Magic mushrooms are illegal throughout most of the world. They’re classified as Schedule I in the United States, which makes them illegal to produce, possess, and use.
However, laws are rapidly evolving. Within the last 12 months, both Oregon and Washington, DC, decriminalized the use of magic mushrooms. North of the border, the province of British Columbia, Canada, silently decriminalized all psychedelic drugs — including magic mushrooms. Here, it’s easy to get magic mushrooms delivered.
These changes in legal restrictions are a representation of how public opinion about these psychoactive fungi is evolving.Are Magic Mushrooms Legal?
With the recent New York Times bestseller from author Michael Pollan — How to Change Your Mind — and dozens of breakthroughs in medical research over the past five years, more people are becoming educated about magic mushrooms.
There’s no evidence thus far to suggest magic mushrooms pose any threat to society.
On the contrary, research on magic mushrooms suggests these mushrooms could offer a solution to some of society’s biggest issues — from drug addiction to depression — both of which have become epidemics in Western society.
Startups like MindMed and Field Trip are popping up in places like Canada and the United Kingdom that are centered around the medicinal use of magic mushrooms for treating psychiatric disorders.
Laws are rapidly evolving in this space. At the moment, psilocybin clinics are only allowed to offer services for end-of-life care, but laws are expected to change within the next 12-24 months.Are Magic Mushrooms Legal?
Are Magic Mushrooms Safe?
Magic mushrooms can cause short-term psychological distress in the form of a bad trip. It’s been known to cause bouts of anxiety and paranoia while under the influence.
With that said, with proper care and mental preparation, the chances of experiencing a “bad trip” on magic mushrooms can be dramatically reduced.
The risk of physical harm from magic mushrooms is exceptionally low, and there has never been a single reported death from a magic mushroom overdose to date.
Researchers have been studying the effects of magic mushrooms for over 60 years now. Several large clinical trials involving high doses of magic mushrooms or pure psilocybin have all reported no lasting health effects following the trials [3, 4].
One of the best ways to assess the toxicity of a substance is to look at the LD50 — which refers to the “lethal dose” of a substance. LD50 is determined by giving animals (usually mice) increasingly higher doses of a compound until 50% die from an overdose.
This type of study is unethical — there’s no doubt about it — but it does give some useful insight into the toxicity of a particular compound.
Researchers searching for the LD50 for psilocybin noted exceptionally high doses compared to other compounds. The LD50 data for psilocybin is reported to be as high as 280 mg/kg .
To put this into context, this is roughly 1000 times the standard psychoactive dose of magic mushrooms. You would need to eat roughly 3500 grams of magic mushrooms before it becomes life-threatening.
This dose is completely unrealistic and likely impossible to achieve. 3500 grams is a lot of mushrooms.
With that said, there are some unwanted side effects that can occur while using magic mushrooms. All of these effects are short-term side effects only and resolve once the mushrooms wear off.
Side Effects of Magic Mushrooms
- Anxiety & paranoia
- Dilated pupils
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Increased heart rate & blood pressure
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea & stomach discomfort
Can Psilocybin Cause Seizures?
Yes, on rare occasions, psilocybin has been found to trigger seizures.
This side effect is extremely rare and much more likely to happen in people with existing seizure disorders. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to have a trip sitter nearby to call for help or protect you from injuring yourself should you experience a seizure.Are Magic Mushrooms Legal?