The Essential Guide to Psilocybin Mushrooms

(Magic mushrooms, Shrooms, psilocybin)

The Essential Guide To Psilocybin Mushrooms

Psilocybin: [3-(2-Dimethylaminoethyl)-1H-indol-4-yl] dihydrogen phosphate


Disclaimer: Psilocybin is a potentially illegal substance, and we do not encourage or condone the use of this substance where it is against the law. However, we accept that illegal drug use occurs, and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason, this guide is designed to ensure the safety of those who decide to use the substance.



Psilocybin mushrooms (AKA magic mushrooms, or shrooms) is the name given to fungi that contain psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound. There are more than 180 species of mushrooms that contain psilocybin, or its derivative psilocin. Psilocybin mushrooms have a long history of use in Mesoamerica in spiritual and religious rituals, and are currently one of the most popular recreational psychedelics in the United States and Europe.

Psilocybin mushrooms have been used in therapeutic settings to treat a wide variety of ailments and disorders including cluster headaches, obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety, depression, and addiction.

Magic mushrooms are illegal and categorized as a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, though recently, the FDA and DEA have allowed some small, highly controlled human studies on their potential for use in medical and psychiatric settings.

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History & Stats


Brief history

Archaeological evidence from the Sahara desert suggests that humans have been using hallucinogenic mushrooms for 7,000 years or more.[1] Mushrooms are represented in prehistoric art across many different geographic regions. In most cases, they’re thought to be religiously symbolic, often in the context of rights of passage ceremonies. If our ancestors did use mushrooms, such a powerful experience almost certainly would have dramatically influenced prehistoric culture, from art to religion to social values that regulated everyday life.

Some have gone even further. Terence McKenna, for one, put forth the so-called “Stoned Ape Hypothesis”, positing that early humans or pre-human hominids ingested mushrooms, leading to evolutionary benefits including advancements in intelligence. It should be noted that this hypothesis is regarded with skepticism in the scientific community, considering some of McKenna’s assumptions lack convincing evidence.

Extensive accounts of psilocybin use in pre-Columbian history comes from the Mayan and Aztec cultures of Mesoamerica, namely in Mexico and Guatemala. After conquering these areas in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Spanish forbade magic mushroom use by indigenous peoples, regarding it as a savage and uncivilized cultural practice. Despite this, the indigenous shamans ignored Spanish law in secret for over 400 years to preserve their shared cultural heritage with these mushrooms.

The first reliable account in the West of “intoxication” with magic mushrooms came in 1799 when four children were accidentally fed Psilocybe semilanceata, a species of hallucinogenic mushroom.

The famous Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman (who synthesised LSD) first isolated psilocybin in the lab in 1957 from Psilocybe mexicana, a species of mushroom found primarily in Central America. A year later, it was produced synthetically for the first time.[2]

Gordon Wasson, former vice president of J. P. Morgan & Company, apparently had a fascination that turned into an obsession with psilocybin mushrooms. In 1955 he traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico, to meet Maria Sabina, a member of the indigenous Mazatec Indian tribe and a mushroom shaman. She introduced Wasson to magic mushrooms and mystic shamanism. On his first shroom trip, he reported feeling “as if his soul had been scooped out of his body.” [3]

Wasson effectively kick started the magic mushroom movement in the West when, in 1957, Time Magazine published his photo essay titled “Seeking the Magic Mushroom,” in which he detailed his experiences with Sabina and magic mushrooms.

After reading of Wasson’s experiences and then traveling to Oaxaca to experience magic mushrooms for themselves, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, researchers at Harvard University, started the Harvard Psilocybin Project which, of course, got them fired shortly thereafter. They did what any jobless academic would have done in 1962: they started a psychedelic movement. Magic mushrooms were quickly adopted into the 1960s counterculture.

In 1971, psilocybin was listed in the UN’s Convention on Psychotropic Substances [4] as a Schedule I drug in the United States, making it illegal for all purposes. However, psilocybin mushrooms were not part of the UN convention, which, to this day, allows countries who have signed the convention (essentially a treaty) to regulate mushrooms that naturally contain psilocybin as they see fit.

