Your Really Goo’d Guide to Amanita and Psilocybin Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms aren’t anything new, but there’s a major resurgence in them, which just so happens to coincide with new discoveries about possible benefits that go far beyond their recreational effects.  With such growing popularity comes a lot of confusion about them though.  And in fact, we’re seeing that now, as certain types of mushroom products are hitting the marketplace; everywhere from legit online retailers to local gas stations.

To clear up the confusion and help you find products that’re safe, effective, and authentic, we’re gonna offer up a detailed guide on amanita and psilocybin mushrooms, which’re sort of the two pillars of the psychoactive mushroom world.

Enter the World of Magic Mushrooms

Not all mushrooms possess psychoactive properties, as we all know, or else we’d get high every time we eat a plate of mushroom pasta – but “magic mushrooms” refer to mushroom species that do give us mind-altering effects, usually of a psychedelic nature.  And, there are two main types of magic mushrooms: amanita mushrooms, which include amanita muscaria and amanita pantherina species, and psilocybin mushrooms, which are any species of mushroom containing psilocybin, a known hallucinogen.

Now, both types of mushrooms can get you tripping, but at the end of the day, each one is interacting with different receptors in the body, so the effects will feel different.  Let’s explore both kinds of mushrooms further so you know the differences.

Magic Mushrooms Brief History Timeline

Magic mushrooms may be more mainstream than ever, but they’ve been used by various cultures around the world since the dawn of humanity, and have served ceremonial, religious, medicinal, recreational, and even military purposes.  Take the early Vikings who took amanita mushrooms to improve morale, or ancient native tribes who used psilocybin to elevate members of their tribe through spiritual practices.  This timeline captures the significant historical moments and the evolving understanding and acceptance of magic mushrooms.

Ancient History:

  • Prehistoric Use: Evidence suggests that humans have used psychoactive mushrooms for spiritual and ritualistic purposes since prehistoric times.  Cave paintings in Spain from around 6000 BCE depict mushrooms, indicating their significance.

Indigenous Cultures:

  • Aztecs (15th Century): The Aztecs used psilocybin mushrooms, known as “teonanácatl” (flesh of the gods), in religious ceremonies.  The Spanish conquistadors documented these practices in the 16th century.
  • Maya and Mazatec (Pre-Columbian Era): Indigenous groups in Mesoamerica, including the Maya and Mazatec, utilized mushrooms for divination and healing.

Colonial Era:

  • 16th Century: Spanish missionaries and explorers in Mesoamerica reported on the use of magic mushrooms by indigenous peoples. The Spanish attempted to suppress these practices, associating them with paganism.

Modern Era:

  • 1955: R. Gordon Wasson, a banker and ethnomycologist, participated in a mushroom ceremony in Mexico and published an article in “Life” magazine in 1957, bringing magic mushrooms to Western attention.
  • 1958: Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD, isolates and synthesizes psilocybin and psilocin, the active compounds in magic mushrooms
  • 1960s: The counterculture movement in the United States embraced magic mushrooms. Psychologists like Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) conducted research on their effects at Harvard University.
  • 1966: The United States outlawed psilocybin and psilocin with the passage of the Drug Abuse Control Amendments.

Late 20th Century:

  • 1970: The Controlled Substances Act classified psilocybin as a Schedule I drug, making it illegal in the United States.
  • 1980s-1990s: Underground use and research persisted, with growing interest in the therapeutic potential of psilocybin for treating various mental health conditions.

21st Century:

  • 2006: Johns Hopkins University initiated the first U.S. study on psilocybin since the 1970s, finding positive effects on mood and anxiety in healthy volunteers.
  • 2000s: Psilocybin research experienced a renaissance, with studies exploring its potential to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction.
  • 2018: The FDA granted “Breakthrough Therapy” designation to psilocybin-assisted therapy for depression, accelerating research and potential approval processes.
  • 2019-2020: Cities like Denver, Colorado, and Oakland, California, decriminalized the possession and use of magic mushrooms.  Oregon legalized psilocybin therapy in 2020.
  • 2022-Present: Research continues to expand, with increasing clinical trials exploring psilocybin’s efficacy in treating depression, PTSD, addiction, and other mental health disorders. Several countries and states are considering or implementing decriminalization and medical use policies.

Amanita Mushrooms: What’s the Deal?

Amanita mushrooms may be less known by name, but they are more recognizable in terms of appearance, particularly with amanita muscaria mushrooms that have the signature red cap and white polka dots – just like the emoji in your phone.  Amanita mushrooms are native to many regions throughout the world, and grow quite well in the wild, making them easy to forage and procure.

