Can You Smoke Shrooms? Debunking the Myths & Understanding the Risks

Magic mushrooms are all the rage. But as more consumers advocate for widespread legalization, one thought remains on our stoner minds: Can you smoke shrooms?


If you’re anything like us, you prefer your mushrooms hallucinogenic. Magic mushrooms, also known simply as ‘shrooms,’ are a type of fungi that contain psychoactive compounds, most notably psilocybin, and psilocin. These psychoactive compounds are responsible for the trippy, mind-altering effects of magic mushrooms when ingested orally.


In this blog, we’re exploring the practice of smoking shrooms and its implications, ultimately answering the question: Can you smoke shrooms? Let’s find out.


Understanding Psilocybin Mushrooms 

Like all other fungi, magic mushrooms are completely natural. This informal group of fungi contains a compound called psilocybin, which turns into psilocin when consumed. 


Needless to say, magic mushrooms continue to rise in popularity, despite their current illegal status. And while we’re not-so-patiently waiting for the latest hallucinogenic bill to move through California state legislature, we’re stuck in the interim, honoring the history and cultural use of magic mushrooms. 


The History of Magic Mushrooms

The use of psilocybin mushrooms has a long history that dates back thousands of years and is deeply rooted in various cultures around the world.


While it’s a bit challenging to pinpoint the exact origin of their use, evidence suggests that magic mushrooms have been used for spiritual, religious, and healing purposes in different regions. But the question remains…Can you smoke shrooms?


Methods of Consuming Psilocybin Mushrooms

Before you dive into your first shrooms trip, it’s important to understand the very basics.


neon image of live magic mushrooms


Can you smoke shrooms? Sure, but it’s not the most effective or popular way to consume mushrooms. Instead, many people eat dried mushrooms or enjoy tea preparation, while others may consume microdose capsules or even mushroom-infused chocolate bars. 


Like most other substances that produce psychedelic effects, dried shrooms tend to produce stronger effects when ingested. 


So whether that means drinking mushroom tea or taking shrooms in the form of a capsule, processing through the digestive system is preferable compared to smoking shrooms. So can you smoke shrooms? Sure you can smoke shrooms but it’s not going to have the same effect as ingesting them.


The Science Behind Psilocybin 

Magic mushrooms and psilocybin have been the subject of increasing scientific interest in recent years. And given the sudden mushroom revival of the 2020s and the impending legalization of psilocybin mushrooms, continued research likely won’t die down anytime soon. 


Researchers have been exploring how psilocybin interacts with the brain, particularly with serotonin receptors, leading to altered states of consciousness and changes in perception. The psychological effects of psilocybin can include visual and auditory hallucinations, altered sense of time and self, and heightened emotions. Physiologically, psilocybin activates areas of the brain associated with emotions, memory, and introspection.


Alternative Uses for Dried Shrooms 

This growing body of research also reveals the therapeutic potential of psilocybin in treating various mental health conditions. 


a bowl of dried shrooms


Studies have shown promising results in using psilocybin-assisted therapy for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. The therapeutic effects are thought to be related to the compound’s ability to promote introspection, emotional processing, and enhanced connectivity in the brain. 


As research continues to unveil the science behind psilocybin, its potential applications in medicine and mental health may offer new avenues for treatment and healing.


Debunking the Myth of Smoking Shrooms 

If you smoke weed, you may be tempted to smoke shrooms; especially since smoking shrooms allows you to bypass the unpleasant taste of dried shrooms. And while it’s entirely possible to smoke shrooms, it’s largely advised against.


Can You Smoke Shrooms?

The primary psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms is psilocybin, which requires specific conditions to be activated in order to produce its desired effects. Overall, smoking shrooms is not an efficient way to achieve the desired mushroom trip. In fact, it can be potentially harmful to your health. 


Here are a few reasons we’d advise against smoking magic mushrooms:


  1. Ineffectiveness: Psilocybin is not active in its natural form and must be converted into psilocin to produce psychedelic effects. Heat is required to convert psilocybin into psilocin, which typically occurs during the process of drying and ingesting the mushrooms. Smoking shrooms does not provide the necessary heat for this conversion to take place given that direct flame effectively degrades the hallucinogenic compounds. This results in minimal to no psychoactive effects — which leads us to our second point… 
  2. Waste of Substance: Smoking psilocybin mushrooms is wasteful as most of the active compounds are destroyed by the high temperatures associated with smoking. 
  3. Health Risks: Smoking any substance can be harmful to the lungs and overall respiratory system. Burning plant material, including dried mushrooms, can release toxins and carcinogens, which can be detrimental to your health. Additionally, magic mushrooms may cause you to inhale mold spores, which increases the chance of lung inflammation and infections. 
  4. Adverse Effects or a Bad Trip: Smoking shrooms can lead to unpredictable and potentially dangerous outcomes, often resulting in a bad trip. The lack of standardized dosing and the inefficiency of this method can result in an uncertain and uneven distribution of active compounds, making it difficult to control the intensity and duration of the effects. 


Risks and Dangers of Smoking Shrooms 

We get it, smoking mushrooms is tempting. It’s possible to smoke shrooms, so why not?


