How to do shrooms: Discover the fascinating world of magic mushrooms, their history, effects, and different methods of consumption.
Overview: Magic mushrooms, or shrooms, have a long history and have been used for various purposes. They contain psilocybin and psilocin, which produce altered states of consciousness. The effects can range from euphoria to anxiety and can be influenced by factors like dosage and setting. Shrooms can be consumed raw, in capsules, or as tea. Dosing depends on intentions, species, and whether they are fresh or dry. Microdosing, taking small amounts regularly, is often used for self-medication and performance enhancement. The Fadiman Protocol is a popular microdosing regimen. However, microdosing is still being studied, and more research is needed to understand its benefits and risks.
Magic mushrooms, also known as shrooms, have been providing wonder to curious minds for a long time. Possibly the earliest evidence of the use of psilocybin mushrooms comes from a post-paleolithic cave painting in Spain. This post-paleolithic mural depicting the possible use of Psilocybe hispanica mushrooms dates back 6,000 years.
The earliest written record of the use of shrooms can be seen in the ethnographic research of Spanish missionary Bernadino de Sahagún, who documented magic mushroom use among the Aztecs in the 16th century. In his writings, Sahagún recorded the lifestyles and religious rituals of the pre-Hispanic and colonial communities in Central Mexico.
Over the years, governments worldwide have implemented regulations on psychedelic substances, aiming to control their usage. However, there remains a persistent desire for altered states of consciousness induced by psychedelics such as shrooms.
Despite legal limitations, individuals have continued to experiment with their consciousness, and in recent times, innovative methods such as microdosing psychedelics have been investigated as potential tools for improving well-being, fostering creativity, and potentially enhancing productivity.
Shrooms generally refer to mushrooms that contain the potent psychedelic compounds, psilocybin and psilocin. Psilocin, which psilocybin is converted into in the human body, binds to a subtype of the serotonin receptor family called the 5-HT2A receptor to produce profound states of consciousness commonly characterized by changes in cognition, perception, emotion, and sense of self that last roughly 4 to 7 hours. Many people report feeling a pleasant afterglow into the next day, or far beyond that.
Some of the most popular species of shrooms include Psilocybe cubensis (Cubes), Psilocybe semilanceata (Liberty caps) Psilocybe cyanescens (Wavy caps), Psilocybe mexicana (“Teonanácatl” meaning “God’s flesh”), and Panaeolus cyanescens (Blue meanies).
Magic mushrooms are known for bruising blue after being handled. When the mushrooms are bruised or damaged, they may turn blue or bluish-green due to the oxidation of psilocin, the active ingredient responsible for the psychedelic effects of shrooms.
However, it is important to note that not all varieties of shrooms display this characteristic, and the presence of blue bruising alone is not a reliable indicator of their psychedelic effects. It is crucial to exercise great caution in correctly identifying mushrooms before consuming them, as there are several poisonous mushrooms that can also exhibit blue bruising.
If you experience any serious adverse health effects after ingestion, it is imperative to promptly seek medical assistance. It is worth emphasizing that fatal poisonings resulting from the consumption of misidentified shrooms have occurred in the past.
Similar to other serotonergic psychedelics like LSD and mescaline, the shroom experience is wide-ranging and can produce a variety of effects. These experiences can range from feelings of euphoria, unity, and transcendence, to anxiety, fear, and paranoia, and can be influenced by various factors such as the individual's mood, personality, expectations, and setting, as well as the dosage and purity of the substance.
As Humphry Osmond, a psychiatrist and pioneering researcher who coined the word “psychedelic,” noted in a letter to renowned English novelist Aldous Huxley, “To fathom hell, or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.” This insightful statement captures the unpredictable and highly varied nature of psychedelic experiences.
A shroom trip could entail feelings of joy and laughter that leave your body aching the next day. It may also take you into dark and difficult psychological places, which may cause considerable temporary distress, but are generally perceived as meaningful. You may be able to see and ponder certain situations from alternate perspectives to which you typically do not have access, often leading to long-term changes in worldview, beliefs, and attitudes.
Today, people generally use magic mushrooms to improve their mental health and well-being, to enhance creativity and productivity, for spiritual or religious exploration, or simply because they are curious to experience the effects of a psychedelic trip. Historically, mushrooms have also been used medicinally and for divination among indigenous communities in Mexico.
There are various methods of consuming shrooms. Some individuals choose to chew and swallow the mushrooms in their raw form, whether they are fresh (wet) or dried. Others opt for putting them in carefully measured capsules, creating teas, and extracts, or incorporating them into chocolate edibles.
To ensure an optimal experience, it is recommended to follow a structured approach and safety protocols when consuming shrooms. This typically involves carefully measuring the dosage, preparing for the experience, consuming the shrooms in a safely controlled and comfortable environment, and taking time to integrate the experience afterward.
By adhering to these guidelines, individuals can optimize their overall experience with magic mushrooms.
The most common way to take magic mushrooms is by drying them and eating them raw. For an optimal experience, it's suggested to chew the mushrooms well so that all the juices are released. It takes about 45 minutes for the effects to start, depending on what's in your stomach.
To make sure the shrooms work their best, it's a good idea to avoid eating for a few hours before taking them. This can help prevent anything from interfering with the effects. While some people may not like the earthy taste of shrooms, others believe that eating them raw makes the experience more personal and connected to nature.
If the taste is too much, but you still want to consume the mushrooms raw, you can consume many different foods and drinks with them to mask the taste. You may also want to have some ginger or mint tea available in case of nausea.
Some people use citrus juices like lemon or orange juice to help with the nausea when consuming raw mushrooms. Citrus juices contain natural compounds that might assist in reducing the discomfort associated with ingesting magic mushrooms. It is important to exercise caution when consuming citrus fruits or juices along with shrooms, however, as some suggest that they may intensify the effects of shrooms.
