LSD vs Psilocybin Mushrooms

Paul Austin

LSD and Psilocybin Mushrooms (also called ‘shrooms’ – primary ingredient is psilocybin) are the two most common psychedelics.

Most psychedelic users have, at some point, tried both. I tried magic mushrooms first, consuming them in the basement of my fraternity house when I was 19. My first time with LSD was about five months later.

Nowadays, I prefer LSD. It is easier to obtain and more manageable when intoxicated.

Many people wonder, however, about the difference between LSD and Psilocybin mushrooms.

Common questions include:

  • Do psilocybin mushrooms feel more ‘natural’ than LSD?

  • Are there different visuals?

  • Are psilocybin mushrooms ‘safer’ than LSD (or vice-versa)?

LSD and Psilocybin Mushrooms are the two best-known psychedelics to man. Although LSD was popularized by mainstream use in the 1960s, psilocybin mushrooms have been used in shamanistic traditions for centuries.

Like all psychedelics, psilocybin mushrooms and LSD share commonalities in how they affect human consciousness. Common symptoms include visuals, feelings of unity or oneness, and ego-elimination.

But, as anyone who has consumed both LSD and psilocybin mushrooms will tell you, there are also significant differences.

Before I delve into the differences, I want to explain the basic facts of each drug.

LSD vs Psilocybin Mushrooms – Quick Facts


  • Psychoactive in micrograms (millionths of a gram)

  • Invented in 1938, first used in 1943

  • Derived from ergot, a fungus which grows on rye

  • Typical dose is between 100 and 250 micrograms

  • Trip lasts between 8-12 hours

  • No potential for physical addiction

Psilocybin Mushrooms

  • Used by traditional societies since 1000 BC

  • Typical dose of psilocybin is between 10-40 mg – this equates to roughly 1-4 g of dried mushrooms

  • Dozens of different types of mushrooms containing psilocybin

  • Trip lasts between 6-8 hours

  • No potential for physical addiction

I assume most readers are here to read about the differences in effects between LSD and psilocybin mushrooms.

In other words, “What will I experience when taking LSD vs psilocybin mushrooms?”

Although each personal experience varies, I will do my best to summarize the various anecdotal reports from users.

The following reports may help you to plan for your own experience. Keep in mind, these effects resulted from consuming a moderate dose (LSD: 100-250 micrograms – psilocybin mushrooms: 2-4 grams). Microdosing with these substances (about 1/10th of a moderate dose) will produce different results.

Interested in microdosing with LSD or Psilocybin Mushrooms?
Read our extensive guides on Microdosing LSD or Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms.

Psilocybin Mushrooms vs. LSD Effects

What Are The Effects of LSD?

  • More functional within reality. Easier to interact with sober individuals, if necessary. Often leads to a more ‘extro-spective’ experience.

  • More likely to remain positive. Fills users with bubbling, positive energy.

  • Users report an LSD experience as smoother with less body load than shrooms.

  • Pay special attention to set and setting. By controlling for these two variables, you are much more likely to have a great trip.

What Are The Effects of Psilocybin Mushrooms?

  • Leads to ego-drop and complete unity of self and the universe.

  • Many users feel more of a connection to nature and the earth when on psilocybin mushrooms.

  • Constantly on the fence between a good and bad trip – emotions are more volatile and inconsistent.

  • Come up is more intense

  • Psilocybin mushrooms are more of a ‘mind-fuck’. Users report shroom use as a more introspective experience, completely losing touch with sober reality

  • Although it is still important to control for Set and Setting, psilocybin mushrooms have a higher likelihood of leading to a bad place, even if all 6 S’s are controlled for.

I assume most readers are here to read about the differences in effects between LSD and Shrooms.

I also want to include a few quotes I found while perusing various forums.

These quotes provide a metaphorical reference point for LSD vs Shrooms:

  • “With acid you feel like your driving the car, with psilocybin mushrooms you feel like you're in the back seat along for the ride.”

  • “Acid feels like you are plugged into the universe while shrooms you feel like an old tree walking through the forest.”

  • “Mushrooms are for setting your roots, LSD is for spreading your branches.”

  • “Psilocybin Mushrooms are prone to inducing more mentally challenging trips, in my opinion. They are a completely different ballpark in many respects. Mushrooms lack the clarity, the ‘perfectness’ of LSD, but they have a certain quality which often leads to profound introspection… ‘Golden teacher’ didn’t earn its name by chance.”

Which Psychedelic Should You Try?

Many psychedelic users try both at some point.

However, many say LSD is easier to manage in the beginning. As I mentioned in this article, and in many previous articles, LSD is easier to control and manage than psilocybin mushrooms. It also, on the whole, lends itself to a more positive experience.

Because of the variable and intimidating nature of psychedelics, it is always best to have a positive experience the first time around. I’ve talked to many users who had a poor first-time experience, and thus, refuse to try psychedelics a second time.

So whatever you do, be prepared, do your research, and have a great time.

Interested in microdosing with LSD or Psilocybin Mushrooms?
Read our extensive guides on Microdosing LSD or Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms.


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Our mission is to support educated and informed discourse on the topic of psychedelics, including psychedelic community, microdosing, psychedelic identity, and various other topics relevant to our mission. The Third Wave does not encourage illegal activities. Any information we provide is for education and information only. This site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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