Magic mushrooms & truffles

What are magic mushrooms and truffles?

Mushrooms and truffles are psychedelics, or hallucinogens. Mushrooms (magic mushrooms, shrooms) are a type of mushroom that contain the substances psilocybin and/or psilocin. Truffles (sclerotia) can contain the same substances. There are different types of mushrooms and truffles that contain different amounts of the psychoactive substance.


Effects

The effect of a substance is determined by the properties of the substance itself, but also by the user’s set and setting. Here we describe the effects of mushrooms and truffles in general.

Mushrooms and truffles change your perception, consciousness and thought processes. During a hallucinogenic trip you may sometimes feel great, almost euphoric. Other times you may just feel calm and harmonious. However, it may also make you feel anxious or insecure. You will notice that you see things that are not there, or that your surroundings look different than usual. Another curious effect is that your perception of time changes. You may be doing something for ten minutes, but it feels like you’ve been doing it for an hour.

Positieve effecten (negatieve) Bijwerkingen

Altered sensory perception

How you perceive your environment changes, this can affect all of your senses. Sometimes, this could make it seem as if your surroundings differ from reality. More information about tripping and hallucinations can be found here.

Nausea/vomiting

An uneasy and tense feeling in the abdomen, which may cause discomfort. Nausea often precedes vomiting.

Changes in thought patterns

You more quickly form logical and illogical associations, but your thoughts may also become more chaotic and confused. For the user, this could be either a positive or negative experience.

Paranoia and delusions

Anxiety, paranoia and delusions (e.g. the idea that people are talking about you).

Euphoria, feelings of love

This substance can make you feel euphoric, like you are in love. You feel comfortable in your own skin and can experience things as pleasant more quickly.

Dilated pupils

Due to an increased noradrenaline level in the body after taking certain drugs, the pupils become larger. The pupil size is influenced by many different processes. Increase in noradrenaline plays a role in some of those processes.

Increase in blood pressure and heart rate

Due to increased cardiac stimulation, heart rate and blood pressure rise.

Laughing fits

Spontaneous and uncontrollable laughter, sometimes without anything humorous happening.

Increased sweating

In response to the increased stimulation and changes in body temperature, the skin will start to secrete sweat to cool the body temperature back to normal levels.

Mood swings

Using this drug may cause mood swings in users. These mood changes may be either positive or negative, and often alternate between extremes.

Dizziness

Changes in perception of time

The passage of time could feel altered during ketamine use. Some parts of the evening fly by, while some parts feel a lot slower. When you are feeling comfortable, it can be nice that the feeling does not seem to stop. But if you feel uncomfortable, this can be a bothersome experience. So this effect can work both ways.

More intense music experiences

Music can be experienced louder or more intense. For example, it can feel as if you are completely ‘absorbed’ in the music or that you feel the low tones from the music go through your body more intensely.

More intense experience of touch

Physical/physical contact with other people feels different or more intense than usual. Giving a hug to someone else can be very pleasant. It can also happen that you prefer not to touch others because this can be too intense. This effect can therefore be both positive and negative.

Spiritual experience

This drug can bring about a spiritual experience. This can be experienced as a special ‘flow’ that you end up in. This allows you to see the world or yourself in a different way and you can gain new insights.


Dose and method of use

In general, magic mushrooms and truffles are taken orally (= by mouth). You can eat them as is, but the taste is found to be unpleasant, sour and nutty by many. This is why most users choose to make tea or soup from it, or eat chocolate containing the substance. Baking with mushrooms is not recommended;  at higher temperatures, such as in the oven, the active ingredient deteriorates. It is also possible to smoke the mushrooms, if they are well dried, though the effect is less strong than when they are eaten.

A hallucinogenic trip can’t be stopped right away, so it’s recommended to start with a lower dose and build up the dose if you want to experience stronger effects. It is best not to eat 2-3 hours before the trip. The less you eat beforehand, the sooner the effect is noticeable. Don’t take more if you don’t feel well. When using it for the first time, always take a low dose to get familiar with the effects and to see if you enjoy it and how sensitive you are. It is better not to take a very large dose in one go, as you will only know how strong the effect is an hour later.

For the dosage, it is important that you know the difference between fresh mushrooms and dried mushrooms. Dried mushrooms contain much less water than fresh mushrooms, and are therefore stronger. The amount of psilocybin or psilocin differs per mushroom, so determining the dose will be an approximation.

Usually 15-30 grams of fresh Psilocybe cubensis (Mexican) is taken, which corresponds to 1.5 – 3 grams of dried mushrooms or 10-30 milligrams of psilocybin (0.6-1% psilocybin per gram of dried mushrooms). This is a dosage for a strong trip. If you want a milder trip or if you are using it for the first time, take a little less, for example 7 grams (fresh weight of the Psilocybe cubensis).With truffles the dosage for a normal trip is around 5 to 9 grams and a stronger trip starts between 10 and 15 grams.


