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Amanita Muscaria: The Psychedelic Star of the Mushroom Land

Amanita muscaria mushroom in the forest

Did you know that amanita muscaria, the mushroom in the Super Mario Bros game, is an actual drug?

Yes, you read it right. The mushroom that makes Mario and Luigi grow in size in Mushroom Land is an actual psychedelic.

Below, let’s learn more about Amanita Muscaria, the most famous mushroom in the world, which is slowly returning to psychedelic prominence.

What is amanita muscaria?

Amanita muscaria is an Agaricales mushroom that grows in various environments in the Northern Hemisphere’s temperate and boreal zones. It thrives in low and high mountainous settings, particularly in coniferous woods such as fir, black pine, beech, and birch woodlands. It often starts to grow around at the end of the summer and is particularly common in the fall.

Amanita muscaria gets its name from the paralyzing effect it produces on some insects. Other names for it are hongo matamoscas (Spanish), falsa oronja (Catalan), reig bord or farinera borda (Catalan), and fly agaric (English).

The popular name fly agaric refers to the mushroom’s traditional use as an insecticide. In certain European nations, amanita muscaria caps are broken and put in milk saucers to trap house flies. The ibotenic acid present in the mushroom both attracts and poisons flies.

Amanita muscaria’s appearance distinguishes itself with a red cap covered in white dots and a white stem, similar to the mushrooms seen in Super Mario Bros land.  

In addition to several other alkaloids, this fungus includes two hallucinogenic alkaloids, ibotenic acid, and muscimol. Since antiquity, people have used it as an intoxicant and in shamanic situations and divination.

Amanita muscaria compounds and their effects

Amanita muscaria contains a high concentration of alkaloids, although its complex pharmacology has yet to be entirely understood. Ibotenic acid, muscimol, muscarine, and muscazone are the mushroom’s most significant alkaloids.

Muscarine gives people the feeling of being drunk and other unfavorable consequences such as discomfort, upset stomach, and vomiting. Initially, people thought that muscarine was the psychoactive alkaloid of the Amanita. However, it was only in 1964 that different researchers in Japan, England, and Switzerland identified ibotenic acid and muscimol and found their psychoactive effects.

The body can produce muscimol from ibotenic acid through decarboxylation, stomach digestion, or absorption in various tissues. Therefore the chemical behavior of the two compounds is relatively comparable.

In contrast to ibotenic acid, which is known to act on glutamic acid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) and cause an excitatory response, muscimol is a potent agonist at GABAA receptors.

Muscimol often has a soothing effect. Muscimol has a greater sleep-inducing impact than alcohol does. After consuming amanita muscaria, some users could feel sick, while others might find the experience enjoyable.

Some users have linked ibotenic acid to tiredness and numbness, which are side effects that are either less severe or less likely to occur when taking muscimol.  

Amanita muscaria differs from common psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, LSD, DMT, and mescaline. The fungus is known for producing illusions and disassociation and is also known to cause lethargy as a side effect.

After taking 1-4 mushrooms, the effects usually start to manifest in about 10 minutes. The length of time varies on the dose, but you can feel the effects of the mushroom for 4 to 8 hours.

The vast variability in each mushroom’s potency accounts for the variations in duration and effects. Which makes it incredibly challenging to determine the proper dose. Nevertheless, consequences generally consist of the following:

  • Euphoria
  • Pain relief
  • The production of a vivid dream state similar to lucid dreaming
  • Strong and varied internal dialogue
  • Synesthesia
  • Clarity of thought
  • Heightened internal focus
  • Lack of external focus
  • Difficulty socializing
  • Increased or decreased levels of sexuality depending on the person
  • Sedation or highly energetic depending on the person
  • Altered perception of the body
  • Blurred vision
  • Watery eyes
  • Running nose
  • Loss of balance
  • Pupil dilation
  • Nausea and discomfort in the stomach
  • Muscle twitches and trembles
  • Salivation
  • Perspiration
  • At high doses, strong dissociation, including delirium
Amanita muscaria mushroom

In all US states other than Louisiana, fly agaric is legal. However, there is a disagreement about its safety because while ancient societies in different parts of the world have considered it a traditional medicine, most identification books list it as toxic.

In recent months, amanita mushrooms gained attention after the Florida-based Chillum mushroom and hemp dispensary claimed to be the first shop to provide a legal “magic” mushroom in the country. 

Amanita muscaria microdose and preparation

While the amanita muscaria is entirely legal, extra caution must always be taken in ingesting it. Its adverse effects will be unavoidable if it is not prepared well. Other poisonous mushrooms also look closely like the amanita muscaria, so consuming mushrooms you harvested without enough knowledge is not advisable.

Users consume the amanita mushroom in various ways, such as ingesting edibles, oil extraction, tinctures, and tea. Other consumers also prefer to smoke the mushroom.

When you have a batch of fresh Amanita muscaria mushrooms, you must dry them to ensure the toxins break down before eating. First, put the mushrooms on a piece of paper or a portion of fabric, then put them somewhere dry and dark to dry them out properly. 

Typically, this procedure takes many weeks. You may cut them into little pieces or bake them in an oven set to no more than 75 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit) to hasten the drying process. 

You can consume the mushrooms safely when the drying process is complete. They may be eaten raw, baked into different foods, or even brewed into tea. Just crush them into a powder or tiny bits, then add them to boiling water to make tea. Doing this releases the psychoactive substances from the mushroom and into the water.

If you want to smoke the mushroom, you must first remove the red skin and orange ooze from the gills of the amanita mushrooms before drying them. Place the skin on a pan with the red skin facing up once it has been peeled off. Check them periodically as you bake them at a temperature just below 75 degrees Celsius. 

For the piece to dry completely, push down any air bubbles that appear with a fork or knife. Upon drying, you may ground the pieces in a standard herb grinder and smoke the resulting powder in a pipe or a cigarette.

For microdosing, the individual can determine their specific minimum effective dose during titration. The method of microdosing is highly customized, so what is effective for one person may be ineffective for another, which is a crucial point to keep in mind.

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