Psilocybin Mushrooms

Magic Mushrooms 101: What is a Trip?

We’re sure you’ve heard of a shroom ‘trip,’ but to someone who has perhaps never tried shrooms before and had one of these ‘trips,’ what is it and what’s it like? This article will cover the dos and don’ts of good trips versus bad ones; actual testimonials of people who have had them; what’s going on in your body when you’re experiencing a trip; how long they last; effects; and more!

What is a ‘Trip’?

What is an actual psilocybin mushroom psychedelic trip like? Well, for starters, the experience varies from person to person depending on many things like mood, mental state, body mass index (BMI), metabolism, and water content. The best explanations, however, can come from those who have actually ingested shrooms and can provide accounts of what their experience was while on one of these trips. According to Michael Pollan’s experience in an article titled “What it’s Like to Trip on the Most Potent Magic Mushroom”, after first ingesting shrooms in the form of a tea along with his wife as company for the experience, there was this feeling of wanting to be still and not move about much, as well as to sit indoors in a safe and quiet space. Strong visuals began to form when his eyes were closed, like geometric patterns and shapes moving around under his eyelids. Michael’s wife decided to keep her eyes closed and take in all the shapes and patterns while Michael decided he would rather go for a walk and absorb all the sounds and visuals he was getting from his garden. He described being able to see complicated patterns in the air that dragonflies were following, and a glow coming from his plants. The most interesting thing he said was, “Everything is interaction and reciprocal. I myself am identical to nature. ” There seems to be this intrinsic unification of self and nature, and this is what gives the experience an almost mystical feel. 

Let’s move on to another experiencer who has not only tried shrooms but also studies them professionally. Sara Gael, Zendo Project’s Director of Harm Reduction, and the Harm Reduction Advocate for the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel says, “Psilocybin significantly alters the perception of reality. Effects can range from positive to negative and are unique to every individual. Some effects of psilocybin include elevated mood or euphoria, creativity, mystical or spiritual experiences, dissolution of the ego and altered perception of oneself, their environment, altered perception of time, and increased sensitivity to outside stimulus.”

What’s Going On Inside Your Mind During a Trip?

According to researchers who have been studying the effects of psilocybin on the brain, the so-called default mode network, a web of interconnected brain areas that becomes active when people let their minds wander, is hubbed by the posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortices. David Nutt, a psychopharmacologist researcher at Imperial College London, believes that the discovery that psilocybin inhibits this network may assist in explaining the surreal sensations the drug creates. Some studies have suggested that the default mode network is essential for introspective thought and perhaps for producing a sense of awareness. “What I think is going on is that this network in the brain that pulls together a sense of self becomes less active,” David Nutt says, “and you get this fragmented or dissipated sense of being.”

What Are The Effects Of a Trip? Dos and Don’ts

Based on the varied ‘trip’ experiences we have heard so far, there are ‘good’ trips and then there are ‘bad’ trips. Let’s talk about some of the effects of a trip first, and then we’ll get into some tips on how to prepare for a trip to ensure it’s a good experience and not a bad one. 

The effects of shrooms typically last 3 to 6 hours, but they can last longer in some cases depending on the amount ingested. Other effects include:


  • euphoria
  • Changes in perception, including auditory and visual hallucinations
  • Changes in thoughts or mood
  • increased or slowed heart rate
  • headache
  • Increased body temperature
  • quick breathing
  • Vomiting and nausea 
  • sweating
  • chills
  • facial flushing
  • pupil dilation
  • tremors

Here are some tips from professionals on how to ensure your trip is as smooth and positive as possible:

  • Be in a good headspace (good mental wellness)
  • Do it with someone you’re comfortable with
  • Do it somewhere indoors or out in nature where you feel safe
  • Do not drive
  • Avoid looking in mirrors as the psychedelic visuals can cause panic
  • Journal your experience if possible
  • Enjoy your trip 🙂 

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June 2024