Over the years, I’ve ingested magic mushrooms dozens of times. Sometimes I’ve whirled them into a smoothie or tucked them inside a grilled cheese sandwich. Other times, I’ve popped capsules filled with dried shroom powder.
I’ve taken small microdoses and larger amounts. I’ve enjoyed them at music festivals and in the comfort of my own home. Each time, my experience has confirmed the magic in the common name for psilocybin. Whether taken for recreation or their medicinal value, shrooms have a powerful, positive effect.
The only problem was the only time I’ve been able to enjoy them legally is when I was living in the British Virgin Islands. However, people living in or visiting Washington, D.C. in the U.S. have the opportunity to try magic mushrooms safely and legally—thanks to Initiative 81 passed last year.
This newly passed legislation has decriminalized plant medicine, including ayahuasca, iboga, mescaline-containing cacti, and—most popularly—magic mushrooms. With new people wanting to try the experience every day, there are a lot of questions about the substance.
In this guide, I’ll share the basics of a magic mushroom experience and answer a lot of common questions, like “What is shrooms?” or “How does shrooms look like?” The more confident and clear you feel about magic mushrooms, the more fun and healing your experience will be.
You need to know three basic components before ingesting anything. First, you should know how shrooms look like and how shrooms taste like. This basic understanding will help you not buy a low-quality item. Then, you’ll want to know how to consume them, and find out the answer to “What does shrooms do?”
Once you have a good grasp on these concepts, you’ll want to know the answer to the third most important question: Where can you get shrooms legally? Check out Where’s Shrooms for a complete online directory of Washington, D.C.’s best shroom shops.
We’ve all heard about those poisonous mushrooms in forests. Nobody wants to die because someone was ignorant about the harvesting process. That’s why it’s so important to find reputable stores in the D.C. area.
Shrooms are usually available either raw or dried. They’ll come in a bag of dried fungi—or dried and ground into capsules or gummies for easier consumption. Some magic mushrooms are quite large caps, while others are small.
There are two main kinds of shrooms: liberty caps and fly agaric. Sometimes, liquid psilocybin harvested from liberty caps is available for consumption from small vials.
In general, raw or dried magic mushrooms taste earthy and not especially palatable. That’s why some manufacturers prefer to integrate the dried form into chocolate or gummies. This offsets the taste without sacrificing results.
There are three main options for consuming shrooms. First, it’s possible to simply eat them. When I was living in the British Virgin Islands, where magic mushrooms are legal, I enjoyed drinking milkshakes infused with shrooms. When the shrooms are dried, you can integrate them into any snack or meal. You can eat them on their own, too.
You can also drink shrooms by making a tea. The third option is taking a tincture dropper-full of liquid psilocybin.
It usually takes about 20–30 minutes before you feel effects. That’s an important piece of information. It’s a bad move to not wait long enough and decide to take more. What does eating shrooms do to you? With time, you’ll start to experience a distorted feeling with perhaps an influx of colors and sounds. I usually find myself laughing heartily, full of energy, and connected with the natural world around me.
If your dose is larger than your tolerance allows, you may feel overwhelmed and even nauseous. This feeling will pass if you sit quietly and allow the waves of feeling to wash over you. Conversely, you may want to take a microdose for a regular regime or just to see what shrooms do. Sometimes, the dose is so small that it’s barely noticeable—except for an especially good mood.
Thanks to Initiative 81, in Washington D.C., magic mushrooms are decriminalized. Most other places in the U.S. and around the world have continued to criminalize shrooms. However, it is legal in the British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Brazil, the Netherlands, Canada, Austria, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, and Spain.
This can make the process of procuring shrooms a challenge. That’s why I recommend anyone in the D.C. area check out Where’s Shrooms, an online directory that includes only vetted and trusted shrooms stores that are legally compliant. The last thing you want when trying plant medicine is to be concerned about doing anything illegal.
What is magic mushrooms? Now that you can answer that, you’re probably just as interested as I am in this powerful plant medicine. Here are three cool facts about these interesting fungi.
A 2020 study by John Hopkins Medicine discovered that just two doses of psilocybin mushrooms produced rapid and significant reductions in symptoms of depression in a small study of adults. The experience worked especially well with supportive psychotherapy, and the positive results were seen weeks later.
Magic mushrooms not addictive, and they’ve also been found to help people overcome other addictions. Another study by John Hopkins found that a single dose of shrooms was enough to help people kick the nicotine habit, even when nothing else worked. More research suggested promising results for lessening anxiety and OCD symptoms, too.
While the new legislation passed in D.C. last year, magic mushrooms have had a long history. Aztecs called psilocybin mushrooms “teonanacatl,” and rock paintings in Algeria showed ceremonial uses of mushrooms.
Now that science is showing what the true benefits of shrooms are, more people are interested in trying this plant medicine for themselves. Recreationally, magic mushrooms are also an enjoyable experience.
To find a legal and safe place to get shrooms, browse Where’s Shrooms. The online directory has every reputable storefront in D.C. that can supply shrooms for you to try.