What is it?
Certain mushrooms contain a naturally occurring chemical called psilocybin, and these are called magic mushrooms. Magic mushrooms (aka shrooms or mushies) commonly found within Australia are Gold Tops, Liberty Caps and Blue Meanies. It can be difficult to identify magic mushrooms from regular or poisonous mushrooms – with the latter ones likely leading to you ending up in the hospital – or even death… it’ll be a hard pass on that trip from me thanks!
Magic mushrooms can also be bought in capsules with dried leaves, and synthetic psilocybin can be purchased, which is a white crystalline powder that comes in the form of tablets or capsules and dissolves in water.
Magic mushrooms are eaten (whether fresh or cooked) or brewed into a tea. The dried version can be smoked, with the capsules and synthetic psilocybin swallowed.
What are the effects?
Magic mushrooms are a psychedelic, which means that they have the ability to alter our perception and mood, and illicit strong hallucinations – basically it means we’re trippin’!
Taking too much of the drug can lead to experiencing far lengthier trips than we intended. The effects can be felt about 5-10 minutes after being drunk and 30 minutes after being eaten, and can usually last for 6 hours.
- Sense of euphoria and increased wellbeing
- Changes in consciousness, mood, thought and perception – basically what we call a trip
- Pupil dilation
- Perceptual changes, such as visual and auditory hallucinations
- Stomach discomfort and nausea
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Breathing quickly
- Facial flushes, sweating and chills
Flashbacks. This is when we re-experience the effects of the drug, and they can occur days, months or even years later. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Think about where you might be when experiencing the flashback; are you in a meeting with your boss or driving a car? The experience can range from pleasant through to causing severe feelings of anxiety. They tend to be visual and only last for a minute or two.
It is very easy to have a ‘bad trip’ while on magic mushrooms, especially if we’re not in the right frame of mind. It’s best to take them with friends that make us feel comfortable and in a positive space – think of it as a good vibes-only party! On the flip side, a bad trip can cause us to experience unpleasant or intense hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, panic or fear.
The use of mushrooms is very rarely life-threatening unless we take a toxic version by mistake – which, tbh, I just don’t have the time for these days. However, if we take a large amount of have a strong batch, then we are more likely to experience the negative effects.
Knowing the signs of overdose helps keeps us and others safe, and when we might need to call an ambulance. Watch out for these symptoms and call 000 in an emergency:
Panic or paranoia
Mixing with other drugs
The effects of mixing mushrooms with other drugs – including over the counter or prescribed medications can be unpredictable and dangerous. Mushrooms should not be taken by anyone on psychiatric medications as a relapse or worsening of the condition could happen.
While there are no highly dangerous interactions between LSD and most other drugs, there are a range of unsafe interactions to be cautious of, and they can be found at TripSit
The interactions between mushrooms and antiretroviral medications are not well known. There’s currently no evidence to suggest that mushrooms directly reduce the efficacy of antiretroviral medications. If some new research comes to light, then we’ll update this section and let you know.
The interactions between mushrooms and PrEP and PEP are not well known. There’s currently no evidence to suggest that mushrooms directly interact with these medications or reduce their efficacy. We’ll keep looking and update you if any new research comes to light.
To learn about the interactions between specific HIV medications and mushrooms head to Liverpool HIV Drug Interactions Checker.
There’s currently no evidence to suggest that mushroom use reduces the efficacy of HRT. We’ll keep looking and update this information if something new comes to light.
The interactions between magic mushrooms and HRT are not well known. Progesterone and Cyproterone Acetate can have sedative effects, so we may be particularly tired, fatigued or sleepy during or after taking mushrooms.
The information given on this page is not medical advice and should not be relied upon in that way.