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Magic Mushroom Use: From Therapeutic Applications to Recreational Experiences

Magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin mushrooms, have been used for centuries for both therapeutic and recreational purposes. They have been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and addiction.

The term “magic” reflects the profound and mystical experiences often associated with using these mushrooms. The presence of compounds like psilocybin and psilocin induces hallucinogenic effects, leading to altered perceptions, sensory experiences, and changes in consciousness when consumed.

As research into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms continues to flourish, we are witnessing a resurgence of interest in their ability to alleviate suffering and promote mental well-being.

Join us as we dive into the multifaceted world of magic mushrooms, exploring their therapeutic applications, recreational experiences, and the growing body of research illuminating their transformative potential.

What are Magic Mushrooms?

What are Magic Mushrooms?

Magic mushrooms are a group of fungi containing psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound, are not your average grocery store find. These fungi are known for their mind-altering effects. Psilocybin, present in the cap and stem of over 200 mushroom types, classifies them as hallucinogens or psychedelics.

Origins and Street Names for Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms, scientifically known as Psilocybin mushrooms, originate from various parts of the world, thriving in different climates. They are naturally occurring and can be found in regions such as North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. These mushrooms grow in diverse environments, including forests, grasslands, and decaying wood.

Street Names:

  • Shrooms
  • Magic Mushrooms
  • Psychedelic Mushrooms
  • Psilocybin Mushrooms
  • Boomers
  • Caps
  • Zoomers
  • Mush
  • Simple Simon
  • Purple passion
  • Mushroom soup
  • Cubes

Why do people use Shrooms?

People use magic mushrooms for various reasons: mood enhancement, emotional coping, mental health treatment, recreational use, increasing creativity, or spiritual practices. Despite potential benefits, they are illegal in most places, including Canada and the United States, where psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug (As declared by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA) due to its high misuse potential.

Magic mushrooms have gained attention for therapeutic and recreational use. Psilocybin, their psychoactive compound, shows promise in treating mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Recognized for medicinal qualities, psilocybin-based medications are prescribed for treatment-resistant depression in Australia.

Ongoing scientific exploration aims to understand how these mushrooms impact brain function. Magic mushrooms also offer positive mental and emotional effects, inducing happiness, creativity, and mental clarity. Recreational use involves seeking psychedelic experiences, experimenting with microdosing for mood enhancement, and pursuing recreational trips for enjoyable altered states of consciousness.

Top Magic Mushroom Use Cases

Top Magic Mushroom Use Cases

Magic mushroom use can be categorized into 4 main types:

1. Medical Use of magic mushrooms

Medical use of magic mushrooms has shown promise in clinical trials in treating addiction and treatment-resistant depression. Additionally, research suggests that psilocybin may offer benefits in treating resistant depression, anxiety, and addictions.

Clinical trials on psilocybin show promise in treating addiction and treatment-resistant depression (National Institutes of Health, CTV News).

Canada’s Center for Addiction and Mental Health explores psilocybin, to treat depression without inducing psychedelic effects.

Read more: Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms for Medicinal Purposes

2. Microdosing

Microdosing magic mushrooms involves consuming low, sub-perceptual doses of psilocybin, the psychedelic compound in these fungi. Anecdotal reports and some studies suggest potential benefits of microdosing psychedelics, including improved mood, reduced anxiety, and enhanced general well-being.

3. Mental health/Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy

Magic Mushrooms can help with psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to treat anxiety, addictions, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), and psychosis. Ongoing research, including studies at institutions like Queen’s University, is examining the therapeutic applications of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for various mental health disorders and substance use disorders.

The goal of clinical trials is to understand the impact of psychedelic interventions in a controlled and supervised setting. Studies explore the efficacy of controlled psilocybin therapy in providing relief for individuals who have not responded to conventional treatments, as stated by the American Society for Microbiology.

