The mushrooms you are taking as “Magic Mushrooms” or just “Shrooms” are predominantly brown color (not red cap with white dots!) psilocybe gene fungi with precursor active components of psilocybin, psilocin and baeocystin. Psilocybin is a so-called pro-drug, meaning it is converted to psilocin in the body, which is the chemical with psychoactive properties, creating a so-called “trip”. There are other active components in psilocybe mushrooms contributing to the therapeutic and hallucinogenic effects which are widely under study.


Psilocybin and psilocin are psychedelic tryptamines. Psilocin has a structure very similar to the structure of serotonin, a chemical messenger with important roles in our brains and digestive systems. Because of this similarity, psilocin can bind to receptors in the brain that are meant for serotonin. Binding and activation of serotonin receptor sites correlate with the manifestation of psychedelic effects and one important receptor sub-type is the 5-HT2A receptor.

Although our understanding is incomplete, recent studies have given new insights into how psilocybin works. Notably, it is thought that psilocybin works by suppressing parts of the brain that filter out information from a person’s senses. This would cause more sensory information to reach a person’s consciousness, causing hallucinogenic effects and changes in perception.



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Psilocybin mushrooms produce changes in consciousness, mood, thought and perception that people call a ‘trip’, or a ‘psychedelic experience’. Especially at higher doses the effects can be extremely intense and indescribable. Perhaps the most important consideration someone should make before deciding to take this natural medicine, especially at moderate or high doses, is whether they are likely to find the experience of losing grip on reality distressing. Everyone’s experiences of mushrooms are unique to them, so what may be an easily manageable dose for a friend may be too much for you.

Magic mushrooms can cause people to think about things in odd ways, they sometimes make people feel euphoric, and can cause visual and auditory hallucinations. Hallucinations can be subtle or all-encompassing. Colors may change in tone and intensity, surfaces may move, colorful fractal geometry patterns can form and with high enough doses, objects morph into other things and users may experience encounters with imaginary places and people. There can also be changes in the perception of time, with minutes potentially feeling like hours and vice versa.

Acting and talking normally are likely to become impossible above very small doses. The experience can be spiritual, and some people rank their experiences with mushrooms among the most personally important times in their lives. Equally, the experience can be just a bit of interesting fun or can be regrettable. Possible physical side-effects include nausea and stomach discomfort. Your pupils get very large and you may feel heavy and clumsy. The appearance of delayed headaches can also occur following ingestion of magic mushrooms which may persist for up to 2 days. After tripping, you may feel wiped out and in need of rest. The more you take and the bigger the trip, the greater the chance of unpleasant side-effects and after-effects.

The psychedelic experience is quite often overwhelming, frightening or unpleasantly disorientating, at least for passing moments. Trips which are terrifying throughout are much less common, but they do happen. The risk of horrible psychological effects gets higher with increasing dosages.

It can take between 10 to 60 minutes after eating your shrooms before the effects kick in. A moderate dose will wear off after about 4 hours, although the tail-end of the experience can be long-lasting, with some lingering effects of a strong dose continuing for hours, so driving could still be dangerous and working difficult after a trip. It is important to note that the strength of magic mushrooms is hugely variable, and as with all drugs, different people can respond very differently to the same dose.


For a manageable, pleasant, and favorably impactful macro-dose experience, aka good trip, you should take several preparatory, cautionary and follow-up steps. Followings are 5 essential requirements for securing a good trip:

  1. Set (Mindset & Intention)
  2. Setting (Your Surrounding)
  3. Dose
  4. Sitter (Shaman, Healer or a Therapist in Therapeutic Settings)
  5. Post-Medicine Reflections and Integration

All these steps are crucial to create a transformative, fruitful and memorable experience for you. However, dosing is non-negotiable, as it is what you ingest and take into your body.