In 2022, general interest in magic mushrooms has spiked to unprecedented levels not seen since the 1960s. Thanks to research showing promising results for patients, lawmakers a handful of states and cities already have or are considering loosening psilocybin restrictions.
A few states such as Oregon have fully legalized psilocybin treatment for all adult patients, while others want to limit it to veterans or others with PTSD.
Oregon, the first state to fully legalize psychedelics, will roll out therapy this year, with the rest of the country watching closely for cautionary tales and of course, success stories.
Not to be outdone, NY and California have also pushed for similar proposals. Both proposals would relax laws around certain hallucinogens, including psilocybin, ibogaine and DMT, which is used in ayahuasca.
In California specifically, Senator Scott Wiener reintroduced legislation that had passed the state’s senate in 2021, which never went anywhere. In New York, Linda B. Rosenthal, an assembly member representing the Upper West Side and Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan put forward her proposal to legalize adult possession and use of certain natural plant or fungus related hallucinogens. The New York proposal would allow gifting, religious use and cultivation if passed.
There is growing research that shows magic mushrooms have an amazing potential to benefit mental health and wellbeing if used under the right conditions. They can also provide a fun escape to the trivial and sometimes dull feel of daily life on earth.
After decades of senseless prohibition led by the War On Drugs, magic mushrooms and other hallucinogens are reentering the public conversation, and many folks are eager to try the experience for themselves.
Here at The Bluntness we believe that information empowers us to take control of our lives and make educated decisions.
Taking shrooms is like climbing up a mountain. The views are worth it, but that doesn’t mean you should go up unprepared. Certain risks can come up along the way.
This guide is meant to serve as your roadmap to navigating an experience that, under the right guidance, can offer vast views into the unknown landscape that lies within.
What Kind of Mushrooms Get You High
Like cannabis, magic mushrooms exist as strains and species. These terms are used to describe the physical or chemical characteristics of the plants. While they are often used interchangeably, strains and species are not the same.
Psilocybin mushrooms contain psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin. These compounds interact with the serotonin receptors to control biological and neurological processes like sleep, anxiety, cognition, appetite, nausea, learning, memory, and thermoregulation.
The effect exerted by each psychedelic mushroom is determined by the total concentration of active compounds in them. This is why they are divided into strains and species. This classification helps users to trace the origin of their favorite magic mushroom strain and the possible effect it can exert on their bodies.
Very potent psilocybin strains
These are strains with the highest psilocybin concentration. They can generate an experience filled with deep philosophical ideations and intense feelings of euphoria. They produce the highest level of psychoactive interaction, and their trips are quite intense. Very potent strains are not recommended for newbies since they can knock them off.
This includes Penis envy and its relatives. These psilocybin strains offer one the most potent shrooms on the market. They contain as high as 50 percent higher concentrations of psilocybin and psilocin, producing the most prominent effects on users.
Some commonly encountered members of the very potent strains are listed below;
- Penis Envy
- Penis Envy #6
- Penis envy uncut
- Albino Penis Envy
- Jedi Mind Fuck
- Trans Envy
- White Rabbit
- Jedi Mind Fuck
- Orissa India
- Trans envy
Potent psilocybin strains
Potent strains come with a slightly lower concentration of psilocybin than Penis envy and its relatives (the very potent strains). Potent strains often include the Albino A+ and its relatives. They offer hallucinations that make the world appear gelatinous and are known for their quick and slightly more physical high that can last up to 5 hours. They possess a high concentration of psilocybin with mild to intense visual enhancements, feelings of euphoria, excitement, and creativity. They are not ideal for newbies as their effects kick in fast and intense even after microdosing.
Members of this class include but are not limited to the following;
- Albino A+
- Albino Melmac
- Albino penis envy
- Florida (F+)
- Huautla (Oaxaca)
- Koh Samui
- La Primavera
- Malabar India
- Oak Ridge
- Palenque Mexico
- PF Classic
- Puerto Rican
- Tidal Wave
Above-average psilocybin strains
This is one of the largest classes of psilocybin strains derived from P. cubensis. They offer a low to moderate concentration of psilocybin and are friendlier compared to very potent strains. They feature a lower psilocybin concentration and trigger a much milder effect. These strains feature a higher than average potency estimated at 0.75 percent psilocybin and 0.20 percent psilocin.
