What Do Shrooms Do?


Magic mushrooms or shrooms are wild, cultivated mushrooms that consist of psilocybin, a naturally occurring hallucinogenic and psychoactive compound. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), psilocybin is one of the most well-known classic psychedelics. These psilocybin mushrooms have a significant potential for abuse and no currently recognized medical use in therapy in the United States, making them a Schedule I medication.

A magic mushroom is a naturally occurring psychedelic drug that can make you hear, see, and feel sensations that are not real. However, the drug user won’t be able to differentiate between what is real and what isn’t.

The effects of shrooms vary, and several environmental and biological factors influence these effects. The factors that influence the effects of this drug include weight, emotional state, dosage, weight, age, history of mental illness, and environment.

Many seek magic mushrooms to escape their troubles and enjoy a peaceful high. However, this is not the case for some. In fact, they end up with adverse effects such as confusion, terrifying hallucinations, and paranoia. In some cases, these people end up being admitted to the hospital; this is generally known as a “bad trip.” There are mushroom supplements on hype too.

What Are Magic Mushrooms? – Professional Opinion

Humans and magic mushrooms have a long history. Long before people used magic mushrooms for recreational purposes, they were used for other purposes. Thousands of years ago, indigenous Americans and Europeans used these shrooms for medicinal and spiritual purposes.

These indigenes used the shrooms for spiritual awakenings and journeys of self-discovery. They believed that natural drugs like mescaline, magic mushrooms, and marijuana were sacred herbs that help people reach a higher level of spirituality. 

This belief was passed down for generations and still exists in modern times. On the other hand, some use psilocybin mushrooms (including liquid psilocybin) to experience a sense of connection, euphoria, or a distorted sense of time.

How do Magic Mushrooms Work?

Psilocybin, the psychoactive and hallucinogenic compound found in magic mushrooms, is converted by the human body to psilocin. This substance use influences the brain’s serotonin levels, which leads to unusual and altered perceptions. 

Magic mushrooms become effective about 20 to 40 minutes after a person takes them and can last up to six hours. It also takes six hours for you to metabolize and excrete the psilocin. However, these timings vary based on the individual and certain external factors such as potency and type of shroom.

The effects of psychedelic mushrooms appear gradually. First, the person starts to feel drowsy and relaxed. Then, the individual should feel subtle changes in their feelings and senses. After some time, the person would start to feel stronger auditory, visual, and other sensory hallucinations. 

Again, psychedelic experience varies. While some may feel a sense of ease and relaxation leading to a positive experience, others have a negative experience with feelings of unease and paranoia. Furthermore, a higher dose may cause more intense hallucinations and euphoria.

Shrooms in the System 

The kidneys are in charge of processing the compounds found in agaric mushrooms. This process is pretty swift; in most cases, your kidneys can process them in a matter of hours. 

According to researchers, you excrete about two-thirds (66%) of the compounds from magic mushrooms in the first three hours you consume them. After 24 hours, the substance will become untraceable in your system.

However, no one knows how long the other compound will last in your system or how long the effects of magic mushrooms will last. Several factors contribute to how your body deals with these compounds. Some of these factors include metabolism, weight, and the type and dose of mushroom.

Drug Testing

Psychedelic mushrooms go through people’s systems differently, and how long they can remain traceable in a system varies. Therefore, the results of drug tests are always different. For example, two people might take the same amount of shroom simultaneously, but only one comes out positive when they go for a test. This is because one person metabolizes the compounds found in shrooms faster than the other. 

Various drug-specific tests exist, and each differs in screening methods, accuracy, and detection. The most common screening test is the five-panel test. This screening tests for the following substances:

  • Cannabis
  • Opiates, like heroin
  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • PCP

Furthermore, there are also 8- and 10- panel tests. None of the three tests mentioned check for any compound found in magic mushrooms. However, you can find other tests that can detect hallucinogenic compounds. But, this test would need to be administered promptly because shroom compounds do not last in the body. Urine, saliva, or blood tests might not be able to detect psychedelic drugs 24 hours after ingestion.

Nonetheless, other screenings exist that may be able to detect these compounds after a longer period. One of these tests is the hair follicle test. With that said, this test might not pick up magic mushroom compounds in the first few days after ingestion. Ultimately, the test should be able to detect hallucinogenic compounds.

Read this guide to know about how to pass a drug test & various methods for the same.

Potential Benefits of Magic Mushrooms

While many take magic mushrooms for recreational purposes, there are several potential health benefits to taking them. Here are some of those benefits.

