Magic mushrooms have experienced a resurgence in popularity, due in large part, to the benefits they offer. Surprisingly, the new users singing praises about the wonders of magic mushroom use are not who you would expect. More and more people are drawn to psilocybin mushrooms – from busy moms to entrepreneurs – all looking to enjoy the psychedelic effects and benefits given by the fungi. These benefits range from cognitive and mental health benefits to increased productivity.
But given the past reputation of magic mushrooms, coupled with a few misconceptions and a dearth of available research, you must be wondering how psychedelic mushrooms have gained renewed popularity. Surprisingly, more and more brick-and-mortar and online shops are offering a variety of magic mushroom products, from dried and fresh mushrooms to spore syringes.
A cursory search on the Internet will yield a few places in your area that sell magic mushrooms, magic mushroom spores (for the budding cultivator), and even magic mushroom edibles.
But the larger question is whether psilocybin mushrooms are legal to buy and sell or not.
LEGAL STATUS OF MAGIC MUSHROOMS
The 1971 United Nations convention pushed for the classification of psilocybin, one of the active ingredients in shrooms, as a Schedule 1 substance. Essentially, this means that the sale of such substances is illegal.
However, the interpretation of the stipulations within the 1971 convention has been open to interpretation in various countries. According to the convention, only active ingredients like psilocybin are banned and illegal. However, when substances are present in natural materials, a country may interpret those stipulations differently, paving the way for a loophole. This is particularly true in some countries where magic mushrooms grow in the wild.
But it is worth mentioning that many places are changing their perception of magic mushrooms. On one part, that is due to new studies that indicate that psilocybin mushrooms show promise in managing a few conditions, including depression, headaches, and PTSD. And on the other hand, more people are encouraging their governments to approve the use and sale of psychedelics like shrooms.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY PSILOCYBIN MUSHROOMS?
Different Approaches to magic mushroom legality
Before listing the different places where you can buy magic mushrooms, it is worth mentioning how these places approach the legal status of these fungi in their areas.
In recent years, many places have changed their stance on the sale and use of psilocybin mushrooms. In some of these areas, mushrooms still remain illegal.
However, many have adopted the decriminalization model. These places include cities in South and Central America and the United States. Although decriminalization does not necessarily mean that magic mushrooms have been given legal status, it means that possession of psychedelic substances is no longer treated as a criminal offense.
Canada, on the other hand, is favoring the legal medical model. That means you can get magic mushrooms with the help of your healthcare provider.
Countries where you can buy shrooms
Canada amended some of its policies, paving the way for access to magic mushrooms and MDMA under the compassionate access scheme. Essentially, this means that healthcare providers can prescribe psilocybin mushrooms to their patients.
In Alberta, authorities have given the go-ahead for a psychedelic-assisted therapy program. Under the regulations for this program, medical directors from the province need to secure a license to enable them to practice psychedelic-assisted therapy.
This program requires a psychiatrist to oversee the treatment using psilocybin mushrooms for a variety of conditions. Additionally, patients can only get treated inside a medical facility.
In British Columbia and Ontario, some dispensaries have begun their operations, catering mostly to recreational users.
Jamaican authorities want their countries to take the forefront in psychedelic treatment retreats, with many centers offering such a service. But aside from that, authorities want to create an industry around magic mushroom cultivation.
While magic mushrooms are still illegal in Mexico, you can gain access to them in the towns of Huautla de Jimenez and San Jose del Pacifico. But do be aware that the locals are keenly aware of the cultural roots of magic mushroom use in their area. Aside from these two towns, there are also psilocybin retreat centers in the country.
The Netherlands has a curious relationship with magic mushrooms. For several years, people could buy and sell psilocybin mushrooms from smart shops. However, in 2003, authorities banned the sale of dried mushrooms although you could purchase fresh magic mushrooms.
But in 2008, the country banned the sale of fresh and dried mushrooms. The only exception to this policy change is the permission to sell truffles, also known as Philosopher’s Stones. But technically, these are not shrooms but mycelium.
The government also allows the sale of magic mushroom spores.
Thailand is known for its stringent laws on controlled substances. However, these laws have not stopped Thais from preparing and selling food and drinks infused with psilocybin.
Fast-forward to today, the country has relaxed its laws on cannabis use. And in the same vein, the government is exploring the idea of recreating similar policies related to psilocybin use.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The government of the island country legalized the production and sale of psychedelics, including psilocybin mushrooms, in 2020.
