Magic mushrooms

Magic mushrooms are psychedelic drugs containing the psychoactive compound psilocybin or psilocin.

Other names

shrooms, mushies, psilocin, psilocybin, cubenis, liberty caps, golden teachers

Appearance

There are different varieties of psychedelic mushrooms that grow wild in the UK, usually in the autumn time. Most are brown/grey in colour and some may bruise blue when held. It is important to distinguish psychedelic mushrooms from non-edible mushrooms which can be harmful.

Drugs Wheel Category

Psychedelics

Legality

Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) – Class A.

Some psychedelic mushrooms (i.e. fly agaric) are covered by the Psychoactive Substances Act (2016). Most psychedelic mushrooms however, are covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) as Class A drugs.
Penalties for possession are up to 7 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Penalties for supply are up to life in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

How it’s taken

Mushrooms are usually eaten (either raw or dried) or mixed into food such as chocolate. They can also be brewed into a tea and drank. Psilocybin or psilocin can also be extracted from mushrooms using an alcohol solution. Take care when dosing as a drop or two can give the desired effect.

Effects

The effects usually kick in anywhere between 15 – 60 minutes after dosing, depending on the strain, dose and set (how you feel), although for some it may take longer. They can last 4 – 6 hours, or more for heavier doses. After-effects (such as feeling calm and introspective) may be felt for up to 24 hours.

The effects of magic mushrooms (and other psychedelics) can also be known as a ‘trip’. They can cause a change in perceptions. Music may sound clearer and colours can appear more vivid – there may be a slight rainbow effect and some people will see fractals. Overall sensations such as touch, temperature and reaction to light may feel enhanced.

People can experience euphoria, relaxation and creative thinking as well as an altered perception of time, dizziness, lightheadedness and confusion. Other effects include nausea or ‘stomach churning’.

People report feeling more connected to nature and the people around them. Emotions and responses to others may be heightened. Some may experience deep thoughts and come to new insights or feel a sense of spiritual connection.

Some people, including people more prone to experiencing anxiety, may experience thought-loops or find it difficult to shift their focus from negative thoughts. Mushrooms can cause a slight increase in heartrate and breathing. This can also be influenced by your state of mind – if you feel uncomfortable, your body may produce an anxiety response and speed up your heartrate and breathing further

Risks

  • Lots of mushrooms look similar and it can be tricky to identify the different types of wild mushrooms – not all mushrooms are edible
  • Fly agaric mushrooms are different to psilocybin mushrooms. They are more toxic, have less predictable effects with higher risks. The red and white skin should not be eaten. Avoid eating them raw
  • Mixing with other drugs that produce a psychedelic effect, including ketamine and cannabis, may have unintended or unpredictable effects. Mixing with stimulant drugs can increase the risk of anxiety
  • Some types of mushrooms will produce a stronger effect than others. Always research the mushroom to understand the appropriate dose. A common dose could be between 1 and 2 grams of dried mushrooms (this dose should not be taken as a recommendation). Drying magic mushrooms reduces the weight but not necessarily the potency (strength)
  • Some people can take too high a dose if they don’t weigh the mushrooms properly or re-dose thinking that the mushrooms haven’t worked
  • Some people can have a difficult experience or find themselves focusing on negative thoughts. These feelings may linger the following day but will eventually pass

Harm reduction

All drug use has its risks, but if you choose to take Magic Mushrooms then the following steps can help to reduce harm:
  • Avoid taking magic mushrooms if you are experiencing anxiety or if you don’t feel completely comfortable, as you might heighten these feelings
  • It is essential to identify the correct mushrooms as many mushrooms growing in the wild are not edible and some can cause irreversible damage – do your research!
  • Plan your ‘trip’ in advance – think about where you will take them in (somewhere you feel safe), who you will take them with (people you feel comfortable with), and how you are feeling before (your mindset can have an influence on your experience.) This is called set and setting
  • Avoid taking drugs alone and have a ‘straight/sober’ friend around if possible
  • Plan your dose in advance and wait at least two hours before re-dosing
  • Tripping on a full stomach can make you feel nauseous. Some food about 1-2 hours beforehand is recommended
  • Avoid mixing with other drugs, including alcohol and medicines
  • If you start to feel any negative effects simple things like changing your environment may help. If the effects are too strong, try to stay relaxed and take small sips of water or flat sugary juice. Let someone know how you are feeling – sometimes just sharing that feeling can help ease it
  • Make sure you have time to rest afterwards and chill out
  • Psychedelics can cause a profound shift in our perception of the world. Try to leave at least 3 months between taking them to allow yourself to fully process and recover from your experience
  • Think of people you can chat to about your experience afterwards, particularly if it was difficult. You can always visit Crew or call us for a chat!

Detection time

People taking Magic Mushrooms have reported the following detection time, but this cannot be taken as a recommendation; detection of any drug will depend on purity, regularity of use, other medications or drugs you have taken, your body and how it’s taken.
  • Psilocybin is not usually screened for in standard drug tests but can be found in a hair sample for 90 days