From boomers to shrooms, to caps – “magic mushrooms” have been captivating hearts and minds globally for centuries, maybe even millennia. These fascinating fungi have always been a topic of debate when it comes to their legality, but recent times have witnessed a promising shift in perspective, especially for the general consumer and mushroom enthusiast. The most notable triumph has been with respect to a unique mushroom species: the Amanita Muscaria Mushroom.
So, what’s the buzz about these mushrooms and should you feel safe consuming them? (Here’s a little spoiler: Yes, Amanita mushrooms are safe to ingest, but there are a few caveats to be mindful of.)
What are amanita mushrooms?
Amanita mushrooms (also known as “fly agaric,” “fly amanita,” or their full name in this context, “Amanita Muscaria”) are a colorful red-with-white-spots (think Mario Brothers) psychedelic mushroom found in the northern hemisphere that are also legal in nearly every state in the U.S. (Sorry, Louisiana!) These iconic toadstools are native to the Northern Hemisphere and were introduced to numerous countries in the Southern Hemisphere by way of cultivation of certain trees such as birch, firs, and conifers. Amanita mushrooms have a symbiotic relationship with these trees, growing in the soil near the base of their trunks. The bright red caps with distinct white spots make these mushrooms easy to spot against the dark green and brown colors from the trees.
The use of Amanita mushrooms for religious ceremonies and spiritual enlightenment date back thousands of years, spanning across a number of countries and religious bodies. In eastern and western Siberia, shamans are noted as eating this mushroom for ancient ceremonies as well as recreationally. It’s even claimed that others would drink the urine of the shaman which still contained the psychoactive properties of the mushroom.
This unusual method of consumption was also mentioned in later research from ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson. His study of the ancient Indian Vedic Sanskrit hymns, known as the Rig Veda, centered around the Soma (inebriating ritual drink) mentioned in the collection and the theory that this was made from Amanita Muscaria mushrooms. (You can also thank him for coining the term “Magic Mushrooms!”)
There’s even a long-held and captivating theory surrounding Santa Claus and his flying reindeer which include the use of Amanita mushrooms and Santa himself being a shaman. Notice any similarities between the colors of his suit and the magic fungi? (Read about it here!)
The major difference between Amanita mushrooms and other magic mushrooms is that Amanita Mushrooms contain the psychoactive compound muscimol (along with others, which we’ll go into below) instead of the more commonly known psilocybin. This specific species of mushroom – Amanita Muscaria – is manufactured into gummies that can then be taken recreationally. The big question people find themself asking: Are amanita mushroom gummies safe?
What species of Amanita mushrooms are safe?
To understand the toxicity of Amanita mushrooms and the safety around Amanita mushroom gummies, let’s first talk some science. Amanita is a genus of Amanitaceae. Put simply, this means that Amanita comes from the family of Amanitaceae. From the genus Amanita comes hundreds of different species, or mushrooms. Amanita Muscaria is one of these specific species! Other well known species that fall under Amanita include the “death cap mushrooms” (Amanita phalloides) and “destroying angel mushrooms” (Amanita bisporigera, Amanita ocreata, Amanita virosa in Northeastern U.S., Northwestern U.S., and Europe, respectively.) As you’ve probably gathered from reading their more common names, death cap and destroying angel mushrooms are highly poisonous and can be fatal. When researching and reviewing Amanita mushroom gummies it’s of the utmost importance to ensure the mushroom species used to produce the gummy.
>> Thinking of trying Amanita mushroom gummies? Head on over to our mushroom gummies buyer’s guide to learn more.
What’s inside Amanita Muscaria Mushrooms?
Amanita Muscaria is also considered a poisonous mushroom due to its psychoactive compounds, which include muscimol, muscarine, and ibotenic acid. These alkaloids cross the blood-brain barrier and impact the central nervous system. Muscimol is the inactive compound within ibotenic acid – once dried or heated, ibotenic acid is transformed into muscimol by way of decarboxylation. (This is the chemical reaction where a carbon atom is removed from a carbon chain – but that’s a topic for a different day.) Muscarine is a toxic compound found in the Amanita Muscaria species, but in very trace amounts that largely go unregistered.
Ibotenic acid and muscimol have a similar composition to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Muscimol acts as a strong agonist of GABA receptors, which means that it activates these receptors in the brain. Since GABA suppresses certain signals in your brain which produces a sense of calm, muscimol enhances that sense along with potential visual hallucinations or distortions and changes in your sensory awareness. Ibotenic acid is another agonist, but of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor along with the metabotropic glutamate group I and II receptors. This can also cause an increase in distorted vision or hearing, intense relaxation, feelings of disassociation, and general elation.
