Magic mushrooms, or “shrooms,” are a type of mushroom containing psilocybin, a hallucinogenic compound. The length of time shrooms stay in a person’s system depends on many factors, including the strength of the mushroom, dose, and the individual’s body.
People may take shrooms for spiritual or recreational purposes. Its hallucinogenic compounds can induce intense and long-lasting effects.
These effects could last for hours, with no set time on when they will end. Similar factors may also play a role in how long shrooms take to kick in and whether they show up on a drug test.
Keep reading to learn more.
How long do magic mushrooms stay in your system?
A person’s kidneys process the compounds in magic mushrooms, which include psilocybin, the primary ingredient responsible for shrooms’ hallucinogenic effects.
The process happens relatively quickly, and in many cases, the kidneys excrete most of them from a person’s system in a few hours.
Researchers note that about 66% of the compounds from shrooms get excreted in the first 3 hours after ingestion. After 24 hours, psilocybin becomes undetectable in a person’s urine.
However, there is no exact time on how long other compounds will stay in the system, or how long the shrooms’ effects will last.
Several factors may play a role in how the body handles these compounds, such as a person’s weight and metabolism, as well as the dose and type of mushroom ingested.
When shrooms are in a person’s system, how long they can remain detectable in drug tests can also vary widely.
There are various drug tests available, with their own factors in screening methods, detection, and accuracy.
The Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association list common drug tests and the compounds they detect. The most common screening is the five-panel test, which tests for the following substances:
- opiates, such as heroin
- phencyclidine, or PCP
In addition, there are eight- and 10-panel tests.
None of these screenings, including the five-panel test, check for the compounds contained in shrooms.
However, other tests can detect hallucinogenic compounds, although the screenings may need administering promptly. This is because the body metabolizes the shrooms and their compounds relatively quickly. After 24 hours, a urine, blood, or saliva test may not detect mushrooms in a person’s system.
Despite this, other screenings, such as a hair follicle test, may detect drugs over a longer period after ingestion, although they might not identify these substances in the first few days after exposure.
Shrooms can stay active in a person’s body for hours. Research suggests that the hallucinogenic effects may last 3–6 hours after ingestion.
While the exact timings vary from person to person, other factors may also play a role. These include:
- weight and body composition
- type of shroom and amount a person consumes
- preparation of the mushrooms, for example, dried or in tea
- tolerance levels
- the state of mind of the person taking them
- preexisting mental health conditions
- other drugs or substances a person takes at the time
In addition, some people may be more sensitive to these compounds and experience a longer “high” or lingering effects after the initial high passes.
Following ingestion, magic mushrooms take some time to start affecting the body. Research notes that hallucinogenic effects may commence within 20–40 minutes.
While there are some natural variations to this, many people feel the effects of taking shrooms within 1 hour.
These effects may come on gradually. A person may feel minor changes in their senses or feelings initially, which then progress to stronger visual, auditory, or other sensory hallucinations.
The immediate effects of hallucinogenic mushrooms come from the body breaking down psilocybin into psilocin. Psilocin acts in the brain similarly to other hallucinogens such as lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD.
After ingesting shrooms, a person may feel relaxed or drowsy, while others may experience a sense of unity or peace with their surroundings. These sensations may progress and get more intense.
The immediate effects generally only last a few hours. Some may experience a lingering sense of ease from a positive experience or a lingering sense of unease from a negative one.
In addition, a higher dose can trigger feelings of euphoria and hallucinations. These can be visual and auditory, while a person can also have extrasensory experiences within the body and mind.
These hallucinatory effects can be positive or negative, perhaps due to a person’s frame of mind and surroundings. A negative experience may cause people to feel paranoid, anxious, or panicked. In contrast, a positive experience may cause a person to feel intense euphoria or awe.
People should note that there are some risks when ingesting magic mushrooms.
A person can have an unenjoyable experience, or “bad trip,” while taking shrooms. These bad trips may cause:
- feelings of intense confusion and fear
- bad or scary hallucinations
- difficult changes in their psychological state
A more intense trip may disconnect a person from reality or make it difficult for them to understand what is real and what is a hallucination.
The experience and sensations may have associations with a person’s current mental state and surroundings.
There may also be some physical side effects from taking the mushrooms, including:
- stomach ache
- muscle weakness
- lack of coordination
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) note that using shrooms could lead to poisoning if a person takes a misidentified mushroom. Some poisonous mushrooms may appear similar to hallucinogenic shrooms, and taking them could lead to serious or potentially fatal issues.
The DEA also state that it is possible to overdose on shrooms, which may cause:
- a longer, intense trip
- psychotic episodes
There is also the risk of criminal prosecution for using the substance. The federal government consider psilocybin a Schedule 1 substance, similar to drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine. This means the compound is considered highly abusable, has no medical use, and lacks accepted safety measures for use under supervision.
Want to know more?
- How To Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics – Michael Pollan
- The Psychedelics Explores Guide
- Fantastic Fungi
- Dying to Know (free on YouTube)
- Have a Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics (Netflix)
- Hot Boxin with Mike Tyson feat. Rashad Evans (Rashad’s recount and explanation of his 5Meo-DMT trip from around 8:40 is pretty damn prolific)
- The Joe Rogan Experience, specifically Dennis McKenna (JRE 946)