Treatment of Depression

According to a study done in 2022, researchers found that long-term use of psilocybin (the psychoactive compound found in magic mushrooms) may help with depression.

The study involved 27 individuals with a history of depression. Between August 2017 and April 2019, these individuals were given two doses of psilocybin biweekly. Researchers discovered that participants had lower depression levels between 1-12 months after starting treatment. 

While the results look promising, researchers suggest that much experimentation is still needed regarding the connection between depression and psilocybin. For example, we still need to understand if the effects of this compound last longer than 12 months.

With that said, this is not a green light to self-medicate using shrooms. If you suffer from depression, you can use other proven methods to treat your condition. These include therapy and trusted medication.

Treatment of Substance Abuse

Another potential use of shrooms is to help those who suffer from substance misuse stop their habits. These include drinking, smoking, and misusing drugs. However, researchers are still trying to figure out how psilocybin might be able to help.

One study showed researchers that using psilocybin can help decrease an individual’s alcohol cravings. In another study, researchers used psilocybin to greatly improve smokers’ chances of curbing their cravings after 12 months.

Finally, there is also an unverified belief that psilocybin can treat other forms of drug abuse. However, this is just a belief, and researchers have a lot of work to do before verifying how well this compound can reduce drug use cravings.

Treatment of Headaches

According to a 2017 psychedelic and consciousness research, researchers discovered that people who self-medicated with small doses of psilocybin could reduce cluster headaches and migraine. Furthermore, they did not feel the psychoactive effect of the shroom because they took very small amounts. This practice is called “microdosing,” and many people use it to test the benefits of a drug without feeling unwanted side effects.

On the other hand, this same compound can also cause headaches in some. Additionally, researchers mentioned that the severity of the headache is based on the dose. However, the symptoms were not too severe that they affected the individual’s ability to perform tasks.

While microdosing of shrooms has its benefits, researchers advise against it without professional supervision. This is because, without the help of a professional, the individual may not be able to gauge the dosage and take too much. Furthermore, they might not be able to handle their anxiety, and finally, they might not know the purity level of the shrooms. Additionally, the chances of people with an underlying health condition experiencing negative effects from psilocybin are high.

Might Help With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A study on animals showed that low levels of psilocybin helped improve fear in mice. Therefore, this study shows that magic mushrooms may be able to treat PTSD and similar conditions in humans. However, we still need several more results from human studies to prove the link between this compound and PTSD or other related conditions.

Furthermore, other peer-reviewed studies show that the effects of psilocybin are unpredictable. Hence, it might be challenging to say these shrooms are 100% effective against psychological issues.

Treatment in Anxiety

Researchers still need more time to confirm this, but psilocybin may be able to treat anxiety to an extent. In a 2016 research, 51 patients with life-threatening cancer diagnoses were given a low or high dosage of psilocybin. 

The results of this experiment showed those who received high doses of psilocybin saw improvement in their mood and quality of life. They had more energy and were more optimistic. Additionally, the effective treatment greatly reduced their uneasiness about death compared to the patients who received lower doses of psilocybin. People also try CBD gummies for anxiety and depression issues. 

Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy

Several psychedelic agents are currently under review to decipher their benefits when combined with psychotherapy. Interestingly, psilocybin is one of those agents, and researchers consider it a therapeutic against addiction and terminal illness-based anxiety.

This form of therapy has the potential to work due to its positive effects on behavior. Furthermore, a small test done on people with treatment-resistant depression showed that psilocybin therapy reduced neuroticism scores and increased openness, extraversion, and conscientiousness scores. 

Effects of Mushrooms

All hallucinogens tend to cause emotional and mental issues leading to accidents or death while you are under the influence. Typically, adolescents take shrooms in conjunction with alcohol and other drugs. This combination of other substances increases the odds of physical and psychological problems.

Furthermore, it is impossible to tell the amount of psilocybin in a shroom, and the psychoactive content in magic mushrooms varies significantly. Therefore, it can be challenging to determine how long or intense its effects would be.

So, the effects of magic mushrooms vary from mild trips with positive effects to bad trips leading to hallucinations. In some cases, a bad trip can lead to convulsions. 

The side effects of magic mushrooms vary, but they can be both physical and mental. Remember that not everyone will feel these effects equally; some might have a more frightening experience than others. 

Physical Effects 

  • Muscle weakness
  • Yawning
  • Increased body temperature and heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Speech difficulties
  • Inability to move
  • High blood pressure (might lead to heart failure)
  • Loss of coordination.

