Detectible traces of hallucinogenic mushrooms activated by the compound psilocybin leave the body rapidly after ingestion, usually within 24 hours. While psilocybin is metabolized at different rates in different people, the most common outcome is that all traces within the blood gone in less than 24 hours. In urine, it tends to stay a bit longer, generally a full 24 hours.
It is important to note that mushrooms can be detected in hair samples for up to 90 days. Testing hair is exceptionally uncommon, however. That’s because the test is costly and not widely available outside of specialized laboratories. Hair testing may be used when there is strong suspicion a subject has a history of using hallucinogenic mushrooms, and a more substantial measure of security or legal certainty is desired.
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Excluding the hair, researchers judge the duration of a substance in the body using a term they call “half-life.” That’s how long it takes for half of the amount taken into the body to be metabolized and eliminated. It is sometimes erroneously reported that psilocybin has a half-life of 50 minutes, but it is a substance called psilocin that lasts 50 minutes. Psilocin is what the human body transforms psilocybin into within 30 minutes of ingestion. Thus, the half-life of psilocybin is 160 minutes.
Because the half-life of psilocybin is 50 minutes, it takes five to six half-lives to flush out of a user’s system. It must be noted that heavy users of psilocybin mushrooms may retain traces of the drug in their bodies for up to three days. That can be the case when a person has been using shrooms repeatedly over days, according to research done at Columbia University.
Different Varieties, Different Test Results
Of course, to fully answer the question — how long do mushrooms stay in your system? – one must consider other varieties of hallucinogenic mushrooms people may use for recreational purposes. Another psychoactive shroom is called fly agaric. Its botanical name is Amanita mascara. It leaves the body even more rapidly, usually in six to eight hours.
Fly agaric is one of the few species that produce mind-altering effects without psilocybin. The active compounds in these species are muscimol and ibotenic acid. Fly agaric delivers a far less pleasant outcome than a psilocybin shroom. People who ingest them can expect severe nausea, stomach upset, stupefaction, nervousness, and more. Even though it leaves the system rapidly, users may still feel ill 24 hours later. Fly agaric gets its common name from the fact that it has traditionally been used as a substance to kill flies and insects.
Mushroom species that contain psilocybin are by far the preferred choice by people who want to get high and experience hallucinogenic effects. In general, there are a handful of species of shrooms most commonly used to get high. They are:
- Psilocybe cubensis – Undoubtedly, the most popular and widely distributed.
- Psilocybe semilanceata – Better known as Liberty Caps, contain two psychoactive substances, psilocybin and baeocystin. They are more potent than Psilocybe cubensis.
- Magic Truffles – These are technically not mushrooms, but the sclerotia that form on psilocybin mushrooms. A sclerotium is a fungal mass that appears on many plants. It’s what botanists call a mycelium.
- Psilocybe cyanescens – commonly called Wavy Caps. Considered to be a variety with “enormous strength” in terms of psychoactive effects.
Keep in mind that at least 180 species of mushrooms have been identified to contain psilocybin. Still, the specific type is secondary because psilocybin is the identical active ingredient in all of them.
Will Eating Mushrooms on My Pizza Bump My Test?
Another factor many people consider when they wonder how long do shrooms stay in your system is if eating regular mushrooms for lunch, such as on a pizza, will increase the chance for a positive drug test.
The short answer is no. Common mushrooms eaten as food will not show up on a 5-panel test. This is also true for the more rigorous 8-panel, 10-panel, and 12-panel tests. Remember, drug tests are looking for the specific compound of psilocybin. That means the rest of a mushroom content is virtually invisible to the test.
The idea that food shrooms might bump up a drug test probably spring from the common belief that eating poppy seeds will increase the likelihood of a positive drug test for opiate drugs, such as heroin and morphine. In the case of poppy seeds, it’s true. That’s why experts recommend the subject avoid eating poppy seeds if they are due to take a drug test within 24 to 48 hours.
Some active users of magic mushrooms might take comfort in the fact that the most common and standardized drug tests do not look for psilocybin. The reasons for this are somewhat complicated. A significant factor is the rapidity in which psilocybin leaves the body. The chances of detecting it are slim, so most testers don’t waste their time taking additional and expensive measures to detect psilocybin in routine situations.
Another reason is the rarity of magic mushroom use. Consider that about half the United States population has used cannabis, and 22 million survey respondents reported that they used it within the last month. Compare that to just 0.1% of people who reported they used psychoactive shrooms.
Finally, society, in general, holds differing attitudes toward the use of magic mushrooms vis-à-vis commonly abused drugs, such as marijuana, hash, cocaine, and others. Hallucinogenic mushrooms are indeed used recreationally and perhaps abused.
However, a particular element of mushroom use is considered religious, spiritual, or for various sacred consciousness expansion purposes. Indeed, cannabis is often included in the latter category, but marijuana is a far less potent drug which does not bear a one-to-one comparison with psilocybin.
Denver, Colorado, was the first location in the nation to decriminalize the use of magic mushrooms. Oakland, California, followed a month later. Everywhere else in the U.S., psilocybin is classified under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and is illegal to possess.