How To Prepare For A Safe Psychedelic Trip?
9 min

How To Prepare For A Safe Psychedelic Trip?

9 min

Here at Zamnesia, we want to make sure you have a good trip on your first plummet down the rabbit hole. Follow these guidelines whether you just want to giggle uncontrollably for a while or give your spirit wings.

Your first mushroom or truffle trip should leave you with the “wow” factor. It can and should be a life-changing, spiritually enhancing and grand adventure of self-exploration. Getting it right from the start will ensure an enlightening, euphoric, and wonderful experience.

A first shroom trip can be a grand, life-changing experience, a good trip. But it can also be vicious, taking control of your world and your senses, throwing you into a terrifying, horrific magic mushroom world, a bad trip.

As Dr. Timothy Leary likes to say, “set and setting” do have a lot to do with one you end up with. But there are plenty of other factors that influence shroom trips, including the dosage, the species of the magic mushrooms, and simply the wills of your subconscious brain. Anyone new to magic mushrooms should learn up before tripping (if you’re someone I’m talking about, good job; you’re reading this!), but as they grow more experienced, they’ll learn to take psilocybin mushrooms in the right way, achieving a good, if not amazing shroom trip.

Chemical structure of magic mushrooms

Well, if you have heard of the effects of acid or LSD (or have even taken it), a psilocybin shroom trip is roughly the same, with a different “edge” to it. Part of the known background on this is that both psilocybin and psilocin, two of the psychedelic compounds in shrooms, as well as acid are confirmed either partial or full agonists at different serotonin receptors (an agonist is a chemical that actives a receptor in the body; an antagonist is one that reverses its effects) throughout the brain and body.

Chemical structure of magic mushrooms

Psilocybin and psilocin have similar chemical structures to serotonin chemical, A.K.A. 5-HT, too, although LSD’s 3D shape is quite different.

But what are magic mushroom trips really like?

What Is A Magic Mushroom Trip Like?

There’s a myth floating around that magic mushrooms, as well as LSD, don’t cause “hallucinations”; they simply “distort” what you perceive with your senses. This is exactly what shrooms and acid do at average doses today. But at much higher, A.K.A. “spiritual,” doses, intense hallucinations will come along with both magic mushroom trips and acid trips, enveloping the world around the tripper as they lose themselves to the world of the psychedelics.

With lower doses, a shroom trip is much like impossibly high on some sativa. First, the colors of objects become vivid and saturated, gaining a “clearness” to them. Euphoria will take over, and soon giggling and laughter at literally nothing will ensue. Sounds will echo over and over, and then you might not be sure whether the sound had really existed at all in the first place. If you manage to eat, tastes are vibrant and exotic, and can even change flavors in your mouth as you eat.

But that’s the first bit. Closing your eyes now, you’ll see intense geometric patterns, in full 3 dimensions, sliding, rotating, and morphing through different complex shapes. Open your eyes, and on the sides of walls, on floors and ceilings, on rocks and on furniture, you’ll see the patterns, in their full light, continuing to morph in their complexity.

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Then the thoughts come. Many describe it as a sense of “freedom”, as if the filter that divides your conscious and subconscious had been suddenly shut off. Trains of thought will flow freely and easily, without effort, taking their own paths, sometimes even splitting into two complete separate sequences of thought, occurring simultaneously until they re-emerge again. Close your eyes now, and if the dose is right, full, life-like dreams will take over your mind’s eye, engulfing your senses and playing out whatever stories your subconscious brings to stage.

Even at this stage, which can be reached by someone with no magic mushroom tolerance by just a small to average dose, some shroom trippers already achieve a ”better perspective on their role in life,” as well as, in some cases, talks with divine beings or beings of intelligence from “different dimensions” or worlds.

How can I ensure a good magic mushroom trip?

How Can I Ensure A Good Magic Mushroom Trip?

First off and foremost, every person reacts different to different drugs, and that includes magic mushrooms. That’s why it’s important to start small; feel out the mushroom world, and judge for yourself how much you should take next time.

With that in mind, decide how intense your first set of trips to be. Do you eventually want to dive into your subconscious brain, swimming around its various landscapes while connecting different meanings of life; or do you just want a nice, relaxing magic mushroom high with some colorful and visuals and interesting shapes? You’ll need to stock up accordingly, based on how many trips you’ll be having and how much you want to take; but hang on, we’ll get to psilocybin mushroom dosage in just a second.

Set and setting

Before you even start thinking about the intensity of the trip, the dosages, and things like that, you need to establish a safe, calm tripping environment, i.e. Timothy Leary’s “set and setting.” For most, this means not out on the streets or in the bushes or washes, but in a home where you can explore the trip, walking outside if your goal is to enjoy the beauty of nature.