Today, psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in most countries, although there are exceptions (jump to the legality section).

In just the past few years, regulatory bodies such as the DEA and FDA have loosened rules about using psilocybin in controlled research trials more so than any other psychedelic. Exciting new research on psilocybin as both a therapeutic tool and as a part of personal/spiritual development methods has been published and continues to be done today.

Current usage

  • Psilocybin mushrooms are the most commonly used psychedelics among people ages 34 and younger.[5]
  • A 2012 study of 409 university students in the American northeast found that nearly 30% of those surveyed had tried mushrooms at least once.[6]
  • A report from data collected in the 2010 NSDUH study show that, compared to other drugs, hallucinogens — which, according the NSDUH, includes LSD, PCP, peyote, mescaline, psilocybin mushrooms, and MDMA (ecstasy) — were used by about 1.2% of the population of people 12 years of age and older within the past month. Interestingly, prescription “psychotherapeutics” are reportedly used illegally at a rate nearly 6 times that of hallucinogens.
  • Surveys in 12 EU member states found that people aged 15– 24 years old use of magic mushrooms ranges from less than 1% to 8%
  • In the UK, almost 340,000 people aged 16–59 had used magic mushrooms in the last year as of 2004/2005, right before they were made completely illegal in the UK.

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The active psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms is psilocybin. The threshold dose for feeling the effects from dried magic mushrooms is typically in the 0.2-0.5g range, though it varies across individual users. A moderate dose in the 1-2.5g range, taken orally, typically produces a trip that lasts 3 to 6 hours.

Psilocybin is metabolized into psilocin, both which appear to be equally active in producing hallucinogenic effects. Psilocybin is about 100 times less potent than LSD and 10 times less potent than mescaline.

Psilocybin and its metabolite psilocin primarily interact with serotonin receptors in the brain. It has an especially high affinity for the 5-HT (serotonin) 2A subtype receptors. In rodents , psilocybin shows strong interaction with receptors in hub regions of the brain which integrate sensory experiences. This could, therefore, explain effects such as synesthesia and altered sensory experiences during mushroom trips.


Psilocybin is well-tolerated among healthy individuals. Hormone levels, liver function and toxicity, and blood sugar all appear to be unaffected by mushroom use. Complications that have been reported appear to arise in vulnerable individuals under uncontrolled conditions and at high doses. Adverse effects, like “bad trips”, can almost always be managed with interpersonal support and without pharmaceutical intervention.[7]


Not much systematic data exists concerning adverse drug-drug interactions with psilocybin, however anecdotal reports from emergency rooms suggests abstention from alcohol while tripping (it’s best to abstain from alcohol while using any psychedelic).[8]

Since psilocybin is a potent serotonin agonist, it’s best to avoid using it while on any medications that alter the serotonin system, such as SSRI antidepressants like Prozac.



Psilocybin mushrooms can be ingested in their whole form. They’re typically dried and most everyone agrees they don’t taste good. An alternative method is to make a tea with the mushrooms. Some people like to put them in peanut butter or Nutella to mask the taste.

What to expect

A typical trip on a moderate dose of magic mushrooms (1-2.5g) includes increased intensity of emotional experiences, increased introspection and altered psychological functioning in the form of “hypnagogic experiences” — that is, a sort of transitory state between wakefulness and sleep. It is commonly described as a waking dream state, and brain imaging studies show that a mushroom trip is neurologically similar to dreaming.

Perceptual changes such as illusions, synaesthesia (mixing sensory modalities; e.g., hearing colors, tasting sounds), emotional changes, and a distorted sense of time are all characteristic of a mushroom trip as well. These effects are typically felt around 1 to 1.5 hours after orally ingesting a psilocybin mushroom dose.[9]

You’ll begin to notice a change in your perception of the world around you. You may experiences changes in your visual perception such as halos around lights and objects and geometric patterns when your eyes are closed.

Your thoughts and emotions will also start to change. It’s not uncommon to have a sense of openness to thoughts and feelings you tend to avoid in your everyday life. A sense of wonder and delight with the world around you, the people in your life, and your thoughts is also quite common, along with a sense of peace and connection with the world.

