LSD vs Mushrooms: The Psychedelic Showdown 

Table of Contents (Jump to a Section): Psilocybin mushrooms and LSD Intro, Different ways to take each drug, How long to start the trip, What are the effects

LSD vs Mushrooms, the great showdown. Psilocybin mushrooms and LSD are both psychedelic drugs that have similar effects. Psilocybin mushrooms can be found in nature, while LSD is made in a laboratory. Both mushrooms and LSD affect how the brain perceives things by changing what you see, hear, feel, taste, and think about. With mushrooms, the effect starts to happen within an hour after taking them (which is why they’re called magic mushrooms) but with LSD it takes much longer before you start feeling anything because of its chemical structure. You should know that there are some risks associated with taking psilocybin mushrooms or LSD like having a bad trip where you’ll experience panic attacks or feel like life isn’t worth living anymore. It’s true, those can happen especially if you are not prepared, informed, and improperly do your dosage. So it is important to convey the right information so you can make informed decisions about what you want to put into your body. Let’s review the showdown, LSD vs Mushrooms, round 1.

What are psilocybin mushrooms and LSD?

Having an idea about the history of these drugs is important for understanding their effects, side effects, and legality. Psilocybin mushrooms are known as magic mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms, or simply shrooms whereas LSD is also called acid. When high off either substance it is known as “tripping” and it leads to an enhanced sensory experience. 

In 1938, psilocybin mushrooms were first reported by Rolf Singer and Alexander Shulgin. In 1957, psilocin was isolated from mushrooms for its psychotropic effects. Your stomach converts the psilocybin into psychoactive compound psilocin. It wasn’t until 1960 when psilocybin mushrooms were banned worldwide due to their recreational use.

The history of psychedelics starts with the creation of LSD by Albert Hofmann on November 16th, 1938. In 1943, it was commercially produced for use as a drug from Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland. It became popularized around that time during its adoption into psychology research studies due to its ability to induce a trance-like state in subjects. Lysergic acid diethylamide mushrooms come from the psilocybin mushroom that is commonly found across Europe, Asia, and North America.

Psilocybin mushrooms can be found naturally on all continents except Antarctica. They make their home on rotting organic matter, like trees or the humus, meaning forest floors, although they can also grow on other decaying matter like dung. The main active ingredient that induces hallucinations and the feeling of being high is psilocybin. Psilocybe cubensis are the most popular magic mushroom variety.

LSD on the other hand is a synthetic compound made by humans. This compound is made from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a common fungus found in nature. This compound is very potent and only needs to be taken in microgram doses to feel its effects.

What are the different ways to take each drug?

As magic mushrooms have gained wider acceptance as a psychedelic drug, there have been more innovative ways to take them. The traditional way is to eat mushrooms raw or dried. Teas are also a common form of ingesting mushrooms with the high supposedly coming on faster. Some people will even grind the dried mushrooms up to put into pills or capsules for microdosing purposes. You can even make food with mushrooms similar to edibles for cannabis, such as chocolates.

Comparison Chart – LSD vs Mushrooms

lsd vs mushrooms
Resource guide for Shrooms vs LSD –

LSD, on the other hand, is traditionally consumed on blotter paper that dissolves on the tongue where the compounds then go into your bloodstream which trigger the psychedelic effects. You may also consume them in gelatin squares, tablet or capsule form, liquid on sugar cubes, or in liquid form. It should be noted that the pure liquid form is by far the most potent and you should proceed with caution when using it or any drug.

What is the onset time for both?

When you ingest mushrooms, you can expect the high to start taking in 15 minutes to an hour. LSD is around the same time although closer to the hour mark. There are differences when taking on an empty vs. full stomach. If taken on a full stomach, the psychedelic experience for both can take longer to start.

What are the effects of LSD vs. mushrooms?

