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DoubleBlind Mag
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How Long Does It Take for Shrooms to Kick In?

Well, it depends on a lot of things—from your body to how you take them.

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Updated May 5, 2021

DoubleBlind Mag is devoted to fair, rigorous reporting by leading experts and journalists in the field of psychedelics. Read more about our editorial process and fact-checking here. Editorially reviewed by Madison Margolin.

If you are at all familiar with psychedelics, you have most likely come across the idea of “set and setting.” There is a tremendous amount of wisdom in this adage, as it serves to remind (or warn) psychonauts that preparations are needed if they want their journey to go smoothly. 

“Set” refers to the mindset you bring into your experience. Solidifying your intention for tripping brings direction to the experience and can keep you from spiraling into a “bad trip.” “Setting” refers to the environment in which you choose to trip. You want to make sure you find a familiar and nurturing space to hold your experience. 

Other than setting your intention and finding a suitable space to have your psychedelic experience, understanding the substance you are about to ingest is right up there in terms of important things to know. Not only will this help you in determining proper dosage, it will also give you an understanding of how long it takes before you start feeling the effects. 

When it comes to shrooms, the last thing you want to happen is for the onset to surprise you and produce anxiety in your body as they are starting to work their magic. On the other hand, you also want to make sure that you don’t take more than you intended, because you didn’t wait long enough for them to kick in and decided to take more. 

The internet is filled with cautionary tales of people who failed to consider the onset time of the drug they just ingested. Thankfully, it is easy to avoid this type of unwanted internet fame. You just have to understand how shrooms work. So let’s take a look!

So…How Long Do Shrooms Take to Kick In?

Image of psilocybin mushroom caps
On average, it takes about 30 minutes for shrooms to kick in, if you are eating them whole

On average, it takes about 30 minutes for shrooms to kick in, if you are eating them whole. You can start feeling the effects of shrooms in as little as ten minutes, though, and sometimes it can take up to an hour. The come up usually continues for two hours, you peak around three to four hours after ingesting, and you come down between four and six hours. 

That said, there’s a lot of different factors at play: your body, how you’re feeling that day (i.e. how much you slept, what you ate, what you drank), and even where you’re taking the shrooms can make a big difference. If you’re, for example, tripping by yourself or with close friends in a quiet place, you might notice the effects sooner because you’re more tuned into how you’re feeling. If you’re at a party or festival, though, it might take longer for you to notice the effects of the shrooms—even if they’ve already kicked in—because you’re just distracted by what’s going on around you.

Sometimes as shrooms kick in, the effects are very subtle: something will start to slowly distort or you’ll become aware of a mild sensation in your body. Other times, however, especially if it’s your first time tripping, you won’t notice that the shrooms have kicked in until something undeniably trippy happens. Doubt and fear around whether the “shrooms are working” can actually get in the way of you feeling them until, well, it’s impossible to deny that you are. Other really important factors that impact how long it takes for shrooms to kick in include how you choose to take your shrooms, which we’ll get into a little later. But if you eat them whole, it’ll take longer for your body to digest them and for them to kick in than if you soak them in hot water or citrus. 

Does the Dose Effect How Long it Takes for Shrooms to Kick In?

The short answer is: not really. Whether you’re taking a microdose (.1-.5 grams or you’re tripping, usually considered 1 gram or more), the shrooms should kick in around the same time and should last between four to six hours. 

Read: Psychedelic Set & Setting – What Is It & Why Is It Important? 

There are many factors you will need to consider when it comes to dose, which is reason enough to listen to another wisdom-infused adage—“start low and go slow.” Our bodies are unique; therefore, everybody is going to process shrooms differently. In other words, if you are going to take shrooms for the first time, it might not be the best to take a full dose based on the experience of your friend. The best way forward is to start with a small dose and slowly increase over time. 

How Long Does it Take Shrooms to Kick in the First Time You Trip? 

You can build up a tolerance to shrooms over time so the more often you trip, the more you may need to take for the experience to be as strong as you want. That said, it’s not going to take more or less time for your shrooms to kick in if you’re a newbie. The only difference is that if you’re an experienced tripper and you know what to expect on shrooms, you may start to notice the effects sooner.

If it’s your first time tripping or you haven’t tripped in awhile, you might consider starting with a microdose. It’s important to note, though, that it can take a few weeks of consistently microdosing, every third day according to Dr. Jim Fadiman’s protocol, before you know whether it’s making a difference for you. 

The internet is filled with cautionary tales of people who failed to consider the onset time of the drug they just ingested. Thankfully, it is easy to avoid this type of unwanted internet fame.

If you’re wanting to actually trip, one gram is a good place to start. According to Michelle Janikian, DoubleBlind contributor and author of Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion, a low dose is between .5 and 2 grams, a moderate dose is between 2 and 3.5 grams, and a high dose is anything above 3.5 grams. We recommend always weighing out your mushrooms with a scale to make sure you’re taking as much as you think you are. A good pro tip is to measure out an extra .5 to 1 grams before you start tripping and to set that aside. If two hours in you’re not feeling much or you’re really wanting the experience to be stronger, you can take more. That’s always a better way to go than taking too much from the start. But before you take more, tune in with yourself and make sure that’s really what you’re wanting, no matter the outcome.

