When we think of magic mushrooms, psychedelic imagery springs to mind. One commonly referenced visual is that of the mushroom that famously made Alice in Wonderland change in size.
The distinct reddish-capped shroom with the white speckles—seen not only in the famous novel but also throughout popular culture everywhere from the Smurfs to Super Mario Brothers—is one so many associate with psychedelic effects; however, you may be shocked to learn it is not classified as a psychedelic mushroom.
The mushroom we all instantly recognize by appearance but may not know by name is the Amanita muscaria. It is a distinct mushroom indeed, but it is not psychedelic. It has psychoactive properties and is classified as a "deliriant."
Psychoactive Versus Psychedelic: Is There Really a Difference?
When it comes to psychoactive effects versus psychedelic effects, both could certainly be described as "magic." However, the mushrooms more commonly described as "magic mushrooms" tend to be those that contain psilocybin.
Psychedelic mushrooms (i.e., the ones that contain psilocybin) are known to have impacts on the serotonin receptors in our brain, resulting in:
- Seeing halo-like lights around objects or people
- Distortion of vision
- Experiencing colors that appear more vivid than normal
- Flashbacks of past events (sometimes with altered memories)
These effects happen fairly quickly after psychedelic mushrooms are consumed—generally within one hour—and may last for several hours. Some mushroom users also report lingering effects or an afterglow that can continue for hours or even a few days.
Amanita muscaria mushrooms contain muscimol, which is the component responsible for their psychoactive effects. Users describe psychoactive effects to include:
- A sense of euphoria
- Extreme relaxation or sedation
- Diminished motor skills and/or blurred vision
In both cases, the mind is altered from its normal state, though most would consider the psychedelic effects to be stronger than those experienced when the mushroom has a psychoactive effect.
Other Characteristics of Amanita Muscaria Mushrooms
The appearance of an Amanita muscaria mushroom is the first thing you will notice that sets it apart from other mushrooms. Most of us think of mushrooms as having a drab appearance: they are often brown, gray, or generally earthy in tone.
The Amanita muscaria mushroom stands out in nature for its vivid hues. The distinct reddish (or orange-ish) cap boasts white spots (or warts) that almost make it seem cartoon-like in appearance.
Amanita is a genus of mushrooms that includes hundreds of species (agarics) that are toxic if consumed raw. You should never, under any circumstances, ingest a raw Amanita muscaria mushroom, and it is also wise to avoid ingesting any wild mushrooms due to the risk of accidental poisoning.
While Amanita muscaria mushrooms do not contain psilocybin, they do contain muscimol, ibotenic acid, and muscarine. These are the substances that interact with the nervous system and receptors within our bodies to create both euphoric and sedative effects.
How Can I Consume Amanita Muscaria Mushrooms Safely?
To enjoy the euphoria and relaxation associated with Amanita mushrooms, you can consume them in supplements like gummies after they have been boiled.
When Amanita mushrooms are boiled, the toxic component (ibotenic acid) is eliminated, making them safe for consumption. Even though Amanita mushroom gummies are generally considered safe for consumption, there is still a small segment of the population who should avoid them: anyone with a mushroom allergy! While this allergy is somewhat rare and not as widespread as peanut or shellfish allergies, it does exist.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to mushrooms and mushroom supplements could include hives, itching, wheezing, or, in severe cases, anaphylaxis. Seek immediate medical attention if you have a severe allergic reaction to mushrooms.
Are Amanita Mushrooms Legal?
Muscarine, ibotenic acid, and muscimol are not classified as controlled substances and are therefore not regulated by the Federal government. Thus, Amanita muscaria mushrooms are legal in the United States with one exception: they are illegal in Louisiana.
Ongoing research and developments with both psychedelic and psychoactive mushrooms will likely pave the way for additional legislation in the future. Just as legislative efforts have evolved in regard to THC, CBD, and other cannabis compounds, there will inevitably be changes to come as far as psychedelics and psychoactive substances.
These efforts will be impacted by medical research and activism related to the potential for mushrooms to be used in therapeutic settings.
Amanita Muscaria Mushrooms Side Effects
Amanita muscaria mushrooms are celebrated for the fact that they induce a blissful and dream-like state, rarely with any negative effects. Psychedelic mushrooms may be too intense for some individuals, and Amanita mushrooms might be the perfect alternative for those who cannot tolerate the intensity of magic mushrooms.
In some cases, users may experience anxiety, agitation, or some intestinal discomfort. It is always best to stay fully hydrated when using mushrooms, which helps to mitigate some negative effects. Above all else, start with the smallest dose to determine how your body reacts to Amanita muscaria mushrooms.
You may find that one gummy provides the perfect amount of relaxation, or you may want to try 2 or 3 for richer effects. Give yourself time to react and ensure you enjoy the optimal benefits rather than overdoing it on your first try.
Road Trip makes Amanita mushroom gummies to enhance all of your adventures, and our delicious flavors and quality ingredients are sure to make us your go-to gummy. Give Road Trip a try for a one-of-a-kind experience!