Welcome to a succinct and simple guide to Dutch magic truffles. Whilst globalization has brought a lot of similarities and consensus amongst worldwide nations, there is still a lot that keeps us different. One of these major differences is drug laws. When someone enters a new place, they are abiding by a whole new set of substance rules. For instance, in Holland, it is legal to purchase psilocybin magic truffles from smartshops.
However, this is not possible in the majority of the world. This often leaves people with a great deal of questions surrounding these little fungi. What types are there? How much do they cost? How strong are they? Where can I buy them? Why are they even legal in the first place? The Netherlands is a remarkably accepting place, let’s find out more about why.
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Holland is a beautifully flat country in the Northwestern side of Europe. The nation actually has the largest population density in the continent, with 508 people per square kilometre. Plus, 60% of the country is technically 5m below sea level, which is why their canal system is so intricate and successful. It is known for its tulips, reflective canals, incredible bike lane systems and, to some, its lenient laws on drugs. Being in the Netherlands feels like you’re in a fairytale. It takes a while to get used to the stunning architecture – especially the incredibly tall and slim buildings that look like they are going to topple over at any minute.
Van Gogh, the Dutch impressionist painter, perfectly expresses this sentiment in much of his art. When you enter the Netherlands, you can’t help but assume that everyone looks happy. Everyone seems to be active. Bikes rule supreme over any other mode of transport – in fact, there are more bikes in Holland than people (22 million vs 17 million). The cycling habits keep the population moving, and who can blame them? With surfaces that flat, using a bike has never been easier. The overall morale in the Netherlands is undoubtable. Expatica writes:
“The Netherlands ranks as the world’s sixth happiest country, according to the 2020 World Happiness Report. The annual study ranks 156 countries, taking into account factors such as healthy life expectancy, freedom, trust, corruption, and social support. And it appears that the jovial Dutch have plenty to be thankful for, scoring high levels of social and institutional trust, as well as social connection.”
For certain tourists, the Netherlands also have another reputation. For decades, the country has been visited for its lenient laws on drugs and even sex. Cannabis and magic truffles are easy to legally access in Holland, as well as a visit to the red light district.
Drugs in Holland
Whilst much of Europe and the rest of the world banned cannabis and psilocybin in the 1900s, Holland did not. Geographically the Netherlands has always been a crucial trading post, with its naval connections to much of the world. In the 70s, the country was known for its large quantities of varied cannabis strains – with some coming from Afghanstic and Morocco, and others from Mexico and Thailand. They were a hub. It was around this time that the government decided to split drugs into two categories: soft and hard.
This was their way of deciding the substances that deserved serious attention. Cannabis, in turn, was placed in the soft category. As such, it is a decriminalized substance. As long as coffeeshops abide by certain rules, they are able to sell cannabis products to the public. You’ll notice that buying alcohol in these establishments is always forbidden as it is one of their strict laws. There are around 400 coffeeshops in Holland, and the government makes around 400 million euros a year through cannabis-related sales.
Whilst the coffeeshop culture is rife in Holland, there is also the smartshop. This is a place where you can purchase psychedelic magic truffles, and there around 40 of these locations. The interesting part is, psychedelics are illegal in the country. This opens up another confusing conversation surrounding drug use in the Netherlands. How can magic truffles be legal, whilst magic mushrooms are not? Well, whilst both substances contain active compounds – such as psilocybin, psilocin and baeocystin – they are still technically different psychedelics.
The main difference is in the way they grow. Mushrooms grow overground, whilst truffles grow underground. This changes their appearance too, with shrooms having long white stems and a brown head, and truffles being small, dark and rough. Truffles are actually mushroom reserves – they live beneath the mushroom as food and nutrients. They don’t grow towards the sun like mushrooms do. Matador Network writes:
“Truffles are the sclerotia of psilocybin mushrooms. In simple terms, the truffle is the subterranean part of the mushroom. Both mushrooms and truffles contain the psychedelic compound psilocybin and provide the same visionary experience.”
