Magic mushrooms — fungi containing psilocybin and other psychedelic tryptamines — have been used for millennia by various cultures for their profound, mystical effects. In recent years, these fascinating fungi have increased in popularity for their therapeutic, medical, and recreational applications.
It’s easy to take magic mushrooms, but they’re powerful and highly hallucinogenic, so treat them with respect and use them responsibly.
The most important things to take note of are the dose you’re using, the mindset you’re in before starting the trip, the people you’re with, and the environment you’re in. The method of preparing the shrooms comes last behind all these other things.
Let’s explore the preparation needed prior to taking the shrooms first, followed by a how-to on effective dosing, and finally, seven different ways to prepare and take magic mushrooms.
7 Ways To Take Magic Mushrooms
There are several ways to prepare magic mushrooms for consumption. How you prepare and take shrooms affects the onset time and intensity of the effects. The consumption format will also affect taste and the level of stomach discomfort experienced after consumption.
Here are a few ways to prepare magic mushrooms for consumption:
1. Eat Them Raw
The simplest (and oldest) method of taking magic mushrooms is to eat them as they are. You can take mushrooms fresh or dry them out first.
Generally speaking, dried mushrooms are just as good as fresh ones. A lot of the psilocin degrades while drying, but the psilocybin remains highly active for months after drying.
If eating mushrooms fresh, you’ll need to take about 2X as much weight in mushrooms compared to dried ones for a similar effect.
Mushrooms don’t taste great, so most people will wash them down with juice.
Some people find they get stomach aches from eating raw mushrooms, but this can be alleviated by drinking a strong ginger tea along with your shrooms. Eating a meal a few minutes before taking them can also help.
2. Magic Mushroom Tea
Magic mushroom tea is a great way to take psilocybin if you don’t want to consume the organic matter of magic mushrooms. Tea kicks in much faster than eating raw mushrooms, and it causes less stomach discomfort and nausea due to there being no material for the body to digest before metabolizing the active compounds.
Making shroom tea is simple.
Grind a dose of mushrooms and then brew them in a thermal flask filled with a cup of boiled water. After 20 minutes to one hour, the liquid can be strained and consumed.
Add lemon juice to the tea as it brews to improve extraction and flavor. Adding other teas or sweeteners can help it taste better, too.
Learn how to make magic mushroom tea: How to Make Shroom Tea: Step-by-Step Guide.
3. Edibles (Gummies & Chocolates)
Edibles are perfect for people who can’t stand the taste of magic mushrooms.
They take around the same amount of time to kick in as raw shrooms but tend to be a little easier on the stomach and are much better tasting.
However, I believe making them yourself is just as good, if not better, than what you can buy on the web.
Check out the following recipes and try it out:
- How to Make Magic Mushroom Chocolate: 4 Simple Recipes
- How to Make Magic Mushroom Gummies — An Easy Vegan Recipe
- Trippy Cuisine: Learn How to Cook With Magic Mushrooms
4. Lemon Tek
Lemon tek is a newer method of preparing magic mushrooms by lightly grinding them up and soaking them in lemon juice for 20 minutes to an hour. This breaks down the chitin (cell walls of the mushrooms) and kickstarts the metabolism of some of the psilocybin.
This practice is easy to do and reduces the impact of the shrooms on your digestive system. Many believe it makes the shrooms kick in faster and hit harder than the raw form.
Most people who take mushroom capsules are using them to microdose. This means taking small, sub-perceptual doses on a routine basis to improve focus, concentration, and creativity. These doses are too small to produce psychedelic effects, but there are some changes in mood and creative energy.
You can also take mushroom capsules for a full dose — you just have to take several capsules.
For example, if you buy a 250 mg capsule, you’ll need about 8 to achieve a 2-gram dose or 12 for a standard 3-gram dose.
Most microdose caps contain either 50 or 100 mg of mushrooms.
You can make capsules at home using a simple capsulation machine ($20–$30 on Amazon) and some gel capsules.
6. Magical Honey
This method is often overlooked, but it’s one of my favorites. Take some dried mushrooms, grind them up, and mix them into a jar of honey. After about seven days, most of the psilocybin will be infused into the honey.
You can add this to teas, spread it over toast, or eat it directly for a powerful dose of psychedelics.
This method is great because the honey is a natural preservative for your mushrooms. I have some psilocybin honey I made years ago that still works great.
The only caveat is that it’s tough to assess specific doses using this method. You’d have to be very diligent about documenting the weight of the shrooms and the volume of honey you’re using. It’s also not suitable for fresh mushrooms. Any moisture that gets into the honey will cause the whole thing to rot.
Tinctures are another good way to preserve your shrooms for a long time. They also make dosing nice and simple as long as you get your starting ratios right.
To make them, simply grind your shrooms, cover them with alcohol, and let the whole thing sit for a few weeks. Then, strain everything out and store it in a dark, cool location.
How to Prepare For Your Trip Like A Pro
Preparation is key to having a pleasant experience with magic mushrooms.
