How Long Do Mushrooms Take to Kick In?

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How Long Do Mushrooms Take to Kick In?


Psychoactive mushrooms, often referred to as “magic mushrooms,” have captured the interest of people for centuries due to their profound effects on perception, mood, and consciousness. These naturally occurring fungi contain the active compound psilocybin, which, when ingested, is converted into psilocin, the substance responsible for their hallucinogenic properties. Understanding how long it takes for these mushrooms to kick in is crucial for anyone considering their use, whether for recreational, spiritual, or therapeutic purposes.

How Long Do Mushrooms Take to Kick In?

What are Psychoactive Mushrooms?

  • Definition and Types of Psychoactive Mushrooms

Psychoactive mushrooms belong to various genera, the most well-known being Psilocybe. These mushrooms contain psilocybin and psilocin, the primary psychoactive compounds. There are over 180 species of psilocybin-containing mushrooms, with Psilocybe cubensis being the most popular due to its widespread availability and ease of cultivation.

  • Brief History and Cultural Significance

The use of psychoactive mushrooms dates back thousands of years, with evidence suggesting their role in religious and spiritual ceremonies among indigenous cultures in Mesoamerica. The Aztecs referred to them as “teonanácatl,” meaning “flesh of the gods,” and used them in sacred rituals. In the modern era, they gained prominence during the counterculture movement of the 1960s and have since been studied for their potential therapeutic benefits.

  • Legal Status Around the World

The legal status of psychoactive mushrooms varies globally. In some countries, such as the Netherlands and Brazil, they are decriminalized or legally tolerated. In others, like the United States and most of Europe, they are classified as Schedule I substances, making them illegal to possess, sell, or use. However, recent decriminalization efforts in cities like Denver and Oakland reflect a growing shift in societal attitudes towards these substances.

The Chemistry Behind Mushrooms

  • Active Compounds in Psychoactive Mushrooms

The primary active compounds in psychoactive mushrooms are psilocybin and psilocin. Psilocybin is a prodrug, meaning it is biologically inactive until it is metabolized into psilocin, which then exerts its psychoactive effects by binding to serotonin receptors in the brain, particularly the 5-HT2A receptor.

  • Psilocybin and Its Effects on the Brain

Psilocin’s interaction with serotonin receptors leads to changes in perception, mood, and cognition. This can result in altered sensory experiences, emotional introspection, and, at higher doses, profound mystical or transcendental experiences. Neuroimaging studies have shown that psilocybin decreases activity in the brain’s default mode network, which is associated with ego and self-referential thinking, potentially facilitating a sense of interconnectedness and ego dissolution.

  • Conversion of Psilocybin to Psilocin

Upon ingestion, psilocybin is rapidly dephosphorylated to psilocin, primarily in the liver. This conversion process typically begins within 20 to 40 minutes, although individual metabolic rates can vary. Psilocin then crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to serotonin receptors, initiating the psychoactive effects.

Factors Affecting Onset Time

  • Dosage

The amount of psilocybin consumed significantly influences how quickly the effects are felt. Higher doses tend to produce faster onset times due to the increased availability of psilocin in the bloodstream. However, higher doses also carry a greater risk of intense and potentially overwhelming experiences.

  • Method of Consumption

How mushrooms are consumed also affects onset time. Eating raw or dried mushrooms usually results in a slower onset compared to drinking mushroom tea, where the active compounds are more readily absorbed. Capsules and tablets may have a delayed onset due to the time required for digestion.

  • Individual Body Chemistry

Each person’s body chemistry plays a role in how quickly psilocybin is metabolized into psilocin. Factors such as enzyme activity, liver function, and overall metabolic rate can lead to significant variations in onset times between individuals.

  • Presence of Food in the Stomach

Consuming mushrooms on an empty stomach typically leads to a faster onset of effects, as there are fewer substances competing for absorption. Conversely, a full stomach can delay the onset as the mushrooms must first be digested along with other food.

Methods of Consumption

  • Eating Raw Mushrooms

Consuming raw or dried mushrooms is the most straightforward method, involving chewing and swallowing the mushrooms. This method generally has a slower onset time, with effects typically beginning within 30 to 60 minutes.

  • Drinking Mushroom Tea

Mushroom tea involves steeping dried mushrooms in hot water, often with added flavors like ginger or honey to mask the taste. This method allows for faster absorption of psilocin, with effects usually starting within 20 to 40 minutes.

  • Capsules and Tablets

Psilocybin capsules or tablets offer a controlled dosage and are easier to ingest for those who dislike the taste of mushrooms. However, the onset time can be slower, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the formulation and the individual’s digestive process.

  • Other Creative Consumption Methods

Innovative consumption methods, such as psilocybin-infused chocolates or gummies, are becoming more popular. These methods can vary widely in onset time depending on the specific formulation and how they are metabolized.

