Magic mushrooms are very safe among recreational drugs when taken responsibly and in moderation. According to Adam Winstock, founder of the Global Drug Survey and consultant addiction psychiatrist, “magic mushrooms are one of the safest drugs in the world.”
Compared to users of MDMA, LSD or cocaine; users of magic mushrooms were five times less likely to require medical attention. However, there are a few fringe cases that may create some complications when psilocybin is involved. Read on if you’re wondering “is there any reason why I can’t take magic mushrooms?”
Who can’t take magic mushrooms
A psychedelic trip is purely temporary, with no known effects on the structure or health of the brain. The only semi-permanent, physical effect on the brain is the creation of tolerance to serotonergic compounds after a psilocybin trip. If a similar dose is taken within 10 to 14 days of the first trip, a significantly reduced experience is to be expected.
- If you’ve taken magic mushrooms or other serotonergic hallucinogens (LSD, DMT) in the last 10 to 14 days, it may be best to wait. If you choose to trip again, begin with an average dose – it’s impossible to estimate an accurate, higher dose to compensate for tolerance
Psychedelic compounds like psilocybin are known as “serotonergic” or “classic” hallucinogens, chemicals that directly alter the creation, action, or elimination of the neurotransmitter serotonin. While it seems counter-intuitive, anecdotes suggest that SSRIs — Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors — inhibit the effects of psilocybin.
- If you are taking SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, TCAs or other serotonergic drugs, it is best to avoid magic mushrooms unless under the supervision of a trained therapist
Depending on the preparation method, mushrooms can also interact with acids like lemon juice and potentiators like Syrian Rue. Extra research and caution is suggested before combining Psilocybin with any other substance, even alcohol or cannabis.
- If you’re new to magic mushrooms, avoid mixing them with any other compound. Alcohol and cannabis can have intensely strong synergies with psilocybin; even things as innocuous as lemon juice can potentiate the experience
For the uninitiated, average to large doses of magic mushrooms and related compounds produce entirely new effects: a “psychedelic trip” and distortions of perception, time and space. For many, this may be their first adventure into an unknown reality, a step outside the cognition to which they’ve become accustomed.
- If you, or your family, have a history of mental illness — especially any form of psychosis — it is best to avoid psychedelics entirely. The significant shift in perspective and reality caused by magic mushrooms may provoke an initial psychotic episode. If you choose to proceed nonetheless, it should be under the guidance of a trained medical professional
These restrictions and considerations are not only for magic mushrooms, they also apply largely to nearly all recreational substances. The best tool for harm-reduction is education; while psychedelics are generally considered as safe to the vast majority of people, it’s imperative to understand potential risks before exploring.