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Disclaimer: Psilocybin mushrooms are potentially illegal substances, 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. We do not encourage using this drug outside of a legal or traditional context. For this reason, if you’re interested in legally consuming psilocybin, you may join Third Wave founder Paul Austin for legal psilocybin retreats in Amsterdam

So, you’ve decided to eat some psilocybin mushrooms.

If it’s your first time, you might feel a bit nervous. That’s appropriate. A psilocybin mushroom trip is an intense experience. This guide will familiarize you with the nature of a mushroom trip, so you know what to expect from that experience.

If you want to make sure your trip has only good vibes and awesome hallucinations, you should read something else. You are not reading that sort of guide.

Not that your trip must be challenging and morbid, but the most important thing you can do to prepare is to accept all the possibilities of experience.

Read our guide to growing psilocybin mushrooms

BE READY

Be ready to feel like someone stepped into your head and shuffled things around, or that they took some things out, or put some things in. Be ready for hysteric laughing fits, awe, profound insights, confusion, anxiety, and discomfort. Be ready for anything.

No amount of mental preparation can compare to the actual experience. It’s one thing to convince yourself you’re ready for anything before tripping, but it’s another thing entirely to have an inexplicable yet sure feeling that the setting sun will bring sinister spirits into the world.

Still, recognizing that anything can happen will make you feel more comfortable as you start to trip. Additionally, if you experience an uncomfortable moment (or three), and you can’t shake it, remember the whole experience is temporary. Your sense of helplessness will subside. Acknowledging the transience of your trip helps to relieve certain stressors.

“Be ready to feel like someone stepped into your head and shuffled things around.”

Here's what you should expect when microdosing

If you’re interested in leveraging altered states for healing and purpose, then you’re probably interested in microdosing. And more importantly, you probably want to learn how to do it in a safe, effective, and valuable way.

That’s why we put together this detailed, step-by-step course.

In it you’ll learn everything you need to know about what to expect from microdosing different substances, including how to prepare and administer your substance of choice, how you’re likely to feel during the experience, and what you’re likely to feel like afterwards.

PEOPLE AND PLACES

People and places can make or break your trip. Treat your future, tripping self like a baby. Set yourself up so that if you do revert to a baby state, you’ll be safe.

One way to insulate yourself against stressful and demanding situations is to go out into nature. Quiet, open space in nature, secluded from strangers and authority or security figures is probably your best bet, just in case you forget how normal people are supposed to behave and freak out.

Another great thing to do is to surround yourself with good people. Tripping alone for the first time is risky, so I would advise you to go with someone experienced. It would be safest and most controlled with a babysitter— someone who has had experience tripping before, that chooses to stay sober to take care of you and whoever else might be tripping. You can learn more about setting up a safe and comfortable environment for your trip here.

I’ve found that having a person who is solid and cool can really help keep things controlled. Once, I was tripping in the backseat of a car with my friends. Some trivial thought freaked me out and sent me into a deep existential crisis. I don’t remember what, but I was stuck in a spiral of worry, and I couldn’t get myself out.

I stopped my giggling and babbling and said something about not knowing anymore. Then I grew quiet and withdrawn. My good friend in the front seat turned around to me and casually said, “Hey, it’s fine. You’re here to have fun.” That simple sentence calmed me down, and from there my whole trip turned around. I thought I was facing some impossible struggle, but my friend straightened me out with just a few words. Go with people you trust and feel comfortable around.

INGESTION

After your preparations, all you have to do is eat the mushrooms. People respond to the taste differently. Most of the people I’ve asked about it didn’t like the taste and had to power through eating them.

Some folks put the mushrooms on top of pizza or another food, to make it more appetizing. Maybe I’m weird, but I’ve always enjoyed the taste. It’s earthy, soft, almost chewy, and similar to the non-magical mushrooms you’ve eaten before.

You may start to feel queasy about an hour or so after ingesting the mushrooms. Your hands might get clammy. Part of this response is due to the chemicals in the mushrooms, and part of it is your body’s normal reaction to ingesting a powerful and novel substance.

ONSET

For whatever reason, people sometimes get this anxiety about whether or not they are tripping. They’ll make comments about not quite feeling it yet, about “kind of” noticing some effects but still downplaying them.