Average Onset Times

  • Typical Onset Time for Raw Mushrooms

When consuming raw or dried mushrooms, most users report feeling the initial effects within 30 to 60 minutes. This can vary based on individual factors such as metabolism and body chemistry.

  • Onset Time for Mushroom Tea

Mushroom tea generally leads to a quicker onset of effects, often within 20 to 40 minutes. The hot water extraction process helps to break down the mushrooms, allowing for faster absorption of the active compounds.

  • Comparing Different Methods

Different methods of consumption can lead to varying onset times. For instance, eating raw mushrooms typically has the slowest onset, while drinking mushroom tea offers a faster experience. Capsules and other innovative products fall somewhere in between, with onset times influenced by their specific formulation and the individual’s metabolism.

The Role of Set and Setting

  •  Definition of Set and Setting

The concepts of “set” (mindset) and “setting” (environment) are crucial in determining the nature of a mushroom experience. “Set” refers to the user’s mental state, including their thoughts, mood, and expectations. “Setting” encompasses the physical and social environment in which the mushrooms are consumed.

  • Impact on the Onset and Overall Experience

A positive mindset and a comfortable, safe environment can enhance the onset and overall experience, leading to beneficial and insightful journeys. Conversely, a negative mindset or chaotic environment can contribute to anxiety and a challenging experience.

  • Tips for a Positive Experience

To ensure a positive experience, users should prepare by choosing a safe, familiar environment, setting clear intentions, and being in a good mental state. Having a trusted friend present, known as a “trip sitter,” can provide additional support and reassurance.

Personal Factors

  • Body Weight and Metabolism

Body weight and metabolic rate significantly influence how quickly psilocybin is metabolized into psilocin. Individuals with faster

metabolisms may experience quicker onset times, while those with slower metabolisms may feel the effects more gradually.

  • Tolerance Levels

Regular users may develop a tolerance to psilocybin, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effects. This tolerance can also impact onset times, as higher doses may be needed to initiate the same level of effects as in a novice user.

  • Psychological State

A person’s current psychological state, including their emotional and mental health, can affect the onset and intensity of a mushroom trip. Stress, anxiety, or unresolved psychological issues can influence how the experience unfolds.

Combining with Other Substances

  • Alcohol

Combining mushrooms with alcohol can alter the onset and overall effects. Alcohol may initially dampen the effects of psilocybin, leading to a delayed onset. Additionally, the combination can increase the risk of nausea and impair judgment.

  • Cannabis

Cannabis is often used in conjunction with mushrooms to enhance the experience. Some users find that cannabis intensifies the effects of psilocybin and can alter the onset time. However, it can also increase the likelihood of anxiety and paranoia.

  • Other Psychedelics

Combining mushrooms with other psychedelics, such as LSD or DMT, can lead to unpredictable and intense experiences. This practice is generally not recommended for inexperienced users due to the complexity and potential for overwhelming effects.

Recognizing the Onset of Effects

  • Initial Physical Sensations

The onset of mushroom effects often begins with subtle physical sensations, such as a tingling or warm feeling, increased heart rate, and a sense of lightness or euphoria. These initial symptoms can signal the beginning of the trip.

  • Psychological and Perceptual Changes

As the effects progress, users may notice changes in their perception of reality. This can include visual distortions, enhanced colors, and patterns, as well as altered auditory and tactile sensations. Emotional and cognitive shifts, such as heightened introspection and altered thought processes, are also common.

  • Timeline of the First Hour

The first hour of a mushroom trip is typically characterized by a gradual buildup of effects. Users may experience fluctuating intensity as the psilocybin takes hold. By the end of the first hour, most users are fully immersed in the experience, with peak effects occurring shortly thereafter.

Common Misconceptions

  • Myths About Onset Time

A common myth is that mushrooms take effect instantly. In reality, there is usually a gradual onset period. Another misconception is that all users will experience effects within the same timeframe, disregarding individual differences.

  • Misinterpretation of Delayed Effects

Delayed onset can lead some users to mistakenly believe they haven’t consumed enough, prompting them to take additional doses. This can result in unexpectedly intense experiences once the initial dose takes full effect.

Duration of the Experience

  • Typical Length of a Mushroom Trip

A typical mushroom trip lasts between 4 to 6 hours, with the peak effects occurring around 2 to 3 hours after ingestion. The duration can vary based on factors such as dosage, individual metabolism, and method of consumption.

  • Peaks and Waves of the Experience

Mushroom trips often involve waves or peaks of intensity, where the effects fluctuate in strength. Users might experience periods of heightened visuals and emotional intensity followed by moments of relative calm.

  • Post-Trip Afterglow

After the primary effects of the trip subside, many users report a period of afterglow, characterized by feelings of relaxation, introspection, and emotional clarity. This afterglow can last for several hours or even days, contributing to the overall positive impact of the experience.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

  • Short-Term Side Effects

Common short-term side effects of mushrooms include nausea, dizziness, and increased heart rate. Psychological effects such as anxiety, paranoia, and confusion can also occur, especially at higher doses.

