Many people love mushrooms for their vitamin and nutrient content, as well as the earthy flavor they add to a recipe. However, some varieties aren’t only loved for their taste and health benefits. A variety called magic mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms, shrooms or psilocybin, affect a person’s perception, mood, and behavior, which is referred to as “tripping”. In fact, magic mushrooms are among the most popular recreational psychotropic drugs since they can be grown inexpensively and easily.
If you’re a regular or occasional user and are concerned about drug testing for mushrooms, you might want to know if the drug will be detected. Here are the things you should know about mushrooms and drug testing:
How Mushrooms are Metabolized in the Body
Magic mushrooms are usually consumed dried, raw, or brewed like tea. When a person consumes magic mushrooms, the body converts the active ingredient psilocybin to psilocin in 20 to 40 minutes. As this chemical breakdown happens inside the liver, the person starts to feel the effects of the drug, which peak in 1.5 hours after consumption, which is when the effects are felt most intensely.
These chemicals affect a person’s serotonin levels and triggers side effects, including visual hallucinations, nausea, relaxation, and time distortion. The side effects of magic mushrooms last for around 4 to 6 hours depending on the mushroom dosage. These effects gradually subside as psilocin leaves the circulatory system.
Psilocybin and psilocin have elimination half-lives of 160 and 50 minutes respectively. Elimination half-life refers to the time it would take for half of the drug’s dose to leave the person’s bloodstream.
Tests that Help Detect Magic Mushrooms
A standard drug test with five panels can check for the presence of more commonly used drugs including marijuana, cocaine, and opioids. Nine-panel drug tests include other drugs such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Both panels don’t include checking for magic mushrooms.
The detection time of magic mushrooms are affected by the kind of drug test administered to a person. Here are the different tests that can check for the presence of psilocybin:
- 1. Urine Test
A drug test using urine as a sample is the most commonly used type of testing by court systems or employers. Standard drug tests, however, don’t routinely check for psilocybin, although this chemical is detected in a person’s urine for 15 hours or so.
- 2. Blood Tests
Although blood testing a person for the presence of psilocybin is not common, it can still happen. Psilocybin shows up in a person’s bloodstream for up to 5 hours after consuming mushrooms.
- 3. Hair Tests
It can take around 90 days from the consumption of magic mushrooms for psilocin to stay in a person’s hair. But hair tests are not commonly used to detect hallucinogen use.
Typical drug tests are not used to check for psilocybin presence. However, if a person is suspected to use magic mushrooms, a specific test may be performed to check for the presence of psilocybin.
Factors Affecting Detection Time
Magic mushrooms come in various species that differ in range when it comes to psilocybin content. The kind of mushroom that a person consumes also affects the time it takes for psilocybin to stay inside the body and be detected in tests. Among the mushroom species, psilocybe azurescens contains the highest psilocybin levels of around 2 percent, while psilocybe liniformans has the lowest with 0.2 percent.
Moreover, the elimination of psilocybin from your body depends on several factors such as the following:
- Kidney and Liver Function: If you have unhealthy kidneys or liver, expect that psilocybin and its metabolites will stay in the body longer.
- Not Hydrating: Drinking water can help remove psilocybin from the body faster while not staying hydrated can make psilocybin levels concentrated and stay longer inside the body.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: People who perform more physical activities are found to remove psilocybin faster because of their faster rates of metabolism.
- Body Mass Index: The higher the person’s body mass, the faster it takes for their body to excrete psilocybin and its metabolites.
- Age: It’s natural for the human body to slow down with age. This means that as the person ages, their metabolism can drop, which also affects the detection time of psilocybin. The older the person using mushrooms is, the longer the chemicals can stay inside their body.
Although mushrooms aren’t addictive, they also come with serious health effects aside from those mentioned above. These side effects include paranoia, dizziness, flashbacks, and other symptoms of psychosis. Using mushrooms can also cause HPPD or hallucinogen perception disorder, which calls for medical treatment. If you’re asked to undergo a drug test for work or for other legal reasons, consuming magic mushrooms can lead to grave consequences.