Strong emotions are often experienced, good and bad. It’s recommended that you don’t resist these emotions in either direction, but rather let them work their own course. Many who do report strong negative emotions also report a simultaneous sense of calm acceptance and detachment from them, especially if they remind themselves that the emotions are temporary.

Physical side effects can vary from individual to individual and include changes in heart rate (up or down), changes in blood pressure (up or down), nausea, increased tendon reflexes, tremors, dilated pupils, restlessness or arousal, and troubles with coordinated movement.

One study also found that psilocybin can cause headaches in healthy individuals that can last for up to a day.[10] None of the subjects reported severe headaches, however, and psilocybin is actually used by some to treat a clinical condition called cluster headaches (see therapeutic uses section).

Bad trips

Anyone curious about trying magic mushrooms for the first time will inevitably worry some point about having a “bad trip” — dysphoric hallucinations, uncontrollable paranoia and reckless behaviours are usually some the most common worries. Bad trips are certainly possible, but the risks can be minimised by adhering to the 6S’s of the psychedelic experience. Being prepared and knowing your motivations before undertaking a psychedelic experience can help manage the risks.

Effects by dose

NOTE: Effects listed below aren’t meant to be definitively comprehensive, particularly at the lower dose ranges. They may be subject to change as more reliable, more widely representative data becomes available.

NOTE: These dose ranges are for Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms. They may apply to other psilocybin-containing species, but some (e.g. P. semilanceata) are considerably more potent on average.

Microdose (0.05-0.25 g)

  • Mood enhancement
  • Decreased stress
  • Emotional stability
  • Mindfulness, presence, and peace
  • Openness and self-forgiveness
  • Increased empathy and sociability
  • Conversational fluidity
  • Alleviation of persistent conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, PTSD
  • Increased motivation (e.g. to make positive lifestyle changes)
  • Increased focus/productivity
  • Increased flow states
  • Clearer, more connected thinking
  • Improved memory
  • Enhanced senses
  • Enhanced appreciation for music, art, etc.
  • Increased creativity
  • Spontaneity
  • Easier meditation
  • Increased enjoyment of physical activity and everyday tasks
  • Relaxation and increased awareness of body
  • Enhanced athletic endurance
  • Increased energy overall (without anxiety or a subsequent crash)
  • Amplification of mood, positive or negative
  • Slight sedative effect
  • Possible manic states
  • Potentially increased neuroticism

Mini-dose (0.25-0.75 g)

  • Mood enhancement, mild euphoria or excitement
  • Mindfulness, presence, and peace
  • Openness and self-forgiveness
  • Introspective insights
  • Alleviation of persistent conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, PTSD
  • Increased motivation (e.g. to make positive lifestyle changes)
  • Increased flow states
  • Clearer, more connected thinking
  • Enhanced senses
  • Enhanced appreciation for music, art, etc.
  • Increased creativity
  • Spontaneity
  • Easier meditation
  • Increased enjoyment of physical activity and everyday tasks
  • Relaxation and increased awareness of body
  • Increased energy in waves
  • Mild body high
  • Amplification of mood, positive or negative
  • Preference for introspection over socializing
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Very mild visuals, if any
  • Possible manic states
  • Potentially increased neuroticism
  • Difficulty focusing or thought loops
  • Difficulty with some cognitive tasks
  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
  • Difficulty or discomfort socializing
  • Frustration at dosage (too high to be comfortable, too low to be “recreational”)

Museum dose (0.5-1.5 g)

  • Mood enhancement, euphoria or excitement
  • Mild to moderate visuals (e.g. “breathing” environments)
  • Increased empathy
  • Conversational fluidity
  • Introspection
  • Increased flow states
  • Enhanced senses
  • Enhanced appreciation for music, art, etc.
  • Increased creativity
  • Spontaneity
  • Increased enjoyment of physical activity and everyday tasks
  • Finding otherwise mundane things funny or interesting
  • Enhanced athletic endurance
  • Moderate body high
  • Clear come-up, peak, and come-down
  • Amplification of mood, positive or negative
  • Altered perception of sound
  • Time dilation or contraction (time passing more slowly or quickly)
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Pupil dilation
  • Difficulty focusing or thought loops
  • Difficulty with some tasks
  • Difficulty or discomfort socializing
  • Frustration at dosage (at lower end)