Don’t be one of those people. Don’t micromanage your psilocybin mushroom trip. Just eat the mushrooms, and let them do their work.

Usually, after the queasiness and discomfort subside, you will begin to notice the onset of effects. Since changes in thought are more subtle and difficult to observe, you’ll probably realize you’re tripping by just looking around.

Colors will be more vibrant. They might seem to glow. You’ll notice surfaces glittering or an unusual richness of texture. You will find yourself smiling uncontrollably. You will start feeling giggly.

And then, suddenly… you will be tripping.

Don’t micromanage your trip. Just eat the mushrooms, and let them do their work.

THE TRIP

This is it. This is what you came for. Like I said, be ready for anything. Sometimes, a trip will feel like a whirlwind. You’ll just have to hold on tight and go along for the ride.

Other times, you will have a lot more control during your trip. You’ll feel like you can navigate through a totally new mindset. If you have a trip like this, it’s a good chance to explore yourself or to turn inwards. Consider examining your personal problems, relationships, goals, ideas, beliefs, and fears.

Your sense of time and space perception during a trip gets pretty warped. The distortion manifests itself in beautiful ways— like staring at a flower for twenty minutes without even noticing. However, if you’re experiencing distress, thirty seconds of thought might feel like a deep, anxious struggle that goes on for a half hour. Exercise your power of thought here. Give your attention to something else. There’s no point in keeping yourself in a state of discomfort. Remember your reasons for embarking on your trip.

Really, it’s nobody’s place but your own to say what you should or should not do during a trip. You are about to experience a complete change in your thinking and perceiving of the world. Everything else is up to you.

Here's what you should expect when microdosing

If you’re interested in leveraging altered states for healing and purpose, then you’re probably interested in microdosing. And more importantly, you probably want to learn how to do it in a safe, effective, and valuable way.

That’s why we put together this detailed, step-by-step course.

In it you’ll learn everything you need to know about what to expect from microdosing different substances, including how to prepare and administer your substance of choice, how you’re likely to feel during the experience, and what you’re likely to feel like afterwards.

THE COMEDOWN

Calling it a comedown is misleading. The tail end of a mushroom trip might just be my favorite part. I’ve never experienced any sickness, any disorientation or disillusionment. Compare that to other drugs, like coke, MDMA, or even alcohol. Recently, after a night of heavy drinking, a friend of mine couldn’t even get a few steps out the door without vomiting. Another friend, who was snorting coke and MDMA for nearly the whole night, slept for 15 hours straight, sweating profusely.

Contrary to the deep regret and discomfort that usually follows a long night of hard, substance-fueled partying, the comedown of a magic mushroom trip is always a mellow, introspective, and life-affirming experience.

To me, going on a psilocybin mushroom trip feels like losing my mind. I forget a lot of things that I usually take for granted— simple things, basic concepts. Once, I forgot the concept of gender during a trip. Another time I forgot the concept of purchasing. I once forgot so much that I figured the only thing I knew how to do was give a smile. So, for the next hour or so, I just smiled at everyone until they returned one.

Coming back from a place so far removed from “normal” thinking can be therapeutic. For one, there’s the relief and appreciation of getting all your thoughts back. You start to find the right words for things; you start to recognize more complicated concepts. It’s very exciting. It’s like relearning everything you’ve come to know during your whole life over the period of an hour. There is no other experience quite like it.

On top of that, you’ll notice how imaginary our lives are. During the trip, you’ll be put on a plane of really raw existence. You’ll be stripped of that little voice in the back of all of our heads, endlessly analyzing and ascribing meaning to everything. And when you come back from that, you will notice the voice is not real, and you will recognize how those judgments and fears feel artificial and contrived.

The comedown of a psilocybin mushroom trip is always a mellow, introspective, and life-affirming experience.

AFTERWARD

When trying mushrooms, you will feel, think, and perceive new things. Whatever insights you might have encountered on your psilocybin mushroom trip, keep them in mind over the next few days. The mushrooms themselves won’t automatically change your life. But if you treat the trip as educational, if you don’t disregard it as just stupid fun, you will find that your life will be positively affected, as if the trip was a catalyst for a host of changes waiting to happen.

