What are Shrooms?
It’s important to know what shrooms are in order to understand their half-life. If you’re looking to understand how long shrooms stay in your system, its time to understand what they are. The word shrooms is a short way of referring to hallucinogenic mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms. Shrooms are considered a psychedelic drug because of their perception-altering, or hallucinogenic, effects.
Shrooms produce these effects because they contain a chemical compound called psilocybin. Psilocybin is why they are also sometimes referred to as psilocybin mushrooms. Over 200 different species of mushroom contain psilocybin and its metabolite, psilocin.
When used for recreational purposes, people often find shrooms in a variety of forms. Fresh, treated, dried, cooked, frozen, as dry powders, or in capsules are the most common forms you can find.
Consuming hallucinogens, such as shrooms, often produces:
- visual enhancements (seeing colors brighter)
- visual disturbances (moving surfaces, waves)
- changes in mood (e.g. either euphoria and giddiness or anxiety and panic)
- an impaired judgment of time or distance
- an increased awareness of the details of one’s surroundings
Those who are religiously or spiritually inclined may experience changes in perception, resulting in an altered sense of reality. A person in a poor mental state may experience frightening hallucinations and feelings of fear or panic. Likewise, any one who feels unsafe in their environment at the time of ingestion may also become paranoid.These are just a few of the effects that shrooms can produce.
How Long Shrooms Stay in Your System
Just like any drug, many factors determine exactly how long shrooms stay in your system. To get the best answer to this question many also depend on why you’re asking.
Do you want to know how long you’ll be feeling the drug’s effects?
Despite being a psychoactive compound, psilocybin itself does not become active until it is broken down by the body. That is, it does not begin to affect the mind until much later.
How much time will have to pass before you can confidently take (and pass) a drug test?
Many drug tests no longer check for the presence of the drug itself. Instead, they test for the metabolites your body produces when it processes certain substances.
When psilocybin is ingested and then metabolized, it converts into the metabolite psilocin. Some species of mushrooms contain both psilocybin and psilocin.
How Long Do The Effects of Shrooms Last?
On average, you will feel how long shrooms stay in your system for roughly three to six hours after consumption.
After shrooms enter a person’s body, the psilocybin tends to reach the blood stream within 20 to 40 minutes.
The drug’s effects hit their peak when the blood’s concentration of psilocybin is at its highest. Usually, a peak happens about 90 minutes into the experience. The “peak” usually lasts no more than an hour, and then the feeling begins to subside from there.
What About ‘Lingering Effects’?
Though the timeline described above is what the average user experiences, everyone’s body processes things differently and at different rates.
Some studies have found psilocybin, administered in small doses, to be an effective way of treating depression. In some cases where other forms of treatment have not been effective, psilocybin has been helpful. The majority of users will experience little to no long-term effects as a result of doing shrooms. However, some users may experience something called a bad trip. Having a bad trip has often been described as being consumed by negative thoughts. Fear, anxiety, paranoia, sadness, overwhelm you with a feeling of terror and dread. Users who experience severe trips have reported feelings that last days, or even weeks, after ingestion.
How Long Will a Drug Test Be Able to Detect Shrooms?
Note that drug tests used for employment or legal-related purposes rarely check for the presence of psilocybin or psilocin. Doing so would cost more money– roughly $250– than most employers, and drug courts have at their disposal.
Generally, if the person does the drug every once in a while, the detection time rarely exceeds 15 hours.
If testing for shrooms, a drug test will likely search for the shrooms’ psychedelic compound, psilocybin.
As mentioned above, not all drug tests just test for substances anymore. Tests may check for certain metabolites that indicate a person having ingested a particular substance. So, just to be safe, this section will address both psilocybin and psilocin.
After oral ingestion, the liver metabolizes psilocybin and converts it to psilocin. It generally takes 20 to 40 minutes for these metabolites to become detectable.
When you ingest shrooms orally, the average half-life of psilocybin is approximately 163 minutes. So, 50% of it will have cleared the body in two hours and 43 minutes.
If you ingest a small dose, the psilocybin should take about 15 hours to leave the body entirely.
The average half-life of psilocin is roughly 50 minutes. Therefore, half of what you ingest will be eliminated from the body in a little under an hour. The psilocin should clear out of one’s system in about 4 hours and 40 minutes.
However, certain factors can alter the original half-life of the drug by about 64 minutes in either direction. So, how long shrooms stay in your system can vary. What may clear one person’s system in seven hours, may take another person 15 hours.