After ingesting these mushrooms, the body quickly absorbs them through the gastrointestinal tract, with the effects kicking in anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. The typical duration of effects can last anywhere from 4 to 8+ hours depending on the amount consumed and physiological factors which vary person to person.
In general, even though considered poisonous, Amanita mushroom gummies are safe to take in controlled doses – but specifically Amanita muscaria mushroom gummies. It’s very important that it’s this specific species of mushroom used in gummies since other species within the Amanita genus are extremely dangerous (even fatal) to consume.
The Importance of safely sourcing Amanita mushrooms for gummies
So you’ve learned all about Amanita mushrooms and now you’re ready to move from a curious party to a full-blown consumer of amanita mushroom gummies. But where to start? What to look for? How will you know if what you’re buying is safe?
It all comes down to research, resources, reputation, and ingredients.
Look for reputable suppliers and companies
The first stop in your Amanita mushroom gummy journey is finding where companies source their Amanita mushrooms from – or if they provide this information at all. Trusted suppliers will often be listed on a company’s FAQ section of their website or, if you’re in person at a brick-and-mortar shop, they can provide that information for you to look up and review on your own. It’s important to look for suppliers (and companies) that follow legal and industry standards for the where and how around their sourcing practices. Find a company or supplier that provides this information online or is willing to chat over the phone or in person about it!
How are amanita mushroom gummies made?
First and foremost, the process of making Amanita mushroom gummies requires a professional so please don’t try this at home! Most companies will run their Amanita mushrooms through a decarboxylation process (remember that term from earlier?) to boost safety and magnify their benefits. Decarboxylation in this context essentially means exposing the Amanita mushrooms to heat. (There are other methods including using pressure or using acid which you can read about here.)
As mentioned above, one of the main components of Amanita mushrooms is Ibotenic acid. Ibotenic acid is considerably more toxic that muscimol, making the decarboxylation process an extremely important step in creating Amanita mushroom gummies that are safe to eat.
Once this activity is complete, the mushrooms are usually crushed into a fine powder that is then measured accordingly and integrated with the other ingredients found in the gummies.
How to safely buy amanita mushroom gummies online
It can be daunting to not just look for but make a decision on a company that sells top quality Amanita mushroom gummies that are safe to consume.
- Reputable business brands: First things first, look for a reputable business that is well known, well established, has a substantial amount of reviews, and provides ample information about not only the company itself but their products as well. While there are federal regulations around Amanita mushrooms for recreational purposes, it’s ultimately up to the company to follow the legal rules, best practices, and industry standards to make sure they’re providing Amanita mushroom gummies that are safe.
- Review product labels and information: Once you’ve chosen a business, the next stop is reviewing their product labels and product information. Industry-leading (and reputable) companies will provide full transparency on these labels and within the information on their product pages around where their mushrooms are sourced from along with other ingredients used to create the gummies. All of these ingredients, including their amounts, should be clearly listed and easy to find. Keep an eye out for ingredients that are hard to pronounce, if there are no ingredients listed, or there aren’t amounts of each listed; you want to ensure that you know exactly what and how much you’re putting in your body when you make the decision to try Amanita mushroom gummies.
- Review Certificate of Analysis (COA): Another item to look for to help confirm that these specific Amanita mushroom gummies are safe is a Certificate of Analysis, or COA. A valid COA confirms that the company performed their due diligence by having their product tested by an unbiased third-party. These labs verify that required standards have been met along with presenting toxicity results, purity, the particular species used, and that it’s fit for consumption.
- Read Reviews: Lastly, peruse the company and product reviews! Gathering direct and genuine opinions from fellow consumers is a great way to learn about other peoples’ experience with Amanita mushroom gummies. This can provide insightful input on what you might expect, things to watch out for, how responsive and accommodating customer service is, or if you need to keep looking elsewhere.
Here’s an example of a product label that contains all the important details about the mushroom product including dosage, added ingredients, and a code to review third-party lab testing.
>> Learn more about Amanita mushroom gummy effects in our complete guide.
What are the risks of taking amanita mushroom gummies?
As with everything we can consume, there are potential risks involved and the possibility of having a negative experience. This is especially true when dealing with fungi as a whole, and even more so with species that are considered poisonous. While Amanita mushroom gummies are safe to take, there are still some risks and factors to consider before you partake.
