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Not What I Bargained For
Mushrooms - P. cubensis & Cannabis
by ignotus
Citation:   ignotus. "Not What I Bargained For: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis & Cannabis (exp17092)". Erowid.org. Apr 22, 2005. erowid.org/exp/17092

 
DOSE:
T+ 0:59
2.75 g oral Mushrooms (plant material)
  T+ 0:30   smoked Cannabis (plant material)

BODY WEIGHT: 88 kg


After finding out how easy it is to obtain mushroom spores, I decided to order some and try a mushroom trip, out of intellectual curiosity – I am a scientist, although my work is not at all connected with altered states of consciousness, or even with psychology. I had no previous experience of psychedelic drugs, except for marijuana to which I am not very sensitive.

I finally succeeded in growing several batches of Stropharia Cubensis and collected about two dozen mushrooms. I first tasted one average-size mushroom (6g, fresh weight), about half an hour before going to sleep. I woke up later in the middle of a rather unpleasant dream, but this is not unusual and I hardly felt affected otherwise. I therefore decided that the material must be of low potency. That caused me to act incautiously afterwards.

Some days later, since I had a free evening, I thought I could try a higher dose. I ate three large mushrooms that were incompletely dried; therefore, I could not dose precisely (unforgivable for a scientist), but I estimate the dry weight to have been between 2.5 and 3 g. Nothing happened for a half-hour. I then smoked a small bowl of MJ because I had read this helps avoid unpleasant nausea. That was probably a mistake, partly responsible for later paranoid feelings. Another mistake was to undertake this at nightfall, especially since a coming storm contributed to dim the light of the outside world. The last mistake was to be alone in my apartment during the coming up period (my wife was supposed to come home, but she was late).

After smoking the MJ, I felt an unusually strong body high that kept amplifying. I sat down, waiting for the entertaining visual effects generally described in trip reports. The room turned a yellowish color (due to the electric lighting), which caused a short bout of laughter. But there were no other visuals, not even the wavy vision. In contrast, there were strong physical effects for which I was absolutely unprepared. In summary, I was estranged from every sensation or stimulus that reached my brain. Not only was there visual disorientation and altered space perception – that was more or less expected – but taste, touch and proprioception were affected as well. I could not recognize the most basic sensations, or rather I would do so with a delay, and then have a much-exaggerated perception of them. The slightest discomfort appeared life threatening; there was nothing to hold on to.

Unfortunately, I reacted to this strangeness with panic. For a while (between t + 50 minutes and t + 1h30, subjectively much longer), the world was shrinking and getting darker around me, and it felt like no other living being was left anywhere. In principle, I knew things would return to normal but my body kept telling me otherwise, that I must have done something wrong. It did not help that normal reactions did not produce their expected results. For instance, I thought at one time that I had been too tired from my working day and tried to lie down on my bed. Within seconds, I felt that if I stayed there I was going to die immediately. I then remembered I had been hungry and attempted to eat a piece of cheese. It felt like a mouthful of sand and I could not swallow it; I had simply forgotten the procedure to swallow.

After about 1h30, I realized that the effects were not increasing any more. I was then able to relax as I tried to understand the “rules of the game”. I just noticed the exaggerated perceptions that kept happening, without being so concerned about them. My wife had returned by then; I was able to carry on an almost normal conversation with her, even though I remembered little of it after. I later found out with much surprise that she had not found my behavior or appearance particularly unusual. At the time, I thought that I looked like a total wreck.

When I could get over the panic and the associated edginess, normal activities became possible (except reading) but demanded a lot of effort. My body was feeling numb, as though it did not really belong to me; it reacted to mental orders, but once again with a delay. The trip did not really become pleasant until I started coming down, after about 2h 50 min. I went out for a walk in the city; I felt very appreciative of the most ordinary things, and emotionally connected to every passer-by. In fact, I was relieved and thankful that the ordinary world was gradually returning. After 5 hours, I was essentially back to baseline. I slept well, and in the morning all that remained were puzzling memories.

Will I do it again? Most probably, even though it was like a rehearsal of my death – which might actually have some value in itself, but I suspect that a second trip would be different. I will certainly pay more attention to the “set and setting”. Anyway, at present I have some difficulty believing that many people actually do this for fun.

Some words of caution for those who might intend to try a mushroom trip:
1. If you are going to use a sitter, try to find someone who has taken psychoactive substances him/herself. Others will probably have no idea of what you are going through.
2. Do not believe that a rational, critical mind will help you go through the trip unscathed. It will probably only make it more difficult by preventing you from letting go. There is no way to sit back as an outside observer; in a high enough dose, psilocybin will affect a person to the core of their being.

Exp Year: 2002ExpID: 17092
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Apr 22, 2005Views: 53,301
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Mushrooms - P. cubensis (66) : First Times (2), Combinations (3), Difficult Experiences (5), Alone (16)

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