Duration

The effects of mushrooms and truffles will be noticable after 20 to 40 minutes. If you have eaten a lot in the hours before ingesting mushrooms or truffles, the effects may come up much slower. You will feel the peak of the effects after 1 to one and a half hours after ingestion, after which it slowly decreases. You usually feel the effects in waves, sometimes more intense and sometimes less intense. Smoking cannabis or hash may unexpectedly initensify and elongate your trip, so combining the two is not reccomended.


Risks

There are few known physical risks of psilocin. There is no scientific evidence that psilocin causes brain damage. However, little research has been done on this specific subject. It is therefore impossible to say that brain damage has never occured due to psilocin use.

Psilocin and psilocybin are not physically addictive. The risk of mental addiction is also low; this is in part because of fast tolerance built up. If you were to take mushrooms again a few days later, the effects would be drastically reduced.

Short term risks

Triggering a drug-induced psychosis

Frequent and high-dosage ketamine use can increase susceptibility to developing psychosis. During a psychosis, you may suffer from delusions, hallucinations, losing your grip on reality, and you could become very anxious. It becomes difficult to differentiate between reality and your thoughts. Your behaviour and thought patterns are often erratic and chaotic.

It is still unclear whether this can only be triggered in people who are already predisposed to psychosis, or whether regular drug use and an unhealthy lifestyle (e.g. little sleep) by itself can induce psychosis.

Using ketamine consecutively for days without sleeping, resting and eating exhausts your body, and therefore increases the risks of psychosis. Does someone in your environment react erratic and anxious? You can help that person by removing distractions (music, TV off for a while) and finding another environment where that person can get some rest. Speak calmly, be understanding and, if necessary, go outside together. Do not deny or confirm any delusions and if it does not get better, call a general practice centre. Medical staff are there to help you and can, if necessary, arrange a consult, write a prescription or provide care in another way.

Read more about psychosis in this article.

Experiencing a bad trip

You may be overwhelmed by the intensity of your ketamine experience. Such an experience can certainly be frightening for inexperienced users, and is called a ‘bad trip’. A bad trip, for example, manifests itself in confusion as a result of a dose that was too high. However, it can also arise because someone no longer has his/her thoughts under control.

In such a situation, it is important to put the person’s mind at ease. Explain to them that the situation they are in is a result of the drug and that things will be well again in a short time.

Give the person in question as much rest as possible, preferably in a familiar environment. Accepting the situation is often the first step a person needs to take to sit out the trip in calmer waters. Using hallucinogens when you are not feeling well or in an unfamiliar/busy environment increases the chance of unpleasant experiences during the trip and is therefore not recommended.

Read more.

Eating the wrong mushrooms

Some mushrooms that look like magic mushrooms can be poisonous! Looking for mushrooms or truffles yourself in nature is not recommended. It can be quite difficult to distinguish the different types.

Long term risks

Psychological dependency

When someone has a psychological dependency, they are convinced that they cannot function without using the substance.

However, there is no physical change in body chemistry that would produce bodily side effects from quitting the substance.

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD)

HPPD is a condition in which a person has flashbacks to previously experienced hallucinations or distortions from a psychedelic trip. Read more about visual snow, HPPD, depersonalization and derealization.


Interactions

Combining different types of drugs can be risky and unpredictable. When you combine drugs you can have a higher risk of health problems. In the following paragraphs you can read about the effects and the risks of a number of combinations that occur frequently and also a about few that are extra hazardous. Also check our theme combining drugs.

Psychedelics and alcohol

Because of the psychedelic you have energy and you are less tired. As a result, you may feel the sedating effects of the alcohol less and you may have a tendency to drink more alcohol. Be careful, because this can cause an extra large hangover. So do not drink alcohol when you are tripping or agree with yourself or your friends in advance how many glasses of alcohol you want to drink. This prevents headaches the next day and is better for your health!

It can also make the trip more vague. You have less control over the trip because of the alcohol. This gives a greater chance of a difficult experience. You are disinhibited by the alcohol. You may end up doing things that are stupid or dangerous. Especially if you can no longer think logically because you are tripping, this can lead to dangerous or unpleasant situations.

Benzodiazepines and psychedelics

A benzodiazepine may sound like a good solution if someone is having a difficult experience on a psychedelic. Read more about that here. In the best situation, however, you solve it in a different way. See also this article.

  • Persistent bad trip? Try to work it out yourself first, for example by talking to people in your environment, or by changing your environment.
  • Doesn’t all this work? And do you remain afraid or anxious? Then it is possible to take a benzodiazepine, because this inhibits the anxiety. For example, oxazepam (Seresta), and for long-term anxiety suppression diazepam (Valium).
  • Please note: your trip will become less, you will become less anxious, but in principle the drug will continue to work. Only you have a less anxious / intense experience of your trip.
  • Have you had a bad trip? Then find out what caused this. Was it your environment, your friends or are there things in your life that are not going well at the moment, which made your trip negative. You can learn from a bad trip and you can counteract this learning effect by using benzodiazepines. So don’t get into the habit of taking a benzodiazepine too easily to control your trip/turn yourself off.

Cannabis and psychedelics

If you smoke weed during a trip, it can make for a more intense trip. Keep that in mind. There are users who have later experienced that they relived certain trip effects while smoking weed, as a kind of vivid memory of a previous experience. This can be very scary and confusing. If you experience this, we advise you to stop smoking weed.
It can also suddenly change the direction or vibe of a trip. This new direction isn’t always positive. So before you smoke weed, think about whether it will improve the experience.

Laughing gas and psychedelics

If you are tripping and you take nitrous oxide, it can cause very intense effects. That can be fun, but it can also be so intense that it scares you. If you decide to combine, make sure you take the time and space for it. Find a quiet spot and sit or lie down.


Unity Tips

Using hallucinogenic drugs always comes with certain risks, as there is a chance of a bad trip and of exacerbating (underlying) psychological issues. If you do want to use it, you can limit the risks by:

  • Make sure that you prepare your trip well. Think about where you feel comfortable. Usually this is in a familiar environment with people you know well and trust. Or somewhere in nature, but near a house.
  • If you are going to use it for the first time, take a small dose. This way you can first see if you like the effect.
  • Only use when you are in good physical and mental condition: being comfortable in your own skin increases the chance that you will have a pleasant experience.
  • Magic mushrooms and truffles are not party drugs, most people experience a mushroom trip at a party as overwhelming and confusing.
  • It’s nice to have a drink or fruit on hand. You can get a dry mouth from psilocybin.
  • Other easy and healthy food is also nice to have on hand. You can get hungry but it may feel like a big task to prepare food.
  • If you find the effects to be  too strong or unpleasant, eating something can also help. This gives your body and mind a little more energy, and this can dampen the effects a bit. You can also try a sweet drink, dextrose or vitamin C.
  • Make sure you don’t eat mushrooms with a full stomach. It can take a very long time for it to take effect and therefore it is even more difficult to dose.
  • Mushrooms with psilocybin look very similar to many other types of mushrooms that are very poisonous. Do not try to pick them yourself in the wild!
  • It can be nice to have a ‘tripsitter’ during your trip, meaning someone who is sober, who can think clearly and who you trust. They can then support you in your trip, and help you if necessary.
  • If you still feel uncomfortable during the trip, don’t fight these feelings, but let yourself be carried away by the flow of the trip and try to accept that the trip has its ups and downs. By letting it go, you prevent yourself from becoming even more anxious.
  • Do not combine magic mushrooms and truffles with other drugs, medicines or alcohol. Cannabis in particular can greatly enhance and prolong the effect of hallucinogenic agents, so be very careful with this!
  • Make sure you have the day off after your trip to process the experience.
  • Do not participate in traffic when you trip, nor the day after, you can be drowsy and unfocused for a very long time.

Unity tips for using drugs

  • When using a drug for the first time, take only a small dose to see how your body reacts to the substance
  • Only use drugs when you are feeling well
  • Use drugs recreationally, not to combat psychological issues like fatigue
  • Avoid using drugs if you have (had) psychological afflictions or if you have a family history of psychological diseases (such as depression) in your family
  • Test your drugs before use at a drugs-testing service
  • Make sure to prepare a good set and setting for drug use
  • Only use drugs sparingly. Keep track of your use over time.
  • Decide in advance how much you are planning to use over the evening, and stick to that. 
  • Do not combine drugs with other substances or medicines
  • Do not participate in traffic after drug use
  • Prevent infectious diseases; Use your own snorter/sniffer and do not share paraphernalia with others
  • After insufflating, rinse your nose well with lukewarm saline water (for example, by using a nasal spray or nasal douche)
  • Are you, or one of your friends not feeling well? Keep an eye out for one another, take care of each other and visit the first aid (if one is available)
  • Call 112 in a life-threatening situation
  • Eat healthy before and after drug use. In particular, foods with lots of antioxidants and vitamins (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, raisins, oranges, kiwi, broccoli). This is perhaps the most important tip! It can be difficult to eat during and after drug use, but make sure to try to eat something anyway. Eating well is a great way to reduce the hangover! If you can’t hold in solid foods, try juices, breakfast drinks, and smoothies.

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