Mushrooms and LSD can both produce the potential effects of feelings of euphoria, changes in perception, altered thinking processes, hallucinatory experiences, and other cognitive effects. All of these can be either positive effects or negative effects depending on the trip. People may experience visual hallucinations that include all or nothing sensations, visual effects like bright colors and moving patterns, as well as an increased sense of both hearing and sounds, such as buzzing noises. Other effects may include: feeling disconnected from your body’s senses, nausea and/or vomiting, feelings of relaxation or stress, a distorted perception of time passing, and a deep introspective experience. You can have a deep personal experience and sense of connection with yourself, others, and nature while on either drug. Magic mushrooms and LSD can also cause increased heart rate and blood pressure as well as dilated pupils. 

The effects are almost identical for both trips although experienced users will tell you that the trips are decidedly different. Mushroom trips have a more all-encompassing high, of both the mind and body while LSD would be described as more of a “head” or cerebral high.

There have been some recent studies that show potential medical breakthroughs for both drugs. Both have been seen to reduce anxiety and depression and hopefully, in the future, this will lead to beneficial therapeutic effects for those who suffer from those conditions.

How long do the effects last?

This is where one of the main differences lies, the effects from taking magic mushrooms typically last for around three to six hours depending on dosage size. LSD, on the other hand, you can feel the effects for up to twelve hours. That is a large discrepancy between the two and why the setting of where you are taking the drugs can be more crucial for LSD than shrooms.

The Science of Psychedelics – LONG, but really well done.

What are the risks of taking psilocybin mushrooms and LSD?

There are risks with taking these drugs and most are psychological. The physical effects are usually mild and include:

  • increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • feeling hot which can lead to sweating
  • tremors
  • nausea and vomiting

These risks are usually minor but they should be noted as these may affect people with certain conditions differently.

The psychological risks tend to be more severe than the physical ones. You can also have a bad trip if you experience any of the following:

  • paranoia
  • fear
  • lasting psychological changes sometimes described as “thinking differently”
  • flashbacks
  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • psychosis

If you have a negative experience, know that they do not happen to everyone or even every time. The severity of these effects may also be influenced by the dosage (for example, someone who takes 10 times the recommended dose of either is more likely to experience these negative effects), setting, and mental state before taking the drugs. It is widely reported that the more comfortable someone is in their setting and with the people around them that this helps to create a positive trip. If someone is in an unhealthy mental state before taking these drugs then they should not take them until they are in a more comfortable mental state.

What is the safest way to take these drugs?

The safest way to take these drugs is with the “low and slow” methodology. This simply means taking a small dose first and allowing yourself to feel the effects before taking more which is more likely to lead to positive experiences. Taking large doses at first, especially for beginners, can lead to unwanted side effects.

As noted above, please only take these drugs in a comfortable setting. This includes both your physical setting (for example, in your house vs. at a party) and the people surrounding you. If you are uncomfortable during your trip there is a greater tendency to focus on the negative psychological effects. Furthermore, if you are already in a negative mind state before taking the drugs this can greatly influence your experience. Both LSD and psilocybin tend to enhance your current mood, so avoid them if you do not have the proper mentality to experience them.


Both LSD and psilocybin mushrooms can offer mind-expanding experiences when taken in the right setting and with the right people. They each offer several different ways to take them and you should go with what is most comfortable for you after researching each method. They both should have the initial onset of effects within the hour, although shrooms are more likely to produce effects a little bit earlier. Your psilocybin trip should last you 4 – 6 hours while acid trips can last up to 12 hours (both dependent upon dosage). Taking either has side effects that range from mild to severe so caution should be taken before ingesting either. The safest way to experience either of them is to take them in a comfortable setting and allowing low doses to take effect before taking more. Psilocybin mushrooms and LSD can be very enjoyable and even beneficial to the person taking them and with this article, we hope to have given you a basis to research which drug and method of ingesting it are right for you.

References, Research and Sources:

Fact Checked and Editorial Process

The Magical Mushroom is devoted to producing expert and accurate articles and information for our readers by tapping into psychedelic users, experts, journalists, and growing community. We encourage you to read more about our content, editing, and fact checking methods here. This was fact checked by Chris Riley.

Published by Corey Riley

Owner, entrepreneur, enthusiast of natural medicine

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