Psilocybin or magic mushrooms are naturally occurring and are consumed for their hallucinogenic effects. They belong to a group of drugs known as psychedelics, which trigger changes in perception, mood and thought.
The key ingredient in magic mushrooms is psilocybin. When psilocybin is taken, it’s converted in the body to psilocin, which is a chemical with psychoactive properties.
The effects of magic mushrooms usually begin in 30 minutes when eaten, or within 5–10 minutes when taken as a soup or tea and can last approximately four to six hours.2
During this time, the person may experience:
The main risk of taking magic mushrooms is that some look very similar to certain types of poisonous mushrooms. So, it’s important to know what you’re taking – if in doubt, do not take them.
Taking mushrooms regularly does not appear to result in physical dependence, and therefore it’s unlikely a person will experience difficulty in stopping use.3 There are not many known withdrawal effects, however someone withdrawing from magic mushrooms may experience some psychological effects or fatigue.2