“How much do shrooms cost?” It’s a question that pops up all over Internet forums. Experienced mycologists know where to find mushrooms growing wild, and purists will argue you can just grow your own shrooms—but some myco-curious folks would simply rather know where to buy shrooms and how much they cost, especially if they’re new to psychedelics.
Think about it: If you’d never tried shiitake mushrooms and wanted to check them out, would you head to the woods to forage for some? Or would you order spores online in order to inoculate the log in your backyard in hopes of sampling them in a month? Of course not—you’d go to the grocery store to buy a small amount to try and see if you liked them. And since psychedelic mushroom dispensaries are unlikely to become reality—at least in the mainstream—anytime soon, plenty of people will skip the forage and grow options and simply buy them from someone else. So it makes sense that this cohort would want to know what a reasonable price is to pay for a magic mushroom dose—as well as understanding what’s considered a “dose” of psychedelic mushrooms, and figuring out where to actually buy them without running afoul of the law.
How Much Do Shrooms Cost, Though, Really?
The short answer: It depends. Market demand and supply, as well as where you live, can all affect the price of mushrooms. For example, one anonymous cultivator told the WestWord that demand in his location for psychedelic mushrooms in Denver was high, particularly among concert-goers. Because demand outweighs supply, he sells an ounce of his mushrooms for $200, and a standard dose for one trip—an eighth of an ounce—for $30. The cultivator acknowledged that his prices might be on the higher side, but he also felt his product was worth it. (Another key point to consider: Like anything else you are going to put into your body, the cheapest deal may not be ideal in terms of quality. If a cultivator’s product comes highly recommended and costs a bit more, you may be getting what you pay for.)
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It’s also important to keep in mind that these are fungi, not perfectly measured doses of Advil. Different types of mushrooms contain different amounts of psilocybin (the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms). Different growing conditions or storage methods can also alter psilocybin content. One gram of mushrooms could contain from five to 20 milligrams of psilocybin. Without lab testing, it’s difficult to know the exact potency of the shrooms you’ve bought. This natural variation is why, especially as a beginner, it’s recommended that you start with a low dose—you can always take more if you’re wanting stronger effects.
Mushroom Foraging: Unbeatable Prices, But Very Real Risks
Of course, experienced psychedelic consumers will say that an eighth of an ounce doesn’t have to cost a thing—if you can find magic mushrooms in the wild. But as pro mycologists Dr. K Mandrake and Virginia Haze have pointed out, “foraging for psychedelic fungi takes a lot of understanding, practice, and confidence in your own abilities (including the ability to decipher deadly lookalikes).” Harvesting wild fungi poses real risks, which is why Mandrake and Haze recommend beginners try it only under the guidance of more experienced foragers before ever going it alone. Even The Shroomery recommends that “every wild mushroom should be considered deadly poisonous until proven otherwise.”
Poison.org makes the point more starkly: “There are old mushroom hunters, and there are bold mushroom hunters. There are no old, bold mushroom hunters.” (Not-so-fun fact: Along with three family members, Nicholas Evans, author of The Horse Whisperer, mistook deadly webcap for chanterelle mushrooms in 2008. All four of them were poisoned and eventually needed kidney transplants).
There are at least 10,000 species of fungi out there, and even experienced mycologists are challenged when trying to distinguish mushrooms that are safe for consumption from those that are poisonous. Know before you go.
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If you’re new to psychedelics, it’s recommended that you begin with just 1 gram of magic mushrooms for a gentle first experience. An eighth of an ounce is considered the standard dosage for the full psychedelic experience, and the cost of an eighth typically ranges from $20 to $40.
Keep in mind that the price of magic mushrooms fluctuates based on supply and demand. So while $25 to $40 for an eighth, $100 for a half an ounce, and $200 for an ounce are a good ballpark estimate to begin with, it all depends on where you live and whether you’re purchasing them directly from the source. Sellers will typically mark up products that they’re distributing for growers. Given the legal risk that growers and sellers take, marking up the cost is understandable, but know that the closer you are to the actual grower, the less likely you are to incur “finders’ fees.”
While it’s key to note that every person is different, the Amsterdam-based Magic Mushrooms Shop offers a very useful guide to five different levels of dosage, along with typical reported experiences at each dose:
Level 1, “Happy Go Lucky.” Recommended dosage is 0.8 to 1 gram of dried mushrooms. “The effects are mild and similar to being high on weed. Music starts to feel better, strangers seem more friendly…You could have mild visual enhancements or some sound distortion, but these will be subtle.”
Level 2, “Beginner’s Paradise.” Recommended dosage is 1 to 1.5 grams of dried mushrooms. “Be prepared for the beginnings of visual and auditory hallucinations: objects moving and coming to life along with geometrical forms when you close your eyes…you will notice an increase in creativity along with enhanced sensation, lightness and euphoria.”
