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How Long Do Magic Mushrooms Last?

How Long Do Magic Mushrooms Last?

Magic mushrooms — or psilocybin mushrooms — have neither long-lasting nor short-lasting effects. This isn’t a riddle, I promise. So how long does the actively psychedelic phase of doing magic mushrooms last? The duration of effects depends on a variety of factors. However, a magic mushroom trip will generally last between 4–6 hours. This duration is pretty consistent. Indeed, in clinical trials involving psilocybin, it was demonstrated that most sessions will last six hours. After this time, the psychedelic effects will subside.

However, there can be some variation in how long this can be. A psilocybin mushroom experience can last for as little as three hours and as long as eight hours. The answer depends on different factors, which are worth exploring in more detail.

RELATED: Magic Truffles vs. Magic Mushrooms: Comparing The Similarities And Differences

The Answer Often Depends On Dosage

Dosage is one of the key factors that can influence the duration of any psychedelic experience. The dosage of dried magic mushrooms can range from a microdose (0.1–0.3g) to a heavy dose (5+g). It should be noted here that magic mushroom species can differ — sometimes significantly — in their potency. For example, Psilocybin azurenscens has, on average, a 1.78 percent concentration of psilocybin. However, for the commonly used Psilocybin cubensis mushroom — i.e. – penis envy mushrooms — the figure is 0.63 percent. This means you need to consume much less of the former to get the same intensity of effects as the latter. 

But even with differences in potency in mind, increasing your shrooms dosage can potentially prolong the experience. If you take 0.1g of dried magic mushrooms, the experience will likely be much shorter than if you consume more. With a microdose, any effects you feel will probably last only a few hours. A heavy dose of magic mushrooms, however, could result in an experience lasting up to eight hours. You should keep this in mind whenever deciding on dosage.

As Dr. Amir Chalaby of Katharsis Journeys in the Netherlands says, “The correct dosing of the compound during retreats and ceremonies is a very sensitive part of the work and one which requires great caution and expertise. The decided dose for each participant is unique and varies based on multiple factors such as (but not limited to) body weight, experience level, intentions, past and present psychiatric status and the type of mushrooms/truffles used. On our 4-day retreats we provide two ceremonies, which makes it possible for us to gather valuable information from the first experience of the participant, and apply this when deciding the dose for the second journey. Commonly, if it is well tolerated, deemed safe and in alignment with the participants intentions, we opt for a higher dosage on the second trip to go one step deeper.”

Also, if you consume more “shrooms” during an ongoing psychedelic trip, this increase in dosage will extend the experience. The length of this extension will depend on the additional dosage you take. As well as when exactly you decide to take it. So, if you feel like redosing to have a stronger experience, you should be prepared for a longer journey.

To help gauge how to properly dose, it’s important to understand how long it takes for shrooms to kick in, as each person is different.

FROM OUR PARTNER: Want to Save Money in the Long Run? Get Your Own Mushroom Grow Kit Here

Why The Method Of Consumption Matters

When thinking about the question “How long do magic mushrooms last?” we also need to look at how you take the magic mushrooms. For example, taking magic mushrooms in powder form can lead to a faster onset because it will take less time for the body to break down the material. And of course, the quicker the onset, the shorter the experience will be. 

Another way of shortening the duration of a magic mushroom experience is through the lemon tek technique. This refers to letting your dose of psilocybin mushrooms sit in lemon juice before consuming them. The citric acid helps to break down the mushroom material. This saves some of the time that your body would spend breaking down the mushrooms. When using the lemon tek, you may experience a faster onset. And you may have a stronger and shorter journey than eating dried mushrooms as they are.

RELATED: Psilocybin vs DMT – What are the Differences?

Consuming Magic Mushrooms On An Empty Stomach

Another factor that influences the duration of a magic mushroom trip is whether or not you’ve eaten recently. If you eat magic mushrooms on a full stomach or soon after a heavy meal, then this will delay the onset of the experience. This will likely lead to a slow onset and, in turn, a longer experience. 