Moderate dose (2-3.5 g)

  • Strong euphoria or excitement
  • Sense of peace
  • Mystical experience and feelings of wonder
  • Life-changing introspective or philosophical insights
  • Increased flow of ideas
  • Increased creativity
  • Enhanced senses
  • Enhanced appreciation for music, art, etc.
  • Finding otherwise mundane things funny or interesting
  • Strong body high
  • Clear come-up, peak, and come-down
  • Amplification of emotions, whether good or bad
  • Open- and closed-eye visuals (e.g. patterns, auras)
  • Synesthesia
  • Time dilation or contraction (time passing more slowly or quickly)
  • Sedation
  • Unusual physical sensations
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Wide pupil dilation
  • Compulsive yawning
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Fear and anxiety (“bad trip” experiences)
  • Difficulty with cognitive tasks
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Mega dose (5+ g)

  • Strong euphoria or excitement
  • Mystical experience and intense feelings of wonder
  • Life-changing introspective or philosophical insights
  • Ego death
  • Increased flow of ideas
  • Increased creativity
  • Enhanced senses
  • Finding otherwise mundane things funny or interesting
  • Very strong body high
  • Clear come-up, peak, and come-down
  • Amplification of emotions, whether good or bad
  • Very strong open- and closed-eye visions (e.g. memories coming to life)
  • Visual, auditory, tactile hallucinations
  • Synesthesia
  • Time becoming meaningless
  • Thought loops
  • Sedation
  • Unusual physical sensations and altered perception of physical form
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Very wide pupil dilation
  • Compulsive yawning
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Compromised motor functions (sitter recommended!)
  • Strong fear and anxiety (extreme “bad trip” experiences)
  • Extreme difficulty with cognitive tasks
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness
  • Headaches



“Magic Mushrooms cause brain bleeding, stomach bleeding, and/or Kidney Failure”

A “bleeding brain” would be diagnosed as a stroke, hemorrhage, or aneurysm. There is absolutely no evidence of this ever happening after ingesting psilocybin mushrooms, nor is there any evidence to suggest that magic mushrooms cause stomach bleeding. A report in 1981 found that the two most common complications with mushroom use were dilated pupils and overly sensitive reflexes.[11] Other literature reviews have found no complications of mushroom use in healthy individuals.[12][13]

As for kidney problems, the issue is actually a mushroom identification problem. The hallucinogenic mushroom species Psilocybe semilanceata does not cause kidney issues, but mushrooms in the family Cortinarius are often mistaken for P. semilanceata, and are harmful to the kidneys.

“Shrooms make you go insane”

Researchers have drawn similarities between psilocybin mushroom trips and psychotic episodes like those found in schizophrenia, but in almost all cases, this is temporary (hence, the term “trip”).[14] Even people who are admitted to the emergency room after taking magic mushrooms return to their normal physical and mental state within a matter of hours.[15] In fact, a recent large, population-wide study found a reduced likelihood of psychological distress and suicidality among classic psychedelic (LSD, magic mushrooms, etc.) users.[16]

There is no conclusive evidence suggesting that latent mental health problems can be exacerbated by psychedelic use, although this is a position taken by many scientists. [17] As such, if you have a history of mental illness (especially schizophrenia), it is advised to avoid psychedelic drugs.

“Shrooms are poisonous”

Whether this myth is “true” or not depends somewhat on your definition of “poisonous.” If you categorize a chemical substance as poisonous that induces an intoxicated state, alters your state of consciousness, and causes some physiological changes to occur, then sure, magic mushrooms are poisonous. But if that’s the case, then every single drug is poisonous — alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, caffeine, etc. A narrower definition of a poisonous substance, however, would not categorize mushrooms as such.

It’s important to differentiate mushroom poisoning from non-hallucinogenic species and “intoxication” with hallucinogenic species. Magic mushrooms are not toxic and cause no known major health effects. There are non-hallucinogenic species that can cause you to become physically ill and are toxic enough to cause major damage or, in rare cases, death. Proper identification of mushroom species, therefore, is obviously very important.

