As the psychedelic renaissance continues to take the world by storm, an issue that still seems very far from any possible resolution is accessibility. Where can people who want to try these drugs but don’t happen to know any shroom or acid dealers, obtain such products for themselves? Short of growing, extracting, or otherwise producing these items at home (which does take a certain amount of time and level of expertise, depending on what you’re trying to do), the only other option at the moment is to choose from the very small array of legal psychedelic products that are available to consumers. Luckily for us, that list is growing quickly and we’re beginning to see a new trend take hold: Amanita muscaria products.
What exactly is the Amanita trend? Let’s take a closer look at fly agaric mushrooms, how they work in the body, what the high feels like, and what kind of products you can expect to find online and in local headshops.
What are Amanita muscaria mushrooms?
Amanita muscaria, often referred to as the fly agaric or fly amanita, is a member of the Basidiomycota family of fungi, of the genus Amanita. This mushroom species gets its common name from its ability to attract and kill flies and possibly, mosquitos.
The fly agaric is native to the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere including Europe, North America, and Siberia/Northern Asia. It’s a highly adaptable mushrooms species that can now be found throughout the world, and it’s closely tied to various deciduous and coniferous trees, most often around birch and pine.
Amanita muscaria mushrooms have round, dome-shaped, red caps with white spots and white gills. They are undoubtedly one of the most recognizable of the toadstool mushroom species. You’ve likely seen them in movies such as Alice in Wonderland, video games like Mario and Assassin’s Creed, and many more media sources.
The active ingredients in Fly Agarics are muscimol and ibotenic acid. However, the ibotenic acid, which is responsible for the sickness and “toxicity” commonly reported from these mushrooms, converts to muscimol via decarboxylation. Decarbing is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide (CO2), typically through the application of heat. If amanita products are prepared in a way that converts at least 70 percent (ideally more) of the ibotenic acid to muscimol, then the consumer is much less likely to experience any negative symptoms.
Muscimol works by activating the major inhibitory neurotransmitter system, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). As an inhibitory system, muscimol suppresses the activity of certain neurons in the brain, which is how the psychoactive effects are produced.
What is the muscimol high like?
So, let’s start with the basics here. I’ve done magic mushrooms many times in my life, and moreso lately because I recently started growing them and also found out that a friend of mine is growing them on an even larger scale. That said, my experience with shrooms is relatively solid, but it applies solely to psilocybin.
I have only had the opportunity to try Amanita products once (although I plan on upping that number very soon), but it was definitely a unique experience and a high that I would love to expand on. Because there is no ibotenic acid in properly prepared Amanita products, I didn’t have any negative side effects, mainly nausea is what I was on the lookout for, which can happen when you eat the whole caps.
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During my trip, I took a total of 875 mg (2.5 gummies that were 350 mg each) during the course of about 90 minutes. It was overall relaxing and chill, but mentally stimulating at the same time. At times, it felt somewhat dissociative, like I could disconnect from things and compartmentalize in my mind very well. At other times, I felt hyper-focused and was able to crank out a full article about my experience while I was still experiencing it.
It wasn’t “psychedelic” at all, meaning that there were no visual, auditory, or sensory hallucinations of any sort. I hear that people who eat the caps or use these products in higher doses do get more of a psychedelic journey with these mushrooms, so I’ll be experimenting with dosing when I can. Comparatively, I would say that Amanita products are better for day-to-day use, whereas psilocybin mushrooms are the go-to for those trippy, introspective, and life-changing highs.
What kind of Amanita products are available, and where can you find them?
Although still limited, the inventory of available Amanita products is growing fast. From what I’ve found online, you can buy gummies, tinctures, and powders from a handful of companies that are beginning to corner this market. Again, I only tried gummies so far, but I’m definitely interested in testing out the tinctures and powders as well. The fact that you can adjust your dose with the latter two, is appealing to me.
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Final thoughts on the Amanita trend
It’s still in its early stages, but the Amanita trend is one that I am personally, very excited about. Not only is it refreshing to see that some type of psychedelic product is finally available for recreational use, but I feel like this is a wonderful introductory product for people who are new to the world of psychedelics and don’t want anything insanely strong, or illegal.
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