There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding Amanita muscaria, also known as the fly agaric mushroom. Scientific evidence on the subject is sparse, making it challenging to find reliable information on the safest and most effective consumption methods.
Therefore, we must rely on anecdotal reports, which are often contradictory. Some claim that smoking Amanita muscaria is more pleasant than taking it orally, while others argue that inhaling the mushroom is a harmful practice.
Join us as we aim to uncover the truth and answer the question, “Can you smoke Amanita muscaria?”
Can You Smoke Fly Agaric?
There are plenty of online reports claiming that a fly agaric joint or bowl can produce subtle psychoactive effects and is more enjoyable than eating dried mushrooms or drinking amanita tea. One Shroomery user described the experience as creating a “meditative, relaxed buzz” and producing vivid dreams.
The report refers to smoking dried Amanita muscaria caps, although other sources suggest peeling the red cuticle off the caps and smoking that once it has dried. It is often mixed with other herbs to make the smoking experience smoother and enhance the mushroom’s effects.
However, just because some people do smoke Amanita muscaria, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Let’s explore the pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Smoking Amanita Muscaria
Proponents of smoking fly agaric say that it reduces the likelihood of gastrointestinal side effects and makes for a gentler experience overall. It seems that the mushroom’s effects are rapidly felt when smoked, making it easy to monitor the dosage and meaning things are less likely to become overwhelming.
However, the effects of smoking Amanita muscaria are relatively short-lived compared to oral use, and some say it is a waste of the mushroom’s active compounds. They argue that using the mushroom orally is more efficient and equally enjoyable, provided it is dosed responsibly.
Moreover, there are health risks associated with smoking anything, and Amanita muscaria is no exception. It is likely to irritate the respiratory system, as are any other substances it is mixed with. Furthermore, mushrooms can be tainted with mold spores or other contaminants that could increase their impact on the lungs.
Another significant concern is the potential presence of toxins in Amanita muscaria. These mushrooms are effective bio-accumulators and absorb numerous chemical elements from their habitat, including harmful heavy metals like cadmium.
The digestive system acts as an effective filter for these toxins, but they enter the bloodstream readily through the lungs. For example, an estimated 10-50% of cadmium is absorbed via inhalation, whereas gastrointestinal absorption is just 6% in healthy individuals. For comparison, just 0.5% is absorbed via the skin, making topical application one of the safest methods.
Therefore, although many people enjoy the effects of smoked Amanita muscaria, it is not generally recommended.
Alternative Ways to Ingest Amanita Muscaria
Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy Amanita muscaria. We have discussed some of the most popular methods below:
One of the simplest ways to ingest Amanita muscaria involves eating a small amount of dried cap or placing it between the gum and cheek until its effects are felt.
Dried Amanita muscaria contains a combination of the mushroom’s active compounds, ibotenic acid and muscimol. The precise ratio of these chemicals will depend on how extensively the mushrooms were dried and at what temperature.
Ibotenic acid is said to have stimulating effects, whereas muscimol is more of a relaxant. Many experts advise limiting ibotenic acid consumption due to its neurotoxic properties. It is also widely believed to be responsible for many of Amanita muscaria’s unpleasant side effects.
Therefore, when using this method, it is essential to start with a tiny amount, the size of a thumbnail or less, and increase gradually from there. It is also necessary to keep in mind that research into the long-term use of Amanita muscaria is lacking, so it may be unsafe to consume regularly, regardless of the method.
Another alternative to smoking Amanita muscaria is preparing a tea using dried or fresh mushrooms. The process of simmering them in water aids the conversion of ibotenic acid to muscimol and produces an extract that is considered safer and has calming, sedative effects.
As with consuming dried mushrooms, the precise ibotenic acid to muscimol ratio will depend on how the tea is prepared. Simmering for up to three hours and adding lemon juice or citric acid to lower the pH will result in the highest levels of muscimol.
You can learn more about the process in our article on decarboxylating Amanita muscaria here on the VidaCap blog.
It is also possible to buy or create an alcoholic tincture for internal or external use. It is unclear how amanita tinctures work since research has shown that they do not contain ibotenic acid or muscimol. These chemicals are highly soluble in water but not alcohol.
However, alcohol extracts do appear to have some biological effects, and amanita tinctures may contain an as-yet-unknown combination of active compounds. It is also one of the most popular methods of consuming the mushroom.
Finally, amanita gummies are a relatively new creation but have already created a huge stir in the mushroom industry. They offer a convenient way to use Amanita muscaria and make it easy to monitor the dosage.
When buying gummies, it is crucial to look for products that have been lab-tested to show precisely how much of each active compound they contain and prove that they are contaminant-free.
Can You Smoke Amanita Muscaria? A Summary
You can smoke Amanita muscaria, but it isn’t necessarily the best consumption method. There are plenty of safer choices, including tea, tinctures, and gummies. If you are considering this mushroom, research the various options first to determine which is most suitable for you, and always use Amanita muscaria responsibly.
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