For this reason, many users prefer to consume magic mushrooms on an empty stomach (this can also help reduce the associated nausea). Fasting before an experience can lead to a faster come-up, which will end up creating a shorter and more intense experience than if you took the mushrooms on a full stomach. 

Also eating foods that are high in tyramine can potentially extend the effect of magic mushrooms. Foods that are high in tyramine include fresh citrus and dried fruits. Items that are pickled (pickles, onions, sauerkraut). Things that are aged (cheeses, red wines), cured (charcuterie), or smoked (fish etc.) As well as those that are fermented. In terms of beverages, unpasteurized beers appear to have the most effect.

RELATED: How To Microdose Shrooms Effectively

Magic Mushrooms Combined With Cannabis

When considering how long magic mushrooms last, we need to take into account if there are any other substances used in combination with the mushrooms. Some drugs can prolong a magic mushroom experience, with cannabis being one notable example. When a magic mushroom experience winds down at the five- or six-hour mark, many users will take cannabis to elongate the trip. This happens because cannabis tends to potentiate the effects of psychedelics, including MDMA and LSD. Cannabis can make the end of a magic mushroom journey more intense, as well as extend the duration of the experience. 

However, reactions to combining magic mushrooms with cannabis can differ. Journalist Michelle Janikian carried out a survey on this topic and found the following:

“…many report adding cannabis to elongate a trip, although not everyone experiences this. For example, a few of my survey participants reported using cannabis at the end of a trip to “re-enter reality more softly” and to “ground themselves” or to help them fall asleep after such a stimulating journey. Like everything with cannabis and psychedelics, experiences are completely individual, and can even change due to a person’s context (aka “set and setting”), stress level, diet, and other chemical and biological factors.”

If you add cannabis to the end of a psilocybin journey with the aim of either intensifying it or trying to wind down, you should be ready for the possibility of elongating the experience as well. 

Additionally, SSRIs, benzodiazepines and opioids can have an effect on the duration of magic mushrooms. But you should consult your physician if you are taking any of those before consuming magic mushrooms that contain psilocybin.

FROM OUR PARTNER: Discover The Power of Psilocybin Ceremonies in a Supportive Retreat Setting

Mushroom Journeys: The Bottom Line

With these above points in mind, you should have a sense of the factors that can either shorten or lengthen a magic mushroom experience. Individuals will have different preferences about how long they want their psilocybin experience to last. Some might prefer a relatively quick 3-hour journey, with a fast come-up and intense effects concentrated into those few hours. On the other hand, some people feel more at ease with a longer, less intense come-up, and a more prolonged experience, perhaps using cannabis to extend the journey as well.

But whatever means you use to try and shorten or prolong your magic mushroom trip, you should be aware that the experience is not likely to last less than three hours or longer than eight hours. If this range of time sounds too short or too long, then another psychedelic may be the right choice for you. A ketamine infusion session, for instance, lasts up to two hours, with the psychedelic effects generally lasting an hour or less. An ibogaine experience, on the other hand, can last 24 hours or longer. 

Make sure that you choose a psychedelic experience that best aligns with your personal preferences and comfort levels. This will help ensure that you have a fulfilling journey.

RELATED: What Is The Christmas Mushroom, And Is It Legal?

Sam Woolfe

View all posts by Sam Woolfe

Sam Woolfe is a freelance writer based in London. His main areas of interest include mental health, mystical experiences, the history of psychedelics, and the philosophy of psychedelics. He first became fascinated by psychedelics after reading Aldous Huxley's description of the mescaline experience in The Doors of Perception. Since then, he has researched and written about psychedelics for various publications, covering the legality of psychedelics, drug policy reform, and psychedelic science.

This post was medically approved by Dr. Rick Barnett

Dr. Rick Barnett is a licensed psychologist-doctorate, licensed alcohol and drug counselor with an additional Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology.

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