Can you smoke shrooms? Here are the facts

can you smoke shrooms

Magic mushrooms are becoming more mainstream. Communities across the country are moving to decriminalize the psychedelic compounds as research continues to reveal their potential benefits. While most people eat or drink these fruiting bodies, some may wonder: can you smoke shrooms?

Technically, you could smoke almost anything. But should you? Probably not. And in the case of smoking magic mushrooms—you’re likely doing far more harm to your body than good.

RELATED: 26 movies to watch on shrooms

Psychedelic mushrooms are not the same as cannabis or other smokable substances when it comes to how they work in the body. In fact, smoking shrooms may actually equate to a weaker high compared to ingesting them (not to mention the severe health risks involved).

If you want to know the facts about smoking magic mushrooms—and some alternative ways to take a trip—this deep dive has you covered.

What are magic mushrooms?

Magic mushrooms—aka shrooms, boomers, and mushies—are fungi containing active compounds called tryptamines. The most prevalent is psilocybin, known for its profound psychedelic effects. Psilocybin converts into psilocin once in the body, inducing a high.

There are many different magic mushroom strains. Much like strains of weed, the various types of shrooms elicit unique psychoactive effects. They’re also visually distinct and grow in specific regions (when found in the wild).

Mycologists have identified nearly 200 different psilocybin mushroom varieties, but there are likely many more. Some of the most popular include Penis Envy, Golden Teachers, B+, and Blue Meanies.

can you smoke shrooms
There are several strains of magic mushrooms. Photo: Canva and GreenState Team

Are shrooms legal?

Psychedelic mushrooms are considered a Schedule I drug in the eyes of the federal government, but some cities and states are enacting reform. Oregon and Colorado have legalized shrooms for therapeutic purposes; multiple cities (including Minneapolis, Oakland, Seattle, and Detroit) have opted for decriminalization. 

Several other states, including California, Arizona, Hawaii, Maine, and New Hampshire, and currently considering psilocybin legislation. Many of the bills relate to research and therapeutic use, highlighting increased interest in the compound. Advocates hope to see a wave of legalization much like the cannabis space has seen over the past decade.

Effects of psilocybin

The psychedelic experience is not easily quantifiable—most people experience altered perception, including heightened emotions, distorted visuals, and increased mental acuity. 

Psilocybin activates serotonin receptors in the brain, a chemical known as the “feel good” compound. This is the same chemical reaction triggered by antidepressants, boosting serotonin levels and connections throughout the brain. 

A so-called trip may also include something called “ego death,” best described as a separation from your identity or sense of self. This experience is incredibly profound for many people who have tried psychedelics and can have a long-term impact.

While taking a mushroom trip can have its upsides, side effects are possible. Nausea, increased blood pressure, and paranoia (aka a bad trip) are some of the most common. These scenarios can be uncomfortable but rarely life-threatening.

Overall, mushrooms affect people in different ways, both physically and mentally. The environment (set and setting), dose, and strain of mushrooms also play a big role in dictating someone’s experience. From micros to heroic doses (more on that below), the type of trip you take is very much a “choose your own adventure” situation.

RELATED: This Ivy League school is going all in on psychedelic research

Benefits of magic mushrooms

Psilocybin has been touted for its potential use cases, including for various mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder. Several groundbreaking studies on the compound are underway, and it has been designated as a breakthrough therapy by the FDA. 

While psilocybin has yet to be an FDA-approved drug, Oregon and Colorado had therapeutic use in mind when they legalized the compound. To access shrooms, patients will need to visit certified practitioners licensed to give people mushrooms under strict supervision. Integration therapy, which helps patients process their psychedelic journeys, is a part of this process.

Microdosing mushrooms has also become more prevalent among people who (regardless of legality) wish to take their psilocybin regimens into their own hands. The “Stamets Stack,” popularized by famed mycologist Paul Stamets, is one of the most common mushroom protocols. 