Unfortunately, it’s best to consume shrooms orally as inhaling magic mushrooms could result in adverse effects. Aside from fungal exposure possibly resulting in respiratory infection, the effects of smoking shrooms could expose you to harmful toxins. Not to mention that smoking shrooms doesn’t achieve the mushroom high that we all know and love. 


And though the effects of consuming shrooms by way of inhalation aren’t necessarily life-threatening, smoking mushrooms (or really any other hallucinogens) could still prompt mental health issues or other unwanted psychological effects. 


Additionally, shroom smokers have been found to have a weakened immune system or even lung cancer as exposing the body to harmful spores could accumulate unwanted mold in the respiratory system. 


With that being said, we’d suggest skipping the risky behaviors and instead prioritizing the most optimal way to enjoy the psychoactive compound psilocybin — through the digestive system. So again, can you smoke shrooms? Yes, but we definitely don’t recommend it and are not sure why you would want to.


Harm Reduction and Responsible Use 

Many advocates who consume magic mushrooms often praise the fungi for its ability to release inhibitions and connect with oneself on a deeper level. 


However, whether you’re new to dried shrooms or a long-time consumer, it’s important to practice safe consumption methods to avoid a bad trip. 


Safer Consumption Alternatives 

Safer consumption alternatives for magic mushroom consumption include methods such as microdosing. Microdosing refers to the practice where individuals take small doses to experience subtle psychedelic effects without the intense psychedelic experience. 


This approach aims to reduce the risk of overwhelming sensations and potential psychological distress that can come with higher doses. In fact, many avid microdosers find that consuming mushrooms in smaller doses allows for greater creativity and a more relaxed approach to the day. 


Additionally, mixing shrooms with teas or candies can help mitigate the nausea that some users may experience when ingesting the raw fungi.


Harm Reduction Strategies for Using Psilocybin Mushrooms 

Nobody wants a bad trip, so it’s important to prepare. Harm reduction strategies for using psilocybin mushrooms involve thorough research and preparation before consumption. 


Individuals should be aware of their mental and emotional state, as well as their surroundings, before embarking on a psychedelic journey. For example, a period of extreme stress at work may not be the best time to unwind with a mushroom trip.  


In general, it’s important to prepare yourself to fully give in to the trip versus fighting the psychedelic effects. Having a trusted and sober trip sitter present can provide crucial support and guidance throughout the experience.


Testing the substance for purity and potency can also minimize risks associated with diluted or overly potent batches. Additionally (and arguably most importantly), starting with a lower dose and gradually increasing if needed allows users to gauge their sensitivity and response to psilocybin.


Responsible Use and Education

Encouraging responsible use and education is essential to promote a safe and positive relationship with magic mushrooms. 


Providing accurate information about potential effects, risks, and interactions with other substances can empower individuals to make informed decisions. 


Establishing open and nonjudgmental conversations within communities can help reduce stigma and encourage users to seek help if necessary. Education initiatives should emphasize the importance of set and setting, mental health considerations, and the legal status of psilocybin mushrooms in different regions. 


Responsible use entails treating these substances with respect, mindfulness, and an understanding of their potential impact on mental well-being.


Myths vs. Facts: Addressing Misconceptions 

Similar to other drugs, magic mushrooms are a relatively taboo topic. Plenty of misconceptions surrounding our favorite fungi exist; however, it’s important to address these misconceptions to better promote responsible use. 


And with that being said, keep reading for a few misunderstandings we can’t help but dispel.


1. Smoking Magic Mushrooms

It’s important to clarify that smoking psilocybin mushrooms is not an effective or practical method of consumption. 


Psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms, is not heat-stable and breaks down at the temperatures typically reached during smoking. Attempting to smoke mushrooms would likely result in the destruction of the psychoactive compounds and a wasted product.


2. Instant and Intense Effects 

Some people may expect immediate and intense hallucinations upon consuming magic mushrooms. But in reality, it can take around 30 minutes to an hour for effects to start manifesting, and the experience may vary in intensity.


various harvested mushrooms


The intensity of a mushroom trip is affected by factors like dosage, mindset, setting, sensitivity, body metabolism, prior experience, and mental state. Personal tolerance and combining substances also play a role.


It’s important to approach magic mushrooms with caution and a positive mindset to ensure a safer and more manageable experience.


3. Unpredictable Behavior

Magic mushrooms do not automatically lead to “crazy” or unpredictable behavior similar to that of alcohol or more intense hallucinogenic substances. 


While both shrooms and similar hallucinogens can alter perception and cognition, we can’t stress enough that responsible use and proper preparation can mitigate the risk of unwanted behaviors.


4. Enhanced Visuals Only 

While magic mushrooms can indeed cause enhanced visual perceptions, they also affect other aspects of consciousness, including emotions, thoughts, and introspection.


For example, one person consuming magic mushrooms may experience more of an emotional trip. However, another person consuming the same type of magic mushroom at the same dose and time may experience visual hallucinations.


bright orange lights wrapped around a tree to look like fireflies in a forest


Given the uncertainty, it’s important to approach your shrooms trip with an open mind and positive headspace.


