Mushrooms are becoming the next big thing, and that means more questions being asked. Like how to grow them? And if they mix well with weed. And whether or not you can smoke magic mushrooms. So, let’s take a look at that question today, and go over the different ways that magic mushrooms can be used.
Maybe its best not to smoke magic mushrooms, but there’s an entire skin care industry that wants you to put them on your skin; and medical research into skin patches for psilocybin medication. New products are sure to hit shelves soon. We cover everything going on in this growing industry, so remember to subscribe to The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter to stay on-top of everything relevant now. Plus, you’ll also get access to premium deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and tons more! Don’t worry, our offers on cannabinoids like HHC-O, Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC , won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Find all the best products in our “Best-of” lists, and enjoy responsibly!
What are magic mushrooms?
Mushrooms are pretty common, and you’ve probably eaten one before. However, the majority aren’t hallucinogenic, and offer a specific flavor and some health benefits, but no psychoactive high. Magic mushrooms are a group of fungi that contain psychedelic compounds like psilocybin and psilocin. These are similar to compounds like LSD, or DMT, and produce a serotonergic effect, meaning they attach to serotonin receptors to create a psychedelic response. Some examples of popular magic mushrooms include: Panaeolus, Conocybe, and Psilocybe – the most well-known.
Compounds like psilocybin and psilocin are part of a larger group of compounds known as hallucinogens, which are a category of psychoactive drugs. Not all psychedelic drugs create the same reaction, but they are all associated with similar things. These include causing hallucinations, which are sensory experiences that do not actually exist; promoting feelings of spirituality, euphoria, well-being, and connectedness; of creating mystical encounters; and of causing life changing experiences.
Mushrooms vary in how much of the active components they contain, and how strong they are. Like any other psychedelic (and most any compound in general), taking too much is bad and can lead to a ‘bad trip’ wherein the user experiences negative hallucinations, along with physical symptoms like irregular heartbeat, nausea, chills, sweating, vomiting, and anxiety. Getting the correct dose is highly important in guaranteeing a good trip, along with other things like being in comfortable surroundings, and with trusted people.
Mushrooms, and their active ingredients, are all Schedule I in the DEA’s Controlled Substances list. However, mushrooms often fit into a loophole in many places. This is because mushrooms themselves are not scheduled in either the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, or the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. This was backed up in 2001, when INCB’s Secretary of the Board gave this answer to the Dutch Ministry of Health. (INCB is the monitoring agency for UN drug treaty implementation):
“As a matter of international law, no plants (natural material) containing psilocine and psilocybin are at present controlled under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. Consequently, preparations made of these plants are not under international control and, therefore, not subject of the articles of the 1971 Convention.”
Can you smoke magic mushrooms?
Mushrooms have been around for millennia, but by all accounts were generally eaten. And sure, that works just fine, right? But we’re a curious species of animal, and we like to know things. And we like to test things out to see what happens. So its not that surprising that the question arises of can a person smoke magic mushrooms, or inhale them in some way? Now, the short answer is yes, of course! Just light it up and smoke it. But smoking something and eating it are very different, and mushrooms can be scary in how dangerous they are. So it’s not just about whether the material will burn so you can inhale it, but what happens when you do.
The sad answer to this question, and one that might save people some time, money, and frustration from self-experimentation, is no, it won’t get you high. Yes, you can smoke mushrooms without ill effects (though this is not guaranteed), but it’ll also be without all the good effects as well. No hallucinations or spiritual experience, no euphoria and feelings of connectedness and well-being. Though some anecdotal evidence points to it causing a wee bit of a high, the lack of certainty on this indicates that whatever it does do, is mild, and probably not worth it.
Why is this? Well, the question of why it doesn’t work to smoke magic mushrooms hasn’t been thoroughly investigated, but there are some indications about why this would be the case. For one thing, psilocybin is not thermally labile, which means high temperatures will break it down. Smoking requires high temperatures making there little chance of psilocybin surviving being lit on fire. Beyond this, smoking fungi can get mold into the lungs which can bolster allergies or infection. Plus, mushrooms are known to have many dangerous compounds, and how they react to high heat isn’t always known, which means what response you’ll get, isn’t necessarily known.
The thing is, we know that drugs can often be used in different ways. Cannabis can be smoked or eaten, put on the skin, or sucked in through the nose. It can even be stuck in body orifices. Since smoking is a major form of drug taking in general, it can certainly be assumed that people have tried this, along with other applications. And a trip to different forums confirms this notion. Smoking might not be the best way of enjoying standard magic mushrooms, but not all magic mushrooms were created equally.
Can you smoke fly agaric magic mushrooms?
