Addiction Drug Use Hallucinogens How Long Do Shrooms Last? The Effects and Half-Life of Psilocybin By Buddy T Buddy T Facebook Twitter Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Learn about our editorial process Updated on February 24, 2023 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Daniel B. Block, MD Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD LinkedIn Twitter Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print eskymaks / Getty Images Table of Contents View All Table of Contents How Long Does It Take to Feel Effects? Half-Life of Psilocybin Factors That Affect Detection Time How to Get Mushrooms Out of Your System Symptoms of Overdose Getting Help Psilocybin is a psychedelic compound found in specific varieties of mushrooms, also known as "shrooms" or "magic mushrooms." The psychedelic effects of mushrooms last for around six hours and these substances are mostly eliminated from the body within 24 hours. Psilocybin-containing mushrooms can be found in the wild in many parts of the world. They can be eaten fresh or dried, or brewed in a tea. Common sources include the P.cubensis mushroom and others of the genus Psilocybe. Nearly 100 species with varying levels of psilocybin have been identified. Psilocybin has been granted a breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA to be studied as a possible treatment for depression. Despite promising clinical application, psilocybin remains classified under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and is illegal to possess or sell in the United States, though it has been decriminalized in some parts of the country, such as Oakland and Denver. How Long Does It Take to Feel Effects? After ingesting psilocybin-containing mushrooms, it will take 20 to 40 minutes to start feeling the effects. By then, psilocybin will have broken down into psilocin, which acts on serotonin receptors in the brain. The effects peak at about 90 minutes to two hours after ingestion. The bulk of the effects are felt during the first six hours, which matches the timing of when the metabolite psilocin enters the bloodstream to be eliminated through the kidneys. Effects of Mushrooms People experience a variety of physical and mental effects while using mushrooms. Physical effects include: Elevated blood pressureHeadachesIncreased heart rateIncreased temperatureNauseaYawning Mental effects include feeling relaxed and having introspective experiences that may feel spiritual and unpleasant effects like nervousness, paranoia, and panic reactions. Psilocybin affects the brain in several ways. Serotonin activity: It activates serotonin receptors in brain areas associated with perception, mood, and cognition. As a result, people experience distorted perceptions and may have visual or auditory hallucinations.Blood flow: Research has also shown that psilocybin reduces blood flow in key brain areas.Increased activity: Studies have also shown that psilocybin is linked to increased activity in areas of the brain associated with memory. Some studies and sources report that users can have long-term personality changes lasting for over a year. Some people who use psilocybin have reported flashback experiences long after taking mushrooms. Though typically not severe, there have been rare reports of people developing hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) after taking mushrooms, which requires further study. How Hallucinogens Affect the Body Half-Life of Psilocybin The average half-life of psilocybin is 50 minutes. The half-life of a substance is how long it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body. It generally takes five to six half-lives for a substance to be entirely eliminated from the system. In the case of psilocybin, after three hours, about two-thirds of a dose has been eliminated through the kidneys in the urine. How Long Do Shrooms Stay in Your System? Urine: Up to 24 hoursBlood: Less than 24 hoursHair: Up to 90 days Psilocybin is metabolized more quickly by some people than others. Dosage is a large factor, and so is the frequency of use, weight, and age. The experience is highly determined by the person's mindset and physical setting, often referenced together as "set and setting." A 2017 study of healthy adults found that the psilocybin levels peak after about 80 minutes, corresponding with the average peak in effects after 90 minutes, but this varies across individuals. The immediate effects of using psilocybin wear off in six to 12 hours, though most people report continuing to feel the effects until they sleep and a "glow" the next day. Urine Only small traces of the drug are detectable by a urine test for up to 24 hours after ingestion. The standard five- and nine-panel drug tests ordered by most drug testing companies do not typically include tests for psilocybin. Still, some companies do offer urine tests for psilocybin and one of its metabolites, psilocin, that could be purchased by an employer or probation office. Blood Blood testing for psilocybin is much less common, but it may happen under some conditions. However, the detection window is very brief, which means that the test must be administered within hours after use. Hair Like many other substances, magic mushrooms can be found in hair follicles for up to 90 days. However, such tests may require larger hair samples in order to find detectable amounts of the substance. Factors That Affect Detection Time Determining how long "shrooms" stay in your system can be tricky. The amount of time it takes for the body to excrete psilocybin depends on many variables. Detection times are influenced by the species of mushroom. The type of psilocybin mushroom a person takes affects how quickly the metabolite is eliminated from the body. There are more than 100 magic mushroom species and they all have varying levels of psilocybin content, ranging from psilocybe liniformans (0.16%) to psilocybe tampanensis (0.68%) to psilocybe azurenscens (1.78%). How soon psilocybin is eliminated from your body depends on dosage, frequency of use, type of mushroom, your metabolism, and factors such as your age, how much you weigh, your hydration level, and the health of your body systems. Age: People over age 65 tend to have reduced blood flow to their kidneys and liver, which can delay the excretion of psilocybin.Body mass: People with higher body mass