Think Twice Before Smoking Magic Mushrooms
Sure, you can smoke shrooms, but whether or not you get the psychedelic effects you would from eating them is another story.
Dried shrooms can be crushed into a powder and smoked by rolling them up on their own or by mixing them with tobacco or cannabis. Some people also put purified psilocybin crystals into pipes. But neither of these options are a great idea.
Healthline does not endorse the use of any illegal substances, and we recognize abstaining from them is always the safest approach. However, we believe in providing accessible and accurate information to reduce the harm that can occur when using.
It’s hard to say for sure what happens when you smoke shrooms. There’s not really any research on the subject, so the only reports out there are from people who’ve blazed up and shared their experience on forums like Reddit.
A handful of shroom smokers say it produces a mild high, but nothing close to a trip like you’d get from popping a handful of caps or drinking a tea preparation.
Most others, however, report it being a total waste of time with no effects at all, apart from some nausea.
The absence of any psychological effects could come down to temperature. Psilocybin breaks down at high temperatures, so lighting up shrooms basically kills the main ingredient responsible for the trippy effects.
There are several risks to consider when it comes to smoking shrooms. Then, there are the general risks associated with taking shrooms.
General smoking risks
For one, any type of smoke is bad for your health. All smoke contains harmful toxins and particulates that can damage lung tissue and blood vessels, and increase the risk for lung cancer.
If you smoke shrooms mixed with tobacco, you tack on all the risks associated with that, too.
Smoking shrooms also carries extra risk for your lungs by way of mold spores. Inhaling certain types of mold increases your risk of lung inflammation and infections.
If you have a mold allergy, preexisting lung condition, or a weakened immune system, inhaling certain mold species can have serious health consequences.
If you do happen to experience any of the psychoactive effects of psilocybin after smoking, keep in mind that bad trips are a possibility when you do shrooms.
A bad trip can include disturbing or downright frightening hallucinations, panic, and trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality.
Physical side effects
Shrooms can cause some unpleasant physical effects, too, including:
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- nausea and vomiting
- increased body temperature
- abdominal cramps and diarrhea
- muscle weakness
- uncoordinated movement
Psychological side effects
When taken in higher doses, shrooms and other hallucinogens alter your perception of reality, which may lead you to do things you wouldn’t normally do.
While you’re unlikely to have much of a trip from smoking shrooms, it’s still a possibility to be prepared for.
Mushrooms are mostly ingested orally, either dry or fresh. Some people eat them as-is, while others add them to other foods. They’re also often steeped in boiling water or tea.
Some people get fancy with their fungi and dip them in chocolate or add them to soups, smoothies, or milkshakes.
Though not as common, some people grind dried shrooms into powder and snort it. But based on first-hand reports online, this isn’t recommended.
There’s no such thing as completely safe substance use (or smoking, for that matter), but there are some things you can do to reduce certain risks.
If you’re going to take shrooms, consider these tips:
- Choose a different method. Seriously, smoking’s generally not the way to go, especially when it comes to shrooms. You probably won’t feel anything. Plus, you could end up inhaling harmful spores.
- Mind your dose. You should start with the lowest dose possible before gradually working your way up. Hallucinogens can be unpredictable, and higher doses increase the chances of a bad trip and adverse effects.
- If you do smoke them, don’t hold your inhale. Inhaling deep and holding the inhale exposes your lungs to toxins for longer periods. If you’re going to smoke shrooms, exhale right away.
- Have a trip-sitter. You should have at least one sober and trustworthy person who can step up if you trip out and need help.
- Pick the right time. Your mood plays a role in your experience when it comes to psychedelics. No matter how you do shrooms, make sure you do them only when you’re in a positive head space.
- Pick the right place. Somewhere safe and familiar is the way to go. It’ll help you relax and keep you safe should you hallucinate or get anxious.
- Stay hydrated. Shrooms can raise your body temp and dry out your mouth. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated before, during, and after your trip. It may also help with the comedown.
- Eat something. Shrooms tend to cause some gastrointestinal discomfort, especially when you eat them. You can reduce your chances of this happening by eating something first.
- Don’t mix. Mixing substances is generally a bad idea because it makes the effects even more unpredictable. This goes for alcohol, too.
When to get help
Above all, make sure you know how to spot trouble. Call 911 right away if you or someone else experiences the following after doing shrooms:
- trouble breathing
- irregular heartbeat
You can smoke shrooms — but if you’re looking to trip, then you’re probably better off getting your shroom on another way.
There’s no scientific evidence that smoking shrooms produces the psychoactive effects associated with psilocybin, but we do know that inhaling any type of smoke is harmful.