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Therapeutic Use


A number of preclinical trials in the 1960s and 1970s suggested a promising role for psilocybin and other psychedelics in treating a number of disorders, including cluster headaches, mood disorders, and addiction.[18]

Since the federal government reclassified psilocybin as a Schedule I drug in the 1970s, research on its therapeutic effects has been virtually non-existent up until recently. Numerous anecdotal accounts of psilocybin’s therapeutic effects have finally caught the attention of medical professionals, with increased funding towards scientific study of psychedelic mushrooms, from groups such as MAPS and The Beckley Foundation.

Psilocybin in the Treatment of Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are often described as the most painful and disruptive type of headache to have. They are more intense than migraine headaches, but they typically don’t last as long. Attacks at night are often more painful and intense than daytime cluster headache attacks, but both obviously interfere in a person’s life significantly.

To date, no systematic studies have been published that describe the treatment potential of psilocybin for headaches, but myriad anecdotal reports have caught the attention of the medical community. In the mid-2000s, medical professionals began taking notice of psilocybin and LSD as possible treatments for cluster headaches after some of their patients reported remission of their condition following recreational psychedelic use (and subsequent self-medication).[19]

One recent survey has reported that psilocybin could be a more effective treatment of cluster headaches than currently available medications, with nearly 50% of sufferers reporting psilocybin as a completely effective treatment. [20]

Psilocybin in the Treatment of Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Anecdotal evidence has pointed towards psilocybin (and other psychedelics) as a treatment for mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Dr. James Fadiman has been collecting such anecdotes for several years now and the overwhelming majority of them have been positive.

The federal government has allowed some very small, highly controlled studies to be conducted on the therapeutic potential of psilocybin on mood disorders. In 2011, a small pilot study was conducted to test the effects of psilocybin on depression and end-of-life anxiety in terminal cancer patients.[21] Patients in this study had advanced-stage cancer and a clinical diagnosis of stress or anxiety related to their disease. The researchers observed significant improvements after psilocybin treatment on measures of depression and anxiety up to 6 months after the trial. This study has now been granted Phase II status by the FDA.

Recently, a prestigious research group in London have carried out a study that suggests psilocybin could be used to treat major depression.[31] 12 patients were given two doses of psilocybin (one low, and one high), combined with psychological support. One week after the second dose, depression scores were significantly reduced in nearly all patients, with 8/12 patients showing no symptoms of depression. Three months later, five patients were still depression-free, and four of the remaining seven had a reduction in the rating of their depression from “Severe” to “Mild or Moderate”.

Psilocybin treatment has also been shown to successfully reduce symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in a small study of patients who didn’t respond to conventional serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) drug therapy.[22] In this study, all patients showed a reduction in OCD symptoms between a 23% and 100%.

Psilocybin in the Treatment of Addiction

The so-called classic hallucinogens were used in preclinical trials to treat addiction in the 1950s and 60s with promising results, but again, once many of these psychedelics were made illegal in the US and most of Europe, research into the use of them in a therapeutic context came virtually to a halt. But recent years have seen a resurgence in using psilocybin and other psychedelics as therapeutic tools to treat addiction.

Psilocybin, as part of an assisted treatment plan, has shown promise in treating alcoholism in non-clinical trials in a recent study from 2015.[23] Significant reductions in drinking and abstinence from drinking were reported after psilocybin administration as part of a treatment program.

Psilocybin also appears to be a potential tool in helping people quit smoking tobacco. In a recent trial, 2 to 3 treatment sessions with psilocybin as part of a larger cognitive-behavioral therapy program for smoking cessation had an 80% success rate with smoking cessation in study participants (12 out of 15 subjects).[24] By comparison, conventional smoking cessation method success rates — gum, patches, cold turkey, etc. — have about a 35% success rate.

Does Psilocybin Re-wire the Brain?

