mask their awful taste. For this procedure, you can use a coffee grinder to grind your dried shrooms into fine powder. A mortar and pestle can also do fine. After grinding, mix your powder with any juice or smoothie.
- Shroom tea is an easier way to digest shrooms. Simply grind the dried shrooms into fine particles. Allow them to sit in hot water for 15 minutes. Afterward, sieve the caps and stems. You can add honey, ginger, or lavender to the shroom tea to improve its taste. The effects are bound to kick in faster. This is because the shrooms don’t go through the slow digestive process in the stomach.
- Lemon trekking is another alternative to eating mushrooms. For this method, take the ground mushrooms and dip them in pure lemon juice. Allow them to sit for 15 minutes. Lemon juice contains citric acid, which helps synthesize psilocybin into psilocin before intake. You can expect more intense and rapid effects immediately after drinking the lemon shroom juice.
What are the Effects of Consuming Shrooms?
After attaching to serotonin brain receptors, psilocin induces an avalanche of effects as discussed below:
According to research studies, the mushroom trip causes your brain to temporarily rearrange its connections, forming new biologically steady connections. This makes users experience an increased intensity of thought. They are also unable to distinguish reality from daydreaming.
Other mental effects of magic mushrooms include:
- Feelings of euphoria
- An altered state of perception, consciousness, and thinking
- Change in time perception
- Intense hallucinations
- Increase in paranoia, especially if you have an existing anxiety disorder
- Feelings of spiritual awakening and visions
- Creative thinking
- Mixed up senses
- Stomach discomfort
- Vomiting in some instances
- Increased heart rate
- High body temperature
- Increased blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
- Pupil dilation
- Poor body coordination
- Mood swings
What is the Right Dose to Take?
You can consume either fresh or dried magic mushrooms. Of course, the effects remain the same. But the difference lies in the overall weight of the two variants. Freshly harvested shrooms carry a lot of water compared to dried ones. So this adds to their overall weight.
The right dose of magic mushrooms will depend on whether you’re a novice or experienced user. If you prefer fresh mushrooms, multiply the dose limits given below by 10. This serves to offset the water weight.
- 0.5 to 1.5 grams: The effects of psilocybin mushrooms can be very strange. In fact, they may be overwhelming for first-timers. A good starting point is a low dosage of dried shrooms weighing 0.5 and 1.5 grams. You shouldn’t go beyond this in your first shroom trip. Otherwise, you risk experiencing a bad trip. Once you’ve become used to the effects of being in that state, you can move to a higher dose on your next trip.
- 1.5 to 3 grams: A dose between 1.5 and 3 grams should increase the intensity of the effects. This dosage is enough for you to enjoy a trip into the world of psilocybin mushrooms.
- Over 3 grams: Amounts over three grams should deliver a considerably intense trip. Only experienced users can handle these effects. You should have had previous positive experiences consuming shrooms before turning to doses that are more than three grams.
How Long Does a Mushroom Trip Last?
The psychedelic effects from ingesting magic mushrooms can last between four to six hours before they wear off. You will start to experience the first effects after about half an hour. For others, it may take up to one hour. It all depends on the dose you’re taking and your body’s metabolism.
You should stay calm as you wait for the effects to kick in. You don’t want to be in a situation where you get anxious and impatient and turn to another dose. In such cases, you may end up taking a high dose than what you’re used to. The experience may turn into a bad trip with negative effects like heightened anxiety, nausea, and even violent behavior. And remember, you can’t stop a mushroom trip once it’s kicked in.
Once the effects start kicking in, you will experience a slow climb within the first hour or two, with the effects peaking off two to four hours later. Of course, this differs based on the method of consumption. Typically, oral consumption takes some time before the effects kick in. On the other hand, drinking shroom tea or juice sets the stage for rapid effects.
The psychedelic effects will begin to wear off after the peak. So you can expect a return to a normal state of mind after six hours. While the effects may have dissipated, you may still experience exhaustion, dizziness, or increased stimuli sensitivity.
You’d better avoid taking shrooms in the morning if you have activities lined up in the afternoon. You should also take a good night’s sleep later to fully recover from the trip.
Preparation Tips for Your Next Shroom Trip
Not often do you experience a good shroom trip. Sometimes you experience the dreaded bad trip. This is a nasty experience that occurs when you cannot control the negative thoughts and unpleasant sensations after consuming your shrooms. You may experience panic attacks, anguish, and anxiety.
Here are simple guidelines to help you enjoy your shroom trip:
Consuming shrooms will alter your normal mental state. You may, for example, be confronted with hard truths about your life or the world, which you have never thought of during normal days. This is why you need to be in a stable emotional state if you want to enjoy eating magic mushrooms. You must also have slept for at least six to eight hours the previous night. This is because sleepiness or exhaustion may negatively impact your shroom trip.
Stay in a safe environment
Consider eating your shrooms in comfortable and familiar surroundings such as your living room. In case the effects overwhelm you, you can still be confident that you’re in a safe space.
And as we mentioned earlier, psychedelic drugs affect your perception, cognition, and coordination. So you shouldn’t have any plans to drive, go out, or do other activities that require alertness and coordination.
Stay away from your phone or computer during the shroom trip- you want to give yourself ample opportunity to experience what lies within without external distractions. You can also postpone any social or work-related tasks from your schedule. This is because once the euphoria and visions start to kick in, you won’t be able to control them.
Pick the right company
You need to take your shrooms with friends that you trust or feel good hanging out with. The presence of a friend or enemy can influence your frame of mind. Remember, you need to be in the right emotional state without any fears or worries. So your choice of company is crucial.
If it’s your first-time taking hallucinogenic shrooms, consider getting a trip sitter. This is a person who acts as your link to the real world. They keep tabs on you when your sense of reality is distorted.
Your trip sitter should maintain a low profile except when you seek their help or engage them in a conversation. This should be a trusted individual whom you are comfortable with.
Immerse yourself in the moment
You’re in a safe space and with a trusted friend. Now is the time to let go. Don’t attempt to direct or control what befalls you once the effects of the psilocybin shrooms kick in. Just keep in mind that everything you’re experiencing is part of the shroom trip and that your real life is another different realm.
This sort of attitude allows you to explore your altered state of mind without trepidation. While the effect may feel uncomfortable or horrible at the time, it may lead to fresh ideas and insights.
How to Manage a Bad Trip
What if you feel a flurry of negative emotions? Well, you can practice the tips below to help manage the situation.
- Deep breathing will help bring a sense of relaxation and ease your anxiety.
- Keep in mind that you’ve taken a mind-altering substance. So everything you see and feel is related to the drug and its effect on your mind.
- Talk to your trip sitter and explain what you’re seeing or feeling. Explaining your feelings to them can serve as therapy and may bring relief.
- Sensitivity to stimuli is one of the characteristics of a bad trip. In this case, you can change the conditions around you. For example, switch to another music genre or switch on the lights.
- If nothing seems to work, just calm down and wait for time to pass by. Psych yourself up that it’s just for a moment and that you’ll ultimately feel better after the psilocybin wears off.
The Bottom Line
Psilocybin mushrooms are generally safe despite the possibility of the dreaded bad trip. They stimulate regions of your brain associated with dreaming, thus increasing the frequency of hallucinations and visions. Some emotional parts of your brain are also activated, resulting in creative thoughts. You experience keen attention to detail, even for things that don’t exist.
As with other mind-altering drugs, you should be mindful of your intake and start with a low dose. Once you’ve become accustomed to the feelings, you can move to a higher dose. Remember to choose a safe environment and a trusted trip sitter before consuming magic mushrooms.