Though we tend to associate magic mushrooms with psilocybin, one of the most prominent of the magic mushrooms has no psilocybin at all. Fly agaric mushrooms – Amanita muscaria – belong to genus Amanita and family Basidiomycota. They got their nickname by their ability to attract small insects. These mushrooms are actually the ones most associated with the visual of magic mushrooms, with the red cone and white spots. They are what’s seen in Mario video games, and are associated with Alison in Wonderland.
These mushrooms are different from psilocybin mushrooms in that psilocybin is not what causes the high. Therefore they are often simply called ‘poisonous mushrooms’, though similar effects take placec. Technically, all mushrooms are ‘poisonous’ in this way, so the distinction doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, except for pointing to a different active ingredient. The active compounds in these mushrooms are muscimol and ibotenic acid. Not only are they entirely different kinds of compounds, but unlike most psychedelics, these compounds aren’t seratonergic. Instead, fly agaric mushrooms effect GABA receptors (gamma amino butyric acid), which are the same receptors targeted by benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and the now non-existent Quaaludes.
Muscimol is a potent GABA agonist, meaning it promotes activity at GABA sites, while ibotenic acid acts on NMDA glutamate receptors, which are responsible for controlling neuronal activity. This is thought to be the primary reason for psychoactive effects.
According to posters in forums, smoking fly agaric mushrooms can possibly lead to psychedelic effects, while others say they got no effects, an amplification of current feelings, feelings of relaxation, or were put in a dreamlike state. Many people did find it to be a pleasurable experience, but anyone considering this should be very careful. Others talked about chest pains, horrible taste, or no good effects. It probably depends on the quantity smoked, as a larger amount could lead to more negative issues. In fact, anyone who does want to try this, would be smart to do it microdose style, and not assume that they can’t be hurt by smoking them, regardless of what someone else posted.
How else can mushrooms be used?
If you want to smoke magic mushrooms, you probably won’t get the effect you want, but what about other modes of ingestion? For one thing, though its technically the same mode of ingestion, mushrooms are often dried and then made into a tea. This, however, still processes it through the digestive tract in the same way.
Magic mushrooms are not generally spoken about historically as a skincare product, but mushrooms have certainly become the break-out skincare additive of today. These products wouldn’t have psilocybin, or any other Schedule I compound, but they do use the general power of mushrooms. This, of course, says nothing about whether psychedelic benefits can be obtained from magic mushrooms in this way.
Recently, researchers at the Terasaki Institute of California, in partnership with the company PharmaThe, have investigated a micro-needle patch for delivery of psychedelic compounds like LSD or psilocybin through the skin. It is being investigated for treating severe pain, anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. The patches have tons of tiny micro-needles which enter the skin surface and biodegrade, leaving their medicine behind.
This is not the first venture of its kind though. Also last year it was announced that medical startup Ei.Ventures was partnering with Tioga Research to create transdermal patches for psilocybin delivery. Said Tioga Research CEO John M. Newsam, the patches “will deploy our proprietary technologies and deep expertise to address key psilocin formulation issues, such as delivery and stability. A transdermal delivery route can circumvent issues with oral administration, such as nausea.” Perhaps using a lotion won’t get you high (and perhaps it will), but it sure sounds like these patches will.
What about direct to the vein?
Now we know you can eat magic mushrooms (tea, edibles, plain mushrooms), that you probably shouldn’t smoke magic mushrooms, but that a magic mushroom cream or patch can be applied to the skin. What about mainlining it? Many medications can be injected IV or IM, in order to get a quick response, and to have maximum bioavailability – the ability for your body to actually absorb compounds and not just expel them as waste material.
There are reports out there of poisonings due to people injecting magic mushrooms. One such case involves a 30-year-old man who injected an extract and suffered vomiting, severe myalgias, hyperpyrexia, hypoxemia, and mild methemoglobinemia. Yet another relates to a guy who injected magic mushroom tea. According to stories, the mushrooms began growing in his veins, and the man entered the hospital with organ failure.
If all this makes it sound like IV injections are probably not the way to go with psilocybin, it should be noted that research has taken place where participants were given psilocybin injections. Of course, an injection in a medical setting, and a couple guys brewing tea or making an extract and then injecting whatever amount into a vein, are entirely different things. It should always be remembered that doing a drug frequently doesn’t make a person an expert on every aspect of it. And when traversing new territory, its best to consider all the dangers.
There you have it. It’s best not to smoke magic mushrooms, or inhale them in any way, and it’s best not to attempt to inject them either. But eat them however you like, and take advantage of the newly growing industry of psilocybin for the skin, to get the best benefits possible.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.