There’s probably nothing more hipster than shroom edibles. You know, those little psychedelic mushrooms that somehow transport you into the unexplored depths of human consciousness?
You’ve heard of them before. And unless you’ve had first-hand experience, you also probably made the same new-agey associations as everybody else did.
Shroom edibles continue to get a bad rap for being so closely linked to the ’60s counterculture —as if it’s a bad thing, is it? If that’s not awful enough, even the folks at Health Canada hate these trippy zoomers. We’ll get onto why later.
Spoiler alert: they’re wrong on a lot of things.
But thanks to the efforts of psychedelic activists and brave doctors, we’re collectively starting to realize the benefits of the shroom. The edible show great potential in treating obstinate mental illnesses like:
- Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD)
- Drug addiction, ironically
People aren’t waiting for legalization anymore. They’re doing clinical trials, lining up at dispensaries, and even cultivating their own cultures at home. Maybe it’s time for you to make a move too.
Of course, no trip is complete without preparation. There’s a lot to unpack about shroom edibles:
- Where they come from.
- How people consume them.
- Why they’re touted as the next big thing in drug therapy.
What are shroom edibles, and how do they work
Shrooms edibles are mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a powerful hallucinogen. When consumed, the substance can induce hallucinations, so out of this world, many believe it to be our closest link to the spiritual plane (no kidding).
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why these psychedelics are so closely tied to the hippie aesthetic. Because of this consciousness-expanding property, they’re also called “magic mushrooms” by many.
What’s not so magical is the school’s long-standing status as an allegedly abusable and harmful drug. Officials claim that psilocybin can cause severe addictions and that it’s as dangerous as heroin and cocaine.
Thanks to modern science, we’re beginning to understand how great magic mushrooms can be. These psychoactive edibles show promising potential in therapy and medicine.
The science behind psilocybin
Understanding how hallucinogenic mushrooms work requires having a grasp of its active ingredient known as psilocybin.
Psilocybin is the primary psychoactive ingredient found in the magic mushroom. It is derived from tryptamine, which belongs to the large family of indole alkaloids.
When ingested orally, psilocybin is rapidly metabolized in the digestive tract into psilocin—the chemical that’s actually behind your trip. Psilocybin is converted to psilocin by the liver through a complex chemical reaction called dephosphorylation.
Psilocin travels all around your central nervous system because it’s highly lipophilic (meaning fat-loving). Your neurotransmitter receptors absorb this drug like all other endogenous ligands (substances produced within us) before converting them into electrical signals for processing.
When psilocin docks onto serotonin receptors, a cascade of signals get sent across neurons through chemical pathways called neurotransmitters, by influencing these messages, magic mushrooms can produce all sorts of dramatic changes within your mind and physical state.
Different shroom varieties contain varying psilocybin: psilocin ratios. If it’s skewed to the latter, the shroom trip is typically more intense.
Magic mushroom effects
The effects of mushrooms may vary from person to person, but common themes do arise from the high, including:
- a distorted sense of time and space
- altered thoughts and feelings
- an altered state of consciousness
- visual and/or auditory hallucinations
Users who’ve had good trips report experiencing positive but short-term effects, including laughter and the feeling of well-being. That being said, the true potential of magic mushroom edibles lies in their long-term uses —particularly in treating several mental health conditions.
Psychonauts – a fancy term for bonafide shroom stoners – often describe the shroom experience with grand words and unusual phrases. To give you an idea:
- fractal and reality-bending
- shamanic hallucinations
- a transcendental experience
- a cosmic schmaltz
But don’t be fooled. Even amateurs come back from the “trip” unquestionably more spiritual— almost as they’ve seen Jesus Christ with their own eyes. In higher doses, the hallucinations are even more bizarre.
Taking magic mushrooms can be a great way to reconnect with your consciousness. In psychedelic therapy, they’re used to help people confront negative emotions and break from them. We’ll talk about this in greater detail later on.
Negative side effects
The magic mushroom trip can feel cinematic. Not all trips, however, lead to happy endings. Bad trips are not unheard of among beginners and stoners alike.