Various research is also going on if it is possible to use Magic mushrooms for effective treatment of the following treatments:

  • Opioid addiction
  • Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

4. Recreational Use of Magic Mushrooms

The recreational use of magic mushrooms often involves experiencing a range of distorted and heightened sensory impressions. Users may encounter vivid colours, perceive objects morphing into other forms, and even experience synesthesia, where senses become intertwined, such as seeing sounds or hearing colours.

These sensory effects typically peak about three to four hours after ingestion and then gradually diminish. Furthermore, psilocybin and psilocin can intensify emotional responses, leading to feelings of happiness, euphoria, and oneness with all life in a familiar and positive environment.

Moreover, research indicates self-reported negative outcomes among users, emphasizing the need for cautious and informed recreational use. While magic mushrooms are often perceived as relatively safe, users should be aware of potential harm and prioritize responsible consumption.

How do people use or take Magic Mushrooms?

Consuming magic mushrooms involves various methods tailored to personal preferences. Options include:

  • Ingesting raw or cooked mushrooms
  • Preparing tea or infused beverages
  • Taking shroom capsules
  • Inhaling powdered forms through the nose

However, it is crucial to avoid intravenous injection due to potential risks. The potency of magic mushrooms varies, impacting effects based on the dose and mushroom type.

How does it make people behave?

Magic Mushrooms may make users may exhibit a range of behaviours, from introspection and enhanced creativity to intensified emotional responses. In medical settings, controlled psilocybin therapy has shown potential for treating mental health conditions.

However, unsupervised use, especially in high doses or without psychological support, may lead to unpredictable and potentially negative experiences, commonly referred to as “bad trips.” It’s essential to approach taking magic mushrooms with caution, emphasizing responsible use and, when applicable, under professional guidance.

Magic mushrooms, containing the hallucinogenic compound psilocybin, influence behaviour by altering one’s perception, cognition, and emotions. When consumed, psilocybin interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain, particularly the 5-HT2A receptor, leading to heightened sensory experiences and changes in mood. The altered serotonin activity can induce hallucinations, euphoria, and a distorted sense of time.

How long does it take for mushrooms to take effect?

Magic mushroom effects typically kick in within 30 minutes of ingestion, according to anecdotal experiences in different studies. The timing can vary based on factors like dosage and individual metabolism. Peak side effects of magic mushrooms are often reported around one hour after consumption. Effects can continue for six to eight hours.

However, the onset can depend on the specific type of mushroom and how it’s consumed. It’s essential to note that individual responses may vary, and caution is advised. Always consider personal tolerance levels and potential interactions.

Different users of Magic Mushrooms

Teenagers and young adults are often the primary users of psilocybin mushrooms, which are popular at raves, clubs, and increasingly on college campuses, indicating a growing trend of abuse within this demographic.

A 2013 study estimated that there are over 30 million psychedelic users in the United States, including users of psilocybin.

Risks of Magic Mushroom: are psychedelic mushrooms bad for you?

Risks of Magic Mushroom: are psychedelic mushrooms bad for you?

There are few risks of using magic mushrooms if used with no control. Magic mushrooms can make you see Hallucinations, and altered perception, and impaired judgment are common. It may trigger anxiety or paranoia. High doses can lead to hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder. Individuals with a personal or family history of mental health issues may be at risk.

This may well potentially lead to panic and even psychotic episodes. In both scenarios, users may struggle to distinguish between fantasy and reality, as everything appears vividly real, whether blissful or frightening.

Some more side effects include nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, and drowsiness.

Studies, such as the one by Lowe et al. in the National Institutes of Health, state the importance of understanding potential adverse effects.

There are both positive and negative consequences of a bad trip.

Moreover, taking mushrooms can lead to accidental poisoning if misidentified. Always consult reliable sources and medical professionals for accurate information on the risks associated with taking magic mushrooms alone.