“Set and setting” also includes your state of mind. Don’t start taking magic mushrooms the day before you have an exam or job interview. Don’t pick a “safe” house where someone you don’t want to know about your shroom using is likely to show up (or is already there). A mix of anxiety and annoyance before a trip can quickly turn into a terrifying, chaotic bad trip afterward. Be calm, enjoy the shroom experience with an open mind, and know that whatever comes, you’ll be okay. And you will be.

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Set & Setting: Two Essential Variables For A Psychedelic Trip

Get yourself a trip-sitter

By the way, a trip sitter is the way to ensure that, in reality, you’ll actually be okay. Find a trip sitter, or a sober person that has the time and experience to take care of you, to aid you through your magic mushroom experience. More often than not, any trippers who take psilocybin mushrooms more than once end up finding out that having a trip sitter helped them out, whether it was simply to bring them a blanket when they were in need of one, or if they ended up saving the tripper from police trouble or worse, physical harm. So if you’re tripping on psilocybin shrooms, grab a trip sitter.


Maybe it’s your first time going on a psychedelic journey, or perhaps you find the effects of your shrooms to be a little too much. No need to worry!

The Trip Stopper 3000 helps lessen the effects of a bad trip for a smooth comedown. If you have Trip Stopper 3000 within reach, it will make you more relaxed so you can better enjoy your mushroom ride!

  1. Take 2 white capsules (maltodextrin) to lessen the effects of your trip.
  2. Take 2 dark capsules (valerian) to relax.
  3. Eat something savoury.
  4. Stay calm, breathe slowly, and know that the bad feeling will soon pass.

How many magic mushrooms should I take?

How many magic mushrooms should I take?

Once you have the set and setting figured out, you have a good time with a buffer specifically set aside for the shroom trip, and you’ve got a good tripsitter by your side, it’s time to start thinking doses.

The following doses are good guides, according to Erowid, for new to medium magic mushroom users. More experienced shroom trippers will have built up a good tolerance, and will probably want to adjust accordingly; but, being an experienced shroom tripper, hopefully you know how to judge your own body well already. Also, these doses are based on Psilocybe cubensis.

Magic mushroom dosage calculatorCalculate

Light dose

The Erowid Psilocybin Mushroom Vault says about a quarter of a gram of dried magic mushroom is a threshold dose. A threshold dose is a dose that will get a shroom user just barely noticing the effects. A threshold dose of psilocybin mushrooms sometimes brings a light feeling of cold along with a slight vividness to colors and light, but not much more.

The dosage page goes on to say that a “light” dose of psilocybin mushrooms is around a quarter of a gram, the threshold dose, to around one gram of dried shroom.

Some peoples’ eyes can dilate at this point. Sensitive trippers might feel a bit of the classic mushroom nausea kick in at this stage. Slight visual “hallucinations,” though they are more like fleeting distortions, can start to show themselves at the edges of peripheral vision, and bright colors and intense lights can take on a “starry” look, according to the page. The distinct “mushroom aura” is noticeable.

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Medium dose

A “medium” dose, Erowid says, is about a gram to two and a half. But remember, everyone’s mushroom experience will be different. Some people feel hardly more effects than they would from a light dose chewing down two and a half grams of shroom for the first time, while other people taking that amount have tripped hard, reaching a full on psilocybin experience complete with intense visuals and whirling thoughts. The best thing to do here, if you’re not sure how much you want to take, is to start at around a gram and a half, or even a light dose if you’re had a history being sensitive to psychedelics.

At medium doses, physical effects will be fully evident, including the shroom nausea for sensitive trippers and beginners. Pupils are visibly dilated at this point, and blood pressure and heart rate can rise to a safe degree. Some users experience the “cooling” sensation felt at threshold dosages get stronger as the trip progresses. Full blown, open eyed visuals come on at this stage, and the dream like images of shroom trips will start to take form.

Most people say that, with a medium dose, their thought patterns are significantly different; it’s likely for “enlightened” thoughts and apparent realizations about the world to manifest. At the same time, emotions will be dynamic and exaggerated, and intense mood swings between euphoria and dysphoria that mirror the mood swings of LSD can occur.

Strong doses

Finally, the dosage page defined “strong doses” as anywhere between two and a half to five grams of dried mushroom, with over five grams of shroom listed as a “heavy” dose. Magic mushroom beginners that want to experience a real, full mushroom trip often take up to an eighth of an ounce (around three and a half grams) on their first dose, and the trip can be a euphoric, eye opening experience.