A bad trip is an unpleasant experience that can happen with magic mushrooms. Many different factors contribute to a negative psychedelic experience, including dosage, mood state before taking the drug, set (setpoint), and setting.
Trust us when we say that bad trips suck. It’s not that you’re missing out on great spiritual journeys (though it’s a con). The worst part about them is they can be downright terrifying.
During a bad trip, you might experience the following:
- disturbing, nightmarish hallucinations
- panic attacks
- increased uneasiness
- feeling of helplessness
Other side effects of taking shrooms include nausea, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, dry mouth, muscle weakness, and loss of coordination.
Mushroom trip onset and duration
How quickly the shrooms act depends on several factors, including dosage, body weight, and even intake method. Aside from dosage, one reliable way to gauge onset would be food consumption.
Generally speaking, the more satiated you feel, the longer it will take for you to feel the shrooms.
You’ll notice the effect starts to kick in within 30 minutes on an empty stomach, give or take. Within two hours of eating, it could take between 45-60 minutes for the trip to start. If you’re full, then expect at most three hours before take-off.
A mushroom trip typically lasts between six to eight hours. Unlike the onset time, the duration is pretty consistent across different strains.
Uses of psilocybin mushrooms
The use of magic mushrooms dates back to ancient times when they were used to connect with deities, dispel negative energies, and treat various ailments. Thanks to breakthroughs in medicine, we’re now uncovering the considerable effects of mushrooms.
Magic mushrooms treat several mental conditions.
Psychedelic treatment has been shown to cure even the most treatment-resistant mental disorders: chronic anxiety, PTSD, addiction, major depressive disorder, and more. Health practitioners are just beginning to scratch the surface of a novel and revolutionary treatment method.
The results from psilocybin clinical trials are outstanding. It’s a game-changer for the field. A study published in JAMA Psychiatry reveals that psilocybin mushrooms are four times more effective than traditional antidepressants in treating major depression.
What’s even more impressive is the fact that these changes aren’t acute. They’re long-lasting.
Much of the science behind mushrooms remains a mystery, but numerous studies suggest that psilocybin allows us to destabilize normal brain connections. This allows one to tap into previously-out-of-reach states.
They help terminally-ill patients deal with depression and death anxiety.
When we think of patients suffering from terminal illnesses such as cancer, we focus on providing some temporary form of physical relief. However, there’s a growing conversation about how we can better support the mental health of such patients.
Depression and death anxiety are not uncommon among cancer patients. Because of the magic mushroom’s ability to change the way the brain processes signals and reacts to stress, more and more doctors are advocating its use.
Studies suggest that taking shrooms, even just a single dose, can effectively reduce demoralization by up to 80%. In one particular study, patients who took the shrooms reported feeling at peace with the idea of death. They also reported being more optimistic and having a better outlook on life.
Magic mushrooms can help people live a more fulfilling life.
An ever-growing body of research is now supporting the use of magic mushroom edibles to treat a variety of mental health concerns. How exactly psilocybin works is still up for debate. However, there’s enough evidence to suggest it affects a specific region of the brain now known as the claustrum.
Tucked away deep within layers of neurons in the cortex, the claustrum is believed to be responsible for one’s sense of self. Psilocybin, for some reason, inhibits processes within this region. This in turn, facilitates the feeling of “being connected” or losing one’s ego.
In therapy, ego death or ego loss is considered to be the ultimate goal. We won’t get into detail now. However, ego is the root of feelings such as anxiety, lack of self-worth, depression, and more.
A mushroom trip might just be what people need to get rid of these negative associations. And data from clinical trials show that this is indeed true.
Mushrooms are helping scientists study brain functions.
Not only are magic mushrooms treating people, but they’re also uncovering previously unknown brain mechanisms. To brain scientists, the mushroom is becoming an invaluable research tool.
Popular magic mushroom types
Not all magic mushrooms are made the same. With over 180 species of psilocybin mushrooms out there, there’s never too little to trip on.
Each unique strain has its quirk and potency. We can devote months talking about each one, but that might overwhelm you. Instead, let’s explore three popular strains that are highly popular among neophytes and certified psychonauts alike.