Addiction and Withdrawl

Psilocybin is not generally considered addictive, and it does not tend to lead to compulsive use. Additionally, people can quickly build a tolerance to psilocybin, making it difficult to experience any effect after several days of repeated use. When individuals stop using the drug, they rarely report physical symptoms of withdrawal. However, some may experience psychological effects, including depression.

Misuse Treatment

To recover from the misuse of magic mushrooms, please consult with your doctor or mental health professional to discuss the most effective strategies for drug abuse in your situation.

Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and motivational enhancement therapy (MET), is commonly recommended. CBT aims to alter thought and behaviour patterns contributing to substance use, while MET enhances motivation for change. Support groups and lifestyle adjustments are also crucial for long-term recovery.

Physical Risks

Psilocybin users might face these physical risks. However, studies show there is little evidence no physical symptoms after stopping magic mushrooms.

  • Dilated pupils
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea
  • Yawning
  • stomach ache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • confusion
  • lack of coordination
  • Numbness, particularly in the face
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • muscle weakness and twitching, or convulsions
  • exaggerated reflexes
  • sweating and high body temperature
  • loss of urinary control

Mental Risks

Using magic mushrooms containing psilocybin can pose mental risks. Medical News Today notes its recreational use, causing euphoria and sensory distortion common to hallucinogenic drugs.

As per user trial data from this study, common mental risks of

  1. Thinking distortions: Users reported episodes of mental confusion, agitation, extreme anxiety, fear, and psychotic episodes. These experiences were often described as “bad trips” and were more frequent in female users.
  2. Emergencies: Psilocybin use was associated with medical emergencies, including seeking help in hospitals or emergency rooms. The use of mushrooms in single high doses was particularly linked to these outcomes.
  3. Perceptual alterations: Psilocybin was found to cause intense perceptual changes, such as hallucinations, synesthesia, and alterations in temporal perception.
  4. Substance administration: The study found that the use of multiple doses of psilocybin in the same session or in combination with other substances increased the risk of long-term negative outcomes.

Here are some more mental risks that you should be aware of: Euphoria Hallucinations (visual or auditory), Having spiritual experiences, Nervousness Panic reactions, Paranoia Psychosis Deformed sense of time, place, and reality.

Long-term side effects

The long-term effects of magic mushroom use are not yet fully understood due to the limited research available. Individual responses to psychedelic substances can vary greatly, and other factors such as dosage, frequency of use, and the user’s mental health history can influence the potential for long-term side effects.

If you are considering using magic mushrooms or any other psychedelics, it is advisable to consult with a medical professional or seek guidance from qualified therapists who specialize in psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Magic Mushroom Poisoning

Psilocybin users face the potential danger of consuming poisonous mushrooms by mistake, leading to severe symptoms, although the risk is small. Psilocybin users risk consuming poisonous mushrooms, leading to severe symptoms, including stomach cramps and death.

Prompt medical attention is crucial if poisoning is suspected. Magic mushroom poisoning can have fatal consequences due to toxins in certain mushrooms. Consuming unidentified wild mushrooms, such as the Death Cap mushroom, can lead to death. Understanding the risks associated with poisonous mushrooms is essential to prevent adverse effects and potential fatality.

How do you use magic mushrooms safely and avoid side effects?

To use magic mushrooms safely, it is important to reduce the risk of bad trips, injuries from falls or accidents, and mental health problems. Here are some ways to reduce those risks:

  • Think about why you want to get high. It’s best not to use hallucinogens as a way of avoiding or coping with problems.
  • Be sure you’re in the right frame of mind. Using hallucinogens can be fun, spiritual, or educational if you embrace the experience. It can also be scary, especially if you try to control rather than “roll with it.”
  • Avoid bad experiences. Steer clear of climbing up on things, looking in the mirror, or having sex with anyone other than a comfortable, familiar partner. These activities can have unpleasant or unexpected results.
  • Do not pair magic mushrooms with other substances. Using cannabis and alcohol while tripping can change your experience in unpredictable ways.
  • Stay away from the steering wheel. Your judgment and coordination may be greatly impaired.
  • If you have a history of mental health problems or are living with a heart condition, it is best to avoid using hallucinogens.

