Psilocybin is the psychedelic compound in “magic” mushrooms (also known as “shrooms”). It can remain in a person’s system for as long as 15 hours, but the exact window for elimination varies between individuals and is dependent on several factors. These include age, type and amount of mushrooms used, individual genetic characteristics, stomach content, etc.
Timeline of Effects
The effects of magic mushrooms are typically experienced within 30 minutes after they are ingested, but this timeframe also depends on how they are consumed. Fresh or dried mushrooms can be ingested orally by themselves, combined with food, or steeped in hot water to make a tea. When drank as a tea, the effects of mushrooms can onset as fast as 5-10 minutes.
Mushroom highs or “trips” generally last between 4-6 hours, though some individuals may experience effects for a more extended period. After a trip, a person is also likely to notice some lingering effects that can persist into the next day.
So-called “bad trips” may be more challenging to recover from, and increase the chance of suffering from comedown effects or a drug-induced hangover, so to speak. Within 24 hours, however, most individuals will be feeling normal again.
Factors that can affect the intensity and duration of psilocybin effects include the following:
- How much is ingested
- Species of mushroom
- Method of administration
- Consumption of dried vs. fresh mushrooms (dried are more potent)
- Level of tolerance
- Personal expectations of experience and state of mind and emotions
- Existence of a mental health disorder
- Other psychoactive substances consumed
Drug Test Detection
Different types of drug tests are available, and some considerably more sensitive than others. These include those that examine blood, saliva, urine, and hair follicles. In general, however, most routine drug screens are not designed to detect the presence of magic mushrooms, although more specialized tests may be able to do so.
Detection windows vary from test to test, but urine tests are the most commonly used. Most people will eliminate mushrooms from their system within 24 hours, but trace amounts may be detected in urine up to a week in some. Of note, the body metabolizes shrooms too rapidly for them to be detectable in blood tests. Hair follicle tests can identify mushroom use for as long as 90 days, but this form of testing is uncommon due to its expense.
Factors That Influence the Timeline
Certain factors, many of which cannot be controlled, influence how long the effects mushrooms will last and the length of time they are detectable on tests.
Time Between Use and Testing
Hallucinogens such as psilocybin are eliminated from the body relatively quickly. Still, the time between ingestion and testing is a factor, especially when conducted using the right type of test. The sooner a drug test is performed after consuming mushrooms or other psychoactive substances, such as marijuana, LSD, or DMT, the higher the chance it will be detected.
There are dozens of different psilocybin-laden mushrooms, and the amount of this hallucinogen varies between them. The more psilocybin present in the mushroom, the longer it may remain in a person’s system and induce effects.
Method of Administration and Dose
Whether they are consumed dried or fresh, eaten on their own, or brewed in a tea, how the mushrooms are administered will affect their potency and how quickly they pass through the body. As noted, how much is ingested, the longer the mushroom(s) will stay in a person’s body and possibly be detectable.
A person’s metabolic rate and kidney and liver function slow down with age, delaying the excretion of psilocybin from one’s body. The older an individual is, the longer mushrooms tend to stay in his or her system. As it stands, most magic mushroom use is found among younger people.
Every person’s body is unique, and as such, the processing of substances will differ between individuals. Factors like body mass index (BMI), metabolic rate, and water content can all affect how rapidly toxins and other chemicals are excreted from a person’s system.
How much food and liquid is in a person’s stomach when psilocybin mushrooms are consumed affects how long they move through the digestive system. Adequate amounts of water can speed up their elimination, whereas the presence of food can slow it.
Presence of Other Substances
Using magic mushrooms with other substances can result in unpredictable effects and varying amounts of time in a person’s system. If a person consumes alcohol or other drugs in addition to mushrooms, this could affect how the body processes it. There’s also the risk that the other substance will be identified on drug tests, even if the mushrooms are not. It’s also possible to unwittingly consume mushrooms that are laced with other drugs.
Getting Treatment for Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Although psilocybin mushrooms are not believed to be addictive in the traditional sense as many other psychoactive substances, they can be habit-forming, and an emotional dependence can develop. Also, individuals who use mushrooms tend to abuse other recreational drugs or alcohol, and this pattern of behavior can increase the risk of polysubstance addiction.
Just Believe Recovery offers state-of-the-art integrated addiction treatment programs that feature services and activities beneficial for the recovery process, including psychotherapy, individual and group counseling, peer support, aftercare planning, and much more.