The instructions see a blend of 100 mg of psilocybin mushroom, combined with 200 mg of lion’s mane and 200 mg of niacin taken every day for five days, with two days off after. However, many have adapted the protocol to one day on, then two or three days off to prevent building tolerance.

Research on microdosing is fairly limited, but early studies have been promising. A paper published in 2021 found that microdosers had lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to non-microdosing counterparts. A 2019 analysis revealed similar results. 

Anecdotally, folks who microdose often report feeling more productive, happier, and patient. The practice has become popular in Silicon Valley and other corporate settings thanks to its perceived ability to increase creativity and focus.

Main methods of consuming magic mushrooms

The vast majority of people eat or drink mushrooms. After all, the psilocybin within must be metabolized via the liver for it to have an effect. While some people chow down on dried mushies, manufactured goods like chocolates and gummies are on the rise. 

Lemon tek is one way to take shrooms gaining popularity. Mushrooms are ground up and mixed with lemon or lime juice, then combined with water or tea. The concoction is a more pleasant way to imbibe and may even heighten the effects. Many mushroom enthusiasts opt for ginger tea since it may ease the stomach upset that can come with munching shrooms. 

can you smoke shrooms
Eating mushrooms activates the psychoactive compounds. Photo: Canva and GreenState Team

Common mushroom doses

There is a serious lack of standardization when it comes to mushroom dosing. However, the culture has carved out some generally accepted dose categories.

  • Microdose (0.1-0.3 g)- A microdose of shrooms is typically considered to be “sub-perceptual.” This means it will likely not have overt psychoactive effects but could boost energy and mood (but even some people feel high off this amount).
  • Low dose (0.4 – 1 g) – A slight bump up from a micro; a low dose of psilocybin will likely have some psychoactive effects but should not won’t bring on a full trip.
  • Medium dose (1 – 2 g) – Typically, anything over one gram will elicit a psychedelic experience. Casual consumers often find between one and two grams enough for a trip, but just like with weed, tolerances can build.
  • Large dose (2 – 5 g) – People seeking a mind-expanding psychedelic journey opt for a large dose. Sensory distortions and hallucinations are likely.
  • Heroic dose (5+ g) – Also called a “committed” dose, a heroic dose of psilocybin should only be done under supervision. It will likely bring about an extremely intense loss of reality but may have long-term benefits, particularly for those with mental health issues.

These doses focus on eating or drinking mushies, but can you smoke shrooms?

Will smoking mushrooms get you high?

Psilocybin mushrooms must be eaten and processed through the liver to take effect. There’s no proof that smoking shrooms will make you trip. While some anecdotal reports on the internet may say the effects of smoking shrooms are lit, it’s likely dangerous fake news.

If you were to smoke mushrooms, you’d also be susceptible to a fungal infection called Aspergillosis. This respiratory illness increases the risk of lung inflammation and even lung cancer. People with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to contracting this infection.

The bottom line: smoking shrooms is super unsafe. It offers zero benefits and will only seek to cause harm rather than good. For people wanting to try psilocybin, it’s best to seek out expert advice (and be mindful of local laws).

Can you smoke shrooms? Just say no

Magic mushrooms are having a moment. As society seeks out new ways to combat mental illness, catch a buzz without alcohol, or biohack their brains, there are plenty of reasons why people are turning to psilocybin. 

While it may be some time before the FDA gives the green light to psilocybin treatments, the writing is seemingly on the wall. Research is continuing to reveal the wide potential of the compound and communities across the country are enacting reform. The psychological effects, in particular, are quite intriguing to many, and psychedelic therapy is viewed by some as the next wave in mental health care.

If your goal is to gain the possible benefits of psilocybin, smoking mushrooms is totally counterintuitive. In addition to being incredibly risky to your health, it also won’t give you the experience you desire. Harm reduction is at the forefront of the psychedelic community, and smoking shrooms is certainly not recommended by leaders in the space.

So, if you ever wonder, “Can you smoke shrooms?” The answer is: just say no.


Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter