Will psilocybin really make you hallucinate?

Published Oct 4, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Erik Bofill

As recreational drugs become more popular and widely accepted within society, people are more eager than ever before to explore new and exciting options, and that is especially when it comes to the ones that are derived in nature, as they are generally viewed as safer than man-made concoctions. Once you’ve dappled in a bit of cannabis, and potentially a few other things, it often doesn’t take long to start craving, needing, and wanting more from the experience.

The ultimate recreational high will depend on your preference for effects, but the majority who seek a higher depth of sensation turn to psilocybin because it is widely known as a hallucinogen that produces incredible trips away from reality. If you believe the media, every mushroom that you eat will take you into a different world, where you might see purple elephants, dead relatives, or even God.

The appeal of a hallucination is something that seems to be ingrained into some of us, as we all crave a better understanding of the unknown, and sometimes letting go of all of the stresses of this reality is an idea that would appeal to just about anyone, but something getting labeled a hallucinogen doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have an otherworldly experience where you see things that do not actually exist.

What is psilocybin?

Psilocybin is a general term that is often used as a reference to magic mushrooms, but it is actually an active ingredient that is produced by over 200 various species of mushrooms. This fungi family is collectively called psilocybin mushrooms, but each one is different than the next. Some provide microdoses of psilocybin, and others offer a potent range that can be hazardous when consumed in larger quantities.

How it works

Psilocybin is consumed, but not in the same way that cannabis is, as this substance has an incredibly low boiling point that makes smoking it pointless, so instead, most people will eat or drink it. You can steep it into a piping hot cup of tea or coffee, or eat a couple of the caps, and after about 30 minutes, the effects will begin to take hold, as the drug enters your bloodstream.

The possible effects

Most people take psilocybin because they want to hallucinate, as that is the expectation that’s been laid out by the media for a number of years, but the truth is that very few consumers ever experience one. Some report seeing brighter colors, witnessing movement trails, seeing auras, hearing sounds clearer, or general heightened awareness of their surroundings, but very few have the pleasure of a truly psychedelic experience in the form of a hallucination.


Dose is everything

The thing about the hallucinations that so many people talk about is that they are typically taking fairly high doses of psilocybin to make them happen. It’s not that they aren’t possible when you take the drug in small amounts, but they are highly unlikely outside of first-time users. So, if this is the result that you seek, then you might have to gear up for several experiments to figure out how much it will take to work, all while expecting that you might never get there because some people just never hallucinate on shrooms.

The likely result of a magic mushroom trip

Psilocybin can be a whole lot of fun or effective medicinal treatment for a variety of conditions, and much like with cannabis, the results of this type of high are right across the board, but there are some similarities that you can use as a guide to prepare yourself for what to expect so that you aren’t shocked, scared, or disappointed.

  • Faster heart rate
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Happiness
  • Unusual sensations throughout the body
  • Euphoria
  • Distorted thinking
  • Peacefulness
  • Dizziness
  • A heightened sense of hearing
  • Visual distortions
  • Impaired coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Disconnection from reality
  • Anxiety
  • Fear

Psilocybin is the drug of the future

With everything that we already know about psilocybin combined with society's fast shift toward acceptance of cannabis, most experts are wondering why we haven't already seen sweeping legalization of this incredible drug, so it seems that we are well primed for a future that includes them, it’s just a matter of when. Yet again, nature has something incredible to offer us, and soon, psilocybin is expected to join the ranks as a legal drug of choice for both recreational and medicinal use.

5 reasons why Psilocybin might be the next legal drug to hit the market


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