According to Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Magic mushrooms can affect everyone differently, based on size, weight, and health. Short-term side effects of magic mushrooms include confusion, distorted thinking, euphoria, fear, hallucinations, and paranoia.

Long-term problems can also appear, such as altered emotions and brain functions. To avoid a bad trip, it is important to be in a good state of mind, with trusted friends and a safe environment before taking magic mushrooms.

Using magic mushrooms with other drugs, including over-the-counter or prescribed medications, can be unpredictable and dangerous. Finally, it is important to note that magic mushrooms are illegal drugs, and you can never know for sure what you’re buying or using.


In Canada, the use of magic mushrooms is illegal, as they are classified as controlled substances under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and the Food and Drugs Act (FDA). Despite their illegal status, there has been increasing interest in the potential therapeutic uses of magic mushrooms and psilocybin, one of the active ingredients in magic mushrooms.

Health Canada has granted exemptions to a select group of health professionals, allowing them to possess and use psilocybin for personal training in medical settings without fear of prosecution under the country’s drug laws.

However, it’s important to note that these exemptions do not permit the health care professionals to prescribe or provide mushrooms other drugs containing psilocybin to another person, and there are no other drugs containing psilocybin that have been authorized by Health Canada.

Where to buy magic mushrooms?

Buying magic mushrooms in Canada is illegal, as they are classified as a controlled substance. Despite the emergence of psilocybin stores, their operation remains against the law. Reports indicate an ease of access in Vancouver, resembling cannabis legalization. Purchasing or selling magic mushrooms openly is not compliant with Canadian regulations.

However, you can buy magic mushroom supplements from safely. Their products are vetted by users and can be used as a hollistic medicinal approach with consultaiton of a healthcare provider or docotor.

Final Thoughts!

The exploration of magic mushroom use reveals a fascinating realm with both positive and potentially therapeutic aspects. The induction of hallucinogenic effects, coupled with profound and mystical experiences, offers users the chance to encounter euphoria, heightened connection, and intensified emotional responses.

Moreover, the potential benefits in treating addiction, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions underscore the promising applications of magic mushrooms. Controlled psilocybin therapy and microdosing present avenues for exploring improved mood, reduced anxiety, and enhanced well-being.

However, it is crucial to acknowledge the negatives associated with magic mushroom use. The illegal status in many places, including the United States and Canada, raises legal consequences and potential risks.

The influence on all senses, potential mental health concerns, and the unpredictable nature of psychedelic experiences underscore the importance of informed and responsible use. Risks of accidental poisoning, negative consequences, and potential long-term effects emphasize the need for caution. While magic mushrooms offer intriguing possibilities, users must weigh the positives against the risks, emphasizing the importance of education, legal awareness, and responsible consumption.


  • Over 30 million psychedelic users in the United States [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]
  • Analysis of Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy in Medicine: A Narrative Review- Monitoring Editor: Alexander Muacevic and John R Adler
  • Depression: Psilocybin mushrooms to be tested as treatment | CTV News
  • Toronto’s CAMH gets 1st federal grant to study magic mushrooms as treatment for depression
  • Psychedelic and Consciousness Research by Queens University
  • Psilocybin and Mental Health: The Magic in the Mushrooms
  • Self-reported negative outcomes of psilocybin users: A quantitative textual analysis
  • Self-reported negative outcomes of psilocybin users: A quantitative textual analysis
Author Microdosify

By Rachel Grey

I’m Rachel Grey, a Ph.D. psychologist specializing in psychedelic therapy with psilocybin and natural plant medicines. I obtained my doctorate from the University of Toronto, where I immersed myself in the study of these transformative therapies. With over 10 years of experience, let’s embark on transformative journeys of healing, growth, and self-discovery as we explore the power of psychedelic therapy together.

Updated on November 16, 2023