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Psychedelic Medicine With Meaning

The Effects of Magic Mushrooms Explained

The effects of magic mushrooms are not always sublime and spiritual. At times, the psychoactive compound in these fantastic fungi - psilocybin - can cast a challenging shadow over an experience meant to be, well, magical. 

A "bad trip" refers to a negative or challenging experience that can occur during a psychedelic experience. These experiences can be emotionally intense and may include feelings of anxiety, fear, paranoia, confusion, and a sense of loss of control. Bad trips can be unpredictable and can occur even in individuals who have had positive psychedelics experiences.

Anxiety and paranoia are the leading causes of bad trips. Distortions at the level of thought trigger an anxious state. Female users showed higher associations with bad trips. Enzymatic, hormonal, or social differences between men and women could possibly explain it. 


Preparation is positive for mushrooms magic effects. 

Several factors can contribute to a bad trip, including a high dose, an uncomfortable or unfamiliar setting, a negative mindset, or underlying mental health conditions. A lack of preparation or guidance can also increase the likelihood of a negative experience.

Contributing factors to an experience: dosage, set, setting, and extra-pharmacological elements.

Mental distortions can trigger anxious thoughts and anxiety and paranoia are the leading causes of bad trips.

Research shows a correlation between bad trips related to “health problems” when psilocybin is used with other substances, specifically alcohol.

Correlation between bad trips and feeling of well-being post-trip when a narrative is in place to provide context and a deeper meaning.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the effects of magic mushrooms?

The mind-bending effects of magic mushrooms are well-known, which can result in a range of experiences from transcendent to challenging. Many users report euphoria, intense introspection, and spiritual connection with the universe while using this strain.

OF LIKE MINDS surveyed its product customers to get a real-life report on the effects of magic mushrooms. The experiences ranged from not feeling the effects of the psilocybin at all to dealing with hard and painful trauma. Many respondents reported a resurfacing of painful memories and revisiting of past relationships and experiences - to varying degrees of difficulty. 

“I haven’t had great experiences. It’s been painful emotionally”

“ego death”

“We went for a walk, and I just unloaded… I was giggling and smiling, but I was mourning the loss of the idea of my parents.”

“It was the hardest experience with the drug that I went through but also the most meaningful.”

“positive shifts in my psyche and emotional well-being”


How long do the effects of magic mushrooms last?

The duration of the effects of magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin mushrooms, can vary depending on factors such as the specific species or variety of mushrooms, individual tolerance, dosage, and metabolism. Generally, the effects of magic mushrooms can last between 4 to 6 hours.

Here's a rough breakdown of the timeline:

Onset: Effects typically begin within 20 to 60 minutes after ingestion. During this phase, you might start to feel changes in perception, mood, and sensory experiences.
Peak: The peak effects usually occur around 2 to 3 hours after ingestion. This is when the psychedelic experience is most intense, including alterations in perception, vivid visual and auditory hallucinations, and potentially profound insights or experiences.
Plateau: The intense effects gradually transition into a plateau phase, lasting for a few hours. During this time, the intensity of hallucinations and alterations in perception may lessen somewhat, but you're still likely to feel the effects strongly.
Comedown: After the plateau phase, the effects gradually start to diminish. Over the next few hours, you'll experience a gradual return to baseline, although you might still feel some residual effects.
Afterglow: Some people report an afterglow effect lasting several days after the initial experience. This can involve enhanced mood, creativity, and a sense of introspection.


How long for magic mushrooms to take effect?

The onset time for magic mushrooms to take effect is affected by how the fungi is ingested. 

Chew and swallow. The smaller the pieces in your stomach, the faster the onset of effects. 
Eat with other foods. This will help mask the taste of the mushrooms but can extend the onset by hours and the duration of the trip. Like a snack, try to avoid filling your stomach. 
Take a lemon tek shot. This process will make the effects faster and stronger but last shorter. Grind the mushrooms and place them into a shot glass. Squeeze in lemon juice and fill the glass with water. Mix and let sit for 15 minutes. Consume as a shot.