tend to excrete psilocybin faster than those with low BMIs.Activity levels: Psilocybin is excreted faster in physically active people with higher metabolism rates.Hydration levels: Water can speed up the excretion of psilocybin.Liver and kidney function: Having liver or kidney disease can slow down the time it takes for psilocybin to pass through the body.Ingestion vs. injection: The half-life for intravenously injected psilocybin is much faster than if it is consumed by oral ingestion. When injected, the drug may be cleared from the body in about seven to eight hours. How to Get Mushrooms Out of Your System Drinking water can speed up the elimination of psilocybin, but not in a way that is significant for people trying to avoid detection on a drug test. The only way to get psilocybin out of your system is to discontinue use and allow your body time to metabolize and eliminate the substance. The more shrooms you ingest, the longer the psilocybin remains and can be detected. Symptoms of Overdose Use caution whenever handling wild mushrooms. Make sure that you get all mushrooms that you pick yourself looked over by an expert before eating them to ensure proper identification. Even experienced mushroom hunters can mistake a highly poisonous mushroom for the one they intended to gather. Mushroom poisoning can result in catastrophic liver damage and death unless there is immediate access to a liver transplant. If you suspect mushroom poisoning, call 911 or poison control right away at 800-222-122. Don’t wait until you experience symptoms. While physical overdose on most correctly identified species of psilocybin-containing mushrooms is not likely, some people do have what is called a "bad trip," in which they experience confusion, loss of awareness, and exposure to challenging psychological material. A bad trip is largely a product of set and setting, but can also be an indicator of a need for more in-depth psychological support. Many people find that bad or difficult trips are minimized through attending to their basic physical needs before and during the experience, keeping overstimulation to a minimum, using lower doses, and checking in with a trusted friend. That said, psychedelic experiences may bring psychological material into your awareness that you find challenging, and it is also helpful to be aware of that in advance and have a plan for working with it. If you are someone with a trauma disorder or other ongoing psychological condition, speak to your psychologist before taking psilocybin. Symptoms of Hallucinogen Use Disorder Getting Help While psilocybin may have a low potential for physical dependence, that does not mean that psychological addiction is not possible. While many people feel that a handful of psychedelic experiences are enough to get the healing benefits, some people who regularly take psilocybin may start to feel like their default reality does not compare and may seek to have as many psychedelic experiences as possible. If you feel you may have a substance use disorder, talk to your doctor or speak to a mental health professional. There are different types of therapy that may be helpful, including harm reduction, psychotherapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. For help locating treatment services in your area, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's national hotline at 1-800-662-4357 or use their online treatment locator. 12 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Daniel J, Haberman M. Clinical potential of psilocybin as a treatment for mental health conditions. Ment Health Clin. 2018;7(1):24-28. doi:10.9740/mhc.2017.01.024 U.S. National Library of Medicine. The safety and efficacy of psilocybin in participants with treatment resistant depression (P-TRD). Brown R, Nicholas C, Cozzi N, et al. Pharmacokinetics of escalating doses of oral psilocybin in healthy adults. Clinical Pharmacokinet. 2017;56(12):1543-1554. doi:10.1007/s40262-017-0540-6 Austin E, Myron HS, Summerbell RK, Mackenzie C. Acute renal injury cause by confirmed Psilocybe cubensis mushroom ingestion. Med Mycol Case Rep. 2018;23:55-57. doi:10.1016/j.mmcr.2018.12.007 U.S. Department of Justice. Psilocybin. Drugs of Abuse. A DEA Resource Guide. 2017. Madsen MK, Fisher PM, Burmester D, Dyssegaard A, Stenbæk DS, Kristiansen S, Johansen SS, Lehel S, Linnet K, Svarer C, Erritzoe D, Ozenne B, Knudsen GM. Psychedelic effects of psilocybin correlate with serotonin 2A receptor occupancy and plasma psilocin levels. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019;44(7):1328-1334. doi:10.1038/s41386-019-0324-9 Carhart-Harris RL, Erritzoe D, Williams T, et al. Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2012;109(6):2138-2143. doi:10.1073/pnas.1119598109 Carhart-Harris RL, Leech R, Williams TM, et al. Implications for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy: functional magnetic resonance imaging study with psilocybin. Br J Psychiatry. 2012;200(3):238-244. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.111.103309 Tylš F, Páleníček T, Horáček J. Psilocybin – summary of knowledge and new perspectives. European Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014;24(3):342-356. doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2013.12.006 van Amsterdam J, Opperhuizen A, van den Brink W. Harm potential of magic mushroom use: A review. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2011;59(3):423-429. doi:10.1016/j.yrtph.2011.01.006 Psilobycin. In: Aronson JK, ed. Meyler's Side Effects of Drugs: The International Encyclopedia of Adverse Drug Reactions and Interactions, 16th ed. Elsevier Science, 2016:1048-1051. Erden A, Esmeray K, Karagöz H, et al. Acute liver failure caused by mushroom poisoning: A case report and review of the literature. Int Med Case Rep J. 2013;6:85-90. doi:10.2147/IMCRJ.S53773 Additional Reading Passie T, Seifert J, Schneider U, Emrich HM. The pharmacology of psilocybin. Addict Biol. 2002;7(4):357-364. doi:10.1080/1355621021000005937 Studerus E, Gamma A, Kometer M, Vollenweider FX. Prediction of psilocybin response in healthy volunteers. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(2):e30800. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030800 By Buddy T Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Get Treatment for Addiction Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.