Mental Effects

  • Visual or auditory hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Nervousness
  • Euphoria
  • Distorted sense of time
  • Distorted perception of place and reality.
  • Psychosis
  • Anxiety

There is still much research to be done to discover the long-term side effects of taking magic mushrooms. However, medical reviewers have noted that people might experience a change in their personalities, and vivid flashbacks (hallucinations), even long after stopping magic mushrooms.

Furthermore, magic mushrooms have similar features to poisonous mushrooms, and some might mistake the two. Therefore, poisoning is another risk of taking these psychedelic drugs. In addition, mushroom poisoning can lead to organ damage, severe illness, or worse, death.

Finally, the chances of magic mushrooms being contaminated are high. Pharm Chem Street Drug Laboratory carried out an analysis on 886 alleged shroom samples. However, the results from this test showed that only 252 were actual magic mushrooms, while 275 were regular mushrooms laced with PCP or LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide), and the remaining 328 had no traces of drugs whatsoever. Therefore, you might end up buying magic mushrooms that have negative, contrary, or no effects at all.

Shroom Tolerance, Addiction, and Withdrawal

Similar to most substance use, the more mushrooms you take, the higher your tolerance for the drug will be. Therefore, regular use can lead to the development of high tolerance. This means an individual would have to increase the drug dosage to get the same effects they did with a lower one.

Generally, developing a tolerance for shrooms can be risky because by consuming a large amount, you can experience overdose symptoms. The symptoms themselves are not fatal but can be inconvenient and might lead to accidents and, possibly, death. These symptoms include

  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Panic
  • Psychosis


Magic mushrooms (psilocybin) are not addictive and will not lead you or your loved ones to compulsive use. This is because it does not work on the brain’s reward center the way addictive substances do. With magic mushrooms, you simply feel an intense trip, and that’s it. Furthermore, people tend to build a tolerance to the drug pretty quickly, meaning you might not feel any effects after using it repeatedly for several days. 

With that said, mushrooms can be abused, especially by teenagers. Some people drive while on these drugs, step into traffic, or fall from heights. So, while it might not be addictive, it does have several other drawbacks.


People can abuse mushrooms, thereby developing a physical dependence on them. However, when people stop using this drug, they rarely report any physical signs of withdrawal, unlike other drugs. But, some may have psychological effects, such as flashbacks and depression.

Symptoms of Magic Mushroom Use

Magic mushrooms are powerful drugs that can cause adverse effects on your loved ones. Therefore, several people try their best to notice signs of this magic mushroom use so that they can help their loved ones as best they can

The first sign you might notice from your loved ones is nausea, nervousness, or paranoia. As with all other drug use, you should pay attention to the person’s eating and sleeping patterns. Any changes to these could signify that magic mushrooms are in play. In addition, take note of the person’s personality, mood, and social activities. If you notice any changes, they might be taking mushrooms.

Whenever you notice any of these signs, it is best to take action because these psychedelics have some potential long-term effects. While these are rare, there is still a possibility of feeling them. These effects include disorganized thinking, paranoia, visual disturbance, and mood changes.

Another long-term severe side effect is Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD). This condition occurs when an individual still experiences hallucinations long after using any hallucinogenic drug. This condition is also called “flashbacks,” and a doctor might mistake it for a stroke or brain tumor

Other apparent effects of hallucinogens may include:

  • Amnesia
  • Mood swing
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Seizures
  • Weight loss

If someone you know is taking mushrooms, they might show aggressive behaviors, like jumping out the window or getting into a physical confrontation with someone else. Furthermore, a contaminated or poisonous mushroom may lead to signs of poisoning, such as increased heartbeat (tachycardia), hyperthermia, vomiting, or hypertension.

How to Help With Psychedelic Drugs Misuse

Shrooms may not be addictive, but misuse of these drugs can lead to deterioration of health. This can be hard to watch, especially when a loved one is involved. Therefore, if you think a loved one is taking magic mushrooms experimentally or regularly, consider talking to them about it. 

The key to this conversation is to be firm but loving. Explain to them the negative side effects of psychedelics and how they can last long after stopping. Furthermore, emphasize that the effects are worse when these drugs are mixed with alcohol or other drugs. During this period, you need to let them know you are there to help and support them, not judge or make them feel bad. They might also be getting treatment.

When You Need Medical Attention

As mentioned, some mushrooms come with toxic substances. Alternatively, poisonous mushrooms are similar to magic mushrooms. Therefore, if you ingest any poisonous content and are experiencing poisoning symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Someone experiencing a bad trip does not typically need to seek medical attention. However, it could be a sign of overdose when they start to have intense feelings or a total detachment from their sense of time and reality. In a case like this, you should closely monitor the person, and if the situation worsens, you can take them to the hospital.