Above-average psilocybin strains deliver a potent mental and emotional clarity with highly happy experiences. They can boost creativity and promote focus in users. They are often great for intermediate users. Members of this group include but are not limited to the following;
- Aztec God
- Blue Meanies
- Chitwan (Nepal)
- Costa Rican
- Golden Emperor
- Golden Teacher
- Kathmandu (Nepal)
- Lizard King
- Mexican Albino
- PF Redspore
- Pink Buffalo
- Plantasia Mystery
- South African Transkei
- South American
- Treasure Coast
- Yeti Strain
Average psilocybin strains
Average psilocybin strains contain the lowest psilocybin concentrations and are best for newbies. Their average concentration can serve as an introduction point to the world's psychedelic mushrooms. They are excellent at providing an energetic, physical and euphoric experience with an actively visual twist. They can boost creativity and relaxation in users.
Average psilocybin strains of P. cubensis contain between 0.25 percent to 2 percent psilocybin, with the caps having the highest concentration. Some of the commonly encountered members of this strain potency include but are not limited to the following;
- Albino Treasure Coast
- Allen Strain
- Ban Hua Thanon
- Ban Phang Ka
- Ban Thurian
- Bix Mex
- Gulf Coast
- Lipa Yai (Thai)
- Matias Romero
- Quezon (Philippines)
- R44 Cubensis
- Tak Mountain Cubes
- U.S. Virgin Islands
Benefits of mushroom strains and effects
Identifying mushroom strains plays a critical role in assisting users in understanding which strain contains a favorable psilocybin concentration for their body type and health condition. It also gives the users an idea of the possible effects to be exerted on their bodies.
Depending on the potency and concentration of psilocybin ingested, users are most likely to experience mild to moderate and strong effects. While the mild and moderate effects are triggered by mild dosages and are responsible for the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin strains, the strong effects are a different ball game. It involves several side effects and prolonged trips that may be dangerous for first-time users.
Regardless of your tolerance to psilocybin and its sister molecules, microdosing seems to provide one of the safest ways to enjoy the numerous therapeutic potentials without any side effects. Choosing a strain should be solely centered on its psilocybin potency.
How to "Do Shrooms"
Psilocybin, the main psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms, binds with a serotonin receptor in the brain to produce what scientists call an “altered state of consciousness.”
In these states, perception is distorted, sense of time is diluted, and reality is experienced in an entirely different way. Psilocybin can induce hallucinations and intense introspective experiences that can be catalogued within the realms of spirituality or mysticism.
These states can open one’s mind to insights and ideas that wouldn’t have come in a normal state of mind. Living through these experiences can become a healing and inspiring process for many people.
Shrooms can boost up a sense of awe and wonder and ultimately help us become wiser and more compassionate people. They can also open the door to beautiful and fun experiences that can change the way we conceive reality and everyday life.
However, being under the influence of mushrooms can also lead to experiencing a “bad trip,” that can include paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, and temporarily losing the grip on reality.
In order to avoid bad tripping, experienced mushroom eaters recommend following certain simple guidelines.
- Be at ease: Psilocybin can significantly disrupt normal psychological processes, leaving us to face hard truths about ourselves – or the world – that might prefer to leave unresolved during normal days. That’s why you should only take magic mushrooms if you feel in a balanced emotional state, and have been in one for at least a few weeks. Also, make sure you’ve gotten enough sleep the previous night, as being tired can negatively affect your trip.
- Feel safe: Make sure you’re in a comfortable and familiar place where you feel at peace, like your own living room. Don’t take the mushrooms if something in your surroundings makes you feel uncomfortable or at risk.
- Disconnect: Try to keep your phone off for as long as the trip lasts, in order to give yourself a chance to explore the space that lies within. Make sure you have no social, chore-like or work-related responsibilities during your trip, since once the effect starts you won’t be able to deal with your day-to-day responsibilities in the way you usually do, and having a call from your boss in the middle of a trip can become a guaranteed reason to freak out.
- Choose the right company: This cannot be stressed enough. Human beings are social creatures and the presence of a friend or foe can affect our entire state of mind. Don’t take mushrooms with people you don’t trust or feel comfortable with.
If this is your first time taking shrooms (or any hallucinogenic for that matter), you should have a “trip sitter.”
The trip sitter’s job is to be a link with the real world in case you lose your grip and need a hand to pull you back in. Being under the effects of mushrooms can cause you to have a hard time distinguishing things that are real from those are not. This can put you in physical risk, so having a trusted someone watch over you can make the entire experience more pleasant.
A good trip sitter ought to keep a low profile unless you engage them or need their help.
- Finally, just let go: If you’re in a safe environment and sure you can leave your earthly responsibilities behind for a few hours, it’s time to give in to the experience.
Don’t try to control or direct what happens to you under the effect of the shrooms. Become an active observer. Remember that everything that happens to you in that moment is part of the experience and as such, it can bring a positive insight even though it might feel unpleasant or uncomfortable at the time.
