With all the talk of psychedelic consumption and the emergence of a billion-dollar treatment market, it can be easy to forget that psychedelic substances, such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, mostly remain illegal in the US. We’ve seen a slew of recent headlines: “Magic mushrooms’ legal status is leading a psychedelics boom;” “Psychedelic drugs take on depression;” “‘Ruthless’ Joe Rogan explains how psychedelics made him ‘much kinder’ after Mike Tyson shared his experience;” and “Use of psychedelics is soaring among young adults, study finds.” Yet still—regardless of the hype, legal trips are few and far between.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
The narrative sometimes outpaces legislative realities, but there’s been progress over the past few years. Oregon was the first state to provide legal therapy with psilocybin mushrooms. Colorado became the second in 2022. California, New York, and Washington are considering following suit in some form, and several others are decriminalizing after a dozen cities and counties did so to some degree. So, how can you legally trip right now?
Legal Ways To Trip
The quest for legal trips can be frustrating. For the most part, drug prohibition means that there are limited options for safe access to psychedelics. You may have to travel or try to join a clinical trial. For some, the effort is worth it. Here’s what’s available right now:
1. Travel to Oregon
In 2023, Oregon opened its first psilocybin service centers. This means that adults ages 21+ can partake in a facilitated psilocybin session with a licensed practitioner at a state-licensed center. But—it might cost you. Paying for a facilitated trip can cost several hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Growing mushrooms is illegal in Oregon unless you’re a state-licensed manufacturer.
2. Travel to Colorado
Like Oregon, the state of Colorado has also legalized facilitated psilocybin sessions. But, the state has taken things one step further by decriminalizing the gifting, growing, and possession of psilocybin mushrooms for all adults. Colorado also allows people to receive payment for services like trip sitting and psychedelic support, but only licensed manufacturers are allowed to charge for magic mushrooms.
While it is illegal federally to pick psychedelic fungi—which grow abundantly across moist pastures in the fall—the foraging for psilocybin mushrooms may not be prohibited in certain decriminalized regions. Still, caution is always wise: Misidentifying fungi can be seriously harmful or deadly. Further, foraging for psychedelic fungi may not be legal on protected or private lands, even in decriminalized regions. Learn more about how to identify magic mushrooms in our full guide.
4. Take ayahuasca at an approved church
The União de Vegetal church and some Santo Daime congregations have, over the past two decades, obtained the lawful right to consume the hallucinogenic Amazonian brew for religious purposes because it is central to their beliefs. Other psychedelic churches have sprung up, citing the supportive 2006 Supreme Court ruling.
5. Go to a psychedelic retreat abroad
While plant medicine ceremonies outside of the auspices of the aforementioned churches take place regularly across the US, many feel more at ease heading to Costa Rica, Mexico, Holland, Portugal, or a number of other countries to undergo rituals and treatments with psychedelics due to the potential legal threat in the states.
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6. Enroll in a clinical trial
An increasing number of medical studies monitoring the effects of psychedelic use are taking place—and they all need volunteers. In one of the latest developments, the Heffter Research Institute just gave almost $1m to three leading universities to develop Ph.D. programs for psychiatrists who would like to use psilocybin.
7. Ketamine therapy
Many clinics have opened in recent years offering medical ketamine treatment since the legal anesthetic was already part of the mainstream medical pharmacopeia and was somehow largely shielded from the war on drugs as it only relatively recently emerged as a popular, though still illegal, psychedelic and dissociative club drug. Other companies are mailing tablets to patients.
8. Blue lotus
Found at health food stores as a tea additive, the blue Egyptian water lily – used by the ancients to attain higher states of consciousness – is most psychedelic when its petals and bulbs are smoked. Or the flowers can be marinated in wine. It is touted as being able to alleviate pain, depression and “catapult you into a super high.” But, not a lot is known about this plant’s long-term safety, especially when smoked. It’s also illegal in the state of Louisiana.
8. Holotropic Breathwork
Holotropic breathwork is an accelerated deep breathing practice, sometimes described as a means to get high without drugs. During the practice, neural activity is modulated through conscious and repetitive inhalation and exhalation. Once one enters a state of near hyperventilation, a trance state can be entered in which a natural state of ecstasy can be achieved.
Kanna isn’t exactly a psychedelic—but it’s still pretty trippy. Kanna is a flowering plant native to South Africa. Advocates consider it an empathogen, which is a substance that inspires feelings of empathy. Enthusiasts say Kanna is like a natural MDMA, better known in the club scene as molly or ecstasy. In higher doses, the effects of kanna are more pronounced, but it still may not be as strong as MDMA itself. Read more about kanna in our full article here.
Legal Hallucinogens—More Legal Ways to Trip Right Now
Okay—we know where you can trip and we’ve shared some trippy herbs. But are there any legal psychedelics just lying around? Well, sort of. Some of them might not be the trips you’d expect. Here are a few legal psychedelics worth knowing about:
1. Happy caps and truffles in Holland
The liberal northern European country offers an array of psychedelic drugs in their famous smart shops. Happy caps are marketed as a legal form of LSD as they contain natural lysergic acid amide (LSA), and the effect of two tablets is equal to a tab of acid. After magic mushrooms were prohibited, truffles – the underground growths of psychedelic psilocybin-containing fungi—can still be purchased above board.
The mint family herb whose most known strain, Salvia divinorum, is native to Oaxaca, Mexico, can bring about some of the most intense psychedelic experiences, including terrifying hallucinations, but is not controlled under federal drug laws and can be found in a variety of smoke shops. However, certain states—including most of the American Midwest and South—do not allow its use.
3. San Pedro
The tall cactus grows across dry areas of the US, though it is not native and contains less mescaline than those which grow in Latin America. While it is not illegal to grow, extracting mescaline is. But eating the plant raw can also inspire psychedelic effects. Curious about what makes this plant special? We’ve written a full guide about it here.
4. Amanita muscaria
Amanita muscaria mushrooms are legal—but be warned. These mushrooms aren’t your typical trip. They do not contain psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms. Instead, these mushrooms contain muscimol and ibotenic acid. The first is a potent deliriant in high doses but is sometimes used as a sleep aid in low doses. The latter might be neurotoxic, but it also acts as a stimulant. Tripping on Amantia muscaria mushrooms can be intense and often requires a sitter. However, advocates say micro to low dose of Amanita products provide a drowsy experience. Learn more about this perplexing mushroom in our full article.
Meet the psychoactive hiding in your spice cabinet. Nutmeg is tricky—taking high doses of nutmeg can be very risky. Overdose can cause serious damage to your physical health. In some severe cases, nutmeg overdose has caused fatalities. However, small doses of nutmeg essential oil can induce a cannabis-like effect. But you may want to clear your schedule: The active effects can last over twelve hours. Learn more about nutmeg (and find some recipes) via our full article.
This article is intended for educational purposes and should not be used in place of medical advice. DoubleBlind does not advocate participating in illicit activities. Always consult your local drug laws before engaging with any unregulated substance.
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