What Are Psychedelic Mushrooms?
Psychedelic mushrooms are varieties of mushrooms that contain hallucinogenic compounds psilocybin and psilocin. Psychedelic mushrooms can either be cultivated or gathered in the wild. When consumed through a process known as “shrooming,” these fungi produce a vivid, psychedelic trip with effects similar to those of LSD—but with a shorter duration and largely visual effects. Depicted in cave paintings around the world—some dating back almost 10,000 years—psychedelic mushrooms are one of the oldest known drugs used by humans.
What Do Psychedelic Mushrooms Look Like?
There are over 90 different known varieties of psychedelic mushrooms, with common street names including “psilocybin mushrooms,” “shrooms,” and “magic mushrooms.” Two of the most common varieties are the Psilocybe Cubensis, with a long stem and golden semi-hemispherical cap, and the Liberty Cap, sporting longer stems and a light brownish yellow conical cap. When purchased, mushrooms often lose these appearances and instead appear brown in color, due to the fact they are usually already dried. Sometimes, psychedelic mushrooms are ground up into a powder for consumption. Even when dry, these drugs have an identifiable scent not unlike the one associated with everyday mushrooms used in cooking.
How Are Psychedelic Mushrooms Used?
Because of the incredible variety of species, growing conditions, and other variables, the strength of each psychedelic mushroom can vary significantly. In general, people consume about 20 grams of fresh mushrooms—or conversely, 2 grams of dried mushrooms—to induce the psychedelic effects. Psychedelic mushrooms are often consumed on an empty stomach, for faster absorption and to reduce any nausea experienced during the first 20 to 60 minutes after taking.
Because of their generally unpleasant taste, many users eat the fresh or dried mushrooms in combination with other foods or beverages, such as ice cream, pizza or orange juice to mask the flavor and make them more palatable. Psychedelic mushrooms can also be immersed in hot water to create a tea that can be taken with honey to mask flavor and ginger to prevent nausea. Unlike traditional, non-hallucinogenic mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms cannot be effectively cooked for purposes of intoxication, as the cooking process destroys psychedelic compounds in the mushrooms.
Are Psychedelic Mushrooms Legal?
Psychedelic mushrooms are not legal in the United States and are considered a Schedule I drug.