3.2.7 Magic Mushrooms

Magic Mushrooms #

Binomial / Botanical Name Psilocybin Mushrooms
Street Names Shrooms
Major Active Compound Psilocybin
Indigenous Source Widespread
Form Fungus
RoA Oral
Personal Rating On Shulgin Scale ++


This was another trip which was undertaken in South East Asia, where at the time psilocybin mushrooms were legal and were openly on sale. It was also to be another group experience, shared with fellow travellers.

I recall that the vendor offered us a dose to “take us to the moon”. How could we refuse an offer like that? The mushrooms themselves came in inflated transparent plastic bags, which he had stored in a fridge. He offered to serve them in milk shakes but given a degree of paranoia regarding the police, we preferred the idea of eating them raw in a hotel room.

They tasted, unsurprisingly, like raw mushrooms. They were edible but not exactly tasty. Being greedy I ate my bag, and almost a half of someone else’s, who was rather more circumspect. Perhaps I would get beyond the moon, possibly to mars.

The ride didn’t take too long to start; perhaps half an hour to an hour. As the headspace emerged, the paintings on the walls became more noticeable, and the colours more vibrant. Essentially, the traditional experience was emerging.

In actual fact, it didn’t go too far, so the dose was not as high as the vendor had implied. Having stated this, there was the television incident.

We became immersed in, of all things, BBC World News. The stories were fascinating, and I found myself providing non-stop commentary and narrative to my non-British colleagues. I have no idea why, but it seemed to be appropriate.

We were also engrossed by the visuals. There was a sort of heavy drifting and double vision going on, and it was constant. Remarkably, we all shared it.

The OEVs were particularly groovy

The OEVs were particularly groovy

I lost track of how long this continued for, but it must have been for close to an hour. Then someone changed the channel. Wallop! It suddenly struck us. We had been watching a 3D channel without the glasses, and hadn’t even realised. We had simply assumed that the blurry edges were a manifestation of the psilocybin.

At this point we grasped that maybe we weren’t as far gone as we thought we were. However, colours were still enhanced, and the headspace was still there. There was overall warmth, empathy, and a great vibe.

This continued into the night, as we slowly came down. It had, in fact, been an extremely enjoyable and memorable experience.

Such frivolity, however, grossly misrepresents a picture that includes the potential to embark upon journeys of incredible discovery and self-reflection. Shrooms are also commonly known to address ailments such as depression and addiction.

The former aspect is certainly on my agenda for the future, and will be reported in this book should I fulfil this objective in time for publication.

Despite their benign safety profile, and incredible potential, fresh magic mushrooms were classified in the UK as a Class A drug in 2005. In the United States psilocybin (and thus magic mushrooms) had fallen foul of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970.


The intensity of the magic mushroom experience varies from the barely perceptible effects of a micro-dose (often used as part of a routine) to the complete immersion of Terence Mckenna’s favoured “heroic dose” (++++ on the Shulgin scale), which was 5 dried grams in total darkness. In establishing dose, it is also important to note that there is significant variance in potency between species and batches.

When I first acquired the most widely known species, psilocybin cubensis, which Erowid cites as medium strength, I was provided with the following guide:

<1g Light
1-2g Common
2-4g Strong
4-5g Heavy
5g + Heroic

This broadly aligns with most of the established online sources.

2g of dried psilocybe cubensis with 1€, 1£ and 25 cents

2g of dried psilocybe cubensis with 1€, 1£ and 25 cents

Again with shrooms of average potency, it is commonly suggested that a dose under 1g will usually create a light socially compatible experience, 1-2g will invoke a moderate psychedelic ride, 2-3g will produce a classic trip, 3-4g may send you flying (with loss of social functionality), and above 4g may render a full-on hallucinogenic state, with total loss of normal reality and distortion of perception.

It is extremely important to consider the appropriate set and setting for the dose and to dose responsibly, particularly if you are inexperienced. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, onset time is usually half an hour to an hour, and the main part of the experience will typically last 4 to 5 hours or so, often with quite a long tail.

Change your currency here… and don’t forget your magic mushrooms

Change your currency here… and don’t forget your magic mushrooms