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Comments

  1. Wow I really agreed with what was said. Just wondering if anyone else has felt like walking around on a mushroom trip was similar to astral projection. It was so hard at times to get around physically, mentally it was the most amazing thing ever! My body was slightly hello like and I really had to concentrate to move it correctly.
    Thanks again for your experience.

    • I love being a hippie, now I know drugs can be a good thing in life like love drugs and even benefit you in your life. I really agree with you too and this amazing just stupendous article.

    • I like to mix LDS, Nushrooms, eNscaline and Balcohol all at the same time. The trip lasted for days and was unbelievable. I wennt to places I’ve never ebeen or seen. Hiighly recommened.

  2. Great write-up. I plan on taking shrooms for the first time soon. What I’m hoping for is a proper “ego-death” experience. Would love for you guys to write an article on that subject.

  3. Wow that pretty much sums it all up.having done this on many occassion the one thing ive realized is that each trip is just that…a Unique, terrifying, fun, and insane experience.there is no single definition to it. It is unique in its own way. Like mother earth intended.

  4. That was pretty solid & on point in comparison to my own experience. Thanks for this. I would love to hear more research on findings.

  5. I had my first trip yesterday and as soon as it came on I just saw the wall moving back and forth and changing colors. Later I walk into the bathroom and the wood grain on the wall is morphing in and out. Later on in the trip I walk in the living room were my mom is and she is watching tv and it is a some kind of drug commercial and it is going thro the side effect list and the sound starts looping and it kinda sounds like Russian or something it kinda freaked me out but other than that it was an amazing trip.

  6. I did shrooms for the first time a couple weeks ago and I love, love, love this explanation. I would love to hear more!

    • The Pyro tendencies is locked in the dark corners of your mind where your fear comes from you don’t need mushrooms need counseling and anger management

  7. This is a great article, everyone should read this concise and down-to-earth message about an out-of-this-world ride.

  8. I recently had a very bad experience. Don’t get me wrong the trip was amazing but it was not worth the price. I had taken plan b earlier in the day and later decided to trip so I made some shroomaid only using about an 8th. I have tripped 3 times prior and had felt like I knew what I was doing. But the whole time after consumption was not very good. I think that there should a warning on here to help out woman and prevent them from combining plan b with shrooms because my body overdosed on serotonin, if my boyfriend wasn’t a CNA I could have died.

  9. Can you go more in depth about an “inexplicable yet sure feeling that the sun setting will bring sinister spirits into the world”

    • Not speaking for Paul, but from personal experience when under the effects of mushrooms lighting changes can have profound effects on your mood or direction of the trip. Almost every time I have tripped outside I have been able to perceive even minute fluctuations in light, such as a thin cloud passing over the sun. This change in lighting usually corresponds to a change in my thought patterns, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will always think sinister spirits are coming with nightfall. I think he was throwing out a possible example of what could occur in your mind state with something as ordinarily trivial as the setting sun.

  10. I HAVE HAD MANY DOZENS OF EXPERIENCES WITH SHROOMS, AND NEVER HAD A “BAD TRIP” PER SE, BUT UNDOUBTEDLY SOME WERE “WAY MO’ BETTA” THAN OTHERS. THE ABSOLUTE BEST TRIPS HAVE BEEN WITH A GIRLFRIEND OR MY WIFE, DEFINITE PRE-AGREED UPON PLANS FOR SEXUAL EXPLORATIONS WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS, JUST CALM & CLEAR COMMUNICATIONS. WOWEE! WOWEE! WOWEEEEEEE!!! IS THE BEST WAY I CAN DESCRIBE THOSE TRIPS. TRY IT AND SEE IF WHAT I’M SAYING ISNT THE TRUTH…YOU CAN THANK ME LATER..

  11. I did psychedelics, (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and peyote) for the first time in 1968. I probably did psychedelics close to two hundred trips, the very last time being psilocybin a couple times in the mid-eighties. Well now that I’m a senior citizen a have a friend that has started growing some shrooms and I can’t wait to try some.
    FYI, I don’t drink, and had to quit smoking pot several years ago because of Afib, I can’t find any info about psilocybin and Afib, but at this stage of my life I’d love to do psychedelics one more time……………..

    • I enjoyed many experience in college such as the ones you listed, Scott. I had many “conservative” years following that in the Navy, then I had aortic valve surgery which scares me to do anything that may harm my health.