However, this doesn’t mean that truffles are less strong than shrooms. In fact, they can easily be level in potency. So the question still remains: how can these things be legal? Well, one of the reasons came in 2008, after the sad death of a young girl who had jumped out of a window whilst under the influence of magic mushrooms. Reuters writes:
“The Netherlands will ban the sale and cultivation of all hallucinogenic “magic” mushrooms from next week, the latest target of a country seeking to shed its “anything goes” image.
The Dutch government proposed the ban in April, citing the dangerous behavioral effects of magic mushrooms following the death of a French teenager who jumped from an Amsterdam bridge in 2007 after consuming the hallucinogenic fungus.”
Whilst this would seem like the beginning of the end for all psychedelic substances, it was actually a beginning. After this event, the Dutch authorities cracked down hard on magic mushrooms, but left a loophole available for a substance that contained much the same ingredients but did not technically define itself as a mushroom: the magic truffle.
Where To Buy Them
Magic truffles are sold in small boxes from one of the 40 smartshops in Holland. You’re most likely to find one of these in Amsterdam, the capital. There are three smartshops in the Leidseplein area – the Magic Mushroom Gallery, Tatanka and When Nature Calls. You’ll usually be able to purchase a box of truffles – which will contain 10-15 grams – for around 15-30 euros. It is often advisable to start with a half of a 10 gram box to see how you react and then to continue after that. If you’re more experienced then perhaps more is suitable. A common idea is to purchase a box and take them to Vondelpark on a sunny day and watch the Dutch world go by.
The Different Types
It is often debated whether magic truffles are weaker or stronger than magic mushrooms. The issue is, of course, that each dose can contain varying amounts of the active compounds. When you enter a smartshop, they will usually be able to help you with any potency questions. Plus, each box will usually have a potency level on the box. Avoid going straight for the strongest if it’s your first time – I made that mistake before and it resulted in a very weird and unpleasant flight. Here are the main strains of truffles that you may see in the Dutch smartshops:
- Mexicana – Beginner level of potency, with a guarantee of giggles.
- Tampanesis – Medium level of potency, with an encouragement of deep thought and conversation.
- Pajaritos – Powerful potency, with visuals and hallucinations.
- Atlantis – Highly potent, with a long lasting trip.
- Utopia – Mind bending potency, for true psychedelic professionals.
- Hollandia – These are a rarer brand of truffles and are the strongest of all of them. For going on a trip that you’ll never forget.
The Strength of Magic Truffles
Don’t be swayed by the legality of magic truffles. Just because they are legal, does not mean that they are weak in potency. The trip you have on these things is much the same to the one you’d have on shrooms. It will last around 4-6 hours, and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to kick in. The effects are also much the same, depending on which truffles you consume. You can expect to laugh, feel warm, to experience enhanced colors and, with some, powerful visuals.
Therefore, usual tripping rules still apply. Make sure you have a trip sitter with you, or someone who you trust enjoying the experience too. Tripping on magic truffles can just as easily be affected by set and setting as any other psychedelic. Therefore, make sure you’re in a location that is both safe and beautiful, and with people that you have faith in. A common belief is that a truffle high can end quicker if you eat or drink sugar, but you can make your own mind up about that.
Magic truffles are part of the tourist drug culture that surrounds Holland, but really these substances – as well as cannabis – should be treated with respect and knowledge. It is a wonderful thing that the Netherlands have an open mind to drugs, but this can easily change if tourists continue to take advantage. In the last few years,
Dutch officials have been threatening to close down many of these coffeeshops and smartshops to end the dangers and disruption that drug tourism brings to Holland. Hopefully the country can remain as it is – a beacon of optimism that shines on other nations that wish to one day have a more welcoming approach to substance use. Nonetheless, if you’re ever in or around the Netherlands, make sure to experience these magic truffles for yourself.
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