Level 3, “Classic Psychedelic Trip.” Recommended dosage is 1.5 to three grams of dried mushrooms. The writers classify this dose as the “classic psychedelic trip”: At this level, visual hallucinations will be part of the experience, as well as “distortions in the aptitude to measure the passage of time.” Especially for movies, this dose should be taken with close friends in a safe environment.
Level 4, “Flying With the Stars.” Recommended dosage is three to four grams of dried mushrooms. As the name implies, at this dose, you are definitely no longer in Kansas and almost certainly full-blown tripping. Typical experiences include “strong hallucinations…a psychedelic flood of shapes, contours and colors will blend together and hit the shores of your consciousness. There’s no stopping the waves in Level 4.”
The writers are quick to point out that dosing is not a competition. Some people never increase their dosage beyond Level 2 or 3. Taking mushrooms responsibly and in moderation is actually much more in line with the self-discovery, journeys, and healing that many psychonauts seek. There’s an oft-quoted saying in spirituality circles that “enlightenment is a firefly, not a lightning bolt,” and that analogy may be useful to psychedelic novices. Sometimes less really is more.
Where to Get Shrooms
Keep in mind that in the United States, psilocybin is considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the federal government, and that purchasing magic mushrooms is likely illegal in your jurisdiction. Regressive, racist drug laws and fear of punishment are, understandably, often a deal-breaker for many people who might otherwise be interested in psychedelic experiences. Even the expression “mushrooms purchased on the street” calls up unpleasant images of fungi plucked from a dirty gutter.
Molecular biologist and geneticist Darryl Hudson, who leads legal psilocybin retreats in Jamaica, told The Growth Op that he does not recommend buying a controlled substance on Facebook: “Always get things you are putting in your body from a safe and trusted source. Even considering the general safety of mushrooms, some ‘rando’ on Facebook does not meet these criteria for me.”
Rather than wading through the scam-infested Internet, try talking to your friends. If you know people who have taken shrooms, express your interest and find out from them if they can recommend a trusted source. (And if you fear your friends might judge you for wanting to have a psychedelic experience? Consider finding less judgmental friends.)
Read: How to Store Shrooms
Another tip: Talk to your friends who smoke weed. Cannabis consumers hopefully won’t sit in judgment (and if they do, feel free to inform them that cannabis is a Schedule 1 psychedelic drug, too). People who purchase cannabis may be more likely to have leads on where to buy magic mushrooms.
If you do connect with a seller, at least you’ll have a ballpark idea of reasonable pricing: $25 to $40 for an eighth, $100 for a half an ounce, and $200 for an ounce, as well as the dosing guidelines listed above. If you want to research going rates in your geographic area before making a purchase, check out message boards at popular mushroom resource sites such as The Shroomery—just remember that it’s forbidden to use forums to post or transmit advertisements or commercial solicitations of any kind. As Reddit’s /r/shrooms/ spells out in no uncertain terms: “It’s forbidden to discuss the buying, selling, or sourcing of shrooms/truffles. Sourcing of any illicit substances will result in an immediate and permanent ban.” These sites are places for research and education, not deal-making.
Find, Buy or Grow: Know Your Options
Unfortunately in America, when you purchase magic mushrooms, you’re not just paying for someone else to grow and dry magic mushrooms for you: You pay for the risks they incur in a prohibition state. It’s no small wonder that many people simply don’t feel comfortable or safe purchasing psychedelic mushrooms: Just figuring out where to buy them can be a major barrier to entry.
In the meantime, many activists and organizations are encouraging a new paradigm: psychedelic self-sufficiency. Growing psilocybin mushrooms at home isn’t for everyone, but it can be made far easier: While mushroom grow kits are frequently frowned upon for their cost or efficacy, there are some reputable vendors that have been in business for years and earned solid reputations (avoid any grow kit seller that hasn’t).
But as every grow kit thread will tell you, for the cost of purchasing a grow kit online, you could usually set up a home grow with your own materials. As one commenter noted, “Using a grow kit is like using a speech-to text-interrupter to write instead of learning to write [or] giving a man fish versus teaching him how to fish.” If you’re interested in learning more about the process, growing your own shrooms from scratch does marry low cost with a reliable, safe source, as well as a lot more mycology education. In support of psychedelic self-sufficiency, DoubleBlind has assembled a beginner’s course on how to grow mushrooms).
Whether you acquire your shrooms through buying or growing, let the challenge of accessing them inspire you to entertain a new paradigm: Many localities throughout the country are currently developing new policies, similar to those in Denver, Oakland, and Santa Cruz, which have decriminalized psilocybin and/or all natural psychedelics. We’ve only just cracked the door open on the therapeutic possibilities of psychedelics. If these strange little fungi can create such profound changes in the lives of some of us, then some advocate that all of us should have the choice to access them without fear.
Jennifer Boeder is a Chicago-born, Los Angeles transplant who covers psychedelics, cannabis, music, politics, and culture. Her writing has appeared in High Times, Cannabis Culture, Civilized, Oxygen, She Knows, Chicagoist, and Wonkette.