      I have always wanted to try a mushroom high, now I have access to a farm and have seen a few cubensis mushrooms around the pastures. Point being I’m not sure if this trip would be risky considering my past heart surgery. I’m in great shape with no real issues to speak of, but just a bit shy of any potential health risks.

      • The Third Wave has written an article addressing psychedelics and heart risk

        From the little we know, due to limited research available, psychedelics activate the 5-HT2B receptor. Other drugs that activate that specific receptor (ex; weight loss drug called fenfluramine) have lead to the development of heart diseases. It is speculated that LSD and MDMA affect the 5-HT2B receptor more strongly than psilocybin, however, due to limited scientific evidence, this information must be taken with a grain of salt.

        As always, it is best to consult with a medical professional to see how taking anything that activates the 5-HT2B receptor will interact with your existing condition.

        I hope you find this information helpful and please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions!

    • I am going to need aortic operation. I am 62 and hope to put it off until I reach 65 and can draw from my 401k. I average 27 miles/week walking and hiking in hilly woods. I am a mushroom club member. Have seen a few magic mushrooms growing in the environmentally sustainable parking lot in town. I am looking forward to there reappearance this year.

  12. Not my reaction at all…I tried a relatively small dose and spent the first 90 minutes or so throwing up even though my stomach was quite empty…after that I drifted in and out of a somewhat calm but dizzy mental state where I felt something was talking to me and almost taunting me that it was “testing” me to see if I was ready for a stronger experience…it was quite scary

  13. very good article – I went to Amsterdam yday to try and it was without doubt the craziest thing thats ever happened to me. Wish I bloody read this before trying them so I could comprehend what the fuck was going on.

  14. I never experienced fear on mushrooms, only good feelings, love, playfulness plus I see a backgound of comedy and ridiculosuness in everything. Even when having deep visual hallucinations and color storms (which I find distracting), I’m still waiting for a bad trip. I never forget things either, I have the subjective feeling that I can think very clearly. I guess everyone is different.

  15. I have gone shrooming several times and each time was a positive experience. I’m a senior citizen (70) and have a demon I want to excise from my soul. You see I suffer from rage, on the outside I appear calm, cool and collected; inside, I’m on a slow burn about everything. What I want to do is set the stage for positive afformations to change my character from negative to positive. I believe such a transformation is possible, doesn’t anyone have any recommendations, cautions or suggestions to assist me on my trip?

    • Robert, transformation is definitely possible. Psilocybin gives us the ability to heal ourselves. Take the mushrooms in a safe space. Settle in with eyeshades, put relaxing music in your headphones, and follow the path that your mind provides. Be prepared to face the demon and pay attention to the images you see. If it feels weird or scary, keep going, push through the bad stuff and it will become easier. Later, when you come down, talk it through, write it all down, and consider what your mind was telling you.

  16. I recently took shrooms in Joshua Tree, inside of a tipi. I got stuck in this mind loop that we never actually die and just relive the same life over and over again. I couldn’t let it go and needed my brother to understand this fact. He couldn’t, so I walked in to the mountains moses style expecting to talk to god and have my beard turn white. I now have a renewed curiosity in God.

  17. Thanks for this article, and thanks to those who shared their experiences. I am going to embark on my first psilocybin journey in the very near future. I look forward to the experience!

  18. I live in NYC. I want to have a guided trip with psilocybin. I would like to contact a compitant and experienced person to be with me when I trip. Does anyone have a person to recommend? Thank you.

    • Hello, due to the legal status of psilocybin in the US we cannot provide you with that information.

      There are many retreats around the world that allow people to experiment with psilocybin in safe, legal, controlled environments. Paul Austin has recently started a psilocybin retreat in Amsterdam called Synthesis.

      The Third Wave published an article with a list of countries in which psilocybin is legal:

      https://thethirdwave.co/legality-psilocybin-mushrooms/

  19. Thank you so much! I am in a play and my character accidentally eats “magic mushrooms” and I wanted to know how it felt like so that I could accurately play the role better. This is a great article, it is very informative and it is well written.

