Also know as:
Fly Agaric Mushrooms, Liberty Cap Mushrooms, Mushies, Shrooms
‘Magic mushrooms’ is a slang term for psilocybe semilanceata or ‘liberty cap’ mushrooms (the most common type of ‘magic mushroom’ in the UK) and any other mushroom which produces similar ’trippy’ effects, like hallucinations.
Magic mushrooms are often sold raw or dried. In the UK, the most common types are liberty caps (Psilocybe semilanceata) and fly agaric (Amanita muscaria). Liberty caps look like small tan-coloured mushrooms. Fly agarics look like red and white spotted toadstools.
How it is taken
Grown wild throughout Scotland in the autumn, ‘magic mushrooms’ are eaten raw, dried, cooked in food, or stewed into tea. Drying reduces the weight of the ‘magic mushrooms’, but not their potency. People don’t tend to eat ‘fly agaric’ mushrooms raw as they can make you feel really sick and also because there is a greater risk of poisoning and death from this family of mushrooms.
Similar to LSD but the trip is usually milder and shorter, often lasting about 4 hours. Magic mushrooms can make you feel confident, relaxed and in good spirits – or they can give you a really scary bad trip. You won’t know what will happen until you take them. The more you take, the longer your trip could last. If you feel that you’re having (or going to have) a bad trip, let your friends know and get their help. Go to a nice quiet spot where you feel safe and can relax.
Magic mushrooms can distort colours, sounds and objects. They can make you feel as if your senses are mixed up so that, for example, you think you can hear colours and you can see sounds. Some people can feel more emotionally sensitive or more creative or feel enlightened. They can also speed up and slow down your sense of time and movement. They can make it feel like you’re dreaming when you’re awake. Sometimes, magic mushrooms can make you feel disoriented, tired or sick and can give you stomach pains or diarrhoea.
There are many different types of mushroom and some, like the fly agaric, are so poisonous that they can kill you. That means the biggest danger to your health when taking magic mushrooms is eating a poisonous mushroom by mistake. If you have eaten poisonous mushrooms you’ll soon know it. If this happens to you or a friend it’s really important to get medical help as soon as possible. If you do have to go to hospital, it’s helpful to take an example of the mushroom that’s been eaten, so the doctors can identify it.
You can get flashbacks for some time after taking magic mushrooms. Your perception of your body and the world around you can be distorted, which means you may be at risk because you’re not in complete control of what you’re doing.
If you have any mental health issues, magic mushrooms can make them worse.
Both fresh and prepared (e.g. dried or stewed) magic mushrooms that contain psilocin or psilocybin are classified as Class A drugs. Possession can get you up to seven years in jail and/or an unlimited fine. Supplying someone else, including your friends, with magic mushrooms can get you life imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.