What Are Magic Mushrooms?
There are around twelve different varieties of magic mushrooms that grow wild throughout the UK in autumn, and they have a powerful hallucinogenic effect similar to LSD.
The main type of mushroom used is called liberty cap psilocybe. The other more potent variety is the amanita muscaria this bears close resemblance to deadly poisonous fungi. Magic mushrooms contain the psychedelic chemical psilocybin.
Magic mushrooms can be eaten raw or they can be cooked or stewed into a tea and drunk; they can also be dried and then stored.
Magic Mushroom Street Names
Liberties, magics, mushies, liberty cap, psilcybe semilanceata, psilcybin, shrooms, Amani agaric, Fly Agaric
Appearance and Use
Once the trip has started there is no way to control or stop it, and a bad trip can be unpredictable, with users experiencing feelings of paranoia and being out of control. Users sometimes experience severe stomach pains, as well as diarrhoea and sickness. Too often, magic mushrooms can be confused with other poisonous, sometimes deadly fungi, so if users experience illness, they should get to hospital as soon as possible with a sample of the fungi. Users do not become physically addicted and there are no withdrawal symptoms.
Psilcybin mushrooms are small and tan coloured and bruise blue when they're touched. Amanita Muscaria are more like the red and white spotted toadstools you see in fairytale books. After picking, they're both either eaten raw or dried out and stored. Most people take between 1-5 grams.
The biggest danger with taking any magic mushrooms is making sure you're taking the right thing. There are hundreds of varieties of out there and some of them are highly poisonous. And as you'd expect with something that grows naturally, the strength varies depending on the freshness, the season and regional variations.
Magic Mushroom's Effects
Both types of mushroom give you a trip. Trips can be good or bad. A good trip can be a lot of fun. A bad trip is your worst nightmare come to life. Any sort of trip can have quite random and sometimes very frightening effects. Trips feed off a person's imagination. One person can spend six hours in a very happy place while someone else who's taken the same mushrooms can spend six hours lost in their own fears and paranoia.
How the trip goes has everything to do with who you are, how you're feeling and how comfortable you are with the people you are with. 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 distort colour, sound and objects.
- Both mushrooms can speed up and slow down time and movement.
- Both mushrooms can make you feel more emotionally sensitive. Some people feel more creative and enlightened.
- Amanita's can give you the sort of out of body experience that makes you feel like you're dreaming when you're awake.
- Amanita's can give you synesthesia which allows you to smell words and taste colours.
- 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 (although there are things you can do to try and avoid a bad trip).
- You're not in complete control of what you're doing. Your perception of your body and the world around you can be distorted.
- Both mushrooms can make you feel sick, tired and disoriented.
- Amanita's can make you nervous, twitchy and cold.
- Amanita's can make make you feel so withdrawn inside your own head that you can't hold a sensible conversation.
What Does the Law Say?
On the 18 July 2005 the Drugs Act 2005 came into force. The new law means that raw magic mushrooms, as well as those that are dried or prepared, are now classified as Class A drugs. Possession of magic mushrooms could lead to up to seven years in jail and an unlimited fine. Supplying someone else with magic mushrooms could get you life imprisonment and an unlimited fine. It is illegal to import, export, produce, supply, possess or possess with intent to supply magic mushrooms, in any form. It is also illegal to supply growing kits. In the past only dried and prepared magic mushrooms were illegal because they contained high levels or the Class A chemical psilocybin. Now raw mushrooms that contain psilocybin are also illegal. This law has come in to halt the sale of raw magic mushrooms by commercial vendors. Special exceptions will be made for magic mushrooms growing unattended on private land or for those members of the public who may have picked magic mushrooms unknowingly. This law does not apply to fly agaric mushrooms as they do not contain psilocybin.