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How Long Will Your Shrooms Trip Last and What Should You Expect?
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How Long Will Your Shrooms Trip Last and What Should You Expect?

Seraiah Alexander
Seraiah Alexander
April 12, 2024
11 min

If you’ve ever wondered what makes magic mushrooms so magical, you’re not alone. Whether you’re new to the world of mushrooms or you’ve already had a few trips, you may still have some questions about what to expect from your psychedelic mushroom trip. For instance, how long do shrooms last? And why do they seem to hit everyone a bit differently?

In this article, we’ll explore those questions and more so that you can gain a deeper understanding of the shroom experience. Whether you’re seeking answers for personal curiosity or practical guidance, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the duration of a mushroom trip so that you can be prepared for what might lie ahead on your own psychedelic journey.

How do psilocybin mushrooms interact with the body

Before even considering how long shrooms last, it’s crucial to understand the mechanisms behind magic mushrooms and what you should expect to feel during a trip.

There are two main psychoactive compounds found in shrooms: psilocybin and psilocin. When magic mushrooms are ingested, psilocybin is converted into psilocin. Since psilocin’s structure is so similar to that of serotonin, it can bind and activate serotonin receptors, particularly the 5-HT2A receptor. When this process occurs, the receptors are stimulated in a way that disrupts the normal communication pathways in the brain, leading to the hallmark effects of a psychedelic experience. These effects can include a range of sensory and cognitive changes, notably visual distortions, altered thinking, an enhanced emotional state, and a warped sense of time.

Beyond the immediate psychedelic effects of shrooms, users may experience more long-lasting changes in perspective or mood. Some research even suggests potential therapeutic benefits, including reductions in symptoms of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

Phases of a magic mushroom trip

From the start of your trip to the end of it, there are different phases to expect with their own specific effects. While individual responses can vary, here’s a generalized timeline of the stages of a magic mushroom trip:

  1. Ingestion (0 minutes)

    The initial stage starts the moment you consume the mushrooms. The form of ingestion will affect how quickly the psilocybin is absorbed in your body.

  2. Onset (20 to 60 minutes)

    Most people tend to start feeling the first effects of magic mushrooms within the first 30 minutes. You may notice subtle changes in perception, like more vivid colors or sounds. You may also experience slight nausea or stomach discomfort during this phase.

  3. Come up (60 to 120 minutes)

    During this period, the intensity of the trip will significantly increase. Your emotions and sensory experiences will intensify, leading to feelings of intense joy or existential contemplation. You might also start experiencing time distortion and visual effects like geometric shapes, patterns, and delayed visual trailing.

  4. Peak (2 to 4 hours)

    The peak is the climax of the mushroom trip, where the psychedelic effects are at their strongest. This phase can lead to more intense hallucinations and significant sensory distortions. Many describe having spiritual or profound introspective insights during this period. You may also experience more intense time distortion and feel as though time is standing still or passing incredibly quickly.

  5. Comedown (4 to 6 hours)

    At this point, the effects of the peak will gradually wear off, and you’ll slowly begin to return to your normal state. However, residual effects like slight sensory changes and emotional shifts may persist. You usually won’t be aware that you’re experiencing the comedown until most of the effects have diminished.

  6. Afterglow (6 to 12 hours)

    Post-trip, many users may experience feeling a sense of tranquility, happiness, or heightened perception. Alternatively, it’s possible to experience a mushroom “hangover” and feel fatigued and sluggish. These effects may last until the next day, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

  7. Return to baseline (12 to 24 hours)

    Eventually, you will return to your normal state of mind and body. However, since taking psychedelics can be such a profound experience, some users report a lasting change in their life outlook or perspective long after the effects have worn off.


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Factors that can influence a shroom trip

There are several factors that can impact the onset, duration, and effects of your magic mushroom trip. To plan for the best trip possible, it’s essential to keep these factors in mind:

Biological factors

Just as with many other substances, a person’s body mass can play a significant role in how psilocybin affects them. Usually, larger individuals may require higher doses to experience the same effects as small individuals. However, this isn’t a strict rule, and results can vary widely due to other metabolic factors.

Since everyone’s bodies metabolize substances at different rates, those with faster metabolisms may process psilocybin more quickly, leading to a quicker onset of effects but also a shorter overall experience. Meanwhile, those with slower metabolisms may experience delayed effects that potentially last longer.

The overall health of an individual can also impact the psychedelic experience, as certain health issues, particularly those that affect the liver or digestive system, can alter the way the body processes psilocybin and potentially lead to an unpredictable trip.

Psychological state

The mind’s condition before and during a shroom trip can greatly influence the quality and intensity of a psychedelic experience.

A positive mindset can lead to euphoric and insightful trips, while negative emotions could steer the experience toward anxiety, paranoia, or unpleasant introspection

Furthermore, a person’s expectations about the trip can shift the outcome as well. If an individual goes into the trip expecting a healing and joyful experience, they’re more likely to approach the psychedelic experience with a more open and receptive mindset. In contrast, if they harbor any fears or anticipate a negative experience, it could set the stage for a challenging trip.

