LSD vs. Shrooms

Paul Austin

LSD and Magic 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 Shrooms.

Common questions include:

  • Do magic mushrooms feel more ‘natural’ than LSD?
  • Are there different visuals?
  • Are magic mushrooms ‘safer’ than LSD (or vice-versa)?

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

Like all psychedelics, shrooms 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 shrooms 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. Shrooms – 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


  • 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 with psilocybin
  • Trip lasts between 6-8 hours

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

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

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 – Shrooms: 2-4 grams).

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 loadthan 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 Shrooms?

  • 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 shrooms
  • Constantly on the fence between a good and bad trip – emotions are more volatile and inconsistent.
  • Come up is more intense
  • Shrooms 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, shrooms have a higher likelihood of leading to a bad place, even if all 6 S’sare controlled for.

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 you’re driving the car, with shrooms 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.”
  • “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 shrooms. 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.


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