How Long Do Mushrooms Take to Kick In?

Mushrooms, particularly the psychoactive varieties, have been used both recreationally and medicinally for thousands of years. In Australia, the interest in psychedelic mushrooms has grown, especially with increasing discussions around their therapeutic potential. For those new to or curious about mushrooms, a common question is: How long do mushrooms take to kick in? This article explores the timeline, factors that affect the onset of effects, and what users might expect during their experience.

Understanding Psychedelic Mushrooms

Psychedelic mushrooms, commonly referred to as magic mushrooms, contain the psychoactive compounds psilocybin and psilocin. These substances are known for their ability to produce profound changes in perception, mood, and thought when ingested. In Australia, the most commonly found psychedelic mushroom is Psilocybe cubensis, often sought after for its potent effects.

Timeline of Effects

The onset and duration of effects from consuming psychedelic mushrooms can vary significantly depending on several factors. Generally, the effects of mushrooms can be felt within 20 to 40 minutes after ingestion. However, it can take as long as an hour for some users to begin noticing changes in their perception.

Phases of a Mushroom Experience:

  1. Initial Onset (20-40 minutes): Users may start to notice subtle changes in their sensory perception, such as enhanced colors, patterns, or sounds. Mood enhancement and a feeling of excitement or anticipation are also common.
  2. Peak Experience (1-2 hours after ingestion): This is when the effects are typically at their strongest. Users may experience profound alterations in thought, visual and auditory hallucinations, and a sense of interconnectedness with the universe or a dissolution of the ego.
  3. Gradual Decline (3-6 hours): The intensity of the experience gradually decreases. Users often enter a reflective phase, which can be accompanied by insights or changes in perspective.
  4. After Effects (up to 24 hours): Some residual effects may be felt for several hours after the primary effects have subsided. These can include emotional sensitivity, slight sensory distortions, and a changed outlook on life.

Factors Influencing Onset and Duration

Several factors can affect how quickly and intensely the psychoactive effects of mushrooms are felt:

1. Dose Dynamic

    The start time of mushroom effects is closely related to the dosage ingested. Higher doses often cause a faster onset since they inject a greater concentration of psilocybin into the bloodstream. Psilocybin, the principal hallucinogenic components found in mushrooms, interacts with these receptors, hastening the beginning of effects.

    Lower doses, on the other hand, may take longer to take effect. Although laser doses are capable of producing an intense experience, they produce fewer psilocybin molecules in the brain at a time. As a result, the effects take longer to emerge fully.

    2. Individual Variability 

    The rate at which psilocybin is metabolized and absorbed varies according to everyone’s metabolism. Age, weight, overall health, and genetic predisposition all influence metabolic efficiency. People with faster metabolisms usually have a quicker onset of effects because their bodies absorb and distribute psilocybin more quickly. Those with slower metabolisms, on the other hand, may experience a delay in the beginning because psilocybin metabolization takes longer.

    3. Stomach State 

    The stomach’s condition at the time of consumption can have a significant impact on the onset of mushroom effects. Consuming mushrooms on an empty stomach typically results in a faster onset. Without food to slow digestion, psilocybin is absorbed faster into the bloodstream, hastening the onset of effects.

    The manner mushrooms are prepared and consumed can also influence how quickly their effects appear. Eating raw or dried mushrooms is the most direct route for psilocybin into the bloodstream. As a result, the outcomes may be obvious sooner than with other approaches. 

    Alternatively, brewing mushrooms into tea or incorporating them into food adds another step to the absorption process. Before ingesting the mushrooms, the psilocybin must be eliminated. While this strategy may deliver a more enjoyable experience, the effects may take longer to show.

    4. Onset Experience 

    The onset of mushroom effects is typically described as a slow progression of perceptual changes and altered consciousness. Sensory perceptions may become stronger, colors brighter, and sound louder. Subtle changes in mood and thinking habits may occur as the effects take hold. For others, the transition may be slow, with tiny changes in perception occurring over several minutes to an hour.

    Safety and Legal Considerations

    In Australia, the possession, sale, and cultivation of psychoactive mushrooms are illegal under federal law. Despite their potential for therapeutic use, unauthorized handling of these substances can lead to significant legal consequences.


    For those considering the use of psychedelic mushrooms, understanding the timeline and factors that affect how long the effects take to kick in is crucial for a safe and controlled experience. While mushrooms can offer profound insights and euphoric experiences, they must be approached with caution and respect due to their powerful psychoactive properties and the legal implications in Australia. Always prioritize safety, and consider the legal context and personal health before deciding to use psychedelic substances.

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