In some cases, pre-existing mental health issues can be exacerbated during a shroom trip. Those with conditions like anxiety and depression may find that their symptoms are intensified; however, they may also experience temporary relief from their symptoms during and after the trip. Those with mental health conditions need to consider these potential risks and effects and, ideally, discuss their plans with a healthcare provider before embarking on a psychedelic experience.

Physical and social environment

Set and setting are among the primary factors in determining the outcome and quality of a psychedelic experience. The term “set” refers to the mindset or psychological state of the individual, while “setting” refers to the physical and social environment that the individual is in during the trip.

Being in a familiar and comfortable environment can provide a sense of security and allow individuals to surrender more fully to the experience. Some people may prefer being outdoors in nature, while others may dislike the unpredictability of outdoor settings and would prefer to stay inside during their trip. Preparing the environment in advance can create a setting that supports a positive and insightful trip. Setting up a comfortable environment, selecting relaxing music, and having a reliable trip sitter around can provide a sense of safety and security.

Past experiences

Individuals who have previously used shrooms or other psychedelic drugs may develop certain expectations with the altered states of consciousness these substances induce. Those with positive past experiences may anticipate similar outcomes, while those who have had challenging experiences on mushrooms may approach this trip with apprehension and anxiety. As stated earlier, one’s mindset going into the trip usually has a notable impact on one’s mindset during the trip.

Furthermore, frequency of use can greatly alter the outcomes of a mushroom trip. For individuals who have never done shrooms before or only use them occasionally, the intensity and novelty of the experience can be more pronounced compared to regular users. On the other hand, individuals who use mushrooms frequently may develop a tolerance to psilocybin and require higher doses to achieve the same level of intensity as their past experiences.

Dosage

Dosage is probably one of the top factors in determining the intensity of your mushroom trip. The ideal dosage for everyone may vary, so it’s important to go at your own pace and only take what you’re comfortable with, especially if you’re still unfamiliar with the effects of psilocybin. Please keep in mind that these measurements are based on dry mushroom weight:

  1. Microdose (0.1 to 0.5 grams)

    Microdoses are small doses that are not intended to produce any intoxicating effects but are instead used on a more regular basis to promote some of the proposed benefits of psilocybin. Individuals who microdose report enhanced levels of creativity, mood enhancement, and decreased stress.

  2. Low Dose/Beginner (0.5 to 2 grams):

    Also known as a “museum dose,” this dose range is ideal for first-timers, especially those who don’t want a trip that is too intense. In this range, you can expect slight changes in perception and an enhanced emotional state without any extreme visual hallucinations or loss of reality.

  3. Moderate Dose (2 to 3.5 grams):

    This range is typically considered the standard dose for a full psychedelic experience. On a moderate dose, you’re likely to see more pronounced visual hallucinations like geometric patterns, fractals, and bright colors. Your time and depth perception are likely to be distorted, but you should still have enough control to comprehend the environment around you. Under this dose, you should also expect deep introspection and an overwhelming feeling of oneness with the world around you.

  4. High Dose (3.5 to 5 grams):

    This dosage is recommended for experienced users who want a more intense experience. The same effects of a medium dose will be present, except they will be significantly magnified. A high dose can lead to life-altering revelations, but they can also increase the potential for challenging experiences like unsettling distortions of reality and intense introspection that some may find uncomfortable.

  5. Heroic Dose (5 grams and above):

    Heroic doses, or macrodoses, are definitely not for beginners. Dosing psilocybin this high can lead to ego death and dissociation, so it’s best to approach it with caution. Such doses should ideally be under the supervision of an experienced guide to ensure safety.

Type of mushroom species used

Different types of magic mushrooms have varying concentrations of psilocybin, so it is important to keep the specific species into account.

The most common magic mushroom used is Psilocybe cubensis, or cubes. This species has several different strains, most of which have similar content of psychoactive substances. However, strains like Penis Envy are reported to be around 1.5 to 3 times more potent than other common strains, such as Golden Teachers and B+.

Psilocybe semilanceata, otherwise known as liberty caps, is another popular species of psychedelic mushrooms known for their higher potencies. While liberty caps are usually much smaller than cubes, they can pack a punch even in small quantities.

When dosing your mushrooms, make sure to keep their species and potency in mind for the most controlled trip.

Method of consumption

The method of consumption can greatly influence the intensity, onset, and duration of a psilocybin trip. The most straightforward method of consuming psilocybin is through consuming raw mushrooms, whether dried or fresh. However, since mushrooms contain chitin, a substance that is difficult for humans to digest, consuming them raw can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort.

To mitigate these effects, there are several alternative methods to prepare magic mushrooms. Brewing psilocybin mushrooms into tea can lead to a faster onset of effects and reduce nausea. The trip may also feel slightly shorter since the psilocybin metabolizes faster in this form. Another popular method of preparing shrooms is through a lemon tek, which involves soaking ground-up shrooms in lemon or lime juice. The acid in citruses helps convert psilocybin into psilocin more efficiently, leading to a more intense trip and faster onset. Since this method can intensify the effects of the experience, it’s recommended to reduce your dosage by 20 to 25% to account for the increased potency.

