After high school and into college, R.J.’s favorite hobby was “altering states of consciousness.” As an anthropology major in Colorado, R.J. grew particularly interested in shamanism and the mind-altering substances of indigenous people. In the “copious amounts of books and documentaries” he studied, one stuck out, R.J. says: “Siberian shamans used to drink the urine of caribou that had consumed Amanita muscaria mushrooms.”
Being a man of science, R.J. did the research and found out that this particular mushroom — amanita muscaria — is better consumed once it’s been passed through an animal’s digestive system. “It removes one of the toxins and allows a less nauseated or delirious session,” R.J. explains. Then he had a thought: Even though “amanita is classified as a deliriant, not truly a psychedelic,” he couldn’t help but wonder if the same logic could be applied to psychedelic mushrooms.
So he took the shrooms, then drank his own pee to try to get high again.
“This wouldn’t be the first time a group of individuals that are shamanic or of the ancient world have proven themselves way ahead of science when it comes to psychoactive substances,” R.J. reasoned. “Being a pioneer for the unseen world, I started to experiment myself with their findings just to see if it would work for me.”
R.J. isn’t the only one making scientific progress in the world of psychedelic piss. Others have taken to Reddit to voice their curiosity:
The big question: Does it actually work? A few studies note trace amounts of psilocin — the “counterpart” chemical found in psilocybin mushrooms — but such studies are more about determining which chemicals will show up on toxicology reports, not trying to trip balls on shroom piss.
So I emailed Dr. David Nichols, author of an exhaustive analysis of psychedelics in the scientific journal Pharmacological Review, to ask if someone could get high from drinking their own piss.
“It is nonsense,” he says.
Pressed further, he explains that psilocybin is “metabolized to inactive metabolites, and there is not enough in the urine to have any effect.”
Yet rumors run wild, and the lack of scientific support for psychedelic urine hasn’t stopped users from trying it on their own.
In an r/drugs post titled “Drinking mushroom pee,” Reddit user LucidDose says the practice “only works for amanita muscaria mushrooms, a completely different yet still psychedelic mushroom … [in which] the main alkaloid, muscimol, passes through humans and into their urine untouched.”
However, in the same thread, user NatasEvoli says, “It works. I tried this once and was tripping so hard that the only thing I could taste or smell was piss.”
Many users argue that if you’re after a stronger trip, you can simply eat more of it instead of drinking your own urine. After all, amanita muscaria is legal in the U.S., and the desired effect can be achieved by boiling it. Drinking your own pee seems a little unnecessary.
But some people just need to learn things first-hand, which brings us back to R.J. The 24-year-old swears drinking urine enhanced his psilocybin mushroom trip, even though he was skeptical at first.
“I hold some skepticism from learning scientific approaches, but as the years went on I learned nothing can be disregarded or discredited unless you do it yourself,” he tells MEL. “I find a balance of spirituality and science seems to be the best option, for this chapter of my life at least.
“But anyway,” he continues, “back to drinking my own urine.”
Chasing That No. 1 High
“Choking it down in the beginning will always be hard,” R.J. says. “But putting that behind me for science [made it] smoother.”
R.J. says his urine wasn’t “insanely yellow”; he had fasted an entire day up to this point, only consuming water the entire time. Plus, he says, he was on a plant- and fruit-based diet anyway, “so the urine wasn’t awful.”
“As kids, you know, we sometimes get a taste of urine flying up to our lip,” he shrugs, “so I was aware what dehydrated urine tastes like, and this wasn’t that bad. Of course, after I drank half the mason jar, I drank a few good gulps of water.”
Another man, who asked to go by Matt, tells MEL he also drank his urine for an extended high. He did it “for science,” he says, “purely only trying this to understand if it was significant.”
For his trial, Matt “grabbed a large Large Gulp cup, pulled down my basketball shorts to my knees, and let my glory hang down. I closed my eyes and focused on waterfalls. It wasn’t long until a clear stream of bodily liquid poured out of me like a fountain. I let the last drops drip out and picked the cup up to the light to see the color, determining the concentration of waste. It was slightly clear, enough to somewhat set me at ease about the taste.”
R.J. filled his mason jar “about 65 percent, so a little more than half a 24 oz jar.” It took him three minutes to down the glass, using water as a chaser — “though I can see tea or orange juice being an excellent candidate too for that.”
Things didn’t go so smoothly for Matt. “I took a sip [and] my body recoiled in absolute horror,” he tells MEL. “It tasted saltier than the ocean — it was a unique salty taste, on a different level than normal saltiness. I tried taking a few more sips, but my body knew it was excreted waste and deflected every drop through my gag reflex.”
For what it’s worth, R.J. says drinking someone else’s urine is much worse. He’s “repeated this experiment” for A/B testing purposes, he says. “It’s always daunting to drink someone else’s urine, even though I’ve been out on wild hikes and adventures that brought me close to it. But for the sake of science, it didn’t cause any concern. Plus, the candidates also participated in fasting, so their urine wasn’t full-blown yellow acidic mayhem,” he laughs.
With drug-infused urine — whether their own or someone else’s — both R.J. and Matt had varying results.
Matt says at the time he believed it did work, “but upon further realization it was easy to think that the slight elevation in high was placebo,” and concludes that he has not consumed urine since, “and never will again.”
“I find no reason to need to drink my own urine for an effect,” he says.
“The beauty behind this idea is that it doesn’t allow the nasty side effects,” R.J. says, adding that though his body has adjusted to the nausea associated with consuming psilocybin mushrooms, he “did not have intense sweating or twitching at all,” and neither did the others who didn’t eat mushrooms to begin with, but drank mushroom urine instead. “It seems those shamans knew how to avoid the negatives,” he says.
On one run of taking mushrooms and drinking his mushroom urine halfway through the trip, R.J. swears it prolonged the entire experience. In another trial, he drank the urine of the “sitter” who ate the mushrooms. This time, he didn’t have as positive an experience.
“I had slight perceptual distortion but not even clear open-eye visuals,” he tells MEL. “It felt almost as either a microdose or one tab of weak LSD. It was an enjoyable session, don’t get me wrong, especially for not consuming anything but urine.”
I should’ve ended the interview there, but I had one final question: Has R.J. ever vaped — or head of someone vaping — mushroom urine?
Nah, he says, he’s “never heard of one vaping pee.” But then he thinks about it. To work, vape juice needs propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), he ponders. “I don’t see why you can’t just mix urine. It would definitely need a test.”