Can you imagine going out and picking some mushrooms from along the Thames River and using them for cooking your family a meal, only to then all experience a surprise trip? That’s precisely what happened to one man in 1799. This case is the first documented case of Psilocybe intoxication.
Since then, magic mushrooms have continued to be used and have grown in popularity. Most everyone is familiar with them, thanks to television shows and movies. But, when someone decides to give these potent guys a try, they may be surprised at all the available options.
Like marijuana flowers available in different strains, there are different “strains” of magic mushrooms. In fact, there are over 200 strains that users can choose from, each offering different potency levels and experiences.
What Are Magic Mushrooms?
In short, mushrooms that contain psilocybin are magic mushrooms.
Psilocybin is a hallucinogen that works by activating serotonin receptors in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This part of the brain affects mood, cognition, and perception, which is why magic mushrooms have the effects they do.
The Effects of Magic Mushrooms
The particular type of mushroom you take and how much will determine the exact experience or “trip” you have. After taking magic mushrooms, some people may experience:
- A dream-like sense of being
- Quickly changing emotions
- Impaired concentration
- Unusual body sensations
- Lock of coordination
- Hallucinations (both good and bad)
- Feelings that the things around you are not real
- Dilated pupils
Magic mushrooms are known for producing potent highs that are hallucinogenic in nature. That’s why taking the correct dose, being in the right frame of mind, and choosing the right strain are so important to encourage a good high rather than a bad trip.
How Different Strains Produce Different Effects
It may seem strange that mushrooms can cause different effects in people. After all, aren’t they all mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms do contain four key components:
The amount of each that different mushroom strains contain will vary. Plus, some mushrooms may contain other substances alongside these main four compounds. The compounds may not get people high on their own but will interact with the other compounds in the mushroom, modifying its properties and the effects a particular strain of magic mushroom can have on the user.
It is important to note that people react to magic mushrooms differently, even if two people take the same mushroom strain. Because they are hallucinogenic, it is essential that users are in the right headspace and don’t have underlying health conditions like schizophrenia before enjoying shrooms. These can increase the risk of experiencing a bad trip while high on shrooms.
Different Strains of Magic Mushrooms
The majority of magic mushrooms will fall under the Psilocybe genus, which contains around 117 different species. And Psilocybin mushrooms can be found in other genera, including:
When choosing between strains, you should thoroughly read about them to learn about the effects that strain tends to offer. You should also check out reviews from users of that strain to get an idea of what you can expect once you’ve taken it.
How to Use Magic Mushrooms
Chewing on a raw magic mushroom is not something that is appealing to many. They can frequently have a rubbery consistency that is off-putting, but that is certainly one way to take them.
But there are also other ways to use mushrooms that may be more appealing. Consider:
- Steeping your mushrooms in your favourite tea.
- Cutting up your shrooms and adding them to your favourite pasta sauce or using them as a pizza topping.
- Other mushroom products.
Users may be surprised to learn that just like there are a variety of CBD products on the market, there are also a variety of magic mushroom products out there. Users can often find shroom-infused products such as:
These options are appealing not only because they help mask the flavour of shrooms but because they provide set amounts of shrooms. This takes the guesswork out of figuring out how much you should consume to get your desired effects.
Popular Magic Mushrooms Strains and Their Effects
Choosing a magic mushroom to try can be overwhelming, especially if you went into it expecting there to be only one choice: a magic mushroom. Here are some popular strains to consider to help you get started and particular shrooms that fall under each:
- Panaeolus cyanescens (Blue Meanies). This particular strain of magic mushrooms falls under the category of “mildly potent,” making it a good one to start with. It produces a robust visual trip, euphoria, and a clear headspace. These are also sometimes referred to as Hawaiian magic mushrooms.
- Psilocybe cubensis (Cubes). Users of Cubes should expect to experience time distortion, euphoria, heightened emotions, and even eye visuals. Popular shrooms that fall under this strain category include Golden Teachers and Penis Envy.
- Psilocybe caerulescens (Landslide Mushrooms). These shrooms are a great option for beginners as they are generally considered to be low to moderately potent. Users of Landslide mushrooms will likely experience euphoria, altered perspective, and time distortions.
- Huautla. One of the oldest shroom strains, these offer a moderate potency level. They will often leave people feeling a spiritual experience in addition to extreme feelings of love.
- Psilocybe azurescens. These are rare and among the most potent of magic mushrooms. So, they should not be used by those who are inexperienced with shrooms. They will offer powerful effects such as vivid hallucinations and intense emotions. In some cases, they may even leave people with temporary paralysis.