5. Psychological Addiction 

Magic mushrooms are not considered addictive in the same way as substances like opioids or stimulants, which often lead to psychological dependence. 


That said, psychedelic shrooms generally do not create physical dependence, and many users report “afterglow” effects that reduce the desire for frequent use. 


In other words, consuming a higher dose of magic mushrooms is a relatively intense experience that isn’t ideal for regular practice. 


6. Legal Status

There is often confusion about the legal status of magic mushrooms, especially since they are so widely consumed across many different regions and cultures. 


While they are illegal in many places within the United States, there is a growing movement to decriminalize or legalize their use for therapeutic and medicinal purposes in certain jurisdictions. This leads us to our next point… 


Public Opinion and Policy Shifts 

The perceptions of psychedelic substances, including psilocybin, are undergoing a massive transformation as advanced scientific research sheds new light on their potential therapeutic benefits.


As more studies demonstrate their positive impact on mental health and well-being, public attitudes are evolving from skepticism to curiosity and acceptance. This shift is evident in the global movements advocating for the decriminalization and even legalization of psilocybin. 


Similar to the same push seen to legalize recreational cannabis, these movements are fueled by a growing recognition of the need for more compassionate and evidence-based approaches to drug policy. 


a close up image of the underside of an unharvested mushroom


As societies become more informed about the potential benefits of psilocybin on mental disorders, drug policy reforms are being considered to prioritize harm reduction, mental health support, and responsible use. 


It’s important to recognize that this shift in public opinion highlights the power of knowledge and science in shaping our perception and driving policy changes that prioritize individual well-being. And if this mass support for cannabis has proved successful, we believe that the same can be said for the end of psychedelic mushroom prohibition. 



In conclusion, our deep dive into the magic of magic mushrooms has shed light on various aspects of psychedelic mushrooms and psilocybin use. To recap, we took a look into their history, effects, benefits, and potential risks, while dispelling common misconceptions. 


It’s important to reiterate that smoking shrooms are neither effective nor advisable due to the breakdown of their active compounds under heat. And as we navigate the realm of psychedelics, safety, responsibility, and informed decision-making remain of the greatest importance. 


While magic mushrooms hold promise as therapeutic agents, their use demands a respectful and educated approach. By understanding the factors influencing intensity, acknowledging changing perceptions, and supporting global movements for policy reform, we can collectively contribute to a society where the benefits of psilocybin are maximized while minimizing potential harm. 


As with any taboo topic, the key to reform lies in fostering open dialogues, accurate information, and a commitment to well-being for all who engage with this fascinating fungi.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Are Magic Mushrooms and How Do They Work?

Magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin mushrooms, are fungi that contain the psychoactive compound psilocybin. When ingested, psilocybin is metabolized by the body into psilocin, which interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain. This interaction leads to altered perception, changes in mood, and often intense sensory experiences.


2. Can You Smoke Magic Mushrooms to Get High?

No, you cannot effectively smoke magic mushrooms to get high. The active compounds in magic mushrooms are heat-sensitive and break down when exposed to the temperatures reached during smoking. Smoking them would likely result in the destruction of these compounds, making the mushrooms ineffective in producing their desired psychedelic effects.


3. Is Smoking Shrooms a Safer Alternative to Ingesting Them?

No, smoking shrooms is not a safer alternative to ingesting them. In fact, inhaling the resulting smoke from burnt mushrooms can introduce various harmful substances and irritants into the respiratory system. This could potentially cause lung irritation, coughing, and other respiratory issues.


4. Are Magic Mushrooms Legal?

The legality of magic mushrooms varies by country and jurisdiction. In some places, magic mushrooms are considered illegal controlled substances, while in others, they may be decriminalized or even legalized for specific purposes, such as medical or therapeutic use. With that being said, it’s important to research and understand the laws in your specific location before considering the possession, use, or distribution of magic mushrooms.


5. Are Magic Mushrooms Addictive?

Magic mushrooms are not considered addictive in the same way as substances like opioids or alcohol. For example, they generally do not create physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms once discontinued. However, it’s important to note that while magic mushrooms themselves are not addictive, their use should still be approached with caution and responsibility, as excessive or frequent use can potentially lead to psychological dependence or adverse effects on mental health.


6. How Can I Ensure a Safe and Positive Magic Mushroom Experience?

To ensure a safe and positive magic mushroom experience:

  1. Research effects, dosing, and methods.
  2. Choose a comfortable setting with trusted people.
  3. Start with a low dose.
  4. Approach with a positive mindset.
  5. Consider health and medications.
  6. Stay hydrated and have snacks.
  7. Have a sober friend as support.
  8. Know emergency contacts.
  9. Consult a healthcare provider if needed.
  10. Reflect and integrate insights afterward.


7. Are There Any Benefits to Smoking Magic Mushrooms?

No, there are no significant benefits to smoking magic mushrooms. Smoking destroys the active compounds, making the experience ineffective and potentially harmful due to inhaling smoke. Other consumption methods, like ingestion or making teas, are more suitable for experiencing the hallucinogenic effects of magic mushrooms while minimizing risks to your health.