Questions answered on this page:
- Why do shrooms make me nauseous?
- Taking psilocybin without eating mushrooms?
- What is lemon-tek?
- Can I make shroom tea?
- How to make shroom edibles?
Eating mushrooms isn’t for everyone.
With the rise of people looking into mushrooms and psilocybin, there has also been an increase in people looking for alternatives to just eating the mushrooms. While magic mushrooms are well-known and well-loved for their psychedelic and euphoric effects, they’re not well-known for their scintillating flavors or texture.
Mushrooms are also well known for some of their side effects, including nausea and vomiting. This is especially so when consumed with nothing else in the stomach, which is the most effective way to make psilocybin bioavailable.
Consequently, people have tried a variety of different methods for making mushrooms more palatable, and have created entirely new ways of consuming psilocybin. In this article, we’ll be talking about some of the best alternatives to consuming mushrooms for psychonauts with more discerning palates.
The stems and caps of magic mushrooms have varying concentrations of psilocybin, but psilocybin is not itself a psychedelically active compound. Instead, when exposed to the acidic environment of the stomach, psilocybin begins a process of conversion into psilocin via a process called dephosphorylation.
With the aid of digestive enzymes, psilocybin and psilocin are absorbed through the stomach lining before being processed by the liver—studies done on animals have shown that about 50% of consumed psilocybin is processed in this way.
The onset of effects tends to take roughly half an hour, and effects peak between one and a half and two and a half hours. Other studies done on the pharmacology of psilocybin have confirmed this interval (and shown its dramatic decline in the following hours), as well as confirming the roughly 50% rate of absorption.
Nausea is a frequently occurring side effect to eating mushrooms partially because the body has difficulty breaking down the chitin that makes up the cell wall of all fungi. This study showed inflammation of some part of the gastroesophageal tract in the majority of participants. This effect can be mitigated to some degree by heat as the cell wall starts to degrade.
To best avoid the unpleasant taste and texture and to mitigate the nauseous effect as much as possible, we would recommend a few alternative options for consumption.
Other options to explore
Making shroom tea is a fantastic way of avoiding some of the more disagreeable aspects of consuming shrooms. This has the side benefit of making the onset period slightly faster, as shrooms are absorbed faster by the body when broken down ahead of time. Simply grind the shrooms into a powder and then pour hot water over and leave it to steep for 10-15 minutes.
You can add flavoring as you’d like (honey, ginger, or a tea bag are good places to start), and it should make for a much more enjoyable experience.
Now, how hot the water should be is a good question. There are two studies that we found that really explore the effect of temperature on psilocybin, so we’ll go through their findings below and evaluate them.
- Psilocybin: Characterization of the Metastable Zone Width (MSZW), Control of Anhydrous Polymorphs, and Particle Size Distribution (PSD)
Authors: Robert B. Kargbo, Alexander M. Sherwood, Poncho Meisenheimer, Kelsey Lenoch, and Solomon Abebe
Journal of Publication: American Chemical Society
Date of Publication: February 7, 2022
Overview: Our first study found that while powdered and stored in solution, hydrolysis of psilocybin begins at roughly 70° Celsius. This suggests that water should be kept below a boil when making tea, as higher water temperatures increase the rate of hydrolysis and consequently reduce the potency of the shrooms.
- Stability of psilocybin and its four analogs in the biomass of the psychotropic mushroom Psilocybe cubensis
Overview: This study also began with dried and powdered mushrooms, and then subjected them to a variety of tests to check its stability under different conditions. One of those tests shows the effect of temperature change on psilocybin concentration. The experimenters exposed the powdered shrooms to heat ranging from 25° Celsius to 150° Celsius and measured the reduction of psilocybin over half an hour. The effect on potency between 25 and 125 degrees Celsius was found to be relatively minor, losing roughly 15% of the psilocybin by volume over the half an hour. Between 125 and 150 degrees was a very different story, with a roughly 80% drop in potency through this interval. This suggests that moderate drying heats are the best bet for protecting the psilocybin through the process.
There is a balance to be struck—too much exposure to heat will begin to degrade the psilocybin, but insufficient heat for drying purposes will lead to oxidation, the characteristic blue bruising that can occasionally be seen on shrooms.
As we’ve discussed, heat is a problem for psilocybin, which means that you don’t want to include mushrooms in your cooking process. They work great as a garnish for a finished meal (sprinkle some mushrooms over a completed pasta dish), but they can also be made into chocolate or gummies with molds. Consuming them with food can also help to reduce the nauseous effect that digestion tends to have. Experiment and be creative—shrooms can add a lot to your enjoyment of a dish!
With nothing but a grinder, empty capsules, and a capsule-filling machine, you can make your own discreet pills to take whenever you’d like. This helps to avoid the taste and texture of the mushrooms, but it should also be easier to maintain consistency of dosage when making capsules. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to go on your trip, look no further than capsules.
Buy Magic Mushroom Capsules
Lemon-tek refers to the mixing of shrooms with lemon/lime juice. The idea is that citric acid mimics the acidic environment of the stomach and starts to catalyze the psilocybin into psilocin before you even consume it.
While the science is still a little unclear, evidence suggests that this leads to a faster onset but also potentially synergistic, strengthening effects from the increased bioavailability of psilocin afterward.
One study illustrates this effect by showing the biosynthesis of psilocybin when stored In an acidic solution, though less acidic than citric acid (pH 4.8 vs. pH 3.0).
More research is needed in this field to better understand the mechanism of effect, but anecdotal evidence suggests that lemon-tek leads to a faster onset, and also helps to reduce the nausea that tends to be one of the primary deterrents to taking shrooms.
Eating mushrooms isn’t the only way to get your fill of psilocybin, and the variety of alternative means available to you can really help to mitigate some of the negative side effects of consuming shrooms. Particularly, you can avoid the bad taste and texture, as well as the nauseous side effects that come from your body breaking down the chitinous cell walls of the mushroom with some variety in how you eat them.
Be careful for how high of a temperature you use, and how long the shrooms will be exposed to damp conditions as this leads to more hydrolysis and the loss of potency over time.
Beyond that, happy exploring! Be sure to let us know if you find any unique or delicious pairings!