Perhaps the most popular of all strains, the famed Psilocybe cubensis is almost synonymous with the magic mushroom itself. Cubes, as they’re colloquially known, are easily identifiable thanks to their size and colour.
Because cubes are the easiest mushrooms to grow indoors, hobbyists worldwide have found novel ways to refine this strain. There are over 60 strains of Psilocybe cubensis today, with more probably still in the making.
Also known as “liberty caps,” the Psilocybe semilanceata grows naturally over the Northern Hemisphere – in grasslands and wetter areas. They’re one of the most widespread strains and believed to be the third most potent one. Talk about liberty!
C. cynescens is one of the lesser-known psilocybin-producing mushrooms out there. It’s probably because it’s not of the Psilocybe genus, or maybe it’s because it likes to grow in dung-rich places.
But don’t be fooled. These “blue meanies” (as they’re called) contain two to three times more psilocybin than the cube. They’re also quite widespread, being more prominent in tropical and subtropical countries.
How to get the best magic mushroom trip
Prepping for a mushroom trip is all about avoiding a bad trip. That includes calculating your dose, setting up a safe and comfortable environment, and knowing how to manage stress when it arises.
For amateurs, we generally don’t recommend getting your mushroom dose with other substances. Only with more experience should you confidently navigate the likes of tea, coffee, and more.
Set up the mood
The setting is by far the most important factor to consider before starting one’s shroom trip. How the surroundings look can determine whether you’ll experience a bad trip or not.
You are supposed to carry out the consumption in an environment with no distractions, so you do not have anything interrupting your journey.
Make sure you’re well-adjusted in a safe and comfortable environment before taking off to space. Think warm lights, cozy interior, and maybe even a candle or two.
Bring a “trip sitter” with you.
Taking mushrooms can be a scary experience. You lose your sense of time and space. You are at the mercy of the drug.
If it’s your first time taking mushrooms, you should have a “trip sitter” with you. A trip sitter is someone to watch your back while you go astral projecting with mushrooms. He/she will be your link to the real world in case things get too intense.
When you lose your sense of time, you will also find it difficult to distinguish what is real or not. This can put you at physical risk, so having a trustworthy person with you is a good idea. Don’t take mushrooms with people you don’t trust or feel comfortable with!
Know which dose is right for you
As with any form of drug use, you’re responsible for getting your dose right. We suggest starting with a low dose, then working your way up.
A good rule of thumb is to take 1.0-1.5 grams per 100lbs of body weight. Those with more experience can run as high as 2.0-3.0 grams. A stronger dose of 3.5-5.0 grams can induce hallucinations and distort the state of mind.
These dosage numbers do not apply to all types of edibles. The same amount might induce stronger or weaker highs depending on which strain you choose. Some mushrooms, like the Penis Envy, are inherently more potent and contain more psychotropics.
Take a microdose
Some swear by the microdose, and for a good reason. They say it helps boost creativity, calm anxiety, and stimulate mental clarity.
A microdose is anywhere between 0.2-0.5 grams a day (or on alternating days). This is a great way to use the mushroom’s active ingredients without facing the overwhelming effects of high doses.
If you can’t get past the bitter taste of magic mushroom edibles, why not drink it?
There’s nothing novel about drinking psilocybin mushrooms. It’s one of the most common methods of consuming psilocybin. Psychonauts have long been experimenting with shroom tea, coffee, and even juice beverages.
Brewing a perfect cup of shroom tea, however, takes a little know-how. Some like to steep whole caps in hot water. Others prefer to grind dried mushrooms through a coffee grinder, fine enough to be incorporated with tea leaves.
Try a lemon tek
Once you’ve got the hang of the psilocybin experience, you might want to try lemon tekking.
For starters, a lemon tek is a special psilocybin drink made by soaking finely-chopped or grounded shrooms in an acid-like lemon juice. The acid is believed to enhance potency while simultaneously masking the bitter taste of the raw mushroom.
Here’s how you can prepare a lemon tek at home:
- Grind shrooms with a coffee grinder until you get a fine powder. Alternatively, you can finely chop them through a food processor or blend. Set aside.
- Squeeze the juice of 1-2 on your grounded shrooms, or just enough to submerge the whole batch in juice.