Trust the fact that everything you see, feel, or envision exists in the realm of the shroom trip and cannot hurt you in real life. This mindset will allow you to explore your consciousness without fear or prejudice.
How Long Do Shrooms Last?
A typical mushroom trip will last between four to six hours from the time mushrooms are first ingested, to the moment when the altered state has effectively worn off. The first effects are normally perceived after 30 minutes, but they can take up to one hour, depending on the dose and the user’s metabolism.
It’s recommended to remain calm while waiting for the effect to arrive. Becoming anxious and taking a second dose can put you in a situation where you’ve taken too many shrooms, and there aren’t many available means of stopping a trip once it’s begun.
After the effects begin, a slow climb will follow and peak effects are expected between two to four hours after intake. This varies depending on the method used to eat the shrooms, which we’ll get into later.
The effect will start to dissipate after the peak, and you can expect to be back to normal after about six hours. Although the effect might have worn off, you might still feel lightheaded, tired, or overly sensitive to stimuli. This is why it’s important to take the mushrooms on a day where you know you’ll be free to rest after the experience is through.
Don’t take the mushrooms in the morning if you know you’ll have responsibilities in the afternoon. We recommend you find a time when you can take the rest of the day off to integrate the experience. Also, make sure you can have at least 8 hours of sleep the night after the experience, in order to fully recover.
How Many Magic Mushrooms Should I Take?
Psilocybe Cubensis has universally become the most propagated species of magic mushrooms out there, because of how easy they are to grow. However, there are over 200 species of psilocybin-producing mushrooms in nature.
Different species will carry different levels of psilocybin, which means that the same amount of mushrooms could have vastly diverse amounts of psychedelic ingredients, leading to very different strengths. Levels of psilocybin can also vary between strains of the same species.
As with any naturally-sourced medicine, the concentration of active ingredients can also vary between different parts of the fungi. The cap could hold more psilocybin than the stem and vice versa.
This all means that measuring a dose of mushrooms is not an exact science. However, some guidelines can be followed, based on suggested amounts of dried Psilocybe Cubensis.
Your mushrooms will come in two possible variants: fresh or dried. This won’t change their effect, but will change their overall weight, since dried mushrooms don’t carry as much water as freshly harvested ones.
If you’re using fresh mushrooms, multiply our numbers by 10, to compensate for the water weight. If you’re using another species of psilocybin-producing mushrooms, you should take these indications with a pinch of salt.
The best way to measure a dose of mushrooms is to use a scale. If you don’t have one, you can use this image as reference to understand how many mushrooms fit in one gram.
- Starter kit: Anywhere between 0.5 and 1.5 grams of dried mushrooms should have you feeling the effects of psilocybin in your body and mind. We highly recommend that you don’t take more than that in your first trip. Research shows that bad trips are far more likely to occur at high doses.
Being under the effect of shrooms is a very strange new experience, which can be overwhelming at first. That’s why it’s important to get yourself accustomed to being in that state before jumping to higher doses. We recommend you begin with a low dose (no more than 1.5 grams), and then work your way up to a larger dose in your next experience.
- I’m feeling it: Between 1.5 and 3 grams, you should experience a significant psychedelic effect. This amount should be enough for most people to experience a valuable journey into the mysterious and awe-inspiring world of shrooms.
- Hey God, what’s up?: 3 grams and above should take you to the moon and back. This is an area that should only be explored by experienced users. Make sure to know your ground and have had a number of positive experiences in magic mushrooms before taking more than 3 grams. In any case, 5 grams should be the final frontier for anyone without years of experience in psychedelic introspection.
How To Eat Shrooms?
In order for the Magic Mushrooms to realize their full potential inside your body, it’s recommended to fast before you eat them. Taking the mushrooms on an empty stomach will result in a higher ‘high’ and a faster onset. That’s why mornings are the best time of day for a mushroom trip, since we naturally wake up with 8 hours of fasting after a good night’s sleep.
If you must eat something before your trip, try to have it be a light and easily-digestible meal like a salad or some fruit.
Now, with an empty and ready stomach, let’s check out the most common methods for eating shrooms.
- Caveman’s style: There’s no secret to eating the mushrooms other than putting them in your mouth and swallowing them. If you’re brave and don’t want to beat around the bush, you can just chew them up and swallow them raw.
- Sweet me up: Since most people find shrooms’ strong, bitter taste quite unpleasant, it’s common to mix them in a sweet drink in order to disguise their nasty taste.
Any kind of smoothie or juice will do the trick. If your mushrooms are dried, just grind them as much as you can and mix them in with the drink. If you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can cut them into small pieces with a sharp knife or hand grind them with a mortar and pestle.