  20. I’ve done shrooms about five times now, and even though I find myself taking about the same dose each time, each trip has varying intensities. My first trip was extremely mental; with barley any hallucinations, and this was about a month and a half ago. My last trip, which was two days ago was my best trip yet: moderate hallucation with wall warping, colorful aztec like patterns, and this weird static like movement and color to everything that I wasn’t focused on. for example, me and my best friend who was also tripping walked into the woods and while I was looking at him, the trees around him were moving in a static like manor with small dashes of color thrown in. Mentally, I felt childlike, giggly and happy with a sudden understanding for the unhealthy behavior patterns in my life. I felt intense love for the nature around me, and the people in my life. This trip helped me to realize how important it is to give love to the people that you incounter, because love is beautiful and everyone deserves it, so why aren’t you the one spreading it. That’s like one of the hundred lessons that I learned on this trip.

  21. I have first tried mushrooms a year ago. For me, it was one of my best trips in my life – have tried ketamine ( meet God twice, was transcending ) and ectasy.

    As a mind-expanding drug, I saw a lot of things on shrooms: spirits, aliens, and a sense that everything is connected by same conscience – everybody is God, but on different levels….

    It changes the way I look at existence, death, life…

    Never had a bad trip on shrooms – only with K: first time was a little scared, but now I can have control and can jump out

    Mushrooms show me that this existence is just one of infinite existences

  22. I’ve always wanted to try that out. Although, as crazy as it sounds, Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in the Philippines. A lot of my friends had done it and they all said it was good. Although the trip may vary on the way you carry yourself. I’m not entirely convinced that it would give you a bad experience if you’re too “wary” about what’s going to happen. I believe it’s on the way you treat the experience that you are going to have. I’m not sure. Like I said, I have never done it yet.

    A lot of people that I know, though they really exerted a lot of effort to hunt (not grow) shrooms, are people who basically think taking drugs is cool and not for something spiritual nor for expanding the knowledge about them. I do need a good person that could handle me should I have a bad trip.

    Thanks for sharing this, by the way. Really learned a lot. I think if my experimentation will be successful, if I can successfully grow my own shrooms, I’ll be happy to get back here and share my experience. Wish me luck. Thanks.

  23. Just tripped on more mushrooms than I ever have before, probably about an eighth, and it was the most amazing experience. I was utterly consumed by the universe. My body was pretty much incapacitated, my mouth agape, and my pupils were the size of olives.

    Totally agree with the realization that this world is imaginary. Literally all that matters is love. All there is, is love. God is love. I felt this unity with God. I felt like Adam in the Garden, the first human created in God’s likeness, only to be cast out.

    I had a newfound appreciation for my body, my hands, my arms, my head, the wonder of it all. My eyes were open to the vastness of the universe, as my soul expanded out into the universe, intertwining with everything else, all the energy.

    It’s an ancient state, a primal state. I honestly felt like I died and was reborn as I came back into my body. Realizing my soul has done this countless times. Its overwhelming but actually really comforting.

    Music was a huge part of it. Listened to Bob Marley on the come up, Beatles during the peak (the Love album, highly recommend), some personal favorites and then Glass Animals on the come down. Music really speaks to the soul while you’re in that state. But I’m thinking next time I might go out into the woods with no music next time I take this much (or more), and see what that experience is like, if I’m able to navigate thought a little more.

    Okay rant over, just needed to get my experience out there.

  24. I recently found some psilocybin cubensis and mexicana growing in the field next to my parents house. I must say, this explanation is great, don’t forget though that mushrooms seem to be some sort of entity that can guide you through your mind in very great ways. The last time I had some I felt like the presence of a wise old man, who made me laugh at the absurdities of life. Now I have the spores, and am working on inoculating the cow pastures all around the ranch.

  25. Thank you. This rings of sage advice and about as clear a picture of the diversity of profound experience that might be encountered as can be painted. As a child of the 60s I’ve had a couple psychedelic experiences, a couple very beautiful and helpful in long lasting ways. I think a key is to consider why it’s called a trip in the first place. You wouldn’t travel far without planning, without rest, and without counting the cost. If you respect the substance enough to go slow and plan, you may get a desperately needed attitude in life that will set you on the path you somehow forgot you were always meant to be on.

  26. Hello
    Im 41 divorced lady and live in london would love to meet up with like minded people in amsterdam this summer and have some mushrooms and be out in nature. I have never tried before but taking charge over my weight and fasting also meditating i have felt really close to the creator and also i would like to make more friends.

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