Consuming raw magic mushrooms can often cause gastrointestinal discomfort and nausea, thought to be due to the indigestible chitin that makes up the mushroom cell walls — a naturally occurring polysaccharide and complex carbohydrate that provides strength and rigidity to the cell walls of mushrooms. To avoid this, mushroom teas are another popular method of consumption.
Preparing shroom tea is a straightforward process. To consume mushroom tea, begin by accurately measuring the desired amount of mushrooms using a reliable scale. Grind the mushrooms into a fine powder using a spice grinder, weed grinder, or mortar and pestle. Next, steep the powdered mushrooms in hot water along with a tea bag for around 10 minutes. This method helps break down the indigestible components, extracting the psilocybin while minimizing the likelihood of experiencing unpleasant nausea.
Consuming mushroom tea reportedly expands the surface area of the digestive tract, allowing for a more even absorption rate of psilocin into the bloodstream. This can also increase the intensity of the experience, making the trip start and end faster.
Additionally, the ritualistic aspect of consuming psychedelic substances through tea can add to the overall experience. Other ingredients and flavors, such as chamomile, ginger, lavender, and honey, can also be added to modify the taste and may influence the nature of the experience.
As mentioned earlier, some people find the taste of magic mushrooms unpleasant. To address this, some users choose to put the shrooms in capsules. However, this method is not suitable for fresh mushrooms since it would require a large number of capsules.
Capsules are commonly used when taking magic mushrooms for microdosing. To accurately measure precise doses, the mushrooms can be ground into a fine powder using a spice grinder, weed grinder, or mortar and pestle. Using a spice grinder is the best option for achieving a fine powder.
Once the mushrooms are ground, a capsule machine can be used to measure the desired doses. Following the microdosing regimen, the capsules can be consumed as directed to achieve the intended effects.
It's important to clarify that a “low dose” refers to a dose that produces noticeable psychedelic effects, compared to a sub-threshold “microdose” that doesn't have noticeable whole-body effects.
Microdosing involves regularly taking very small amounts of shrooms on a set schedule. A microdose is typically around 5-10% of a moderate dose. For example, if a moderate dose of dried psilocybin mushrooms is 1-2 grams, a microdose would be approximately 0.1-0.2 grams.
Microdoses are usually not taken for recreational or spiritual purposes. Instead, they are often used as a form of self-medication for conditions like depression, anxiety, and general well-being. Some people also use microdosing to enhance productivity, creativity, and performance.
One commonly followed microdosing protocol is known as the Fadiman Protocol, developed by psychologist and psychedelic researcher, Dr. James Fadiman. According to this protocol, a microdose is taken every third day in the morning.
The day after microdosing, called the “transition day,” may involve afterglow effects. The following day, known as the “normal day,” is an opportunity for reflection and evaluation. The recommended duration for microdosing with this protocol is 4-8 weeks, followed by a break of 2-4 weeks.
Although some studies suggest that microdosing could have a range of benefits, from improved mental health to enhanced creativity, others show little to no benefit.
Microdosing is a relatively new way of consuming psychedelics, and protocols are still being experimented with. Furthermore, microdosing is an understudied practice and there is limited scientific research on its safety and effectiveness. At this stage, more research on microdosing shrooms and other psychedelics such as LSD is needed to better understand its potential benefits and risks.
How one goes about consuming mushrooms depends very much on their intentions. 5 grams of dry Psilocybe cubensis for breakfast will probably not lead to an exceptionally productive day at the office. For spiritual insights and addressing trauma in the context of supportive therapy, maybe, but not for making sales and pounding out code.
The varying potency of psilocybin mushrooms both between different species and even within the same species can complicate standardized dosing information. Individual factors like body weight and personal body chemistry may also alter the dose required for desired effects.
However, when it comes to dried Psilocybe cubensis, which is the most commonly used species of psilocybin mushroom, a low dose ranges from 0.25 mg to 1 gram, a moderate dose is between 1 and 2.5 grams, and a strong dose refers to anything 2.5 grams and higher.
As previously mentioned, magic mushrooms can be consumed fresh or dry. Of course, there is a marked difference in the dose for the dry weight versus the fresh weight. As mentioned above, 1 gram is considered a low-moderate dose of dried Psilocybe cubensis, whereas a low-moderate dose of fresh Psilocybe cubensis is approximately 10 grams.
It's important to note that psychedelic experiences can be unpredictable and intense, and can potentially trigger psychological distress or exacerbate underlying mental health conditions. Therefore, it's generally recommended that people considering using shrooms should do so in a safe and supportive environment, in a good mental state, and under the guidance of a trusted friend or experienced and trained professional.
Users are also advised to start low and to gradually work up to higher doses (if it is believed that there may be something to gain from doing so). Listening to music during the trip is also commonly recommended, particularly for those who may want to deepen the experience or intensify the effects of shrooms. Music can influence the effects of psychedelic substances, often evoking emotions and shaping the content of the journey.
Ongoing research aims to provide a clearer understanding of the safety and effectiveness of different mushroom doses for a variety of uses. Psilocybin mushrooms have demonstrated a very favorable safety profile for occasional use. Further research is anticipated to shed light on the safety profile of microdosing.
In conclusion, shrooms provide a wide range of methods for consumption, allowing individuals some scope to tailor their experience to their preferences. Whether eaten raw, encapsulated, or brewed into tea, there are options to suit different tastes and needs. However, it is crucial to remember the importance of responsible usage, accurate dosing, and creating a safe environment for consumption.
As research and exploration into shrooms continue, we can anticipate further advancements in understanding the various methods of taking shrooms.
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