Why do people have bad mushroom trips?

Several factors can contribute to a bad trip, including:

High dose: Taking too much of a psychedelic substance can lead to overwhelming experiences, increasing the likelihood of a bad trip.
Set and setting: As mentioned before, an individual's mindset and the environment in which they consume the substance can also play a role in the experience. If an individual is feeling anxious or uncomfortable or in an unfamiliar or unsafe environment, it can increase the likelihood of a bad trip.
Personal history: Individuals with a history of mental health issues or trauma may be more susceptible to a bad trip.


What can be done to change the bad effects of magic mushrooms? 

If an individual experiences a bad trip, it is important to remember that it is a temporary state and that the effects of the substance will eventually wear off. The following strategies can help an individual manage a bad trip:

Change the setting: Moving to a more comfortable or familiar environment can help an individual feel more relaxed and safe.
Change the mindset: Focusing on positive thoughts and calming activities such as deep breathing or meditation can help reduce anxiety and fear.
Seek support: Having a trusted friend or a qualified healthcare professional to talk to can help an individual feel more grounded and supported during a challenging experience.

It is important to note that using psychedelic substances can have significant psychological effects and may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, it is essential to approach the use of these substances with caution and to seek guidance from a qualified healthcare professional before consuming them. 

woman with a pillow over her face lying on an undulating yellow and brown sofa

What does it look like when the effect of magic mushrooms is a bad trip?

Many described a trip's somatic effects, including panic attacks, confusion, disturbing visions, and paranoia. Negative physical responses are also reported such as vomiting, pupil dilation, seizures, and tremors. “Becoming insane”, ego dissolution and ego death stood out as particularly frightening. Sometimes a bad trip can lead to an emergency situation which can amplify the effects of the bad trip. 

“Bad Trip” Triggers 

  • Mixing with another mind-altering substance
  • Nausea/vomiting 
  • Too hot / dehydration 
  • Alcohol 
  • Phone 

“Bad Trip” Symptoms

  • Panic Attacks
  • Confusion
  • Disturbing Visions
  • Paranoia
  • Vomiting
  • Ego Death
  • Negative mental experiences
  • Sadness 
  • Paranoia, anxiety, fear
  • Sometimes amplified by visuals 
  • Negative physical effects
  • Migraines 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting (“energetic purge”)

    What impacts the effect of magic mushrooms?

    • Physical
    • Age
    • Body weight/size, muscle mass
    • Genetics, medical history
    • Drug tolerance
    • Drug interactions
    • Drug purity and dosage
    • Mindset
    • Patient attitude and expectations
    • Psychological flexibility/outlook
    • Preconceptions of treatment
    • Affective processes
    • Recreational consumption 
    • Past experiences with drug use
    • Setting
    • Music and/or art
    • Religious & spiritual imagery
    • Engagement with nature
    • Use of a purpose-built facility
    • Cultural influences
    • Social interaction


    The best effect of magic mushrooms is a safe and positive experience. 

    It is important to approach psychedelic substances cautiously, seek guidance from a qualified healthcare professional, and consume them in a safe and controlled environment.

    It is important to note that a bad trip does not necessarily mean that the psychedelic substance is unsafe or that the individual is in danger. However, it can be a challenging experience and may require additional support and care.

    If you or someone you know is experiencing a bad trip, it is important to stay calm and seek support from a trusted individual. Changing the setting, listening to calming music, or engaging in breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques may also be helpful. If the experience becomes overwhelming or the individual experiences severe distress, seeking professional help may be necessary. 



    • Self-reported negative outcomes of psilocybin users: A quantitative textual analysis
    • Trips and neurotransmitters: Discovering principled patterns across 6850 hallucinogenic experiences
    • The Therapeutic Potential of Psilocybin
    • User experiences: Erowid
    • Making “bad trips” good: How users of psychedelics narratively transform challenging trips into valuable experiences
    • Cannabis industry stats
    • Beyond cannabis: Psychedelic decriminalization and social justice
    • New Study Estimates Over 5.5 Million U.S. Adults Use Hallucinogens