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Here’s one thing shrooms are definitely not: marijuana. 

Marijuana is an herb made for smoking. Magic mushrooms are a group of fungi born for you to ingest. Sure, you could try smoking shrooms. Technically, it’s possible. But you probably won’t love the results. In fact, smoking shrooms could be downright dangerous, without any of the transformative effects.

So let’s dive deeper into shrooms 101, answer the question of “can you smoke shrooms,” and explore safer consumption methods.

What Are Shrooms?

Magic mushrooms, sometimes shortened to shrooms or elongated to psilocybin mushrooms, are mildly toxic fungi that contain a host of active compounds. However, the key ingredient you’re probably most interested in is psilocybin, which converts to psilocin in your body. Though lesser-known, psilocin is the chemical that delivers shrooms’ psychoactive properties. 

Over 180 species worldwide contain psilocybin, but not every mushroom will make you trip. Certain species belong solely in your rigatoni mushroom sauce. In contrast, others are highly poisonous, like the death cap or destroying angels. The key is to pick the right one.

One of the most abundant and safe psilocybin mushroom species is Psilocybe cubensis, which produces the most popular strains today. For example, Golden Teachers is‌ a widely known Psilocybe cubensis strain for beginners because of its medium strength and uplifting effects. On the other hand, Penis Envy is notoriously potent and not recommended for your first journey.  

If you’ve got your hands on magic mushrooms, chances are the strain belongs to the Psilocybe cubensis family. Aside from Golden Teachers and Penis Envy, you might have one of over 60 cubensis varieties, all varying in appearance and potency. 

So, with hundreds of magic mushroom species and strains worldwide, you might wonder if there’s one you can smoke.

Can You Smoke Shrooms?

If you can light something on fire, you can technically smoke it. But that doesn’t mean you should. Smoking shrooms is dangerous and also highly inefficient. In fact, you might not feel any trippy effects at all. That said, curious psychonauts with potentially too much free time have certainly tried smoking shrooms–some hated it, and others liked it. Let’s explore. 

Do Smoking Shrooms Get You High?

Some people theorize ‌you can’t get high from smoking shrooms because the heat would destroy the psilocybin before it reaches your body. Still, no accredited research team has studied the effects of smoking psychedelic mushrooms, so we can’t say for sure.

Here’s what the Reddit r/shrooms community has to say:

ChangedLlama321: “If you try, it’s an extremely unpleasant experience. I suppose some shrooms were leftover in my grinder, and it mixed with my weed, and it KILLED my throat.”

Cosmic_jimmy: ”Yea, you can smoke whatever you want, but it is not active when smoked and will burn and be very unpleasant overall.”

Zakpac: “Did this once and will never do it again. Smoking shrooms will not trip you out. You can get spores into your lung and cause major health problems.”

That said, some psychonauts report mild effects. This first-hand account from “Zara” on the Rowid Experience Vaults describes smoking Psilocybe cyanescens as a positive journey.

“As others have commented before me, this is certainly not an 'efficient' use of mushrooms. But if you aren't worried about wasting material, I found this a quite pleasant, mild effect and will definitely consider doing it again when looking for a mild mood alternate.”

The last consideration in whether smoking shrooms can get you high may depend on the species. Some say Amanita muscaria mushrooms are the exception to the general shroom smoking rule. Known as the Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria are poisonous to humans, so we would not recommend foraging these red-capped varieties. However, Fly Amanitas’s primary active ingredient is ibotenic acid instead of psilocybin. Ibotenic acid exists in the mushroom’s red skin and layer just below. Theoretically, you could peel, dry, and smoke the skin for psychoactive effects. 

All that said, we absolutely do not recommend or suggest smoking magic mushrooms of any kind. The severe risks outweigh the modest buzz you could get from any garden cannabis variety. 

What Are The Risks Of Smoking Magic Mushrooms?

When you smoke shrooms, you will almost definitely waste your investment. Additionally, you risk experiencing unpleasant effects or contracting a respiratory disease.

Inhaling Mold Spores

Magic mushrooms are prone to mold contamination, especially in humid environments. That means you could unknowingly inhale mold spores along with your shrooms, causing inflammation and lung damage. Aspergillosis is a common respiratory infection that causes mild to severe illness and blood vessel damage.

Histoplasmosis is another risk from smoking mold-covered shrooms, especially if you have a weakened immune system. Mild symptoms include lung infection or pneumonia, while serious cases can spread to the mouth, liver, and nervous system. 