But at trip intensities nearing that level, a bad trip can get, well, bad, and new shroom users who aren’t used to dealing with bad trips can be in for a hard time. If a beginner is reaching this level of intensity, they probably overdosed (this means, literally, to take more than intended; overdoses don’t imply that death or any lasting physical harm is done), and the onset of the shroom trip will be rapid, jarring, and probably not enjoyable. Pupils will be round and big, and nausea can wreak full havoc on a tripper’s stomach at this point; even experienced magic mushroom users can have a hard time if they weren’t prepared for the severity of the effects.

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In contrast, if a psychonaut is intending to reach the level and is fully prepared for what it brings, high doses can be extremely euphoric and life changing in a profound way. Psilocybin, in concentrated doses or taken in potent magic mushrooms, can even induce an experience known as “ego loss,” which is essentially the loss of the feeling of one’s “self.” The “sensation” of ego loss is sometimes described as a literal enjoinment with one’s environment, becoming lost in the flow of the trip without any central desire, conflict, or control. Sometimes, it’s called being “one” with the universe.

Can you redose magic mushrooms?

Can you redose magic mushrooms?

Redosing magic mushrooms can be a tricky affair. A simple search online, and you'll find many online forum discussions with polarising views on redosing. However, it's worth noting that tolerance is built up pretty quickly when taking magic mushrooms, meaning that any additional shrooms consumed may have little to no effect when stacked against the already present. This can relate more to the time in which they are taken. 

Many state that timing your redose within the first couple of hours from your initial dosage and before the peak of the trip can provide enhanced effects; this is disputed though, as there is such a potentially small window of opportunity as tolerance will build quickly. One pitfall users can potentially fall into is potentially overcompensating and having consumed too much, resulting in a trip that is way more intense and longer-lasting than first anticipated. 

How often can you trip?

How often can you trip?

As discussed, a build-up of tolerance can heavily impact how effective a trip can be. With this in mind, how often you can trip also plays a part. There are many that choose to trip every few months or more as they simply don't want to any sooner. The potential uplifting and euphoric nature of a magic mushrooms trip can be responsible for long-lasting mood improvement, with some studies hinting at this side effect. This means that for many, they might not consider using magic mushrooms again until this feeling has worn off. 

Of course, those looking for more regular doses can look to do so fairly regularly, but it's certainly worth waiting for at least 1-2 weeks in between trips as this will give a person's tolerance enough time to reset to base level—tolerance sky-rockets after just one trip. However, it ultimately all depends on the preference of the user and what they're looking to get out of their magic mushroom usage. For example, while not unlocking the full trip experience, many users will even look to microdose magic mushrooms as a means to keep their tolerance baseline elevated.

So how many magic mushrooms do I buy?

How Many Mushrooms Should I Buy?

This is a good question. The answer is none. You really shouldn’t buy mushrooms buy the number, unless you’re a psilocybin mushroom grower buying seeds (and if you are, then why read this?). You should buy them by the gram, or by the ounce. And if you’re serious about not getting ripped off, you’ll either buy from someone who weighs the shrooms out on a scale in front of you, or you’ll have access to one so you can check the amount yourself. Really, you should have access to a scale regardless, to measure out doses, but a lot of people can get by with eyeballing the pile of shrooms if they know how much they’ve bought.

If you’re just planning to trip a couple times, you don’t need to get yourself more than an eighth of dried shrooms, and you could do with even less (as always, this still depends on the potency of the magic mushrooms your source stocks up on). It being your first trip, you probably won’t get access to people who buy psilocybin mushrooms by the bulk, and your connections will be limited.

Be happy getting an eighth for around $30 or €20 to €25 for your first shroom purchase, or around $10 to $15 or €8 to €10 a gram, if that’s your buying unit. People who trip often usually by psilocybin mushrooms by quarter ounces, half ounces, and ounces or more, getting prices of around $100 to $200 or €75 to €150 per ounce, and it’s not unlikely for some psychedelic enthusiasts with good connections to ask for or be given free doses.

If you really have to judge the amount of magic mushrooms you’re getting on the spot, just by looking at them, you can estimate about ten to fifteen individual mushrooms to weigh around an eighth of an ounce. If you have the time beforehand, just search Google for “an eighth of shrooms” or something similar to get a perspective of what it’ll visually look like. Overall, though, it’s still best to weigh out your doses, and if you can access a scale in any way, do it.

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl has been writing about cannabis, the wellness potential of cannabinoids, and the positive influence of nature for over a decade. Working with several cannabinoid-centric publications, he publishes a variety of digital content, supported by strong technical knowledge and thorough research.
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