What to expect during a magic mushroom trip and how long shrooms stay in your system
- A shrooms trip lasts about six hours, with peak effects occurring about an hour after consumption.
- Shrooms stay in your system for 48 hours, but byproducts of the drug can be detected for 90 days.
If you eat psilocybin mushrooms, aka magic mushrooms, you'll likely start to feel some psychedelic effects around 30 minutes after consuming them.
However, you can accelerate the process by crushing up the mushrooms to make a tea or soaking them in lemon juice — a technique called lemon tekking. In either of these cases, the psychedelic effects will typically set in 10 to 15 minutes after consumption, says Parag Bhatt, PhD, Chief Science Advisor at psychedelic wellness company Silo Wellness.
However, how intense and how long your high lasts will depend on multiple factors including the dose, potency of the shrooms themselves, and how recently you've eaten.
In the news: The spotlight is on psychedelic drugs including magic mushrooms as scientists research their potential for treating mental and physical conditions when used in a controlled setting.
How long does a shroom high last?
After eating psychedelic mushrooms, the peak effects tend to set in an hour to an hour and a half after consumption and disappear within six hours.
Important: Keep in mind that you may lose your sense of time while on shrooms, so it may be difficult to gauge how long it's been since you dosed.
How will you know it's kicking in? Bhatt says the first feelings are usually those of euphoria and an "opening up" of the world where colors become more vivid and solid objects appear to "breathe."
The psychedelic effects of shrooms typically last between four to six hours, but Bhatt and Linda Strause, PhD, Clinical Development Consultant for psychedelic medicine company Ei.Ventures, say the intensity of your trip may vary based on:
- The potency of the mushrooms: "Potency of mushrooms is a key factor as to how many psychedelic compounds are present within the mushroom will dictate how many active molecules are circulating within the body," Bhatt says.
- How much you consume: The amount of mushrooms consumed will affect the length and intensity of your trip, Bhatt says. Ingesting increased amounts of mushrooms will increase the amount of circulating psychedelic compounds, leading to a stronger psychedelic experience.
- How recently you've eaten food: Eating mushrooms on an empty stomach will make your trip more intense and reduce the risk of nausea, Bhatt says.
- Past psychedelic experience: Your brain develops a tolerance to mushrooms if you take them multiple days in a row, so you'll have reduced sensitivity to their effects if you're consistently consuming them.
- Expectations: Anecdotal evidence suggests having positive expectations before taking psychedelics is linked to more positive outcomes during and after tripping.
Many individuals also describe an "after-glow" or a sustained boost in mood lasting for days.
Important: Both antidepressants and psychedelics stimulate serotonin receptors. Thus, combining the two may possibly result in a deadly condition called Serotonin syndrome. Additionally, anyone on Monoamine Oxidase inhibitors must use extreme caution with psychedelics as they may increase blood pressure, Bhatt says.
How long do shrooms stay in your system?
Shrooms are typically eliminated from the body within 24 to 48 hours, says Strause. However, shroom metabolites are a byproduct of the drug that can stick around in your system for months.
The standard 5-panel drug test routinely given by employers doesn't test for shrooms. However, there are specialized tests that can detect traces of these shroom metabolites.
Certain urine tests may detect amounts of mushroom metabolites for up to a week after consumption. And certain hair follicle tests can detect shroom metabolites for up to 90 days after consumption, says Bhatt.
These types of tests are very expensive so are only administered when there is strong evidence someone used shrooms.
Important: There's no way to eliminate shroom metabolites faster than your body already does. While some claim exercise can help your body "clear" shrooms more quickly, Strause says it isn't likely to do much.
What to expect during a shroom trip
"Individuals that consume psychedelic-containing mushrooms often regale about experiencing intense euphoria, increased sense of empathy, and a greater connection to nature," says Bhatt.
People can experience a wide range of emotions while on psychedelics, so your trip might feel different than somebody else's even if you've taken the same dose. Although feelings of euphoria and peace are often reported, it's also possible to have a "bad trip." During a bad trip, you may experience paranoia and fear.
However, Bhatt and others say that feeling uncomfortable while on shrooms isn't always a bad thing. "It should be noted that negative trips are not necessarily undesirable. Psychedelics expand the mind and force conversations we would otherwise not have with ourselves, which usually drums up some negative emotions and anxiety," Bhatt says.
If you're feeling uncomfortable while on shrooms, Strause and Bhatt recommend listening to calm music, getting fresh air, taking deep breaths, laying down with your eyes closed, or meditating. Drinking a bit of citrus juice can also help if you experience an upset stomach after consuming shrooms.
Quick tip: Both Bhatt and Strause recommend inexperienced users take mushrooms with a "trip sitter," or someone not under the influence of drugs, who can help calm you and navigate the challenges of your trip.
Shrooms are a powerful psychedelic with a long history of recreational, medicinal, and spiritual use worldwide. Still, psychedelics can be unpredictable, and experts advise anyone interested in using them to start with a low dose and seek counseling from a medical professional.
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