Types of Drug Tests That Can Detect Shrooms
Urine tests are the most common way of testing for psilocybin and psilocin. It is relatively more expensive though convenient to test urine for psilocybin. However, the detection window is considerably longer than that of a blood test. Sometimes a chronic user, or a user who has ingested a large dose, will have different results. Findings were suggested by a study performed on rats that had ingested large amounts of psilocybin.
A blood test would be able to detect the presence of psilocybin starting around 30 minutes after ingestion. Blood tests will only detect shrooms in one’s system for a short time; about three to five hours after ingestion. However, drawing blood to detect psilocybin is practically unheard of except in the context of scientific research. With a shorter detection time than urine or hair, it is unlikely anyone would bother with this invasive test.
It typically takes a few days for test to detect psilocybin in human hair. A hair test would require 20-50 hair follicles, each at least three centimeters long, to be taken from the user. Psilocybin can remain in the person’s hair follicles for about two to four weeks after ingestion.
What Factors Determine How Long Shrooms Stay in Your Body?
Individual factors can affect the rate at which the body metabolizes psilocybin. These factors have the potential to add or subtract up to 64 minutes to the half-life of the drug. In other words, add or subtract 7 hours from the expected elimination time of 14 to 16 hours.
A young person will excrete psilocybin from his or her body faster than an old person will. Old age factors can include health problems or reduced blood flow.
Body height, weight, and fat percentage
The greater a person’s body mass, the less time it takes for them to rid their body of the psilocybin.
Genetics can determine the rate at which a person’s body metabolizes substances. The faster a person’s metabolism, the faster the psilocybin will be cleared from that person’s system.
Food intake & hydration levels
Ingesting shrooms on an empty stomach will likely process psilocybin more quickly than someone with a full stomach will. Additionally, Urine eliminates the most psilocybin. Therefore, a properly hydrated individual may be able to get rid of the psilocybin quicker than one who is not.
Someone with an impaired liver function will have a harder time expelling the psilocybin from their bodies.
Studies show low urinary pH levels cause quicker psilocybin than higher urinary pH levels. A diet high in meats, sugars, caffeine, and alcohol results in a lower urinary pH. However, a diet of fruits and vegetables will cause a higher urinary pH.
Mushroom species (dosage & potency)
Some species of mushrooms will contain higher concentrations of psilocybin than others. The more psilocybin a person ingests in relation to his or her size, the longer it will take their body to eliminate the psilocybin. The following is a list of commonly ingested mushroom species and each species’ range of psilocybin concentration:
- Psilocybe Cyanescens– contains between 2.8 mg/g and 16.8 mg/g psilocybin (potentially the most potent species)
- Psilocybe Cubensis– contains between 4 mg/g and 12 mg/g psilocybin (medium-strength potency)
- Psilocybe Semilanceata– contains between 10 mg/g and 11 mg/g psilocybin (relatively potent)
- Psilocybe Stuntzii– contains between 3.6 mg/g and 9.4 mg/g psilocybin
- Panaeolus Subalteatus– contains between 1.5 mg/g and 6 mg/g psilocybin
- Panaeolous Sphinctrinus– contains about 1.9 mg/g psilocybin
- Psilocybe Caerulescens– concentration of psilocybin unknown
Modality of ingestion
Oral- As mentioned earlier, the half-life of psilocybin, when ingested orally, is about 163 minutes. The psilocybin would clear from one’s system in less than 15 hours.
Intravenous injection- If a person injects psilocybin intravenously, its half-life is approximately 74 minutes. In other words, the drug would clear from the user’s system in just under 7 hours.
Co-ingestion of other drugs
Certain drugs can increase or decrease a person’s ability to metabolize substances such as psilocybin.
Enzymatic inducers increase the metabolism of other drugs. An individual, taking one or more of the following drugs, will likely get rid of the psilocybin quicker. Examples include:
- long-term/chronic alcohol abuse
- griseofulvin, an antifungal
- anticonvulsants such as phenytoin, rifampicin, carbamazepine, primidone, and phenobarbitone
- rifampicin, an antibiotic
- spironolactone, a diuretic
Enzymatic inhibitors decrease the metabolism of other drugs. They increase the amount of time it will take an individual’s body to eliminate psilocybin. Examples include:
- alcohol consumption (without a pattern of chronic use)
- valproate, an anticonvulsant
- antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, ketoconazole, metronidazole, isoniazid, erythromycin, and select sulphonamides
- chlorpromazine, an antipsychotic
- imipramine, an antidepressant
- beta blockers such as propranolol and metoprolol
- cimetidine, an antacid/antihistamine
- interferon, a class of drugs used to treat cancer and viral infections