Some researchers are starting to discover that many of psilocybin’s beneficial effects on mental health conditions may be due it its ability to ‘reset’ a control system in the brain. The Default Mode Network, or DMN, has been linked to depression and other mood disorders when overactive. Psilocybin has been shown to dramatically reduce the activity of the DMN,[32] which has recently been linked to its anti-depressant effects.[33]

Read more about the relationship between psychedelics and the DMN here.

Personal Growth


In early trials where hallucinogens were given to healthy adults under supportive conditions, many participants reported lasting beneficial changes in their personality, their behavior, and their values and attitudes.[25], [26] Anecdotal reports in lieu of systematic studies have since corroborated these initial findings as people often report a greater appreciation of music, art, and nature along with greater tolerance for others and increased creativity and imagination for quite some time after a mushroom trip.

More recent studies have also mirrored these early findings. About 40% of participants in several laboratory studies of psilocybin reported positive, long-term changes in aesthetic experience and their relationship with nature.[27]

Another study in 2011 found that for up to more than a year after a single experience with psilocybin mushrooms, personality measures of openness remained significantly elevated in study participants. These researchers speculate that the mystical experience often imparted by a mushroom trip is likely the key even that instigates such enduring changes.

They define a mystical experience as “feelings of unity and interconnectedness with all people and things, a sense of sacredness, feelings of peace and joy, a sense of transcending normal time and space, ineffability, and an intuitive belief that the experience is a source of objective truth about the nature of reality.”

Interestingly, the more intense the mystical experiences a person reports on a psilocybin trip, the greater the positive, long-term changes they see.[28]

These subjective effects — such as feelings of interconnectedness — of psilocybin mushrooms are likely a result of their ability to decrease the interconnectivity of integration hubs in the brain.[29] That is, psilocybin allows for more “cross talk” between brain regions that is typically kept separate, which, researchers speculate, enables a state of “unconstrained cognition.” Many of the same brain activity patterns are also observed during various states of meditation as well.

Recent research has shown that psilocybin can be effectively used to enhance spiritual practice – the large study recruited 75 participants, and engaged them on a 6-month long spiritual course involving meditation, awareness and self-reflection. During the course, participants were given either a low or high dose of psilocybin. At the end of the six months, the participants given the high dose of psilocybin showed significantly greater improvements in measures of spirituality such as interpersonal closeness, life meaning, death transcendence and forgiveness.[34]



Psilocybin is illegal in most countries, but their legal status is open in some places. In the Netherlands, due to a legal loophole, it’s possible to purchase ‘magic truffles’ that contain psilocybin without breaking the law. Psilocybin is legal at least in some form in Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, Jamaica and the Netherlands.

In the United States, while illegal at the federal level, psilocybin mushrooms were deemed legal to grow and possess (as long as they’re not dried) in New Mexico in 2005. In 1978, the Florida supreme court ruled that harvesting wild psilocybin mushrooms was effectively legal until the state legislature says otherwise. No Florida laws have been passed since regulating the harvest of wild-picked mushrooms containing psilocybin.

On May 7, 2019, citizens of Denver, CO voted to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms.[35] This means it’s no longer a punishable offense for adults aged 21 and older to possess them for personal use. It doesn’t make them legal, though. If you’re caught selling or otherwise distributing psilocybin mushrooms, and possibly even growing them, you could still face criminal charges. And obviously the law remains unchanged for the rest of Colorado—at least for the time being.

In June the same year, Oakland, CA followed suit with an amendment of their own. Council members voted unanimously to decriminalize not just psilocybin mushrooms but all “entheogenic plants” containing indoleamines, tryptamines, and phenethylamines. As in Denver, this only applies to adults aged 21 years and older. And it doesn’t include synthetic substances derived from plants or fungi, such as LSD. However, unlike in Denver, it also decriminalizes (or rather deprioritizes for law enforcement) the cultivation and distribution of the specified psychedelics—which include psilocybin mushrooms.[36][37]

With the exception of three states, psilocybin mushrooms spores are perfectly legal to possess in the United States as the spores do not contain psilocybin or psilocin, the chemicals that are specifically regulated by federal law. However, although the spores are legal, growing mushrooms from the spores is still considered illicit activity.

For our full article on the legality of magic mushrooms, click here.