The more you grind the mushrooms, the easier it’ll be for your stomach to digest them. Keep in mind that mushrooms can be hard on the digestive tract, so it’s normal to feel some moderate intoxication symptoms after taking them, like nausea (sometimes leading to vomiting), headaches, drowsiness and muscle weakness.
- Shroom Tea: In order to reduce nausea and stomach-related symptoms, some users advise concocting a magic mushroom infusion.
Shroom tea is basically a home-made psilocybin extract that can be a lot easier to digest.
To make shroom tea, simply grind the dried mushrooms as fine as you can and let them sit in boiled water for about 15 minutes. After that, strain the mushroom caps and stems and drink the tea. The effect should come in quicker, since the stomach doesn’t need to break down the mushrooms. The overall trip can also be shorter, and maybe even more intense, since mushrooms won’t go through a slow digestive process.
Feel free to add herbs and honey to the water in order to level up the flavor of your shroom tea. You can simply add your favorite tea bag or experiment by mixing shrooms with natural herbs like lavender, ginger, or chamomile.
- A Lemony Surprise: Another way to avoid eating the mushrooms is through a technique called lemon tekking.
The mushroom’s active compound of psilocybin is synthesized into psilocin by our body’s metabolism. Psilocybin is actually a prodrug, which is broken down by our body into psilocin, which is the active ingredient that interacts with our brain’s receptors.
By dipping the ground mushrooms into pure lemon juice for about 15 minutes, we can help speed up this process since the citric acid present in the lemon is believed to break down psilocybin into psilocin in advance.
By chemically pre-digesting the mushrooms in a cup, they will start their effect sooner and possibly with more intensity. Experienced “tekkers” say they usually need less amount of mushrooms to achieve the same high.
What To Do in Case Of A Bad Trip?
Those who experiment with mushrooms often talk of the notoriously dreaded bad trip. A bad trip is an unpleasant experience that happens when a person under the effects of a psychedelic cannot control the ugly thoughts or sensations they’re experiencing.
Bad trips are not necessarily bad, since they can open a catharsis of negative emotions that can purge you from unprocessed trauma. However, becoming entangled in a personal hell of self-repeating anxiety and anguish is something most people would rather avoid.
There are several practices you can try if you feel you’re entering a bad trip.
- Breath: Deep breathing can help you relax and get back to your rooted self, by bringing down your anxiety.
- Remember you’re on drugs: Make an effort to remember that you’ve taken a drug, and much of what you’re experiencing has to do with its influence on your mind.
- Seek company: If you’re with friends or a trip sitter, tell them what is happening to you. Communicating your feelings can help you work through them and understand how to move on to a happier state of mind.
- Change something: Your shroom-affected self is extremely sensitive to external stimuli. If you realize you’re entering an ugly place, try to change the conditions that surround you. If you’re listening to music, change the genre or switch it off. If you’re in a dark room, take a walk outside with your trip sitter. If you’re meditating and bad thoughts come into your mind, try distracting yourself with something silly.
- If nothing else works: Remember that any negative emotions experienced during a mushrooms trip will indubitably end once the effect wears off. If you feel nothing you do is helping you end a bad trip, just sit down and wait for the hours to go by. You will invariably feel better once the psilocybin has left your system.
A Word Of Caution: Are Shrooms Safe?
Magic Mushrooms are generally regarded as safe and, even though bad experiences can occur, they usually don’t leave any scars.
However, mushrooms are no child’s play. There’s always a risk involved with any drug use, and it’s up to each user’s own sense of responsibility to consider whether they’re apt to go through the experience.
If you’re generally healthy and don’t have a mental health condition, you should be okay.
If you have a medical condition or take regular medication (like antidepressants), you should talk to your doctor before taking shrooms, as psilocybin can interfere with your medication. You also should avoid them if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or don’t have healthy blood pressure.
Who Shouldn’t Take Shrooms?
You shouldn’t take mushrooms unsupervised if you have a history of mental health conditions.
People who suffer from schizophrenia, psychotic, bipolar I or II disorders are especially advised to lay off shrooms. Psychedelic drugs are known to incite acute psychotic episodes in people with a family history of schizophrenia or psychotic disorders, so you should also avoid psychedelic drugs if a close member of your family has been diagnosed with a disorder in the psychotic spectrum.
Psilocybin has been found to be extremely useful in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
However, all research points to the importance of an accompanying therapist in psilocybin-assisted treatment. A trained professional can guide a patient through the journey and help them make sense of an otherwise confusing and unsettling experience.
If you’re struggling with major depression, grief, or any anxiety-related disorders, taking magic mushrooms unsupervised won’t be a miracle cure. However, you can seek an experienced guide, or a psychedelic retreat that can accompany you in your healing process towards mental wellbeing.