Amanita mushrooms get their dominant psychedelic effects from muscimol, the key alkaloid that you won’t find in other types of magic mushroom varieties.  Muscimol is an agonist to GABA receptors in the nervous system, which are responsible for controlling our stress response and other nervous system functions.

Amanita Muscaria

Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita, is a species of mushroom found in various parts of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in temperate and boreal regions.  It is well-known for its distinctive appearance: bright red cap with white spots, resembling the classic toadstool often depicted in fairy tales and folklore.  As it matures, the cap flattens out, sometimes becoming more convex.  Amanita muscaria forms mycorrhizal relationships with trees, meaning it associates symbiotically with tree roots to exchange nutrients.

Amanita muscaria is considered poisonous, containing psychoactive compounds like muscimol and ibotenic acid.  It is not typically lethal in small doses but can cause hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, and other unpleasant effects.

Amanita Pantherina

Amanita pantherina, commonly known as the panther cap or panther amanita, is another species of mushroom belonging to the Amanita genus, and is found in temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America, often growing in association with various tree species.  It has a similar appearance to Amanita muscaria but typically has a light to dark brown cap with white patches or remnants of a universal veil.  The cap can range from 5 to 15 cm in diameter and is initially convex, becoming flatter with age.  Similar to Amanita muscaria, Amanita pantherina forms mycorrhizal relationships with trees, playing a role in nutrient exchange in forest ecosystems.

Like Amanita muscaria, too, Amanita pantherina contains psychoactive compounds such as ibotenic acid and muscimol.  These substances can cause hallucinations and other psychoactive effects.  However, it is also toxic and can cause severe gastrointestinal distress if ingested in sufficient quantities.

What Do Amanita Mushrooms Do?

Amanita mushrooms (both varieties we just covered) are psychoactive:

  • In low doses, people say that the effects feel peaceful, and can cause drowsiness.  
  • In higher doses, you might feel euphoric, with a noticeable buzz.  
  • In large doses, you can experience a trip, complete with visual hallucinations, introspection, enhanced spirituality, and feelings of resolve about difficult experiences from your past.  The trippy effects are something that users should work up toward, as they can be too intense for beginners.

Are Amanita Mushrooms Dangerous?

Amanita mushrooms are not considered particularly harmful as long as they’re prepared properly, by boiling them for the required amount of time to destroy any neurotoxins.  We want to mention that commercial Amanita products like edibles and vapes have been prepared properly to make them nontoxic – assuming that you’re buying from a legit, non-sketchy source.

Now, with that being said, you might experience some side effects like paranoia, sweating, and drowsiness.  And of course, psychedelics can cause impairment that can make certain activities dangerous, like driving, hiking, or handling sharp or heavy objects.

What About Amanita Mushrooms’ Legality?

Now, you may be surprised to hear this, but Amanita mushrooms are actually legal under federal law, and they always have been.  There really is no limit pertaining to buying Amanita products, and so you can proceed to enjoy them however you want. But there’s one caveat: Amanita mushrooms are prohibited in Louisiana.  Otherwise, they’re legal and unrestricted throughout the rest of the country.

Could Amanita Mushrooms Trigger a Failed Drug Test Result?

Yes, Amanita mushrooms can potentially trigger a failed drug test result, especially for certain compounds like ibotenic acid and muscimol that they contain.  These compounds are not typically tested for in standard drug tests like those for employment or sports, which usually focus on substances like THC (from cannabis), opioids, amphetamines, and other commonly abused drugs.  However, if a specific test is designed to detect hallucinogenic compounds or if a more comprehensive drug panel is used, it might detect these substances from Amanita mushrooms.  It’s essential to consider the specific substances being tested for in the context of the drug test being administered.

Psilocybin Mushrooms: Everything You Need to Know

Then, we have psilocybin mushrooms, which’re arguably the more popular of the two.  Psilocybin mushrooms are mushrooms that contain psilocybin as the active alkaloid.  While amanita mushrooms get their effects from muscimol, which works on GABA receptors, psilocybin interacts with serotonin receptors.  So, they offer a trip as well – in fact, a far stronger one – but through different mechanisms in the body.  This is also why psilocybin mushrooms are less likely to produce sleepy effects compared to amanitas.

There are a few different kinds of psilocybin mushrooms, including golden caps, liberty caps, wavy caps, flying saucers, and about 180 other species.  Each species is going to have slightly different effects, as well as a unique potency level.  Some of the well-known species include:

  • Psilocybe Cubensis: One of the most common and widely distributed species.  It’s known for its large, golden-brown cap and thick stem.
  • Psilocybe Semilanceata: Also known as the “liberty cap”, it has a distinctive conical or bell-shaped cap and slender stem.  It’s found in grassy areas and is common in Europe.
  • Psilocybe Cyanescens: Known as the “wavy caps”, these mushrooms have a wavy or undulating cap edge.  They are potent and often found in woodchips or mulched gardens.
  • Psilocybe Allenii: Found in coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest, closely related to Psilocybe cyanescens.
  • Psilocybe Azurescens: Often considered one of the most potent psilocybin mushrooms.  It has a caramel-colored cap and is found in coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest in the United States.
  • Psilocybe Baeocystis: Commonly known as “knobby tops”, these mushrooms have a sticky, conic to convex cap with a distinct knob-like shape.  They grow in woodchips and mulched areas.
  • Psilocybe Mexicana: Originating from Mexico, this species is notable as it was traditionally used by indigenous cultures for its psychoactive effects.
  • Psilocybe Tampanensis: Known as the “Philosopher’s Stone”, this species forms sclerotia (truffles) underground and is valued for its psychoactive properties.
  • Psilocybe Pelliculosa: Found in the Pacific Northwest of North America, it has a hygrophanous cap (color changes with moisture levels) and a slender stem.

Again, these are just a few examples, and there are many other species and varieties of psilocybin-containing mushrooms found globally, each with its own distinct characteristics and potency levels.

What Do Psilocybin Mushrooms Feel Like?

Psilocybin mushrooms will almost definitely give you a stronger trip – that is, stronger psychedelic effects, including auditory and visual hallucinations, time distortions, changes in perception, intense introspection, and the potential to experience flashbacks from your own life experiences.  People can also experience synaesthesia, along with intense spiritual revelations.  

Side effects with psilocybin are a bit more common than with muscimol, because the alkaloid affects the body a lot more strongly overall.  They can include:

  • Paranoia
  • Impairment
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Blood pressure changes

With psilocybin mushrooms, you’re also more likely to have a bad trip, which is why monitoring your dosage is important.  A bad trip can cause major feelings of anxiety, irritability, and fear, which may all linger for a while after the high has worn off.

Obviously, again, you need to be careful with what you’re doing while you’re taking them.  The impairment and unpredictable nature of the trip can make ordinary activities unsafe, and unfamiliar environments and people can trigger anxiety.

Are Psilocybin Mushrooms Legal?

Amanita mushrooms are legal in the U.S., but psilocybin mushrooms are not.  Actually, only one state has legalized them thus far, which’s Oregon.  Otherwise, you are strictly prohibited from buying them in the country, and possession of psilocybin mushrooms can also lead to criminal penalties.

Could Psilocybin Mushrooms Trigger a Failed Drug Test Result?

Yes, psilocybin mushrooms can potentially trigger a failed drug test result.  Psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, is metabolized into psilocin in the body.  While standard drug tests like urine tests typically screen for substances such as THC (from cannabis), opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, and others, they generally do not specifically test for psilocybin or psilocin.  However, some specialized drug tests, especially those used in specific professions or scenarios (like forensic tests), may include screening for psilocybin or its metabolites.

It’s important to note that drug testing policies and methods can vary widely, so if you have concerns about drug testing related to psilocybin mushrooms, it’s advisable to consult with relevant authorities or review the specific testing protocols being used.

Magic Mushroom Products on the Market: Are They Legit?

You might see magic mushroom products on the market, like mushroom chocolate bars, mushroom vapes, and mushroom gummies.  First off, we need to remind you that these products are only legal if they contain amanita rather than psilocybin mushrooms, so a local company selling the latter is probably best to avoid.  

As for purchasing amanita products, we urge you to go with a trusted online retailer (gas stations and convenience stores aren’t a good look if you want quality and authenticity), and make sure to read the lab reports provided by the company to verify that they contain an active and effective serving of authentic amanita muscaria or pantherina extract.

Another thing to be aware of is that a lot of companies dilute their amanita products with other ingredients, like nonintoxicating mushroom extracts (usually with “proprietary mushroom blend” on the label), or hemp derivatives like Delta 8 THC, HHC, THC-P, etc.

We also would like to give a bit of a disclaimer: you might come across psilocybin products floating around – chocolate bars in particular – and we want to urge you to avoid these products.  Because psilocybin is illegal in the United States, these products are extremely unregulated, and many of them are absolutely fake.  A number of people have reported unwanted side effects from taking products labeled as psilocybin chocolate bars.

Our Final Thoughts

We’re super excited to see amanita mushrooms take off, finally, in the US, as this federally legal “magic mushroom” comes with loads of effects that really satisfy on a whole new level.  The key is buying amanita products only from trusted manufacturers and making a real effort to check ingredients and lab reports, in order to ensure you’re getting the best of the best.  If you’re ready to dive into the world of amanita, check out Goo’d Extracts awesome selection of mushroom products today!

More to explorer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *