How To Take Shrooms
Reason magazine|March 2021
A concise guide to experimenting with psilocybin
By Mike Riggs

So let’s say psilocybin mushrooms are newly decriminalized where you live, and you are now open to having your first psychedelic experience. Allow me to share some of the practical knowledge I have gleaned from talking to experts and old heads, reading books and articles, and consuming various amounts of magic mushrooms in various settings.

Begin by trying very hard to find a reason why you should not consume shrooms. What exactly are the laws where you live? Are you on parole or probation? Do you take any prescription drugs? Google your medication’s name and “shrooms.” Do you have epilepsy? Search drug forums to find out how other epilepsy sufferers have fared on psilocybin. Do you need to monitor your glucose throughout the day? Search drug forums for the experiences of diabetics.

Avoid rehab websites and focus instead on forums where people talk about their own use, such as shroomery.org and erowid.org, both of which contain countless “trip reports.” You will find more anecdotes than hard research, but you can still learn a lot. If a self-assessment does not put you at ease, you can also tell your doctor or therapist that you are considering taking shrooms and ask for his or her informed opinion. Be honest and fair with yourself. Not all drugs are for everyone, and there are other ways to open the doors of perception. While psilocybin is not poisonous to your organs, it does leave you vulnerable to external dangers. Anyone taking a prescription drug for depression or anxiety should do extra research, as some drugs mute the effects of the tryptamines in psilocybin, while other drugs amplify the effects.

Once you have conducted a clear-eyed risk assessment, it’s time to find some fungi. I recommend dried mushrooms (the standard method of preservation), because they are easy to measure and they keep for a while. You can grow a personal stash and dry them discreetly at home (turn again to that internet browser and search for “PF Tek” for instructions), or you can buy one-eighth of an ounce, likely for $25–$40. If you have adventurous adult children, ask them to help you find a trustworthy source. The marijuana user in your life probably knows someone who knows someone, and he will not think you are weird for asking him. It is unwise to purchase shrooms from Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or from a stranger without an introduction. Foraging for wild shrooms is also an option, but please seek help from someone who’s done it before. It can take hours to feel the effects of eating the wrong kind of wild mushroom, by which point it will likely have damaged your kidneys and liver.

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