There aren’t very many psychedelic compounds that can be simply harvested from nature and eaten, with no further preparation. However, this usually requires months of study in the identification of mushrooms and may come with an increased risk of nausea and discomfort.
Most people encounter magic mushrooms in a bag, dried and ready to munch. While this method will definitely get you to where you want to go, there are some alternative ways to prepare mushrooms, which may change certain aspects of your psilocybin experience.
How to prepare magic mushrooms
One big thing to keep in mind is that your stomach has a massive influence over your trip, no matter how you prepare your magic mushrooms. An empty stomach (no solid food for 4-8 hours) can result in a very fast onset and intense experience, compared to eating a large meal just before the mushrooms. Some snacks or a light meal is usually suggested in the hours before eating magic mushrooms, but not required. Be sure to have some calories on-hand for “trip food” in case you get hungry.
The obvious first choice when it comes to magic mushrooms is to simply eat them. The downside is that they’re not very palatable, especially for someone who doesn’t like the flavour. The actual mushroom mass – other than the roughly 2% psilocybin by weight – may also contain some compounds that could contribute to nausea at the beginning of your psilocybin experience.
Make a mushroom tea
Psilocybin is incredibly soluble in water, unlike the oil-based and resinous extracts of cannabis. This means that the active ingredients can easily be removed from magic mushrooms with water alone. Conveniently, psilocybin also seems to be relatively stable below 100°C – the maximum temperature of boiling water.
To maximize potency, mushrooms should only be in boiling/simmering water for up to 15 minutes. This is more than enough time to complete a near-total extraction of psilocybin. The process is faster if the pieces are smaller – grinding or breaking up your mushrooms helps. Just ensure that you have a strainer that’s capable of removing the small chunks, unless you don’t mind them in your tea.
Once the psilocybin is extracted into a tea, you can add any flavourings you find appealing to make the brew most palatable. Savoury stocks like chicken or beef can almost completely mask the mushroom flavour, and ginger is helpful if you’re prone to nausea. Your favourite tea can also contribute to the start of your psilocybin experience, by promoting a calm and relaxed state of mind.
The “Lemon Tek”
Adding lemon – or other acidic substances like citrus or tomato – can significantly change your experience with psilocybin. While the mechanism is uncertain, it is suspected that psilocybin may be broken into psilocin under acidic conditions. For whatever reason, this produces a very intense trip that often also has a shorter duration. This method should only be considered by those with prior experience with psychedelics.