Magic mushrooms are one of the most popular psychedelic drugs. They’re commonly consumed orally along with food to mask the taste, as most people don’t enjoy them on their own or can’t stomach the flavor.
Since many other drugs — including other psychedelics — can be smoked, some shroom users wonder if their psychedelic of choice can be inhaled too.
This article will explain the risks involved with smoking shrooms and a variety of reasons you should avoid this delivery method.
Can You Smoke Magic Mushrooms?
The short answer to this question is, yes, you can smoke magic mushrooms. However, whether you can and whether you should are two different questions entirely.
It’s possible to smoke magic mushrooms by grinding them into a powder and smoking them alone or mixing them with tobacco or marijuana. However, it’s not recommended.
What Happens If You Smoke Shrooms?
There has been no peer-reviewed research on the effects of smoking shrooms, so the experiences associated with inhaling psilocybin come only from user reports and anecdotal evidence.
Most people who attempt to smoke magic mushrooms note that there is little to no psychedelic effect, even when similar quantities of mushrooms are burned and inhaled.
This is likely due to the fact that the combustion temperature rapidly degrades psilocybin, delivering little to no active psilocybin to the user.
Some users report a more mild and balanced psychedelic effect, but the general consensus is that smoking shrooms is a good way to waste them and experience almost nothing in the way of a trip.
Can You Vape Magic Mushrooms?
Since the high combustion temperature is what degrades psilocybin, some users consider using a dry herb vaporizer to consume magic mushrooms instead.
Dry herb vapes are typically used for marijuana, and they heat whatever you load into the heating chamber to a specific temperature that can be set well below combustion temperature.
Psilocybin melts at around 224.0 °C (428 ºF) , and dry herb vaporizers usually have settings much lower than this, between 180 and 240ºC (380 and 410 ºF). This method might deliver more psilocybin than smoking, but the vast majority of psilocybin is still going to be destroyed before it ever reaches the lungs.
Even mushroom tea that’s too hot can destroy much of the active constituents of the mushrooms.
Is Smoking Magic Mushrooms Dangerous?
Yes, smoking magic mushrooms can be dangerous. Aside from the reduced potency that you’ll likely experience when combusting your psilocybin mushrooms and inhaling the vapor, the below dangers present severe health risks.
Inhaling Dangerous Compounds
Of course, there are risks associated with smoking in general, whether you’re inhaling vapors from magic mushrooms, marijuana, tobacco, or some other compound. Smoking increases the risk of lung cancer, respiratory distress, and infection, heart disease, stroke, and a number of other very severe issues (2).
These risks are present whether you’re inhaling tobacco or some other combusted material, including shrooms.
Inhaling mold spores presents a significant risk when smoking shrooms as well. Mold can grow on any plant matter, but plants that are strictly controlled and regulated — like tobacco, hemp, and legal marijuana — all come with an insignificant chance of mold growth in the smokable product.
Unfortunately, since psilocybin mushrooms remain illegal in most parts of the world, buying them on the black market means no regulation. Mold spores can form in the product if exposed to high levels of humidity, and inhaling them can cause lung irritation, infection, allergy symptoms, and many other potentially dangerous symptoms .
Related: Can Magic Mushrooms Go Bad?
Typical Mushroom Side Effects
Aside from the risks associated with smoking shrooms, there are, of course, some side effects that you can experience from ingesting or smoking magic mushrooms. These are generally not dangerous but can include some unwanted effects, including anxiety, drowsiness, headache, stomach ache, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, nervousness, anxiety, paranoia, and nausea.
For the most part, these side effects aren’t harmful, but they could potentially be detrimental to individuals with certain medical conditions.
How to Consume Shrooms Safely
Since smoking shrooms should really be out of the question, the safest way to consume psilocybin is to simply eat the dried mushrooms.
Most users find it easiest to get the appropriate dose by adding dried shrooms to foods — usually peanut butter sandwiches, pizza, or some other tasty food to mask the flavor — and eating them whole. Eating your shrooms allows you to dose easily, comes with far fewer dangerous side effects than smoking, and provides a powerful psychedelic experience since none of the psilocybin is degraded by heat.
Others make a mushroom tea by steeping ground mushrooms in hot — but not boiling — water along with a teabag and some flavoring, like lemon juice or honey, to cover the taste. This method can lead to some deterioration of the psilocybin and can lead to a loss of potency if the water used is too hot. However, mushroom tea often hides the undesirable shroom flavor, and it’s a familiar and discreet way to take psilocybin.
Wrapping Up: Why Smoking Shrooms Isn’t a Good Idea
Magic mushroom users often think smoking the psychedelic drug might be a good idea. Smoking tends to provide a much faster onset of effects with other drugs, and it helps you avoid the taste of shrooms, which most people dislike.
Unfortunately, smoking shrooms generally isn’t a good idea. The combustion temperature is too high for psilocybin, and the psychedelic component will degrade and may not deliver any effects. Even if you do achieve the desired results to a more mild degree, smoking shrooms can be dangerous.
Your best options, if you’re looking to consume shrooms without the undesirable taste, are to eat the dried mushrooms with a flavorful food or make a tea that can be consumed quickly so that you don’t have that lasting flavor in your mouth for too long.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 10624, Psilocybine.
- Naeem, Z. (2015). Second-hand smoke–ignored implications. International journal of health sciences, 9(2), V.
- Mendell, M. J., Mirer, A. G., Cheung, K., Tong, M., & Douwes, J. (2011). Respiratory and allergic health effects of dampness, mold, and dampness-related agents: a review of the epidemiologic evidence. Environmental health perspectives, 119(6), 748-756.