Finally, people who become psychologically dependent on magic mushrooms or feel like they’re getting there might need the help of a mental health expert. If you constantly chase after the mind-altering experience that comes with hallucinogens, there might be a chance you are becoming psychologically dependent on these drugs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What does psilocybin feel like?

Everyone experiences psilocybin differently. However, there are some common feelings that several people report. These feelings include distortion of time and space, a euphoric feeling, and being in a dream-like state. Some have even likened it to a spiritual or mystical experience.

  • What is the dosing of magic mushrooms?

Most people that take magic mushrooms for recreational reasons take them orally by eating drip stems and caps or brewing them into tea (liquid psilocybin). The most common dose of this drug is about 1-2.5 grams. However, the potency may differ regardless of the size. For example, 1 gram of mushrooms may be more potent than 3 grams. Furthermore, people prefer dried mushrooms because they are more potent than fresh ones. However, people who take the fresh ones may accidentally pick poisonous mushrooms instead. Unfortunately, unlike shrooms, poisonous mushrooms can lead to a fatal overdose.

When taking shrooms, some people are impatient and feel they didn’t take enough and need to take more. To avoid an intense trip, it is best to wait at least an hour before ingesting more. The best thing to do is take it slowly and then increase the dosage. This method is vital for people who are inexperienced in consuming shrooms.

  • How long does the psychedelic high last?

You should start feeling the effects of the psychedelic mushroom within 20 minutes of ingestion. The activeness of magic mushrooms varies from person to person. However, research suggests that the hallucinogenic effects of these drugs should last about three to six hours. Some factors that affect the longevity of these effects include metabolism, age, body composition, type and potency of shroom, the individual’s mental health conditions, method of ingestion (in tea or dried), tolerance levels, or other substance use.

Additionally, some people are naturally more sensitive to the psychoactive properties found in magic mushrooms. Therefore, they are likely to feel a stronger and longer high. For instance, two people might take the same dosing of magic mushrooms, but one might not feel the same effect as the other.

  • Are Shrooms legal?

In most cases, shrooms are illegal. This is because psilocybin and psilocin are classified as Schedule I in the Controlled Substances Act. Therefore, growing or possessing any mushrooms that produce psilocybin for personal use or sale is illegal.

On the other hand, they are currently used for scientific research under strict conditions. Furthermore, any lab testing these substances must receive a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Federal law does not list all the mushroom species as illegal drugs. Therefore, some people get arrested for illegal cultivation, possession, or distribution of these specific illegal drugs. However, they claim innocence because the law does not list them as illegal. In some cases, the person might be ignorant regarding this law, while in other cases, they are just taking advantage of that loophole. 

Regardless, magic mushrooms are illegal federally and, in some cases, statewide; therefore, possession, cultivation, or distribution of these drugs are grounds for arrest.

With that said, some states have certain laws regarding the legalization of mushrooms. For example, in 2019, Denver decriminalized mushrooms. Other cities such as Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Ann Arbor followed suit in the coming months. 

Now, this doesn’t mean magic mushrooms are legal in these cities. Decriminalization means the city will not spend resources on penalizing people possessing the drug. However, in 2020, Oregon legalized the use of psilocybin-assisted therapy and was the first state to do so.

  • Are magic mushrooms safer than other hallucinogens?

Magic Mushrooms are not safer than other hallucinogenic drugs. They are just as unpredictable as any other mind-altering drug. Several people have complained about feeling more intense high and terrifying hallucinations from mushrooms than from LSD. Furthermore, magic mushrooms have the potential to be poisonous from contamination, or you might ingest a poisonous mushroom thinking it is a psychedelic drug. If anything, shrooms are more dangerous than other hallucinogenic drugs.

Final Thoughts: Psychedelic Mushroom Benefits

Shrooms are wild, powerful mushrooms with potent mind-altering effects. The potential benefits of this drug are still being reviewed, but the results so far have been promising. Hopefully, researchers will be able to harness the full potential of the psychedelic drug and use it to improve the overall health of people worldwide.

When used recreationally, it causes a euphoric effect that many describe as dream-like. However, it can also cause negative effects like paranoia and frightening hallucinations. Some of these effects last for a long-time. Finally, these psychedelic drugs are not addictive, but people tend to develop dependencies on them, and when this happens, they might require proper treatment to get past this dependency.

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