Shrooms (also known as magic mushrooms or simply mushrooms) are mushrooms that contain psilocybin or psilocin, chemicals that cause psychedelic hallucinations. Shrooms can be eaten fresh or cooked into other foods like any other mushrooms. Dried shrooms can also be snorted, injected, or brewed into a tea. Most people will feel the effects of shrooms after about 30 minutes. These effects last for three to six hours and include hallucinations as well altered thinking, sense of time, and emotions.
The use of shrooms has also increased in recent years, particularly among young adults. They aren’t physically addictive, but it is possible to become psychologically addictive to them. They can also pose health risks if they are improperly stored. This is why we’re going to discuss how long they last in storage as well as how long they will stay in your system.
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What Are Shrooms? How Do They Work?
Shrooms refer to psilocybin mushrooms, a group of fungi that contain psilocybin. Most of these mushrooms belong to the genus Psilocybe, but species across several genera contain psilocybin and similar chemicals. There are over 200 different types of mushrooms that contain these substances, but the most common are:
- Psilocybe cubensis (Gold Caps)
- Psilocybe semilanceata (Liberty Caps)
- Psilocybe baeocystis (Bottle Caps or Blue Bells)
- Psilocybe cyanescens (Wavy Caps)
- Psilocybe mexicana
- Psilocybe azurescens
- Psilocybe zapotecorum
- Panaeolus cyanescens
- Amanita muscaria
Duration and Effects When Consumed
When a psilocybin mushroom is ingested, your body turns the psilocybin into psilocin, which is what causes the psychedelic effects associated with shrooms. These effects can include hallucinations, feelings of euphoria, headaches, nausea, confusion, and anxiety. These effects can vary depending on how many mushrooms you take, your surroundings, who you’re with, and your overall mood when you take shrooms. If you feel comfortable with your surroundings and are in a good mood, you might have a pleasant experience on shrooms. On the other hand, if you’re not in a good mood or you’re not comfortable with your surroundings or the people around you, you might experience a “bad trip” or get flashbacks that can be frightening and unsettling. Dosage can also make a difference. If someone only takes a small dose of shrooms, you might not know they’re on anything at all. If they take a larger dose or they don’t have a high tolerance, they might behave more unpredictably or become paranoid. Some people lose complete control during a really bad trip or after taking a high dose and put themselves or others at risk of injury.
Most people will begin to feel the effects of shrooms about 30 minutes after taking them. The effects last between three and six hours, with the first three to four hours usually being the most intense. Some people experience delayed headaches after coming down from shrooms, while others might feel exhausted or depressed.
Duration of effects based on dosage:
- Low Dose (0.1 – 1 grams): At this level, effects are usually mild and can last from 3 to 6 hours. The experience might include slight visual enhancements and a change in thought patterns.
- Moderate Dose (1 – 2 grams): This is often considered a standard dose. Effects can last from 4 to 7 hours and may include more pronounced visual and sensory distortion, enhanced colors, and deeper introspective thoughts.
- High Dose (2 – 3.5 grams and above): High doses can lead to a more intense experience that can last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. Users might experience significant visual hallucinations, profound thought changes, and a strong emotional response.
Factors Influencing Duration and Intensity
As with most drugs, the effects of shrooms can be influenced by a number of factors. For example, taking shrooms on an empty stomach can speed up the onset time, and it is possible to develop a tolerance to shrooms if you take them every day for as little as three to four days. You may even develop a complete tolerance if you take shrooms every day for several days. This means that you will experience little to no effects when taking them unless you take a higher dose.
Shelf Life and Storage of Shrooms
Shrooms are a type of fungus, making them particularly vulnerable to mold and decay if they aren’t stored correctly. If shrooms aren’t properly dried or they are exposed to too much moisture, they will start to decay quickly and become unsafe to consume after about a week. As with most mushrooms, fresh shrooms that have gone bad will have a slimy texture, look shriveled, or have dark spots that weren’t there before.
Dried shrooms that are stored in a cool dark place can last up to 12 months, although they do lose their potency over time. Frozen shrooms have been known to last for four years or more without losing their potency.
Risks and Safety Concerns When Using Shrooms
The biggest health risk associated with taking shrooms is accidentally consuming the wrong mushroom. Many mushrooms are incredibly poisonous, and they can be fatal if they are taken by mistake.
As for shrooms themselves, they can cause physical symptoms such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, and diarrhea. Death from overdosing on shrooms is very rare, but it is possible to experience other symptoms from an overdose such as:
Most of the effects of a shroom overdose will fade after six-to-eight hours, although some can persist for several days.
By far the biggest danger of taking shrooms is how it can affect one’s mental health. If you have mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, taking shrooms can make them worse. While taking any amount of drug is inherently unsafe, shrooms are safest when taken in a calm setting with those you trust. If you’re not in a good mood or you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, you increase the risk of having a bad trip or having flashbacks to previous traumatic events. Mixing shrooms with alcohol or other drugs can increase the effects of both substances. It can also affect your judgment and cause you to take more shrooms or other substances than you intended to take.
Shrooms aren’t considered to be physically addictive, but they can be psychologically addictive if they are taken too regularly. Signs of shroom addiction can include an increased tolerance to psilocybin and feelings of depression and anxiety in those who try to quit.
Shrooms are illegal in the United States at the federal level. They are also illegal in most states, although they have been decriminalized in certain municipalities in Michigan, Massachusetts, Colorado, California, and Washington. They have also been fully decriminalized in Oregon. There are currently several efforts underway to change the legal status of shrooms, stating that prohibition hasn’t curbed their use and has only led to harsh legal punishments for nonviolent offenders. Studies have also shown that psilocybin may be effective in treating conditions such as depression, anxiety, and drug addiction.
Shrooms are not physically addictive, and death from overdose is incredibly rare. Still, taking them in the wrong circumstances or overuse can still be dangerous. If you do decide to take shrooms, make sure that you know exactly what you are taking, and only do so in an environment where you feel safe. If you store shrooms, remember that they can last for close to a year when they are properly dried and stored in a cool dark location. If you have fresh shrooms, store them in a dry place and use them within a week if you don’t plan to freeze or dry them.
Even though shrooms aren’t physically addictive, psychological addiction can still occur. If you or someone you know has an addiction to shrooms or other substances, there is help available. Contact the Illinois Recovery Center today for more information about our treatment programs. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you might have and help you find a program that is best for you.