  • Long-Term Psychological Effects

While most users do not experience long-term negative effects, there is potential for lasting psychological impact, particularly in individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions. Persistent changes in perception, such as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), though rare, can occur.

  • Managing Adverse Reactions

In the event of an adverse reaction, it is important to remain calm and seek a safe environment. Support from a sober friend or trip sitter can help manage anxiety. In severe cases, professional medical assistance may be required.

Harm Reduction Tips

  • Safe Usage Guidelines

To minimize risks, start with a low dose, especially if you are a first-time user. Ensure you are in a safe, comfortable environment and have a trusted person present. Avoid mixing mushrooms with other substances that could compound adverse effects.

  • Preparation for the Experience

Prepare for your trip by setting clear intentions, meditating, and ensuring you are in a positive mental state. Avoid consuming mushrooms if you are feeling anxious or stressed, as this can influence the nature of the experience.

  • Post-Trip Care

After the trip, take time to rest and integrate the experience. Hydrate, eat nutritious food, and reflect on any insights gained. If you experienced challenging emotions, consider discussing them with a trusted friend or therapist.

Integration and Aftercare

  • Reflecting on the Experience

Post-trip reflection is crucial for integrating the insights and lessons learned during the experience. Journaling, meditation, and discussing your experience with others can help solidify these insights into your daily life.

  • Integrating Insights into Daily Life

Take practical steps to apply the insights gained from your trip. This might involve making lifestyle changes, setting new goals, or altering perspectives on personal issues. Integration can help ensure the benefits of the experience are long-lasting.

  • Seeking Support if Needed

If you find it difficult to process or integrate your experience, seek support from a therapist, particularly one trained in psychedelic integration. They can provide guidance and help address any lingering issues or challenges.

Therapeutic Use of Mushrooms

  • Research on Psilocybin Therapy

Recent studies have shown promising results for psilocybin therapy in treating various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. Psilocybin has been found to facilitate profound emotional and cognitive shifts that can aid in therapeutic processes.

  • Conditions Treated with Psilocybin

Psilocybin therapy is being explored for conditions such as major depressive disorder, treatment-resistant depression, anxiety associated with terminal illness, and substance use disorders. The therapy involves guided sessions with trained professionals to maximize safety and efficacy.

  • Future of Psychedelic Therapy

The future of psychedelic therapy looks promising, with ongoing clinical trials and increasing acceptance within the medical community. Continued research and advocacy are expected to pave the way for broader access to psilocybin-assisted therapies.

Legal Considerations

  • Countries Where Mushrooms Are Legal

In some countries, such as the Netherlands, psilocybin truffles (a legal form of psychoactive fungi) are available for purchase. Other countries, like Jamaica and Brazil, have no specific laws against the use of psilocybin mushrooms.

  • Decriminalization Efforts

Decriminalization efforts are gaining momentum in various parts of the world. Cities like Denver, Oakland, and Santa Cruz have decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms, reflecting a growing movement towards recognizing their potential benefits and reducing criminal penalties.

  • Purchasing and Possessing Mushrooms

Where legal, mushrooms can be purchased from licensed vendors or grown privately. In regions where they are illegal, individuals must navigate the legal risks associated with possession and use, which can include fines and imprisonment.

Cultural Perspectives

  • Indigenous Uses of Mushrooms

Indigenous cultures, particularly in Mesoamerica, have used psilocybin mushrooms for millennia in religious and healing ceremonies. These practices are deeply embedded in their cultural and spiritual traditions, often involving rituals led by shamans or spiritual leaders.

  • Modern Recreational Use

In contemporary society, mushrooms are used recreationally for their hallucinogenic effects. Users seek experiences ranging from enhanced creativity and introspection to purely recreational trips involving altered perceptions and euphoria.

  • Societal Attitudes and Stigma

Societal attitudes towards psilocybin mushrooms are evolving, with increasing recognition of their potential benefits. However, stigma and misconceptions persist, often fueled by historical drug policies and sensationalized media portrayals.


Understanding the factors that influence how long mushrooms take to kick in is crucial for anyone considering their use. From the method of consumption and individual body chemistry to the psychological state and environment, many variables can affect the onset and overall experience. By approaching mushroom use with knowledge and preparation, users can enhance their experiences and minimize risks, paving the way for potentially transformative and beneficial journeys.

Visit For More…

  1. Erowid Psilocybin Mushroom Vault:

  2. Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research:

  3. MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies):

  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

    • Description: Provides information on the science of drug abuse and addiction, including the effects of psilocybin.
    • Link: NIDA – Hallucinogens
  5. Psychedelic Science Review:

  6. Beckley Foundation:


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