How Long Does it Take for Shrooms to Kick in on a Full Stomach?

Since shrooms are eaten, what is in your stomach plays a big part in determining how long it takes for you to start feeling the effects. Ingesting shrooms after eating a meal can delay the onset for about an hour—depending on what was eaten, how much was eaten, and the efficacy of your digestive system. 

This brings up an important issue. Psilocybin mushrooms need to be digested in order to experience the effects. Psilocybin is the psychoactive substance that is most commonly associated with shrooms; however, it is not directly responsible for the psychedelic effects. 

In order for it to be absorbed into our bodies, the psilocybin from the shroom must first be converted into psilocin. This is why there is a delay in the experience. Not only does the psilocybin need to make its way through your stomach, your body also needs time to convert it into psilocin. Considering the delays that are associated with their onset—and that a trip can last for six hours—it is best to make sure that you give it a couple hours before ingesting more.

How Long Does it Take Shrooms to Kick in on an Empty Stomach?

If you are looking to avoid a long onset, taking shrooms on an empty stomach is the easiest way to accomplish this goal. Your stomach will immediately start digesting the available psilocin and get to work converting the psilocybin. 

With nothing else in your stomach to compete with the shrooms, you can start to feel the effects within ten minutes. Unfortunately, shrooms are known to be difficult on your stomach, and eating raw shrooms on an empty stomach can heighten that sensation and/or produce nausea.

Thankfully, it’s the body of the shroom, not the psychoactive ingredients, that is responsible for the uneasy stomach sensation. In other words, if you can find a way to separate those ingredients from the body of the shroom through shroom tea or lemon tekking, you can avoid the unpleasant stomach sensation. Let’s take a look at those.

How Long Does it Take for Lemon Tekking to Kick In?

Image of shot glass with lemon juice and psilocybin mushrooms next to a full lemon.
If you’re looking for a a faster onset and/or a more intense experience, you should consider lemon tekking

Lemon tekking is the practice of soaking your shrooms in lemon juice (or other acidic food) before you eat them. If you are looking to experience a faster onset (ten to fifteen minutes) and/or a more intense experience, you should consider giving it a try. (We don’t recommend this for newbies!) 

How does it work? Shrooms produce both psilocybin and psilocin. Psilocin can be directly absorbed by the body and produce effects; however, like we mentioned before, psilocybin must first be converted into psilocin before it can be absorbed. 

It’s been hypothesized that the acid from the lemon juice (mimicking the acid in our stomachs) converts the psilocybin into psilocin, therefore, making the shrooms completely bioavailable upon ingestion. This cuts down on the onset time, since your body doesn’t need to spend time making that conversion. 

Read: How to Lemon Tek – A Complete Guide for Mushroom People

When a dried shroom starts to be digested, your body is simultaneously absorbing the available psilocin and working on converting psilocybin. In other words, instead of absorbing the entire dose at once, there is a natural staggering that takes place. Lemon tekking is believed to intensify the experience because it makes the entire dose of psilocin bioavailable at once. 

Many people also believe that lemon tekking increases the potency of the shrooms—making the trip shorter but more intense. 

How Long Does it Take For Shroom Tea to Kick In?

Image of magic mushrooms next to a cup of tea.
Mushroom tea will expedite the onset of effects—typically 10 to 15 minutes after ingestion

One of the most convenient things about shrooms is that psilocybin and psilocin are water soluble. In other words, like lemon tekking, you can use shroom tea to avoid the difficult process of digesting dried mushrooms and expedite the onset of effects—typically experienced ten to fifteen minutes after ingestion. 

Making the tea takes some extra time; however, the time provides a great opportunity to prepare yourself for the coming experience, and it can quickly become a treasured part of your ritual. It’s also a great opportunity to improve the taste of the shrooms. Shrooms aren’t known for their flavor—making a tea can help the medicine go down. 

Conclusion: How Long it Takes For Mushrooms to Kick In

There are a lot of variables that determine how quickly you will start to experience the effects of shrooms; however, with a little preparation, you can make sure that the experience goes according to plan. 

It is clear that the contents of your stomach and the mushroom itself are the biggest obstacle your body faces when it comes to absorbing psilocybin and psilocin. Taking shrooms on an empty stomach will always produce the fastest results—regardless of how they are prepared; however, lemon tekking and shroom tea are also effective ways to quicken the onset of your trip, as your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest the shrooms.

With these methods, the effects can be felt within ten minutes; however, if you have food in your stomach, the effects can be delayed for over an hour. So be mindful of your body, take care in how you prepare your shrooms, and enjoy the trip!

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for support. If you’re looking for peer support during or after a psychedelic experience, contact Fireside Project by calling or texting 6-2FIRESIDE.
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