What are Magic Mushrooms?

Magic mushrooms, also known as shrooms, refers to any of a number of mushrooms that cause hallucinations and other psychedelic effects. The most common variety of mushroom used is psilocybe semilanceata, commonly referred to as the liberty cap mushroom.

Magic mushrooms vary in strength and toxicity. The ‘fly agaric’ or amanita muscaria mushroom is significantly stronger than the more common liberty cap mushroom.

Magic mushrooms can be eaten raw, or can be dried out for storage. Fly agaric mushrooms are more often dried, as the raw mushroom can make the user quite ill and the risk of poisoning, even death, is higher with this variety. Some people like to drink a tea made of the dried mushrooms. Drying the mushrooms reduces their weight, though the strength is unchanged.

What do they look like?

Magic mushrooms look much like many other varieties of mushroom that has been dried.

How are they used?

Dried magic mushrooms can be eaten or brewed into a tea. Raw mushrooms can be eaten as they are or cooked into food.

Short-term Effects of Magic Mushrooms

Using magic mushrooms causes a ‘trip’ which is milder than that caused by L.S.D., and usually lasts about four hours. Magic mushroom are very relaxing and users typically laugh a lot. Some varieties of magic mushroom may cause stomach ache, nausea, or diarrhoea. Because magic mushrooms resemble some poisonous varieties of mushrooms, taking one of these poisonous mushrooms can make users very sick, and can even be fatal.

Users who are anxious or depressed before they start using magic mushrooms are more likely to experience a bad trip. These experiences can be scary and, once started, cannot be stopped.

Long-term Effects of Magic Mushrooms

Used regularly, magic mushrooms can complicate existing mental illness or even lead to mental illness.

Legal Status

Raw magic mushrooms are legal, provided they are not processed in any way. Drying or stewing magic mushrooms changes their legal status to a class A controlled substance.

Photo Credit: Jerry Silfwer on Flickr