1. Potential side effects
The compounds that cause Amanita mushrooms to be considered poisonous are the same compounds that cause the most notable psychedelic effect: hallucinations. Consuming Amanita mushroom gummies can cause users to experience an altered state of perception, euphoria, hallucinations, delirium, relaxation and tranquility, to name a few. While these effects are to be expected and sought after, some people find that it’s not what they were expecting or it’s too much for them to handle, increasing anxiety and stress levels.
There is also the risk of an allergic reaction or other physical ailments. Some of these negative side effects can include stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and anxiety. Any one of these on its own or a combination of these symptoms can cause additional stress and feeling overwhelmed which can enhance the already-unpleasant experience. The best and safest way to try Amanita mushroom gummies is to make sure you’ve done your research and know what to anticipate, check with a healthcare professional, and consume the proper amount. Amanita mushroom gummies aren’t for everyone, so it’s important to take everything into consideration before making your final decision.
2. Proper dosage & usage is crucial
The recommended dosage for Amanita mushroom – specifically the mushroom caps – can vary, depending on who you’re talking to or what source you’re reading from. Most commonly though, it’s noted that a low dose is considered to be 1-5g, which can equal roughly half to one full mushroom cap. An “average” dose can be up to three mushroom caps, roughly 5-10g. Keep in mind that these dosages are for the raw mushroom caps, which we highly advise against eating! Raw Amanita mushrooms that haven’t been properly prepared for consumption can cause serious stomach upset, an allergic reaction to the proteins found in raw mushrooms, or unfavorable effects from the ibotenic acid.
Head on over to our dosage guide if you want to learn more about the proper dosage of amanita mushroom gummies.
Severe poisoning or fatalities from consuming Amanita mushrooms – very specifically Amanita Muscaria – are extremely rare, one case dating back to 1897. In the few documented cases around these, the users consumed a quantity of the raw mushroom that is much larger than any recommended dosage found in Amanita mushroom gummies. Proper preparation and small, controlled amounts are key in keeping Amanita mushrooms safe to consume. (We highly advise against picking these yourself or consuming any raw Amanita mushrooms.)
When it comes to Amanita mushroom gummies, the recommended dosage is typically much less than that of mushroom caps, which is key in keeping Amanita mushroom gummies safe for consumption. In addition to this, amanita gummies contain an exact, predetermined amount of the fungus per gummy which offers a consistent dosage and no guesswork. You’ll generally find anywhere from 350mg to 1000mg of Amanita mushrooms per gummy, which is on the low side of dosage when considering the amounts listed above for mushroom caps.
This lower amount of Amanita mushrooms per gummy is not only the safe way to go but also empowers users to best understand how the effects impact them; they can gradually increase the dosage as needed or desired depending on how their experience is. It’s always advised to follow the suggested use that’s listed on the Amanita mushroom gummies, which is most often half to one gummy to start.
3. Always talk with a healthcare professional first
If you’re still curious but unsure, another excellent option is to talk to a doctor. If you’re currently taking prescription medication it’s highly recommended to do this, as there could be adverse or harmful interactions between the two that could be dangerous. Always play it on the safe side when it comes to combining medications with any other substances!
4. Amanita may not be for everyone
At the end of the day, Amanita mushroom gummies aren’t for everyone. There are certain groups of people (women who are pregnant, children) who should nomk4t consume these gummies containing Amanita mushrooms. There are also peoplek=k=who take certain medications that could have an adverse reaction when mixed with Amanita mushrooms. (If you fall into any of those categories, skip these gummies!) However, you may find after reading about and thinking through the pros and cons of Amanita mushroom gummies – along with taking into consideration your personal reasons or goal to achieve by taking them – that these psychoactive spores are the right choice for you.
Amanita mushrooms, specifically Amanita Muscaria mushroom gummies, are increasing in popularity for recreational use and aiding people in a number of ways. While it may not be the best fit for everyone, thousands of people are finding and enjoying this species of shrooms and the benefits it has to offer. If you find yourself wondering “Are Amanita mushroom gummies safe?” – you can rest assured that the answer is yes – but with some caveats. Before indulging, the first and most important step is finding a reputable company that is transparent with their sources and what (and how much) is in their product. Amanita mushroom gummies are safe when they’re coming from a safe source and when the proper dosage is taken. Read the reviews, talk to friends who have purchased before, arm yourself with all the information before making your decision. It’s the job of the business to provide you with what you need to know, but it’s up to you to enjoy them responsibly, taking them over the (safety) finish line. Enjoy your safe trip with magical Amanita mushroom gummies.