In support of its efforts to become the center of the use of psychedelics, the government launched The Medicinal Wellness Feasibility Study which is expected to serve as the foundation for policies related to the research, use, production, and dispensation of plant-based substances.
Places in the United States where you can buy psychedelic mushrooms
The majority of the breakthroughs in the push to legalize psilocybin use have been at the city level. However, there are a handful of states that have mirrored the initiatives of some American cities.
Oregon has led the charge for legalizing the use of magic mushrooms with its Measure 109. The measure outlines major policies regarding magic mushroom use in the state.
For one, you need to be aged 21 and above to legally use shrooms. Second, psilocybin use is only allowed in licensed centers and must be facilitated by a trained professional. The issuance of licenses for these centers began in January 2023.
Alongside Measure 109, the people of Oregon have voted for the passage of Measure 110. Essentially, this measure decriminalizes the possession of magic mushrooms for people carrying 12 grams or less.
Although Texas has not yet decriminalized magic mushrooms, its state legislature has passed a measure that seeks to fund trials for the use of magic mushrooms for the treatment of PTSD among former soldiers.
Residents of Colorado are divided over passing measures legalizing the use of sale of psychedelics like magic mushrooms. Those who have taken a pro stance on psychedelics argue that the Natural Medicine Health Act is the best framework for legalization with measures for decriminalization and licensed therapy embedded.
With the passage of Initiated Ordinance 301, Denver cemented its legacy in relation to the legalization of magic mushroom use. Passed in 2019, the ordinance decriminalizes shrooms.
But more importantly, the ordinance has served as a beacon of hope for proponents of amending laws related to psychedelics, including shrooms.
In 2021, Detroit residents voted to pass Proposal E which decriminalizes substances like magic mushrooms.
Although psilocybin mushrooms are still classified as Schedule 1 substances, the measure pushes possession down the list of priorities for law enforcement units.
Easthampton, Northampton, Cambridge, and Somerville have all passed measures decriminalizing psychedelics like magic mushrooms. Somerville started the trend in 2021 with Cambridge passing a similar measure after a month. Northampton and Easthampton followed suit in April and October 2021, respectively.
Oakland is one of the first cities to follow Denver’s initiative to decriminalize magic mushrooms. In 2019, the city passed the Decriminalize Nature Oakland.
Port Townsend’s Resolution 21-008, which decriminalizes magic mushrooms is patterned after Seattle’s decriminalization initiatives. The Port Townsend Psychedelic Society takes major credit for this resolution because of its active push for the passage of such a resolution.
Santa Cruz took its cue from Oakland, passing a measure decriminalizing entheogenic plants and fungi like shrooms in January 2020.
The measure has made magic procession a low priority for law enforcement units. At the same time, local councilors have made it clear that they will not fund initiatives that pursue people who possess shrooms and other entheogens.
Seattle threw its hat in the inititative to decriminalize mushrooms in 2021. The city’s councilors voted unanimously to make shrooms the lowest priority for police officers.
With the DC Initiative 81, passed in 2020, Washington DC decriminalized psychedelics like psilocybin mushrooms. Like in other cities, the passage of the bill meant that law enforcement units in the city put magic mushrooms at the bottom of their list of priorities.
Ann Arbor became the third city to decriminalize entheogens, including psychedelics like shrooms, with the passage of a resolution in September 2020. The passage of that resolution means that law enforcement units won’t arrest and investigate those found in possession, buying, or selling magic mushrooms.
MAGIC MUSHROOMS: THE SAFEST RECREATIONAL DRUGS
According to a report released in 2017 by the Global Drug Survey, magic mushrooms are the safest recreational drugs. Out of the 10,000 people who said that they have used psilocybin mushrooms, only 0.2% said that they needed emergency medical treatment.
Although there are risks involved in magic mushroom use, especially when combined with other substances like alcohol, broadly speaking, the use of shrooms rarely lead to accidents or even fatalities. Compare that to LSD, another psychedelic substance, which can lead to five times more emergency treatments.
But perhaps more importantly, one of the reasons behind the resurgence in the popularity of magic mushrooms is their potential to treat various disorders. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA has granted psilocybin the status of breakthrough therapy for the treatment of major depressive disorder.
This FDA status means that research on shrooms can be expedited. Reputable institutions like the Imperial College London Centre for Psychedelic Research have laid down the foundation for psilocybin research in this area.
