The Hoosier Mushroom Society

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Reasons NOT To Use Magic Mushrooms

Potential Problems with Psychoactive Mushrooms

This list is not intended to make any type of moral or ethical judgements regarding the use of psychoactive mushrooms. This list stems from an assignment for graduate students taking the Fungi course at Indiana University. It is an attempt to make people aware of all the potential problems associated with magic mushroom use. Everything on the list will not apply to all individuals. Our only goal is to make sure people have all the accurate information that we can provide. If you have any additions to this list, please let us know.


1.    Don’t know the source of the mushrooms

  • Home Grown?
    • Concerns about chemicals used for mold control
    • Bacterial Contamination, Molds
    • Substrates used – Manure, Seed,Vermiculite, etc. Source of substrate? Contaminants?
    • Insect infestations? Pesticides that have been used?
    • How was the product handled after harvest?
    • Dried right away? Mold? Rot?
    • Sanitary handling? Strewn across dirty floor, etc.  Handwashing? Gloves worn?
  • Wild Harvest?
    • ID Correct? Any number of potential problems here.
  • Do they contain active chemicals?
    • Chemicals can degrade over time or with heat
    • Could be store-bought mushrooms
    • Could ultimately be a waste of money

2.    Potential Psychological Problems

  • Can cause undesired thoughts and visions
  • May not be able to discern reality from fantasy
  • Can cause intense paranoia, thought repetition
  • Possible dark and scary thoughts, feeling of being trapped in mind
  • Can exacerbate underlying  or recessed mental problems – depression

3.    Can Cause Mental Inebriation

  • Likely unable to perform simple tasks – driving, eating, reading, etc
  • Mental processing at a slower rate
  • Decreased visual acuity
  • May not be as aware of everything happening in your surroundings
  • Poor decision making processes

4.    Physical Problems

  • Gastrointestinal distress  - stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting
  • Problems if combined with other drugs or alcohol
  • Potential problems with pregnancy?

5.    Social Risks and Stigmas

  • Potential negative consequences from family, friends, teachers, others

6.    Legal Risks

  • Cost of lawyers
  • Potential jail time

7.    Dosage Problems

  • Potential to take too large of a dose increasing the likelyhood of psychological problems during an inebriated state
  • Different species of mushrooms containing psychoactive chemicals contain dramatically different amounts of those chemicals.
  • There is even a wide variation of concentrations within the same species, or even the same population of a given species.
  • All of this makes accurate measurement of dosage difficult.
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