Keep in mind that, while hallucinogens typically aren’t considered to be as addictive as other substances, using them regularly can lead to problems in your day-to-day life.
If you’re concerned about your substance use and want to get help, you have options:
- Talk to your primary health care provider (FYI, patient confidentiality laws prevent them from sharing this info with law enforcement).
- Call SAMHSA’s national helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357), or search their online treatment locator.
- Find a support group through the Support Group Project.
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow, or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddleboard.
Magic mushrooms are often eaten or crushed into a powder — but can you smoke shrooms? Smoking shrooms may not give you the psychedelic effects you desire. Any type of smoke is also bad for your health.
Can You Smoke Shrooms?
Some magic mushroom enthusiasts support smoking shrooms. According to these individuals, smoking the mushrooms (normally in conjunction with eating them) enhances the trip. Naturally, other fans of shroom trips which take the fungus the conventional way might wonder if they are missing out on something. Which leads to two questions. The first is, can you smoke mushrooms? The short answer is yes. The second question is, should you smoke them? The short answer: probably not.
The longer answer is that not a lot of research has been done on the effects of smoking shrooms. The evidence supporting the consumption of shrooms by smoking them is mostly anecdotal. However, there is a lot of evidence that eating mushrooms work just fine, and smoking them almost certainly works less well. Orally consuming magic mushrooms is the most efficient way to trip, and there are other reasons smoking probably is not the best idea as well. For one, mushrooms are usually smoked with other substances, such as tobacco or cannabis, which can alter a trip for the worse. Second, spores from the mushroom can become lodged in the throat or lungs if the fungus is smoked, possibly causing suffocation. Finally, igniting the mushroom destroys the mushroom’s psychoactive components, so there is no real point.
Can you smoke shrooms?
Smoking shrooms is certainly possible. Magic mushrooms can be smoked if they are dried and then ground into a powder. They are then normally rolled into a joint along with another substance, like cannabis or tobacco.
Some psychedelic fans like to smoke and eat mushrooms at the same time, believing the combination improves the strength of the trip. Other psychedelic smoking advocates claim that smoking shrooms temper the intense psychoactive high that the fungus normally produces for a more mellow effect. Smoking mushrooms supposedly leads to feelings of euphoria, enlightenment, and insight. Some shroom smokers say that inhaling the fungus guarantees a good trip, increasing creativity, uplifting moods, and heightening the senses to inspire feelings of awe while taking in the world.
Should you smoke shrooms?
The reason that cannabis can be either smoked or eaten is that it has to go through a process called decarboxylation in order to have an effect. The desirable cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, start out as THCA and CBDA, which are inactive. To decarboxylate the cannabinoids within the plant and get them ready for consumption, the cannabis must be heated, burning off the excess carboxyl group and turning the acids into THC and CBD so their full effects can be enjoyed. When smoked, the decarboxylation process occurs when the joint or bowl is lit by a lighter. When making edibles, the cannabis must first be baked to activate the weed’s cannabinoids.
Magic mushrooms, on the other hand, operate very differently. Shrooms contain the psychoactive compound psilocybin. This chemical is what distorts time perception, enhances the vividness of colors, sharpens hearing, and creates the euphoric feeling that comes with a shroom trip. Psilocybin combusts at 180℃ or 356℉. Cannabis and tobacco, on the other hand, burns between 500℃ and 900℃, or 932℉ and 1652℉. While cannabis may be activated by being smoked, psilocybin burns away, and no high is produced. While some shroom smokers still claim that smoking helps enhance the high, there is no concrete evidence of that. Some argue that magic mushrooms can be smoked at low enough temperatures to have an effect, but even so, the high is comparatively weak and does not last as long as it would if the shrooms were eaten instead.
Smoking shrooms actually comes with a few risks that are not present if they are just eaten. The main risk is that spores, or airborne fungi, can become lodged in the throat and lungs. Spores that get stuck can lead to inflammation in the throat and chest, and possibly cause choking. Once they are stuck, spores might also require a long and uncomfortable medical procedure to remove.
Also, since people usually smoke mushrooms along with some other substance and often eat mushrooms at the same time, the mingling of chemicals could lead to a very bad trip. Some negative effects might include paranoia, anxiety, vomiting, fear, confusion, headaches, and large gaps in memory. While normally the chances of having a bad trip after taking shrooms are very low if they are simply eaten. with only 14% of people having a bad experience after eating 3.2 grams according to one study, the chances of a bad trip go up when other substances like cannabis or tobacco are introduced.
Read here what the experts say about the effects of eating vs. smoking shrooms. How to do it, the risk, benefits, and effect.