FRESH VS. DRIED MUSHROOMS
Now that you know where to buy shrooms, the next order of business is choosing between fresh and dried mushrooms. Which is better between the two? Here are a few things to consider.
Although there are still people debating on which is more potent, most seasoned users agree that fresh mushrooms are more potent than dried mushrooms.
Taking fresh shrooms more often than not results to a more intense psychedelic experience. A lot of that has to do with the moisture and psilocybin content of fresh shrooms.
Fresh or wet shrooms contain more water. Aside from that, the psilocybin in wet shrooms is more stable. As mushrooms begin to dry up, their psilocybin content begins to degrade.
When you dry and cure your them, whole mushrooms they lose moisture by as much as 90%. When that happens, all of their psilocybin content becomes more concentrated. That means that you will need fewer dried shrooms compared to raw mushrooms.
Compared to edible mushrooms, magic shrooms have an earthier taste and aroma. In fact, it can be said that they have an acquired taste.
But between fresh and dried mushrooms, many prefer the taste of raw shrooms. Additionally, dried mushrooms have a texture that is unappealing to many.
But if you want to avoid the bitter flavor of shrooms, you can try lemon tekking or use them with your dishes.
One thing that new users sometimes overlook when choosing between fresh and dried mushrooms is storage.
Fresh mushrooms can only last for a few days when stored in the fridge. That means that you need to consume them as soon as you can. Otherwise, you can end up wasting money when they go bad.
Dried shrooms, on the other hand, can last for months or even up to a year when stored in an airtight container.
CHOOSING A MAGIC MUSHROOM STRAIN
Out of over 10,000 species of mushrooms, about 200 of these are classified as psilocybin mushrooms.
And if you want to try shrooms, it is a good idea to know which magic mushroom species is right for you. Seasoned shroom users say that you should start with a specific goal for your mushroom trip. This will make the process easier for you.
Penis Envy is one of the more popular if not one of the most debated, magic mushroom strains. If you get the right dosage for you, you can experience synesthesia while in an altered state with this mushroom strain. This is why it is fairly popular among the creative set, especially musicians.
Golden Teachers are another popular magic mushroom species, offering comparatively gentler effects. This makes this mushroom strain ideal for people who are just dipping their toes into the world of psychedelics.
This mushroom strain derives its name from Mexico’s Mazatec tribe who followed a holistic approach to life and health. The tribe is also known for its athleticism. If you are an athlete, Mazatec is one of the strains that you might want to try.
Want to try something a little more potent? Then the African Transkei might be the right shroom strain for you. This magic mushroom strain is known to provide intense sensory experiences.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can athletes use magic mushrooms?
According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency or USADA, the national anti-doping organization of the United States, psilocybin is not included in their list of prohibited performance-enhancing drugs.
However, the agency notes that some sports may prohibit the use of psilocybin and other controlled substances among their athletes due to safety and health concerns.
And if you are an athlete, you do not have to request a Therapeutic Use Exemption for magic mushrooms because the agency does not prohibit magic mushroom use.
Is it legal to grow shrooms at home?
Although shrooms are considered one of the safest recreational drugs, using them does carry a few risks. One of these risks is accidentally ingesting poisonous mushrooms thought to be shrooms.
Aside from buying from trusted sources, one option you might want to consider is growing your own shrooms. But before you buy supplies like magic mushroom spores and spore syringes, it is a good idea to know if it is legal to grow shrooms in your own home.
Although some states in the United States like California and Oregon have passed legislation decriminalizing shrooms, magic mushroom cultivation falls under a gray legal area.
Essentially, that means possessing shrooms is still illegal although you won’t be criminally charged. You may, however, face civil charges and get fined. Growing shrooms, on the other hand, fall in a legal gray area because these fungi grow naturally in the wild. So bear that in mind before you buy spore syringes and a spore solution.
Can you overdose on mushrooms?
An overdose happens when you consume too much of a substance that your body can’t handle it. Although there are plenty of reports of people overdosing on cocaine, meth, heroin, and other drugs, it is possible to overdose on shrooms.
However, a mushroom overdose is rarely fatal. Instead, you might experience symptoms like dizziness, muscle weakness, lightheadedness, anxiety, psychosis, excessive sweating, agitation, and confusion.
One problem with ingesting mushrooms is the lack of standard formulations, making it difficult for the average person to know exactly how much you have consumed. Additionally, there are some strains that are more potent.