Choosing the Right Strain
Does reading the information about popular strains cause you even more confusion? There are steps you can take to ensure you start your journey with magic mushrooms on the right foot by choosing the right strain.
- Ask someone. If you know someone who uses shrooms, ask for their input and advice. Maybe they remember a strain that they thought would be a perfect starter strain.
- Ask your online retailers. Most online sellers of magic mushrooms have an option for you to contact them via chat or email. Reach out and ask if they have any advice on what strain you should start with or even what strains you should avoid.
- Research their potency levels. Different strains have different potencies. Look into the strain and see if it is listed as mild, moderate, strong, or something in between. This can help you quickly cross strains off your list.
Tips for Your First Magic Mushrooms Trip
Ready to give magic mushrooms a try? There are some things to know that can help ensure you have the best experience possible.
- Be in a good headspace. The active ingredient in magic mushrooms can either complement or exacerbate the effects of mental illnesses. They can even trigger psychotic episodes in those with a history of schizophrenia. So, make sure your mental health is under control and you have no underlying mental illnesses before taking shrooms for the first time.
- Choose your setting wisely. It is recommended that you take shrooms for the first time (and really in all times) in a place that you feel safe and comfortable. You should find a place that doesn’t have a lot of external stimuli and, most importantly, only take shrooms around people you know and trust. Not doing so can trigger feelings of paranoia or a bad trip.
- Consider having a buddy. Do you know someone who has used mushrooms before or uses them still? Consider having them with you the first time you take them. This can give you peace of mind during your first shroom experience. Plus, they can help you prepare for the effects that you are about to experience.
- Do not combine magic mushrooms with other drugs or alcohol. If you plan to use magic mushrooms, use only magic mushrooms until their effects have worn off. Shroom’s hallucinogenic properties mean they do not play well with most other drugs.
- Start with a low dose. The amount you should take can vary based on the type of shroom you use. Ask your online retailer for advice on how much to take to start. But remember, it is better to start too low than too high when it comes to shrooms.
The Phases of Mushroom Trip
When using magic mushrooms, especially for the first time, it is helpful to know what to expect. This can alleviate any anxiety and help ensure you have a better experience with your shrooms. Magic mushroom users can anticipate their high to follow four phases:
- Absorption. Since shrooms need to be consumed, the body needs to process and absorb them before any effects will be felt. That is why it is important for users to allow time for the magic mushrooms to take effect before taking more.
- Onset. This is when users will first start to feel the effects their magic mushrooms have to offer. In short, your trip is beginning.
- Climax. This is the time when users will experience the most intense effects of their mushrooms. This generally happens about one to three hours after the product has been consumed.
- Come down. This is the back end of your magic mushroom experience. The effects will start to fade, and users will begin to feel more and more like themselves.
Coping With a Bad Trip
If you or someone you know has decided to try out magic mushrooms and are experiencing adverse effects, it can be challenging to do what you should do or how you can help.
First, remember that eventually, the shroom’s effects will subside. Though shrooms effects can last anywhere from six to 12 hours, the trip’s most intense effects will typically occur between one to three hours after the shroom has been consumed.
Staying calm is important. Remembering that these effects will pass can help you remain calm. If you are with someone who is having a bad high, remind them it is temporary, and they need to stay calm during this time.
Find a safe, quiet place to lay down or for you to take someone to lay down—the less outside stimulation around, the better. Consider turning on some soothing music as you lay down and try to relax. Take deep breaths.
Sometimes, having someone to talk to can help as well. This is why it is a good idea to try shrooms around people you know and trust. Having a trusted buddy around to talk to you and keep you calm can help wonders. You can also provide that if you are with a friend experiencing a bad high.
Though it is rare, people on a bad trip could potentially turn violent. If this is the case, you should not put yourself in harm’s way to help them. If the trip is bad enough, some people may require a visit to the hospital to help come down.
Magic Mushrooms have been around for hundreds of years. And their popularity continues to endure thanks to movies, television, and the effects they provide users.
But, like marijuana having different strains, so do magic mushrooms. Though all mushrooms contain the same four basic compounds, they contain them in different amounts and may have additional compounds that drive their differing effects.
Before choosing a strain of shrooms to try, do your research and see what other people have experienced when using that strain. This will help you get an idea of what you can expect.
Users of shrooms should also keep in mind that mushrooms are powerful. They should start with a low dose and allow plenty of time for the shrooms to take effect before taking more.
When used correctly and in the right setting, shrooms can provide hallucinogenic effects that most people find pleasant and enjoyable.