Cultivating the right set and setting, as well as preparing your body for a psychedelic experience, will make things much more comfortable and enjoyable and significantly reduce your chances of having a bad trip.
1. Eat First
About an hour before you plan to take your mushrooms, it’s wise to have some food. There are 3 good reasons for this:
- Eating first prolongs the duration of the mushroom trip.
- Eating first is the best way to reduce the chances of feeling stomach pain, bloating, or nausea.
- Eating first ensures blood sugar and energy levels remain consistent over the next 4–6 hours while you trip.
Aim to have something nutritionally dense, and don’t overeat.
Some people prefer to mix their shrooms with their food — such as on pizza. This works great, but here at Tripsitter, we prefer to eat about an hour before the trip to allow the food to move through the digestive tract before the mushrooms are introduced.
2. Cultivate a Positive Mindset (“Set”)
Your frame of mind before going into the experience is of utmost importance. Mushrooms are expanders of mind — which means that whatever state you enter the experience is going to be expanded upon. If you’re fearful, anxious, or sad, these negative emotions are likely going to take center stage during the experience.
If you go into the experience feeling inspired and happy, these feelings will take over and the trip is much more likely to be enjoyable.
Practicing meditation and relaxation techniques before a trip can help calm and focus your mind. If you’re relaxed and open-minded, the experience should be much smoother.
3. Choose the Right Setting
The environment in which you spend your time while taking magic mushrooms is just as important as your mindset.
The setting you choose should be welcoming, calming, safe, and familiar. A house is usually a safe bet as long as it ticks all the boxes — safe, comfortable, and private. It’s not recommended you trip at a party or in public venues.
Soothing music, lit candles, nice lighting, and pillows and blankets can make the environment comfortable, helping create a good setting for a trip.
The setting also includes the people around you — everybody involved should be people you trust and shows you respect and non-judgement.
If taking a larger dose, it’s wise to have a familiar object handy that you can use to “come back down to earth.” This could be a photo or valuable that’s meaningful to you. If the trip becomes too intense, holding and looking at this object can help you get your thoughts in order and get out of a negative or challenging thought loop.
4. Plan Ahead: Elect A Tripsitter & Leave Room For Recovery
Even with the perfect set and setting, it’s possible for a trip to take an uncomfortable or dark turn. If you’re new to psychedelics, we recommend going on your first psilocybin experience with a trip sitter.
A trip sitter is someone who can keep a watchful eye on you during the entirety of the experience. They can keep you safe and comfortable and guide you if a trip takes a turn in an uncomfortable direction. Ideally, a trip sitter will have experience with psychedelics and know how to “lead” the trip.
Shrooms can have some lingering effects lasting about a day — so it’s wise to avoid having anything major planned for both trip day, and the day after. It’s wise to leave some down time to relax and process the experience before getting back to your normal routine.
Preparing the Dose of Magic Mushrooms
Working out the dosage is extremely important if you want to take magic mushrooms since this determines the intensity of the effects. A microdose won’t produce any psychedelic effects; a “standard dose” will produce moderate to strong psychedelic effects, and a “heroic” dose will cause a seriously strong trip and probably an “ego death.”
The general dosage range is between 0.1 and 0.2 grams of Psilocybe cubensis for a microdose, 2 to 4 grams for a standard dose, and 5 grams or more for a heroic dose.
The type of mushrooms, their potency, and your body weight will affect how much you need to achieve the desired effects.
Use the dosage calculator below to work out the perfect dose for you:
Double-check the potency of the DXM you’re using, and look for the addition of other compounds such as acetaminophen which can cause severe liver-toxic side-effects at this dose.
Read more: Magic Mushroom Dosing: Psychedelic Mastery
Magic Mushrooms 101
“Magic mushroom” refers to psychedelic fungi that produce the compounds psilocybin and psilocin. There are over 180 different species of psychedelic mushrooms that produce these compounds, but the most prevalent is Psilocybe cubensis. This species is a popular choice among cultivators, and any shrooms you purchase likely belong to this species.
The Psilocybe cubensis species is made up of hundreds of different genetic variants — we call these strains. These strains produce different growth characteristics and different tryptamine levels. One strain of P. cubensis can be twice, three times, or even four times as potent as another.
The potency of magic mushrooms is determined by how much psilocybin they contain. The higher the levels, the stronger the effects will be.
When ingested, magic mushrooms produce altered perception, hallucinations, alterations in thought patterns, and an overall shift in consciousness. These effects vary depending on how potent the shrooms are and how much you take.
How Do Magic Mushrooms Work?
Psilocybin and psilocin are both serotonin receptor agonists, which means they affect the brain’s serotonin system. Although mushrooms contain both compounds, psilocybin is more prevalent. Psilocin is the active metabolite of psilocybin.
When ingested, the body metabolizes the psilocybin into psilocin through enzymes in the liver. The psilocin then acts on the serotonin receptors — particularly the 5-HT2A receptor. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, perception, and various other physiological processes.
