When you take shrooms, they take the wheel. Sometimes, they drive you somewhere pleasant, where you go on a phenomenal, life-changing adventure. Other times, they take you on a highway to hell, where you go full nightmare brain. This is why you should master how to have a good trip on shrooms prior to actually tripping on shrooms. Here, then, is some guidance before you munch that fungus.
But before delving into the details, the foundation of how to have a good trip on shrooms can be boiled down to several simple considerations, according to Chi of Tripsitters and Truffles Therapy:
- Have a strong support network.
- Set and setting is everything.
- Make sure your environment is conducive to relaxation and harmony.
- For bigger doses, having an experienced trip sitter can be helpful.
- Fast beforehand for four to six hours.
- Set intentions before your journey.
- Clear your schedule for at least the rest of the journey day.
- Have one or two days of integration time after your journey.
Something to also keep in mind, according to Grace and PJ, “experienced travelers of inner and outer realms” and professional trip sitters at Akasa Journeys, is that even under the best circumstances, things can still go south. “There are things you can do to make sure you have a good trip, but no guarantees,” they explain via email. “Difficult trips happen.”
Now let’s get a little more specific about how to have a good trip on shrooms.
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Check Your Drug Interactions
While shrooms are generally well-tolerated and don’t have many known adverse drug interactions, Grace and PJ highly suggest checking in with your health-care provider before mixing psychedelics with your medications, particularly SSRIs and other psychiatric drugs. Research is still underway, but there are some studies that suggest taking a psychedelic while on antidepressant medication may be somewhat treacherous. The main areas of concern are serotonin syndrome, a buildup of serotonin that can vary from mild to life-threatening, and a dulling of psychedelic effects. The latter is obviously less of a big deal, but it’s always worth asking your doctor, even if it might be a little awkward.
Set the Scene
This is subjective, but you want to be in a location where you feel comfortable and secure, and with people who have your back. That might mean you need to clean your space and put away objects that cause anxiety, like that pile of old laundry. Or it might mean moving to a different space altogether. “Your mindset is important, as is the physical location and surroundings,” say Grace and PJ. “Is it comfortable and cozy? Is it safe from unplanned interruptions? Is it safe from potential law enforcement? Who are you with? Are they friends? People you already feel comfortable with?”
It’s important that you think extra hard about who you surround yourself with before taking shrooms. “It’s always good to have a trusted friend or sitter with you, or at least on call,” Grace and PJ explain. “If your purpose is more healing-oriented, it’s best to have a trauma-informed guide to help you connect and process what may come up. The trauma may come up anyway, whether your intention is healing, recreational or whatever. Trauma does that, so it’s good to have some calming practices,” like breathing exercises or CBD, just in case.
You may also want to compose a playlist for your trip. “Have some of your favorite music handy, though stay away — generally, not absolutely — from music with lyrics, as that may color your experience in unintended ways,” Grace and PJ warn. If you’re not sure what to blast, Johns Hopkins has a study-supported playlist available on Spotify specifically for supporting psychedelic experiences.
One last thing to consider about your space is whether you want to have any art supplies or writing materials at the ready. Shrooms can sometimes spur creative energy, and you don’t want to have to dig through your messy closet while tripping.
Prepare Your Mental Space
This can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure what to expect, but being in a good headspace is crucial to having a good trip, and that usually means being open and allowing the shrooms to take you where they take you. “Knowing how to surrender and not fight against what one is experiencing is key,” Grace and PJ explain. “A guide or friend can really help when or if you feel overwhelmed or otherwise in a difficult place. Expect this, and be prepared and know that it’s temporary. Insights may or may not come; either way is fine. Stay with body sensations primarily, as that’s where the real healing happens.”
Amanda Schendel, founder and CEO of The Buena Vida Psilocybin Retreats, adds, “If your expectations are all rainbows, laughter and sacred geometry, you may be disappointed. I’ve had some trips that were centered entirely on grief and shame, which aren’t comfortable emotions to feel. However, if you allow them, they release and reveal a stronger person underneath.”
“Taking a moment in the beginning to meditate, pray or otherwise acknowledge the sacred space of the mushrooms can go a long way of setting the space for an intentional, beautiful trip,” Schendel continues. “Even if you’re not ‘woo-woo,’ you can acknowledge that psilocybin is mystical, mysterious and ineffable. If you have any special or sacred items, you can make a small altar, which will serve as the energetic container for any release that might occur. Be completely open to feeling all of your emotions: Sadness, joy, despair, grief, numbness, confusion, elation. The more you welcome the waves of emotion, the better the release, and the more clarity you’ll feel after. I tell my guests, ‘Suspend your skepticism and disbelief’ about what the mushroom experience is meant to be, and you just may receive something beyond your wildest wishes.”
Because shrooms can sometimes cause nausea — and because a grumbling stomach can mess with your trip — again, Chi recommends fasting for at least four hours before taking shrooms. A light breakfast is fine, and he says, if your body really needs food, a small snack — nuts, fruit or a smoothie — can be taken with or slightly before your dose. Otherwise, he explains, “You want to enter your journey with clean, empty bowels.”
When it comes to dosing, Grace and PJ say, “You can always take more later, or another time. Get familiar with the psychedelic space gently until you’re more comfortable to go to higher doses. Also, remember that depending on your purpose or intention, there’s no competition or glory in taking a high dose for its own sake. Treat the psychedelic experience with the respect it deserves.”
In general, one gram is typically considered to be a light dose of shrooms, but you may even want to start with a microdose, anywhere between .05 and .25 grams of dried material, and see where your mind goes from there.
Once it’s all over, you can expect the experience to stay with you. “Be very gentle with yourself as you come down, as your nervous system may be on overload,” Schendel says. “The journey may only last four to six hours, but the medicine is still working on you for long after. You may still go back into the space in dreams that night, or even during journaling the next morning. The integration process can take weeks, months or even years to fully unpack and understand all of the lessons and messages received during the trip.”
Have a nice voyage!