For other legal mushroom products that can boost your health (without the psychoactivity!), check out Four Sigmatic.

Optimize your microdosing efforts

Do you worry about taking too much, not measuring correctly, or losing control of your experience?

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Can psilocybin be detected in a drug test?

Psilocybin mushrooms and their metabolites are not included in most standard drug screens; however they are sometimes included in extended drug screens.[30]

Can psilocybin cause psychological trauma?

If you follow the 6S’s of psychedelic use, and avoid taking psychedelics if you have a family history of mental health issues, psilocybin will not cause psychological trauma.

Psilocybin can cause you to feel crazy for a short time (acute psychosis), known colloquially as a “bad trip,” if you don’t follow the 6S’s. Although there is no concrete evidence, it’s thought that psilocybin might be able to cause latent mental health issues to appear, so don’t take psilocybin if you have a family history of mental health issues.

How do I know if I have psilocybin mushrooms?

Many species of mushrooms contain psilocybin, and some look similar to poisonous mushrooms, so it’s important to identify your mushrooms correctly. Many species of psilocybin mushrooms are recognisable by their long thin stems and short cone-like caps.

Is it legal to grow psilocybin mushrooms?

In most countries, it is illegal to possess, buy or grow psilocybin mushrooms. However, the spores are legal to buy in many places, as long as you don’t use them to grow mushrooms. In some places, it’s even legal to cultivate magic mushrooms. Read our full article on the legality of magic mushrooms.

How do I take psilocybin mushrooms?

Psilocybin mushrooms can be eaten whole, brewed in a tea, or cooked into food. A moderate dose is 1-2.5g, which can be weighed on a scale.

How do I microdose with psilocybin mushrooms?

Psilocybin mushrooms can be microdosed by ingesting around 0.2-0.5g, but everyone’s tolerance is different. Re-dose every four days. Click here for a detailed guide on microdosing.

How does psilocybin tolerance work?

Taking a moderate dose of psilocybin will produce an immediate tolerance. If you take the drug again soon, it will have a weaker effect. You should wait at least three days between psilocybin doses.

Can I mix psilocybin with other drugs?

Psilocybin should not be mixed with Tramadol, as it can lead to serotonin syndrome. Be cautious if mixing psilocybin with cannabis, amphetamines or cocaine. Click here for a detailed chart of safe drug combinations.



[1] Samorini, G. (2009). The oldest representations of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the world.

[2] Passie, T., Seifert, J., Schneider, U., & Emrich, H. M. (2002). The pharmacology of psilocybin. Addiction Biology, 7(4), 357–364.

[3] Teresi, D. (2007, June 3). Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom – Andy Letcher – Books – Review. The New York Times. Retrieved from

[4] Psychotropic Substances.

[5] Krebs, T. S., & Johansen, P.-Ø. (2013). Over 30 million psychedelic users in the United States. F1000Research.

[6] Hallock, R. M., Dean, A., Knecht, Z. A., Spencer, J., & Taverna, E. C. (2013). A survey of hallucinogenic mushroom use, factors related to usage, and perceptions of use among college students. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 130(1), 245–248.

[7] Studerus, E., Kometer, M., Hasler, F., & Vollenweider, F. X. (2011). Acute, subacute and long-term subjective effects of psilocybin in healthy humans: a pooled analysis of experimental studies. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25(11), 1434–1452.

[8] van Amsterdam, J., Opperhuizen, A., & van den Brink, W. (2011). Harm potential of magic mushroom use: a review. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 59(3), 423–429.

[9] Passie, T., Seifert, J., Schneider, U., & Emrich, H. M. (2002). The pharmacology of psilocybin. Addiction Biology, 7(4), 357–364.

[10] Johnson, M. W., Sewell, R. A., & Griffiths, R. R. (2012). Psilocybin dose-dependently causes delayed, transient headaches in healthy volunteers. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 123(1), 132–140.

[11] Peden, N. R., Macaulay, K. E. C., Bissett, A. F., Crooks, J., & Pelosi, A. J. (1981). Clinical toxicology of “magic mushroom” ingestion. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 57(671), 543–545.