The activation of the 5-HT2A receptor leads to changes in neuronal communication within the brain. This altered communication results in altered perceptions that are associated with the hallucinogenic and psychedelic effects of psilocybin mushrooms.
Psilocin also disrupts the typical patterns of connectivity in the brain. Research using neuroimaging techniques such as MRI shows that the compound can increase connectivity between different brain regions. This “hyperconnectivity” may contribute to some of the effects of shrooms.
Learn more about how magic mushrooms work: What Do Magic Mushrooms Do to Your Brain?
The Effects of Psilocybin
The effects of psilocybin-containing mushrooms can vary from person to person. Several factors affect the experience, such as dosage, body weight, individual sensitivity, and state of mind.
Here’s what you can expect from a psilocybin trip:
Psilocybin’s effects kick in 20 to 90 minutes after consumption, depending on the method and the individual’s sensitivity. The come-up begins with feelings of subtle euphoria and butterflies in the stomach. This feeling spreads throughout the body, and lights and noises become distorted.
An hour and a half after consumption, feelings of euphoria will be intense, and strong waves of energy often rush over the body. Depending on the dose, visual and auditory hallucinations will be close to their peak. Geometric shapes, severe object distortions, tracing during movement, and blurred or bright outlines may be apparent.
When the individual closes their eyes, they may experience vivid hallucinations that take them through a storyline or “journey” that may teach them about themselves.
Two to three hours after consumption, the individual will begin to come down (depending on the dose they’ve consumed). The effects phase out in waves, with increasing and decreasing intensity as the “waves” gradually decrease in length and strength.
After five hours, most of the strong hallucinatory effects will have subsided, but the user may feel “high” and wavy for up to ten hours after consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions
Curious to know more? Here are some FAQs that we feel are important to answer.
1. How Long Does a Magic Mushroom Trip Last?
The dose of magic mushrooms ultimately affects the duration of a magic mushroom trip. However, they generally last for somewhere between four to eight hours.
A magic mushroom trip can be broken down into five phases:
- Come-up — The effects of magic mushrooms begin 20 minutes to 1 hour after consumption (depending on how they’re consumed). During this phase, the effects gradually increase in waves.
- Peak — The peak is when the effects of the mushrooms are strongest and most intense. This occurs 1.5 to 3 hours after consumption, depending on the consumption method and the individual.
- Plateau — After the peak, the effects of the shrooms stay stable for 2 to 4 hours.
- Come-down — The intensity of the mushrooms decreases slowly in waves until the individual regains a more normal sense of reality. This phase can last for 2 to 4 hours or more.
- Afterglow — Once the psychedelic effects of the mushrooms have subsided, the individual may experience an “afterglow” or lingering positive effects, which can last for several hours or even into the following day. During this time, individuals can feel more introspective, emotionally open, or reflective.
2. What’s the Strongest Type of Magic Mushroom?
The strongest species of magic mushroom is Psilocybe azurescens. This species can produce total tryptamine levels of 2.16% with a psilocybin content of 1.78%.
To put that into perspective, the average Psilocybe cubensis shroom produces around 1.00% total tryptamines, with a psilocybin content of 0.63%. P. azurescens is two to three times as potent as a typical Psilocybe cubensis strain such as Golden Teacher.
The strongest strain of Psilocybe cubensis is Penis Envy. This strain is famous for producing total tryptamine levels that are incomparable to other species strains. The average Penis Envy shroom produces 1.15 total tryptamines, with an average psilocybin content of 0.96%. Some samples of Penis Envy have produced upwards of 2.90% total tryptamines.
3. What Are the Easiest Magic Mushrooms to Grow at Home?
The easiest magic mushrooms to grow at home belong to the Psilocybe cubensis species. This species is extremely resilient and can be easily cultivated in artificially-created growing environments.
This species is made up of hundreds of genetic variants (strains). Some of these strains are easier to cultivate than others.
Golden Teacher is considered the easiest strain of Psilocybe cubensis to grow at home. However, it’s not the only option for beginners…
Here are some of the easiest P. cubensis strains to grow at home:
- A+ (A-Strain)
- B+ (B-Strain)
- F+ (Florida White)
- The Cambodian Strain
- The Kathmandu Strain
- The Koh Samui Strain
- The Lipa Yai Strain
- The Malabar India Strain
- PF Classic
4. How Long Do Magic Mushrooms Last in Storage?
Magic mushrooms can last for several years when stored correctly. However, they gradually lose their potency, regardless of how they’re stored.
When fresh, magic mushrooms will last for a week or so in a refrigerator as long as they’re stored in paper bags. However, they should be dried if you want them to last longer.
By drying magic mushrooms completely with a dehydrator, you can dramatically prolong their shelf life. Once completely dehydrated, the shrooms can be stored in glass mason jars with a couple of packs of food-safe silica gel to remove any remaining moisture from the inside of the jar.
If the jars are left in a cool, dry place, they’ll last for up to a year before they begin to lose potency. They’ll remain edible after this time, but the potency will lessen as time goes on.
Learn more: How Long Do Dried Mushrooms Last?