How Long Do Shrooms Stay in Your System: A Look at Psilocybin Half-Life

Last Updated: January 22, 2021

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Shrooms or “magic” mushrooms are a drug that is unlikely to cause physical addiction but can cause psychological addiction instead. The two main psychedelic compounds in shrooms are psilocybin and psilocin. Speaking about drug tests, these are exactly the compounds the test will be looking for. The drug’s effects can last up to 6 hours, but how long do shrooms stay in your system? The detection time will depend on various factors, including the sample tested or body metabolism. Read further to find out how long it takes to feel the effects and when psilocybin will be eliminated from the body completely.

How Long Do Shrooms Take to Kick In?

For most, the drug’s effects will become apparent within 20-40 minutes of ingestion. However, depending on variables such as the kind of mushrooms and how they were ingested, magic mushrooms can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours to produce the effects.

How Long Do Shrooms Last?

On average, one will feel the effects of magic mushrooms 3 to 6 hours after consumption. After shrooms enter a person’s body, the psilocybin tends to reach the bloodstream 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.

Psilocybin mushroom growing.

How Long Will Shrooms Be Detectable On Drug Tests?

Many drug tests no longer check for the presence of the drug itself. Instead, they test for the metabolites the body produces when it processes certain substances to prove drug use.

When psilocybin is ingested and then metabolized, it converts into the metabolite psilocin. Some species of mushrooms contain both of the substances. It generally takes 20 to 40 minutes for these metabolites to become detectable. As mentioned above, not all drug tests test for substances anymore. Tests may check for certain metabolites that indicate a person has ingested a particular substance.

Psilocybin Half-Life

When one ingested shrooms orally, the average psilocybin half-life is approximately 163 minutes. So, 50% of it will have cleared the body in two hours and 43 minutes. If one ingested a small dose, the compound should take about 15 hours to leave the body entirely.

Psilocin Half-Life

The average half-life of psilocin is roughly 50 minutes. Therefore, half of the product ingested 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 drug’s original half-life by about 64 minutes in either direction. So, how long shrooms stay in the system can vary. What may clear one person’s system in seven hours may take another person 15 hours.

How Long Will Shrooms Stay In Urine, Blood, Hair, And Saliva?

Depending on the sample tested on a shrooms drug test, the detection times will vary. It is also important to note that most routine drug tests will not detect magic mushrooms. The drug will show up only on special magic mushrooms drug tests designed for psilocybin and psilocin.

Shrooms on the table in a lab.

Saliva tests are uncommon in testing for the use of magic mushrooms as they can detect it only for a very short time, immediately after ingestion.

Urine

Urine tests are the most common way of testing for psilocybin and psilocin. Shrooms will usually be detectable by a urine psilocybin drug test within 24 hours. However, some trace amounts will be detected for up to a week in some users. Sometimes a chronic user, or a user who has ingested a large dose, will have different results.

Blood

A blood test would detect the presence of the drug starting around 30 minutes after ingestion. Blood tests will only detect shrooms in one’s system for a short time, about 3 to 5 hours after ingestion. However, drawing blood to detect magic mushrooms is practically unheard of except in the context of scientific research.

Hair

It typically takes a few days for a test to detect the drug in human hair. A hair psilocybin drug test would require 20-50 hair follicles, each at least three centimeters long, to be taken from the user. Shrooms can remain in the person’s hair follicles for about 2 to 4 weeks after ingestion.

What Factors Determine How Long Shrooms Stay in The Body?

Individual factors can affect the rate at which the body metabolizes psilocybin. These factors can 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.

These Factors Are:

  • Age. A young person will excrete shrooms from his or her body faster than an older person will. Old age factors can include health problems or reduced blood flow
  • Genetics and Metabolic rate. Genetics can determine the rate at which a person's body metabolizes substances. The faster a person's metabolism, the faster shrooms compounds will be cleared from that person's system, decreasing the risks of testing positive on a psilocybin drug test
  • Food intake and hydration levels. Ingesting shrooms on an empty stomach will likely process psilocybin more quickly than someone with a full stomach will. Additionally, most of the compound is eliminated through urine. Therefore, a properly hydrated individual may be able to get rid of the drug quicker than one who is not
  • Liver and kidney function. Someone with an impaired liver function will have a harder time expelling the substance from their bodies and are more likely to have a positive result on a shrooms drug test for longer
  • Urinary pH. 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 and 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 the substance will stay in their system
  • Modality of ingestion. As mentioned earlier, the half-life of psilocybin, when ingested orally, is about 163 minutes. If a person injects it intravenously, psilocybin 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. How long shrooms stay in the system can also depend on the ingestion of other drugs. Certain drugs can increase or decrease a person's ability to metabolize substances such as psilocybin

On average, the body will fully eliminate magic mushroom compounds within 24 hours. However, it can take more time for some users, so one can never be sure what amount of time will be necessary for the body to get rid of shrooms. Although various factors can affect the elimination, the best way to be sure one will not test positive is to quit abusing the drug. If it’s hard to do it alone, there are treatment programs that can help. Because psilocybin mushrooms are unlikely to cause physical addiction, drug replacement therapy is not required during psilocybin detox. However, professionals’ support is necessary to overcome psychological dependency.


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Published on: May 30th, 2017

Updated on: January 22nd, 2021

About Author

Peter J. Grinspoon, MD

Dr. Peter Grinspoon is an experienced physician with long-term clinical practice experience. As a former analgesic addict, Dr. Grinspoon knows precisely how important it is to provide patients with effective treatment and support. Medical writing for him is the way to communicate with people and inform them about their health.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.