Many people look for different ways to make their days more interesting, especially when they’re bored with their usual routine or looking to escape reality. As such, they turn to psychoactive substances like magic mushrooms or shrooms containing psilocybin, a hallucinogen compound. Although many people take shrooms for recreational purposes, others take them for spiritual purposes to help them be more in tune with their inner selves and the universe. Given its hallucinogenic properties, shrooms often result in potent, long-lasting effects. It has even been explored as a treatment for mental health.
The effects of shrooms can last for several hours. However, many factors determine how long it takes for shrooms to take effect and if they show up on drug tests. Here’s what you need to know about shrooms:
How Long Do Shrooms Last?
Shrooms can remain active in the human body for several hours. A study that reviewed psilocybin’s potential as a treatment for mental health found that hallucinogenic effects can last three to six hours after ingestion. However, the exact time varies from person to person, depending on many other factors, such as:
- Body composition
- Type and amount of shrooms consumed
- Tolerance levels
- Preparation of mushrooms, such as dried or in tea form
- Preexisting mental health conditions
- Mood and state of mind of the person taking them
- Other substances in the person’s system.
Shrooms’ potency and duration of their effects also depend on a person’s sensitivity to the compounds. If they are more sensitive than others, they may experience a much more extensive high. They may even experience lingering effects after the initial high has subsided, causing their trip to be much longer.
How Long Does It Take for Shrooms To Kick In?
Shrooms take a while to start affecting the mind and body. Hallucinogenic effects may begin to kick in around 20 to 40 minutes after ingestion, but users generally feel the effects within the hour.
Unlike other substances, shrooms’ effects occur gradually. The user will start to feel slight changes in their perception, feelings, and senses. As time progresses, they’ll begin to experience more intense visual, auditory, and other sensory hallucinations, giving them the high that shrooms are known to offer.
The kidneys are the organs responsible for processing shrooms’ compounds, including psilocybin. It often happens quickly, with the kidneys expelling them from a person’s system within a few hours. In fact, researchers have stated that around 66 percent of shrooms’ compounds are excreted in the first three hours after ingestion. Psilocybin then becomes undetectable in urine after 24 hours.
However, there is no precise time measuring how long the other compounds will remain in the system or how long the effects last. The person’s body composition, weight, and metabolism also affect how the body processes these compounds.
Effects of Shrooms
Shrooms take effect once the body starts breaking psilocybin into psilocin, which reacts to the brain the way other hallucinogens do, like lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD. People often respond differently to shrooms; some people feel relaxed, calm, or even drowsy. Others feel an impenetrable sense of peace or even unity with their environment. These sensations only grow more intense as more time passes.
The immediate high lasts only a few hours, but some users may experience lingering effects after, like a sense of ease from a positive experience while on shrooms. Others may encounter feelings of unease if they’ve had a negative experience.
Higher doses of shrooms often invoke euphoric feelings and hallucinations, which can be either visual or auditory. The person may even have out-of-body experiences. Ultimately, the person’s encounter with shrooms can be either positive or negative, depending on the person’s mood, state of mind, and surroundings. A negative experience may induce paranoia, anxiety, or panic in people, while a positive experience causes them to feel euphoric, awestruck, and inspired.
How to Take Shrooms
Users take shrooms by chewing on them, which is the fastest and easiest way to ingest them. However, the effects will take longer with this method since your body must break them down. They can also be brewed into tea, which is said to improve its taste and remove any potential nausea. Adding lemon also allows the user’s body to digest the shrooms and accelerate the trip’s onset.
Beginners often start by taking lighter doses of shrooms, as they’re likely unfamiliar with how they’ll react to its effects. Lighter doses of shrooms often kick in faster for those who have never taken it before, as veteran users have built up a higher tolerance after using it for a long time. The larger the dose, the more your gut will work to convert the increased amount of psilocybin into psilocin, or the chemical that causes you to “trip out.” When taken on an empty stomach, your gut can convert this anywhere between 10 to 60 minutes, although it depends on the dose’s amount. However, if you had just eaten before taking it, the conversion will take much longer.
A light dose of shrooms ranges from 0.5 to 1 gram. It usually takes 15 to 30 minutes to take effect, making it the best amount for first-timers. It offers real psychedelic sensations and subtle hallucinations, which are mild enough to enjoy a magical experience without feeling overwhelmed. They may start to see sparkling light bulbs, blurry edges, and other extraordinary visual effects.
A moderate dose ranges from 1.1 to 3 grams, taking 20 to 40 minutes to roll out its effects. With this dose, you’ll experience the full psychotropic effects, where the visuals start to intensify. Even when your eyes are closed, you’ll still see sparks and other strange yet whimsical images. If you have low tolerance, you may start hallucinating or even have an out-of-body experience.
You may even experience synthesia in this state, where you hear color and see sounds. At the peak of your trip, you’ll feel intensely joyful and may even share profound insight, which is why you’ll need to be in the right mindset before taking a dose. Otherwise, you’ll experience heightened anxiety and paranoia, setting you up for a bad trip.
Meanwhile, a strong, high dose ranges from 3 grams upwards. It takes 30 to 60 minutes to kick in, and you’ll be experiencing all its effects at a higher intensity.
Are Shrooms Illegal?
Psilocybin and psilocin are classified as Schedule I drugs under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which means they have a high potential for abuse and do not have any recognized medical uses. However, psilocybin mushrooms have been historically used for medicinal and religious uses in several different cultures. It also has a lower potential for abuse than other similarly classified drugs.
Shrooms are illegal in the United States, although they’ve been decriminalized in some areas in states like Michigan, Colorado, and California. They are legal in Oregon for mental health treatment in supervised settings since February 1, 2021. It has also been decriminalized for recreational use in the state, the first state to do so. Other cities are exploring initiatives to decriminalize the substance.
Shrooms can last for several hours, depending on the amount consumed and the person’s weight and metabolism. Although they pose risks because of its potential for abuse and addiction, it is significantly lower than other Schedule I drugs. With states exploring it as a treatment for mental health, regulated use may discourage its abuse.