You may have seen colorful packages of amanita gummies at your local smoke shop among CBD and delta products, sporting trippy art and names such as “psilo cubes”. What is this Mario-esque mushroom and why are they exploding in popularity? In this article, we will explain what amanita mushrooms are, their effects, how to enjoy them, and where to find them.
What are amanita mushrooms?
The amanita muscaria mushroom is as beautiful as it is intriguing. Amanita mushrooms contain muscimol and ibotenic acid, psychoactive compounds that cause a host of effects from sedation, relaxation, and pain relief to visual distortions, synesthesia, and euphoria. While we have known about the psychoactive effects of amanitas for over a century, they are just now being introduced into the market as edibles, tinctures, and smokeable products.
So if we have known about the power of amanitas for so long, why are they just now popping up? One of the reasons for this is the difficulty in cultivation. Amanita mycelium live in the roots of certain deciduous and coniferous trees, making purposeful cultivation difficult. They flourish within tight tolerances of temperature, moisture, and soil composition, and can take years to grow from spore to mushroom. While indoor cultivation has a possibility of success, it is notoriously challenging to do so.
Amanitas traditionally have had a bad reputation due to the neurotoxicity of one of its psychoactive compounds, ibotenic acid. If one were to pick a wild amanita mushroom and eat it without any processing, they would experience a host of unpleasant effects. Boiling the mushrooms converts some of the ibotenic acid to muscimol, and the rest is destroyed, eliminating the harmful effects. Most amanita products use a muscimol extract, avoiding the ibotenic acid altogether.
So what exactly do amanita products do to you? It is important to note that amanitas differ wildly from psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms. Muscimol affects the GABAa receptor in your brain (as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and kavalactones do) whereas psilocybin affects serotonin receptors. Since they take different avenues to change your perception, the effects differ from each other greatly. Muscimol is considered a sedative-hypnotic hallucinogen as opposed to a psychedelic.
An individual’s genetic makeup causes variations in effect. Amanita gummies are typically 350 to 500mg of muscimol, but it is important to note that muscimol extracts can vary in potency, and some amanita gummies are stronger than others. Anywhere between a quarter of a gummy to 2 gummies usually provides a microdose. The benefits of microdosing include mood enhancement, anxiety reduction, pain relief, muscle relaxation, light to moderate sedation (though some users report stimulation instead), and increased music appreciation. Colors may seem brighter or saturated. Lucid dreaming and enhanced creativity can also occur with microdoses.
Microdosing muscimol has several reported benefits, one of the most popular being anxiety relief due to muscimol being a potent GABAa agonist. Benzodiazepines such as Xanax are also GABAa agonists, but they bond to a different receptor site that causes a more profound amnesiac and sedative effect than muscimol. A study has shown promise in muscimol treating neuropathic pain, which is traditionally one of the more difficult types of pain to treat. Muscimol has also been investigated in addiction treatment. A double blind study performed in 2022 showed a significant reduction of heavy drinking in those with alcohol use disorder compared to placebo.
For those seeking a more intense and visual experience, 3 or more amanita gummies can be consumed. Common visual distortions include color enhancement or shifting, objects looking smaller or larger than normal, visual acuity enhancement (seeing more detail than normal), and changes in depth perception. Moderate to high doses can also cause euphoria and synesthesia (hearing colors, seeing sounds, etc.). As a hypnotic, muscimol has dissociative properties in high doses, which can cause out-of-body experiences or a dream-like disconnection between your perception and reality. Apart from pure recreation, some use macrodoses for spiritual insight and to aid in self-healing and introspection.
How to Enjoy Amanita Products For The First Time
You’ve taken the plunge and you have acquired a bag of amanita gummies. Now what? You should first determine what your intentions are. Amanita gummies typically have a dosing guide on the packaging that provides guidelines for how many to take for your desired effect. Do you want a microdose, a spiritual and visual experience, or something in the middle? It is recommended to start low to see how muscimol affects you, given the variation of effect by individual. As a rule of thumb, you can always take more, but you can never take less.
Amanita gummies can cause dry mouth at any dose, so it is important to keep water on hand during your experience. There can be some nausea or stomach pain at high doses, but these side effects usually subside with time. High doses may also cause anxiety or paranoia, as with most hallucinatory drugs, so having a good set and setting is imperative.
Amanita gummies usually take 30 minutes to 1 hour to kick in and typically lasts between 4-8 hours, but aftereffects can linger for up to 12-24 hours. Your schedule should be clear on the day of your first experience, and of course, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery. In addition, you should not combine amanita gummies with delta products until you know how the amanita gummies affect you on their own.
Amanita products are opening a new world in smoke shops across the country and we are still learning about their wide array of effects and benefits. Whether you want a surreal experience into another reality or just take the edge off of a stressful day, Buddha’s Bazaar carries amanita gummies that can take you there. At Buddha’s Bazaar Rock Hill and Lake Wylie locations, there are multiple lab tested brands, quantities, and flavors to choose from. Our knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you may have.