Magic mushrooms are used as a tool for self-growth, as well as treating legitimate medical conditions — such as depression, PTSD, existential anxiety, cluster headaches, and more.
Medical research on magic mushrooms has shown a lot of promise over the last few decades, and longstanding laws around the use of magic mushrooms are being revisited.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about magic mushrooms — from start to finish.
What Are Magic Mushrooms?
“Magic mushroom” is an all-encompassing term for any species of fungi with psychoactive or hallucinogenic effects. They’re one of the most common psychoactive substances on earth.
There are nearly 400 different species of magic mushrooms — which can be found on every continent on earth except Antarctica.
Magic mushrooms contain two psychoactive alkaloids — psilocybin and psilocin. These alkaloids have the ability to interact with the serotonin receptors (5HT2A) — producing changes in the way we perceive sensory information (sound, vision, and touch).
Aside from changing sensory perception, magic mushrooms have a strong spiritual component. They’re used as a tool for self-discovery and spiritual experience. They’ve been used as a sacrament in virtually every region of the world in which they can be found — including South America, North America, Europe, Asia, and Australasia.
Medical research on magic mushrooms has seen a lot of breakthroughs in the last three years too. Magic mushrooms have been shown to offer substantial benefits in treating addiction, depression, anxiety, cluster headaches, and much more.
How to Take Magic Mushrooms
There are many different ways to use magic mushrooms. The most common method is to simply eat a few of the dried mushrooms directly, but you can also make mushroom tea, make them into mushroom chocolates, or diffuse them into honey.
1. Eat The Mushrooms Whole
This is the most common method of using mushrooms around the world. You can eat both the fresh and dried mushrooms directly.
I’m going to be completely honest — magic mushrooms don’t taste great. Fresh mushrooms are a little bit better, but not by much. The easiest way to use them is to just knock them back and follow up with some sort of chase to mask the taste (if needed).
Some people will add their shrooms to food to mask the flavor. Some effective meals for this are pizza or pasta.
The only rule here is that you should never heat the mushrooms in any way. Heat will destroy psilocybin and remove its psychoactive effects. Always add the mushrooms at the very end if you’re trying to mask them in food.
Before you start digging into your bag of mushrooms, it’s important to weigh out the correct dose using a scale. This is an important step to ensure you’re using the right dose each time and avoid the risk of taking too much.
What’s the Dose For Fresh Mushrooms?
If using dried mushrooms, stick to the dosages listed above (0.2 grams or less for microdose and 2 – 4 grams for standard dose).
For fresh mushrooms, the dose is much higher to account for the added water weight. Mushrooms contain as much as ten times higher while fresh than dried. So you should time the dried dose by 10 to find the equivalent dose in fresh mushrooms.
For example, the standard 3-gram dose of dry mushrooms is equivalent to about 30 grams fresh.
2. Eat The Mycelium (Truffles)
Truffles refer to the underground portion of the mushroom — called the mycelium.
What we think of as a “mushroom” is simply the reproductive organ of the fungi. The organism itself lives below the ground in the form of a thick mat of fibrous “threads” called mycelia. These threats penetrate the mushroom’s source of food to break it down and turn it into energy.
The mushrooms that appear above the soils are sent up seasonally for the purpose of spreading their spores to form new organisms.
In some parts of the world, magic mushrooms are illegal, but mycelium (truffles) are not. If you order magic mushrooms at a coffee shop in Amsterdam, for example, you’re going to get a bag of truffles rather than mushroom fruiting bodies.
Truffles contain the active psilocybin and psilocin as well but in lower concentrations. Additionally, it’s nearly impossible to separate all the growing substrates from the mycelium, which adds to the overall weight of the truffles.
The approximate equivalent of a magic mushroom truffle is about 2.7 times the dose of the mushroom caps. This means our 3-gram example dose is equivalent to about 8 grams of truffles.
You can use truffles the same way you would use dried mushrooms. Eat them directly, mix them into capsules, or make tea.
3. Make Mushroom Tea
Mushroom tea is an attractive option because it helps eliminate the bad taste of the mushrooms and reduces the chances of digestive discomfort — which some people experience when eating dried mushies.
The most important thing to remember when making mushroom tea is to avoid overheating the mushrooms. Heat will destroy the active ingredients.
If you have a variable temperature kettle, set the temperature to around 70ºC (158ºF). If you don’t have a variable temperature kettle, keep a close eye as the water heats up and remove from the heat as soon as bubbles start to form at the bottom.
Add the mushrooms to a teapot or tea bag and let it infuse for several minutes.
You can continue to reuse the mushrooms as much as you want. In order to get the full dose, you may need to do a couple of washes with new water.
This isn’t the most efficient way of using magic mushrooms because the active ingredient, psilocybin, doesn’t dissolve very efficiently in water. For this reason, you may need to increase the dose used by about 10% to offset this.
4. Make Psychedelic Mushroom Honey
You can make psychedelic honey yourself by covering dry mushrooms in honey for several weeks. The psilocybin will gradually diffuse from the mushrooms into the honey. From here, you can simply eat the honey raw, add it to a tea (not too hot, remember), or spread it over toast or another source of food.
The hardest part when making psilocybin honey is getting the potency right.
It’s a good idea to aim for a ratio of about 1:10 — meaning that for every gram of magic mushrooms, you’re adding about 10 milliliters of honey.
It also helps to chop the mushrooms up into smaller pieces using a coffee grinder or blender. Avoid powdering the mushrooms though it will be difficult to strain later.
Let the honey and mushrooms sit for at least three weeks to ensure as much of the active ingredients can diffuse into the honey as possible. Give the jar a shake every now and then to mix it up.
When it’s ready, you can use the honey as-is or run it through a cheesecloth to filter out the mushroom bits (totally optional).
5. Make Mushroom Chocolates
Magic mushroom chocolates are often referred to as “truffles” — but don’t get this mixed up with the mycelium bodies which were covered above that also goes by the name truffles.
Chocolate truffles are made by mixing the dry mushroom powder into a chocolate base. They’re popular as a way to mask the flavor of the mushrooms and make them easier to consume.
It’s also important to add the mushrooms while the truffles are cooling. Melt the chocolate separately, pour them into your chocolate molds first — and then mix the mushrooms into the chocolate. This ensures the mushrooms are never heated up — which destroys the active ingredients.
How WAS YOUR FIRST TRIPPING EXPERIENCE?