- Set aside this mixture for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Congratulations! You’ve made your first lemon tek.
As the lemon tek’s significantly more potent than your traditional magic mushroom edibles, we recommend downing it like a shot. Take it like a champ!
Magic Mushroom Myths
There’s never a shortage of myths surrounding magic mushrooms. From tell-all praises to nightmare hallucinations, you’re bound to encounter something that’s both bizarre and likely unwarranted.
Myth 1: Psilocybin mushrooms are addictive
We may not know everything about mushrooms yet. We know that the active ingredient – psilocybin – is fundamentally different from highly addictive drugs such as cocaine, heroin, nicotine, and alcohol.
Mushrooms have no affinity for the brain’s reward pathways, which are involved with narcotics. As such, it does not lead to a withdrawal syndrome typical of addictive drugs. Even the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse does not consider psilocybin to be addictive.
Though mushrooms are not inherently addictive, they still can cause psychological dependence. Like basically anything you consume, there’s a risk of abusing it and “training” your brain to rely on it. Remember, balance is key.
Myth 2: Psilocybin mushrooms are great party drugs
To claim that mushrooms are great for parties is like saying caffeine can help with insomnia. Sure, they acutely give you a distorted sense of reality. However, mushrooms are intense, and the high is anything but recreational.
Experienced users, and those who’ve been treated medically with mushrooms, describe the experience as “life-changing.” Often, intense emotions such as uneasiness, fear, and even anger are unravelled during these trips. They’re replaced by long-lasting personality changes sooner or later.
Myth 3: Mushrooms are legal in Canada
More broadly speaking, there is a lot of misunderstanding about the legality of shrooms, edibles and drugs, so we want to clarify things. Mushrooms are not legal in Canada. They’re still prohibited under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
However, a gray area exists that allows the spread of shroom products in the country.
For one, prohibiting the use of mushrooms is just downright impossible. These fungi can grow just about anywhere, given optimal environmental conditions. It would take an unimaginable effort to track down every grower just to enforce a law.
Another reason why this gray area exists in the first place is that mushrooms aren’t harmful per se. They don’t cause addictions. They don’t cause people to engage in reckless and aggressive behaviour. And they aren’t poisonous.
Mushrooms, for what they’re worth, are much safer than other illegal drugs. Unfortunately, drug laws around the world still push them in the most restrictive categories.
Currently, there are special exceptions that allow the legal use of mushrooms in Canada. Those with special permits obtained from Health Canada, such as those with cancer or other terminal medical conditions, can take mushrooms for medical reasons.
Times are changing for the good. The growing body of evidence supporting mushrooms’ therapeutic qualities is pressuring the government to ease restrictions. In 2020, Health Canada made a landmark decision to allow over a dozen health professionals to use psilocybin themselves in hopes of developing novel therapy programs.
Buying mushroom edibles online.
If you’re going to take mushroom edibles, you should also know that many risks are associated with buying them online! For one thing, it’s hard to tell how much of a substance is inside each package without any sort of testing or quality control standards.
This means that these drugs could be laced with other unknown substances, which might cause side effects and illness if they don’t even know what they’re putting into their bodies.
Some producers may try to sell impurities as various strains, too, so customers will think they’re getting authentic stuff. Given that there’s no legal and official way to test product claims, buying from unscrupulous sellers may leave you with the short end of the stick.
A lot of people prefer growing their mushrooms instead of having to buy them online. This, of course, takes a lot more effort and is prone to failure itself.
Where to buy mushroom edibles in Canada
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Psilocybin shrooms, or magic mushrooms as they’re sometimes called, are one of the most popular and well-known psychedelic substances right now. They have been shown to treat mental conditions such as depression and anxiety, making them an appealing treatment for those who suffer from these conditions.
We want you to feel comfortable taking your shrooms responsibly by providing insight on how best to take them before getting into our tips for getting the most out of your metaphysical mushroom trip.
Whenever you’re ready to take shroom edibles, we’ve got you covered! Head over to The Herb Centre today and order now. And don’t forget to check other blogs on our site, such as “Effects of Marijuana Use: How Weed Affects Your Mind and Body.”