[12] Passie, T., Seifert, J., Schneider, U., & Emrich, H. M. (2002). The pharmacology of psilocybin. Addiction Biology, 7(4), 357–364.

[13] van Amsterdam, J., Opperhuizen, A., & van den Brink, W. (2011). Harm potential of magic mushroom use: a review. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 59(3), 423–429.

[14] Vollenweider, F. X., Vollenweider-Scherpenhuyzen, M. F., Bäbler, A., Vogel, H., & Hell, D. (1998). Psilocybin induces schizophrenia-like psychosis in humans via a serotonin-2 agonist action. Neuroreport, 9(17), 3897–3902.

[15] L, S., H, G., & K, C. (2004). Poisonings resulting from the ingestion of magic mushrooms in Krakow. Przeglad Lekarski, 62(6), 394–396.

[16] Hendricks, P. S., Thorne, C. B., Clark, C. B., Coombs, D. W., & Johnson, M. W. (2015). Classic psychedelic use is associated with reduced psychological distress and suicidality in the United States adult population. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 29(3), 280–288.

[17] Nichols D.E. (2004) Hallucinogens. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 101, 131-181

[18] Vollenweider, F. X., & Kometer, M. (2010). The neurobiology of psychedelic drugs: implications for the treatment of mood disorders. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11(9), 642–651.

[19] Sewell, R. A., Halpern, J. H., & Pope, H. G. (2006). Response of cluster headache to psilocybin and LSD. Neurology, 66(12), 1920–1922.

[20] Schindler et al (2015). Indoleamine hallucinogens in cluster headache: results of the Clusterbusters medication use survey. J Psychoactive Drugs, 47(5), 372-381.

[21] Grob, C. S., Danforth, A. L., Chopra, G. S., Hagerty, M., McKay, C. R., Halberstadt, A. L., & Greer, G. R. (2011). Pilot study of psilocybin treatment for anxiety in patients with advanced-stage cancer. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(1), 71–78.

[22] Moreno, F. A., Wiegand, C. B., Taitano, E. K., & Delgado, P. L. (2006). Safety, tolerability, and efficacy of psilocybin in 9 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 67(11), 1735–1740.

[23] Bogenschutz, M. P., Forcehimes, A. A., Pommy, J. A., Wilcox, C. E., Barbosa, P. C. R., & Strassman, R. J. (2015). Psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol dependence: A proof-of-concept study. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 29(3), 289–299.

[24] Johnson, M. W., Garcia-Romeu, A., Cosimano, M. P., & Griffiths, R. R. (2014). Pilot study of the 5-HT2AR agonist psilocybin in the treatment of tobacco addiction. Journal of Psychopharmacology.

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[30] Erowid Psilocybin Mushroom Vault : Drug Testing

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[34] Griffiths et al. (2017). Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviors. J Psychopharm

[35] Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Decriminalization Initiative. Ballot Title and Text. Retrieved from

[36] AP. (2019, Jun 5). The Latest: Oakland 2nd US city to legalize magic mushrooms. Retrieved from

[37] Decriminalize Nature Oakland. Resolution. Retrieved from

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  1. This kind of awareness is very good and would benefit a lot of people in the long run.
    I hope that this will progress and improve people’s lives. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Thank you for having so much information in this article, I used this site for a project in school and it helped out a lot! Thank you!

    • Hi Kaylie,

      That’s great! We love hearing how people have been able to use our resources.

      We’re happy to have you as part of The Third Wave community.

      – Britt at The Third Wave

  4. I have a question

    I bought 2 families of Cubinsis texas golden caps and I left them in a fridge wrap with paper towels in a dark place, they have been there about 1 year, and they look pretty dry with some black spots are they still good? by any chance 🙁

    • Hi Kat,

      Thank you for reaching out! Unfortunately, this is a difficult question to answer as it depends on several factors, such as if moisture got in, temperature differences, etc. I would consider looking for a reliable message board where you can ask an experienced grower. The best way to store your mushrooms is in an airtight container in a freezer, so if they were not frozen, there’s a chance that they could have mold on them and have decreased in potency.

      Best of luck and please let me know if you have any additional questions as I’ll do my best to help!

      – Britt at the Third Wave