Shrooms can also be purchased in the form of capsules or edibles, but the effects may be slightly delayed compared to eating raw mushrooms. Nonetheless, the overall experience should be similar.

Another thing to keep in mind is whether you’re consuming shrooms on an empty or full stomach. Consuming mushrooms on an empty stomach can lead to faster absorption of the psychedelic compounds into your bloodstream and an increased intensity of the trip. However, since psilocybin can irritate the stomach lining, ingesting shrooms on an empty stomach can lead to more severe causes of stomach discomfort and nausea. Conversely, eating shrooms after a meal can slow down the absorption process and lead to a delayed onset of effects, but having food in the stomach can help reduce nausea for some people since it helps buffer the stomach lining from direct exposure to psilocybin.

Interactions with other substances

Mixing psilocybin with other drugs is not recommended due to the increased risk of adverse reactions. Psilocybin interacts poorly with stimulants like cocaine or amphetamine. This combination can lead to higher blood pressure and heart rate, which could lead to heart attacks or seizures. When mixed with depressants like alcohol or opioids, it could lead to loss of coordination, dizziness, and confusion, which can cause severe accidents. In more extreme cases, this combination can slow down the user’s breathing and heart rate. Psilocybin should also not be mixed with other psychedelic substances since most psychedelics also bind to serotonin receptors.\ Mixing these substances with psilocybin may cause dangerously high serotonin levels, leading to a condition known as serotonin syndrome. This serious condition can result in cardiac arrest, seizures, shock, coma, and potentially death.

Before doing shrooms, you should also ensure that none of the medication you take interacts with psilocybin. For instance, antidepressants, like SSRIs, can reduce the effects of psilocybin and cause unpredictable outcomes for the trip. Additionally, MAOIs may increase your risk of serotonin syndrome. Stimulant medications prescribed for ADHD or narcolepsy can also increase heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels when mixed with psilocybin.

How long do shrooms stay in your system?

Compared to other substances, shrooms have a relatively short half-life and metabolize in the body’s system quickly. Because of this, psilocybin and its metabolites are usually undetectable after 6 hours of consumption. Although several types of drug tests can detect magic mushrooms, the detection window is relatively short. Blood and saliva tests may only detect psilocybin within a few hours of ingestion. Urine tests may be able to detect the substance for up to 7 days following use for heavy or consistent doses, but routine drug tests typically don’t test on psilocybin. However, hair follicle tests can detect psilocybin use for up to three months later.

Side effects of magic mushrooms

Fortunately, magic mushrooms don’t have many major side effects, especially with moderate use. That being said, it’s still crucial to understand the health risks behind psychedelics like shrooms to ensure safe and responsible use.

The main short-term side effects include nausea and vomiting, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and drowsiness. Some users experience heightened anxiety or paranoia, especially with higher doses, and in some cases, a “bad trip,” which can be incredibly distressing and bring up intense negative emotions.

Psilocybin has been found to have a relatively high safety profile and rarely has any long-term effects, but it is worth noting that the substance can still potentially trigger or exacerbate symptoms.

While physical addiction to magic mushrooms is rare, there is a slight risk of developing a psychological dependence. This may especially be a risk for those with substance use disorders or those who use psilocybin as a means to escape underlying issues instead of confronting them directly. As a result, users could find themselves frequently desiring the altered state of consciousness caused by psilocybin, which could lead to chronic use.

Another potential long-term side effect is a condition called Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD), which can lead to recurring visual distortions and flashbacks that can persist long after the original drug effects have worn out. The disorder can affect around 4% of people who have a history of hallucinogen use, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions are at a higher risk of developing it (1).

If you have any questions or concerns about the side effects of shrooms, it is recommended to seek guidance from a healthcare professional or addiction specialist.

A comprehensive knowledge of the duration and effects of magic mushrooms is key to making knowledgeable choices regarding their consumption. While shrooms may seem appealing because of their spiritual and therapeutic uses, one should always understand how long they last and what to expect throughout the trip. Remember, the effects of magic mushrooms can vary widely on several factors, so it’s essential to approach their use with respect and mindfulness, considering both their potential benefits and risks.

References

  1. Kurtom, Muhannad, Ashley Henning, and Eduardo D Espiridion. 2019. “Hallucinogen-Persisting Perception Disorder in a 21-Year-Old Man.” Cureus, February. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.4077.

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Seraiah Alexander

Seraiah Alexander

Content Editor

Table Of Contents

1
How do psilocybin mushrooms interact with the body
2
Phases of a magic mushroom trip
3
Factors that can influence a shroom trip
4
How long do shrooms stay in your system?
5
Side effects of magic mushrooms
6
Navigating risks and ensuring safety
7
References

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