In the 1990s, a house party in Wisconsin became a prime example of the worst possible outcome. Eight teenagers at the party inhaled puffball mushrooms. Within six hours, three of them reported nausea and vomiting. All patients developed a cough, fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue within three days. Two patients underwent a lung biopsy, which determined they developed Lycoperdonosis, a rare respiratory illness caused by inhaling spores of that ‌mushroom. 

General Smoking Risks

Even if your shrooms are mold spore-free, inhaling smoke is risky for your health. All smoke contains harmful toxins and microparticles that can damage your lungs and blood vessels and increase cancer risk. Even that cozy backyard fire you love on chilly nights is dangerous. Exposure to wood-burning smoke can cause asthma attacks and bronchitis while aggravating lung and heart disease. Regardless of what you’re inhaling, you risk irritating your lungs, increasing inflammation, or damaging the immune system. 

Does that mean smoking shrooms once will cause cancer? Probably not, but when you factor in all the elements, this is just one more reason smoking shrooms makes no sense. 

Possible Shroom Side Effects

Magic mushroom journeys can range from highly visual to hilarious to life-changing. However, all journeys can start with a bit of discomfort. That’s because mushrooms contain mildly toxic psilocybin and are challenging for the body to digest. So, whether you’re smoking shrooms or eating shrooms, you may experience some of these common side effects: 

  • Increased heart rate 
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach aches and vomiting
  • Body temperature changes
  • Cramps and diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Headaches

These side effects are usually short-lived and worth the mind-blowing journey from eating or drinking shrooms. However, smoking shrooms doesn’t deliver the same peak experience. So you could end up sick and confused–with nothing but a faint high to show for it. 

And even if you do ‌feel psychoactive effects from smoking shrooms, you also risk a bad trip. Bad trips can take your mind and body to dark, terrifying places, where you may fear that you’ll never return to reality. (Don’t worry, you will.)

Besides typical shrooms' side effects, you could start coughing, wheezing, and having trouble breathing if you accidentally inhale errant spores.

Why You Shouldn’t Smoke Shrooms

To summarize, smoking shrooms is a bad idea. Here’s why.

  • Smoking shrooms will probably burn the psilocybin that your body needs to trip
  • The experience delivers a mild high, at best
  • You’ll waste your time, money, and precious fungi
  • You might inhale dangerous mold spores in the process
  • The side effects could be painful, with no psychoactive upside
  • Inhaling shrooms could cause inflammation and lung irritation
  • You could get sick or pulled into a bad trip

How To Take Magic Mushrooms Safely

First, make sure you trust the source who provided you with the shrooms. Or better yet, grow your own psilocybin mushrooms at home. Once you’ve secured a safe (and only mildly toxic) strain, decide whether you’d like to eat or drink your fungi for the best results. 

Seasoned practitioners typically suggest eating raw dried shrooms. This allows psilocybin to enter your body via the digestive process naturally. The typical starter dose is one to two grams. Although your body may synergize with a higher amount, it’s always better to start low and work your way up. 

Mushrooms aren’t known for their culinary appeal, so many get creative with how they eat them. Chocolate or smoothies mixed with ground mushrooms are tasty options. Peanut butter, jelly, and mushroom sandwiches are also a solid alternative, especially if you’re short on supplies. 

Mushrooms are also tough on the stomach and challenging to digest. Due to their mildly toxic nature and rigid cell walls, raw magic mushrooms commonly cause nausea and vomiting. So, consider grinding up your shrooms and making a lemon tek or mushroom tea instead. 

Mushroom tea is trendy because it's potent, gentler on the stomach, acts fast, reduces nausea, and allows you to add more beneficial ingredients to the mix. You can brew psilocybin mushrooms in your favorite herbal brew or caffeinated blends like chai, ginger, green tea, or hibiscus. You can also add flavor enhancers like honey, lemon, or milk. 

Lemon tekking is similarly popular because of  its strength and ease on the stomach. To make a lemon tek, soak ground shrooms in lemon juice for 15 to 30 minutes. Then strain the solution and take it down like a shot. 

Mushroom tea and lemon tekking are both safe. However, we wouldn't recommend drinking shroom extract on your first journey because the dosage requirements are different, and you may accidentally take too much.

To avoid the dosing confusion, you might consider the shroom capsule route. After grinding your shrooms into powder, you can fill empty casings and swallow them with water. Many people favor this method because it allows them to control the dosage and makes microdosing easier.  

The Come Down 

People have been consuming psilocybin shrooms for centuries. And yes, along the way, some have even smoked dried shrooms for the heck of it. But indigenous wisdom, modern psychonauts, and even the DEA agree–eating (or drinking) shrooms are the best way to get the most beneficial outcome.

How To Take Shrooms ,
Gwella Mushrooms |
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