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Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms are mushrooms that grow in the wild. They produce similar hallucinogenic-type effects to LSD when you eat them. There are two main types and they’re quite different. The most common form is a species called psilocybe semilanceata or ‘liberty cap’, while the other more potent variety is amanita muscaria or ‘fly agaric’. There are deadly poisonous species of amanitas, so if you don't know what you're doing, it’s wise not to take them.

Slang: Street names for drugs can vary around the country. Magic mushrooms, Liberties, magics, mushies, liberty cap, shrooms, Amani, agaric.

Magic Mushroom Effects

  • The effects for both mushrooms can take between 30 minutes to two hours to happen. The strongest part of the trip takes 4-10 hours and the after-effects usually last a further 2-6 hours. The more you take, the longer your trip could last.
  • Both mushrooms can make you feel confident, relaxed and in good spirits.
  • They can distort color, sound and objects. One effect can be that your senses get mixed up so that, for example, you think you can hear colors and you can see sounds.
  • They can also speed up and slow down your sense of time and movement. You may feel like you're dreaming when you're awake.
  • You can feel more emotionally sensitive. Some people become creative and feel enlightened.

Chances of getting hooked

Magic mushrooms are not addictive although, like with LSD, you can become tolerant of the effects quite quickly.

Magic Mushroom and The Law

The new Drugs Act 2005 has changed the law so that now both fresh and prepared (e.g. dried or stewed) magic mushrooms that contain psilocin or psilocybin are classified as Class A drugs. Possession can get you up to seven years in jail and/or an unlimited fine. Supplying someone else, including your friends, with magic mushrooms can get you life imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.   

Appearance and use

Psilocybe Semilanceata, or liberty caps, are small and tan-colored and they bruise blue when they're touched. Amanita Muscaria, or fly agaric, mushrooms are more like the red and white spotted toadstools you see in fairytale books.

After picking, they're often eaten raw or are dried out and stored. Most people take between 1-5 grams. The fly agaric mushrooms tend not to be consumed raw as they can cause severe nausea.

Magic Mushroom Purity

The biggest danger with taking any magic mushrooms is making sure you’ve picked the right thing. There are hundreds of varieties and some of them are highly poisonous.

As you'd expect with something that grows naturally, the strength varies depending on the freshness, the season and there are regional variations.

The risks

  • Both types of mushrooms can make you feel sick, tired and disoriented but fly agaric (Amanita Muscaria) is much more potent and risky to take.
  • ‘Bad trips’ are seriously frightening and unsettling. And you can't tell whether you're going to have a bad trip or a good trip. Also you can get flashbacks some time afterwards.
  • You may be at risk when you’re not in complete control of what you're doing. Your perception of your body and the world around you can be distorted.
  • Eating the wrong kind of mushroom can make you seriously ill, and even kill you.
  • Magic mushrooms can complicate any mental health issues you may have.

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