Can you smoke shrooms? Technically, yes. However, whether or not you get the psychedelic effects you would otherwise get from ingesting them orally is uncertain. And if done chronically, this can harm your throat, lungs, and respiratory system.
Dried psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms can be crushed into a powder and smoked by rolling them up on their own or combining them with tobacco or marijuana. Some individuals also place purified psilocybin crystals in pipes, but neither of these alternatives is a good idea.
What Happens When Shrooms Are Smoked?
It’s difficult to say for sure what happens when a person smokes shrooms. There has been scant research on the topic, so the only reports out there are from those who have done so and shared their experience on Internet forums, such as Reddit.
A handful of shroom smokers say it induces a mild high, but nothing close to a trip like you’d get from ingesting a handful of caps orally or drinking a prepared tea. Most others, however, report it as being a waste of time with little or no effects at all, apart from nausea.
The absence of any psychoactive effects may very well be related to temperature. At high temperatures, psilocybin breaks down, so lighting up this substance effectively reduces the potency of the primary ingredient responsible for the high it would otherwise provide.
Is Smoking Dangerous?
There are many potential risks to consider regarding smoking shrooms, including the following:
General Risks of Smoking
For one, inhaling any type of smoke can potentially have adverse consequences to one’s health. Because of a process called incomplete combustion, all smoke contains at least trace amount of toxins and particulates that can cause damage to lung tissue and blood vessels and increase the risk of developing lung cancer. If you smoke shrooms laced with tobacco, you are exposed to all the risks associated with tobacco or nicotine use as well.
Smoking shrooms also carries additional risk for your lungs via mold spores. Inhaling certain types of mold increases can increase a person’s risk of incurring lung inflammation and infections. Also, for those with a mold allergy, pre-existing lung condition, or compromised immune system, inhaling certain mold species can result in severe health consequences.
If a person does experience any of the intoxicating effects of psilocybin after smoking, bad trips are possible anytime shrooms are ingested. A bad trip can include disturbing or frightening hallucinations, panic, and difficulty distinguishing between hallucinations and reality.
Physical Side Effects
Magic mushrooms can produce some unwanted physical effects, too, including the following:
- Increased heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Heightened body temperature
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Muscle weakness
- Uncoordinated movements
Psychological Side Effects
When used in high enough doses, shrooms and other hallucinogens alter a person’s perception of reality, leading them to engage in behavior that they would not normally engage in if not under the influence. While it may be unlikely to experience much of a trip from smoking shrooms, it’s still a possibility for which to be prepared.
Other Routes of Administration
Mushrooms are most commonly ingested orally, either fresh or dry. Some people swallow them as-is, while others combine them with other foods or steep them boiling water or tea. Some people get creative by dipping the fungus in chocolate or mix them into soups, milkshakes, or smoothies.
Although not as common, some individuals grind dried shrooms into powder and snort them intranasally. But based on anecdotal reports online, this isn’t generally recommended.
There’s no such thing as entirely safe substance use. But mixing substances, including illicit or prescription drugs and alcohol, is generally an extra bad idea because it makes the effects of each more unpredictable.
In summary, while there’s no scientific evidence that smoking shrooms produce the psychological effects associated with psilocybin, experts do know that inhaling any type of smoke is potentially harmful. And although hallucinogens typically aren’t considered as addictive as many other intoxicating substances, using them regularly can cause problems in a person’s everyday life.
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