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Magic Mushrooms

Hallucinogens

Magic mushrooms belong to a group of naturally occurring mushrooms that contain the chemical psilocybin. Psilocybin is a chemical that falls into the broad category of drugs called tryptamines. One of the most common species of mushroom containing psilocybin is Psilocybe semilanceata or ‘liberty cap’ and is commonly found in the UK. Once ingested the chemical undergoes rapid conversion in the body to psilocin which is the chemical with the psychoactive properties. Another type, amanita muscaria or ‘fly agaric’ mushroom is stronger than the traditional ‘liberty cap’ mushroom.

People who consume magic mushrooms experience hallucinations, sometimes referred to as ‘trips’. These experiences can be either good or bad and the length of time they last is dependent on the amount consumed. Effects begin within 20 minutes of ingestion. People who regularly use magic mushrooms may experience flashbacks.

Eating

Eating

Magic mushrooms can be eaten freshly picked or dried, with dried mushrooms sometimes made into a tea. The weight of fresh mushrooms is mainly water, so you need to eat much less dried material (gram for gram) to achieve the same high. The ‘fly agaric’ mushroom is not eaten raw because there is a greater risk of poisoning and death from this type of mushroom.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Psychedelic effects
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations including hearing colours and seeing sounds
  • Poisoning
  • Death
  • Disorientation
  • Irrational behaviour
  • Confusion
  • Flashbacks
  • Fear
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
Magic Mushrooms

Structure

Molecular structure of psilocybin

Street Names

shrooms, philosopher’s stone, mushies, blue meanies, magics, golden tops, liberty caps, liberties, amani, agaric

Legal Status

Class A Substance

Possession of the drug can lead to up to seven years in jail, an unlimited fine or both. Supplying the drug can lead to up to life imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both.

For more information about drug classifications and the associated penalties visit the Home Office website.