Magic Mushrooms or shrooms refer to the hallucinogenic psilocybe mushroom. The primary psychoactive (mind-altering) substances (called active alkaloids) in shrooms are psilocybin and psilocin. Shrooms grow from the earth and do not undergo any laboratory or refining process. A usual dose of mushrooms is about a gram but may be more for experienced users or for those seeking a powerful mind-altering experience. Shrooms are most often eaten or brewed in a tea. Shrooms can also be infused in honey for a yummy sweetener with a twist! Check out the links section for recipes. Some people smoke shrooms but there is controversy around whether or not this has an effect but some users say you have to smoke more than you would eat to feel the same effects.
[Summary taken straight from erowid.org] Psilocybe mushrooms have been used for thousands of years by Native Americans in Central and South America. The first european record of their use showed up in the 16th century writings of a Spanish priest who wrote about the Aztec’s use of both mushrooms and peyote. In 1957, Wasson became the first in modern times to document and publish a description of his own experience (Life Magazine). The active ingredient of the mushrooms, psilocybin, was soon isolated and by the mid 60’s mushrooms were being both studied and used recreationally. In 1968 possession of psilocybin mushrooms was made illegal in the United States.
The High and Short Term Effects
Mushrooms generally take 30-60 minutes (though sometimes as long as 2 hrs) to take effect, depending on how much food is in your stomach.
The majority of a magic mushroom trip lasts for 4-6 hours when taken orally. For many people there is an additional period of time (2-6 hrs) where it is difficult to go to sleep and there is definitely a noticeable difference from everyday reality, but which is not strong enough to be considered ‘tripping’. Once ingested, most of the psilocybin is converted into psilocin within the first hour. Most of the psilocin is then excreted within the first 8 hours (but portions remain in the system for several weeks).
Eating mushrooms with lemon juice or other acidic food: If you eat your mushrooms you’re ingesting both the active chemicals, as well as the mushroom material itself. Having food or mushrooms in your stomach will usually slightly delay the onset of drugs taken orally because it isn’t absorbed as quickly. Furthermore, the two primary drugs in mushrooms are psilocybin and psilocin. Psilocin works right away after being absorbed by your body, but psilocybin must first be converted to psilocin by your body before it can start to work. By adding lemon, or another acidic substance to your mushroom tea, you are converting the psilocybin to psilocin in advance, so you get all the effects at once instead of half now, half later.
Shrooms can bring on a variety of emotions, visuals, and sensory enhancements which can take on a different expression for each of us. However there are some common feelings and sensations when on shrooms:
- Butterflies in the stomach or mild anxiety as the mushrooms start to kick in (may feel overwhelming at first, but it will pass)
- Clammy hands
- Dilated pupils
- Sensory perception distortions
- Closed eye visuals
- Open eye visuals
- Crossover in senses (like seeing music and hearing colors)
- Seeing patterns across you field of vision
- Quick changing emotions ranging from laughter to slight paranoia or discomfort
In higher doses (like a few grams), you may experience:
- Distortions of time and space (like hours could seem like minutes or days)
- Patterns across your field of vision
- More intense visual distortions or hallucinations
- Intensely personal and/or spiritual awareness
- Different perspectives on yourself, others and the world around you
Some users experience slight nausea at the beginning of their trip and may even puke a bit. This is usually not the most pleasant experience however most people feel better afterward. Other unpleasant things may be paranoia and/or confusion that can come along with the use of any psychedelic drug. Usually this will pass as you become more comfortable in the trip. If it doesn’t, just sit either by yourself or with others or talk to others and remember that it is just the drug that is causing these reactions (see bad trip section).
The quality of mushrooms is generally pretty pure. Mushrooms containing Psilocybin grow wild across Canada and the U.S. Most recreationally used mushrooms are cultivated rather than picked wild and most people just sell mushrooms as they get them rather than adding other things to bulk it up or create a different high. However the danger with mushrooms is getting the wrong kind of mushroom if the person who picked them didn’t know what they were doing. There are many species of shrooms out there and some you can eat, some make you trip and others will make you ill. So don’t go picking mushrooms and eating and selling them if you don’t know exactly which ones are the magic ones!
DID YOU KNOW? The required dosage to die of a psilocybin overdose would be 20 pounds! For more info on shrooms, visit http://shroomery.org
So physically, you can’t OD on shrooms (at least not at anywhere near the level people use recreationally) but this doesn’t mean go ahead and chow down on a family size bag of em. Psychologically you can do too much which means that you can get too tripped out or have an unpleasant, uncomfortable or bad trip.
A bad mushroom trip can feel like your own personal tripped out hell or be an intense discomfort with yourself and your surroundings. It depends on the amount of mushrooms you took and how experienced a tripper you are. But generally a bad trip is, well, just bad. It is possible to avoid a bad trip in a few different ways
Prevention – make sure you are with people you like and trust in an environment where you feel safe. Senses will be heightened and many people see right through others if they are being fake. Often we don’t like what we see if we already aren’t at peace with those around us. Have fun things to do, come up with a mission or purpose to the trip before you get high to avoid sitting around feeling like you should be doing something but no one can decide or think of what to do!
Early intervention – if you feel yourself starting to catch a weird vibe or feel your trip starting to turn ugly, try to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Are you okay in the place where you are? Do you need to step outside for air? A glass of water? A cigarette? What calms you down, makes you feel good? Is there a friend around you? Find the person and stick with him/her, tell the person that you feel like you need him/her there while you’re tripping. Talk about a shared experience, tell a funny story or just describe how crazy the mushrooms are. Try to express to your friend what is going on in your head and ask them what their trip is like (if they’re on shrooms too). You’ll be glad to know you’re not the only one spiralling through the universe!
Crisis intervention – At this point, you’re already in the bad trip. You tried to prevent it, you tried to catch it in its early stages but there was no stopping it. You may feel anxious, paranoid, vulnerable, uncomfortable and/or confused about what’s going on around you. At this point, if you don’t have a friend around you, find somewhere chill to sit and try to relax and pull yourself together. Remind yourself that you did mushrooms and tell yourself that these feelings will pass. At this point, don’t do any more shrooms! You’ve got enough on your plate here. Chill until it passes or until you come down. If you’re in a club or rave you can go into the bathroom (although florescent lights might be too much) and sit in a stall for a few minutes (not too long, security will come a knockin!). If you’re by yourself, it’s best to chill somewhere until you feel together enough to leave. A change of environment can sometimes snap you out of a bad buzz. If you can get a breath of fresh air it may help you get a grip on things. If you have your tripping bud with you, tell them how you’re feeling and ask them to sit with you.
If all else fails, if your best friend can’t make you laugh and you just can’t shake the anxiety, fear or paranoia, just sit with your friend (this is where the trusted bud becomes really important). If you feel like you need some physical security you can ask them to put their arm around you or hold you. Keep in mind that someone tripping hard may not need or want any physical contact but just the presence of another is soothing. Try to reduce sensory stimulation (ie: avoid intense music or bright flashy lighting). If you are in a club or rave, at this point you may want to leave providing you have someone to leave with (who you trust!) and somewhere to go. Knowing how long ago you dropped the shrooms will give you a general idea of how much longer you’ll be tripping for, so you can do a countdown in your head. It can be pretty soothing to know that in a few hours, you’ll be feeling more like yourself again. If you can lay down, relax and/or sleep, you will be able to at least put your body in a state of calmness and wait for your mind to catch up!