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What Happens If You Smoke Shrooms?

Would you reach enlightenment, or just need to redial your dealer?

The conventional way of doing psychedelic mushrooms involves popping them in your mouth and hoping you have a good trip. But if you’re an especially inquisitive psychonaut, you may have at one point wondered, Can I smoke shrooms? If so, what do shrooms feel like when they’re inhaled?

It’s an honest question. Would smoking shrooms have the same effect as ingesting them? Would it allow you to travel space-time with ease? Or would it just be a huge waste of precious shrooms?

Sadly, the answer is the latter. “Simply put, there’s no reason to smoke magic mushrooms,” says Nicholas Levich, cofounder of Psychedelic Passage. “It likely won’t do anything and is generally considered to be a waste of time, money and mushrooms. Some anecdotal reports state a mild buzz from doing so, but it’s hard to know for certain.”

For a second opinion, I asked Amanda Schendel, founder and CEO of The Buena Vida Psilocybin Retreats, and her response was equally disappointing: “From my 20 years of experience taking, leading and guiding with psilocybin mushrooms, I’ve never once encountered someone trying to smoke the mushrooms. Almost all practitioners I know either suggest dosing fresh mushrooms, dried or ground-up and made into a tea. I can’t see the benefits of smoking a mushroom, and I doubt it would do much in the way of psychoactive effects.”

That’s because your digestive system plays an important role in producing the psychedelics associated with psilocybin mushrooms, and your lungs simply can’t replicate that. “For maximum effect, psilocybin needs to be consumed so that it can be converted into psilocin via the digestive tract,” Levich explains. That psilocin then prompts your serotonin receptors to increase the amount of serotonin available in the brain, which is what makes you go all jolly and weird after snacking on a handful of shrooms.

So, can you smoke shrooms? 

You could, but my clear head and mushroom-crusted bong suggest that you probably shouldn’t.

See you on the foraging fields.