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Does Amanita Muscaria Make You Trip?

Does Amanita Muscaria Make You Trip?

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All across the internet, you'll find articles, ads, and videos raving about Amanita muscaria, also known as "fly agaric." This psychoactive mushroom (as of this writing) is federally legal and legal in all states besides Louisiana. However, with any new, trending ingredient, there will be a lot of hype. Some of it is valid, and some is just plain bogus. What we all really want to know is does Amanita make you trip?

In this blog post, we'll answer that and more as we shed light on everything you need to know about what Amanita muscaria can (and cannot) offer. Let's begin. 

What is Amanita Muscaria?

amanita muscaria mushrooms

Most people already know of Amanita muscaria, even if they can't identify it by name. It's a mushroom with a red (sometimes orange-ish) cap that is white spotted (sometimes described as "white warts") with a white stem. You may have seen them as part of a decoration or encountered them in other media like Christmas cards or even video games. 

Molecular studies have revealed that Amanita muscaria's origin can be traced back to the Siberian-Beringian region during the Tertiary period (between 66 and 2.5 million years ago). Currently, the mushroom dwells around the temperate and boreal regions of the northern hemisphere, along with specific areas of Central America, the Mediterranean, and the Hind Kush regions. 

For over 4,000 years, people have turned to Amanita muscaria mushrooms for spiritual reasons, from its integration into the "soma" drink in areas that would become India, Iran, and Siberian shamans. But why?

It comes down to the two psychoactive compounds in the mushroom: muscimol and ibotenic acid. Ibotenic acid is the "precursor" to muscimol in that 10-20% of it decarboxylates into it (similar to how THCA is the precursor to THC). Essentially, muscimol evokes a rise of serotonin in the brain while decreasing the amount of catecholamine

Serotonin is the body's "feel good" chemical to help you feel focused, happy, stable, and calmer. It also plays a role in working to enhance the effects of GABA in the central nervous system. This  chemical messenger also helps regulate functions such as: 
  • Sleep
  • Digestion
  • Bone health
  • Sexual desire
  • Healing
Catecholamine is a neurohormone, a chemical messenger made by nerve cells. This compound plays a vital role in raising blood pressure levels for stress responses such as pounding in the heart, chest pain, and even headaches. 

In short, Amanita muscaria is a red and white mushroom that's widely legal, with compounds that increase the level of your brain's "feel good" chemical while decreasing the levels of a stress response chemical. 

What are the Effects of Amanita Muscaria?

hippie man painting in a studio with plants

When discussing psychoactive effects, whether it's the fly agaric mushroom, cannabis, or any other plant species, it's best to keep in mind that these things affect us all a bit differently. Generally, after consuming Amanita muscaria, in 30 minutes or more, people feel a mix of emotional and physical effects, such as: 
  • Creative
  • Relaxed
  • Positive
  • Focused
  • Introspective
  • Sleepy
Generally, consuming Amanita muscaria helps people feel grounded yet in a creative, happy flow. In terms of how prominent the effects are, muscimol is noticeable but not to the same degree as THC. A more suitable parallel would be along the lines of caffeine instead.

Amanita Muscaria Side Effects

Consuming Amanita muscaria can have short-term side effects, like a slightly upset stomach, but nothing extreme as a "bad trip" like with other types of psychoactive mushrooms.  

Psychoactive vs. Psychedelic Mushrooms

psilocybin mushrooms

When discussing mushrooms with psychoactive effects, you will probably hear the term "psychedelic" thrown in there. So what do these two terms mean, and how are they related?

Psychoactive Compounds

In short, a psychoactive compound is something that causes changes in: 
  • Mood
  • Awareness
  • Thoughts
  • Feelings
  • Behavior
Some well-known psychoactive compounds include THC (cannabis), caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks), and ethanol (beer, wine, liquor). Amanita muscaria is psychoactive but not psychedelic

Psychedelic Compounds

So, what does it mean when something is psychedelic? There are plenty of definitions out there for this term, but when people say something is "psychedelic," it means that the compound can bring out: 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Extreme changes in mood
  • Expansions of consciousness
  • An altered sense of time
As of this writing, many psychedelic drugs are on the CSA controlled substances list. Some well-known psychoactive compounds include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), mescaline (peyote), and psilocybin (psilocybe mushrooms). 

All psychedelic compounds are psychoactive, but not all psychoactive compounds are psychedelic. One way to put it is, if you consume something and only experience changes in how you think and feel, it's psychoactive. If you consume something, and on top of changes in mood and thought, you start seeing visual hallucinations, then it's psychedelic. 

Does Amanita Muscaria Make You Trip?

amanita muscaria dried caps

No, as stated earlier, fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) is psychoactive but not psychedelic. The effects come nowhere near the effects of psilocybin. You will not experience a "trip" as you would if you consumed a psychedelic compound. Any time you see someone claiming they had an "Amanita muscaria trip," they're essentially describing psychoactive effects and nothing to the degree of psilocybe mushrooms, or they're acting in bad faith, trying to get a quick buck out of you. 

The truth is that the effects of Amanita muscaria are desirable and have their own merits, but they don't offer anything that would be considered a "trip." Psychedelic experiences come from psilocybin mushrooms, which are banned on a federal level

Harnessing the True Potential of Non-Psilocybin Amanita Mushrooms 

magic muscaria gummies on topiary

So Amanita muscaria doesn't make you trip, but it does offer psychoactive effects such as: 
  • Calmness
  • Boosted mood
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Lucid dreaming
  • Elevated focus
  • Dream-like state
Why might someone be curious to try it? For starters, if you're a cannabis enthusiast looking for a "new" feeling, taking Amanita out for a spin (especially when paired with THC or CBD) is well worth it, especially if you're looking for a daytime pick-me-up.

Those looking for focus, especially on a creative project, may enjoy Amanita instead of caffeine, which can leave people feeling stressed and jittery, followed by the dreaded crash. And finally, if you are open to new psychoactive experiences, you may enjoy the Amanita experience and find your own unique applications. 

At Hometown Hero, we take the potential of Amanita muscaria to a whole new level, offering two different mushroom gummies that pair 500mg of Amanita muscaria extract with: 
Although Amanita is not psychedelic, it does offer an array of effects that are worth experiencing, especially when mixed with nootropic mushrooms and cannabis.  

Final Thoughts

closeup of gummies with fly agaric cannabis leaf and packaging

 There's a lot of (much-deserved) hype surrounding Amanita muscaria. The main benefit of Amanita's primary compounds, muscimol and ibotenic acid, is a boost of serotonin levels in the brain.

Although this psychoactive mushroom offers a pleasant array of effects such as creativity, a boosted mood, and introspection, this is not the type of mushroom that makes someone "trip" or have a psychedelic experience. That's an entirely different species and a compound considered a controlled substance. And finally, if you're looking to try Amanita muscaria but with an enhancing blend of nootropics and cannabis, we offer a black cherry-flavored gummy with THC and an elderberry-flavored gummy with CBD.
Until next time, happy exploring and Mind Your Mind. 

FDA Disclaimer:
 The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

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