nausea psilocybin peppermint

A reader recently reached out to me and asked about dealing with nausea from psilocybin. This is a common issue with shrooms so in an effort to find out more, I put it out there to the psychedelic Twitter community.

twitter shrooms

With the help of a retweet from The Daily Shroom I received a wide variety of answers. In this blog post I summarise them for other users…

Tea

Making a brew seems to be a good option. Here’s more from Michelle Janikian via Double Blind:
How to Make Shroom Tea: The Ultimate Mushroom Tea Guide

Lemon Tek

This method breaks down the psilocybin to psilocin before entering the digestive system and apparently there’s some research which shows this helps with nausea. Here’s another guide from those legends at Double Blind here.

Take on an empty stomach

This is a technique that I personally use, though admittedly I do still sometimes have some nausea. It widespread answer on the Twitter thread so there must be something to it. It makes sense that if your body is not having to digest food then you’re not gonna have those stomach grumblings to be sensitive to during your trip.

Take with food

Interestingly many people advised taking food with the shrooms, or eating food shortly after.

This could be to mask the taste of the shrooms or to somehow settle the stomach in another way. Chocolate was a common recommendation, as was honey. A few people shared eating something fatty helps, like coconut oil, peanut butter or greasy chips, and a couple of people said they swear by this method.

Clean up your diet

This is something which can be done on the long term and also on the short term. On the short term this can mean eating very clean the day before or the week leading up to your trip.

I do suspect, though I have no strong evidence for it, that cleaning up your diet generally and improving that aspect of your physical health will lead to a decrease in the experience of nausea from psilocybin. Consider what eating a clean diet means to you. Thinking about how to improve that aspect of your physical health might be a little ongoing side project for you that will aid your psychedelic journeys.

Ginger!

This was the most common reply and was something we also used on the New Moon Psychedelic Retreats. It seems that fresh ginger is the best and most effective. Chewing on raw ginger can also help to mask the taste and having something soft like that to bite on can be good when dealing with strong waves of nausea.  Other options include tea, high-quality extract and capsules.

Peppermint

I have never tried this but it makes sense as peppermint is known to relax the digestive system. Most people recommended a peppermint tea but it was also suggested to use essential oil:

“Rub some peppermint essential oils on your hands and inhale and exhale slowly, […] breathe in the smell.”
– @DitchTheEgo

Marijuana

This one was competing with ginger for most common reply. This is one I have used to excellent effect with San Pedro, where there can be very strong nausea, however I have never used it with psilocybin. The Twitter thread shows that this is a widespread method for many people. One thing I’d mention is that you want to consider how the effect of marijuana is going to affect your trip. The psychoactive effect is a reason why I personally don’t use weed with psilocybin. Someone did mention CBD, so that might be a way of utilising the soothing effect of the marijuana plant without the psychoactive effect.

Grind and encapsulate

Drying and grinding is something I do. To me it just makes sense that having part of the breaking up of the matter itself is already done and easier for the body to handle. More than one person mentioned the efficacy of encapsulating powder.

“Grind them into dust with a coffee grinder. Get gel cap stuffing tools and 000 gel caps. Filling a 000 cap as much as you can stuff it is within .05 of a half gram. I hate whole ones and have never had nausea issues this way”
– @tylerfarnworth

If eating, try chewing very well before swallowing. The saliva can already begin the process of digestion and as with any food, chewing well helps aid digestion.

Breathing and stillness

Lying down, remaining still, breathing, relaxing into and accepting your current experience is always a good way of dealing with any unpleasant feelings that just won’t go away, nausea or otherwise. Acceptance.

Consider a synthetic alternative

You might consider switching to a psilocybin pro drug like for ACCO DMT. A couple of users said they swear by this so it might be worth a shot.

“I recommend try switching to one of the psilocin prodrugs such as 4-AcO-DMT. I actually prefer using 4-AcO than shrooms since dosage and potency is much more consistent, and it doesn’t make me nauseous at all (none of the toxins contained in normal shrooms)”
@flakyfarseer

Acclimate through microdosing

It was also suggested to allow the body to acclimate to psilocybin in by microdosing in the run up to the trip.

Anti sickness medication

This is not one I would  personally recommend. However, I will include it in the interest of brevity as it was mentioned by a few people. Names that were thrown up were Zofran and Dramamine.

Experiment, Document, Personalise

When it comes to taking psychedelics, I encourage all users to find to experiment and find their own personalised approach. There is no one-size-fits-all. We are all different and different approaches will suit different people.

I recommend keeping a drug journal or log and trying different methods and taking notes. In regards to nausea, you can note how you served your dose, what you ate and when you ate it relative to your dose, and how your experience of nausea was. Eventually you will find what works for you and have your own personalised approach.

The practice of keeping a drug log is something I keep coming back to so I will probably write a more in-depth article at some point soon. In the meantime, you can find more in my articles on dose and nerdy drug taking.

Happy dosing!

.

Legal in the Netherlands, psilocybin containing magic truffles are one of the only legal psychedelics anywhere in the world. The problem with them is that they can get rotten quite quickly, growing a nasty mould and becoming inedible and unusable. As such, it’s very useful to dry them when they are still fresh as this extends their shelf life for a long time, meaning they can be stored for many months. The good news is that the process of drying magic truffles is actually very easy and takes only a few days.

How to Dry Magic Truffles

psilocybin magic truffles

Take your truffles out of whatever packaging they might be in and lay them out on a sheet of paper, leaving space between each of the pieces. The spaces allow air flow, which aids the drying process. The paper should be kinda absorbent (e.g. not fine printer paper), newspaper works fine.

Break up bigger truffles into smaller pieces as this will also help to speed up their drying process. As best you can, leave this in a place where there is a good air flow. For example, somewhere out in the open, or in the middle of a room is ideal.

If you aren’t able to leave them in an open place which is well ventilated, they will still dry but will just take longer. If this is the case, just fan them with some air from time to time to get the air around them flowing, making sure there isn’t any stagnant air around them.

Be sure to occasionally let fresh air into the room and to allow air to flow through. You can keep a fan over them but it’s not necessary.

psilocybin magic truffles dry

If you have them, put packets of silica gel by them which will help to absorb moisture in the air around them and can help to speed up the process.

Left like this, you can expect your truffles to dry completely in 2-3 days. In some cases, it might take up to a week. If you can, it is best to leave them out for a day or two longer to make sure they are completely dried.

You will know they are completely dried by the fact that they become extremely hard, to the point that it’s not possible to break them by hand. Half dried, they will be harder, but completely dried they become like stones.

Once they are dry, you can store them away.

How To Store Magic Truffles

Put your dried truffles into a container and keep them in a cool, dark place. Kept like this they will maintain a shelf life of many months.
dried magic truffles powder

Dried and powdered magic truffles

How to Take Dried Truffles

Because they are so incredibly hard, chewing dried truffles is not an option as it is with fresh ones. I’ve found easiest way to consume dried truffles is to grind them into a fine powder, mix with water, and then drink the whole mix. It doesn’t taste great, but it works.

A coffee grinder works well to grind the truffles. After grinding, wait a few minutes before opening the grinder to allow the truffle powder dust to settle.

Dosing with Dried Truffles

psilocybin magic truffles microdose scales

The process of drying truffles makes them lose a lot of their weight. It is important to take this change into account when calculating your dose with dried truffles. As a general rule of thumb, dried weight equates to one third of fresh weight, so 30 g fresh truffles becomes 10 g of dried truffles. However, it is best to weigh batches of truffles when they are fresh and then dried to know exactly the quantity that you have as the dried weight can vary depending on how thoroughly they have been dried – it can be that truffles are partially dried, becoming hard, but still carrying some water weight, meaning that they are closer to half of the weight of fresh truffles.

Weight your batch of fresh truffles and make a note of their weight.

After drying them, weigh them again to see the change in weight.

Then when it comes to calculating your dose, weigh the powder before (I recommend weighing the powder directly before preparing the dose rather than the dried truffles as parts of the truffles can get caught in the grinder).

An Equation To Calculate Desired Truffle Dose

Here is a useful equation you can use to calculate your dried truffle dose from your fresh truffle dose.

N/B*F = D

N = What truffles weigh now

B = What they weighed before

F = Desired dose fresh

D = Dose with current truffles

For example:

Say you had a batch that was 55 g of fresh truffles.
They have been dried, and now their total weight is 19.5 g
You want a dose of 25 g of fresh truffles.

So,

19,5/55*25 = 8.86 g

So your dose is 8.86 g of dried truffles.
psilocybin magic truffles

The material

Prepare well, set your space, and journey well!

flight sky instructions psilocybin bill richards

What should you do when under the influence of psilocybin to make the most of the session? What should you do if you encounter fear? What is the best way to navigate a psychedelic journey?

These are all questions you might ask if you are preparing to embark on a psychedelic journey and hoping for an insight or nugget to help you on your path forward in life.

Research setting for a psilocybin study

Bill Richards, one of the founders of the psychedelic research team at Johns Hopkins – one of the leading research institutes in the world of psychedelic research and responsible for those studies boasting the remarkable results that you’ve probably heard – is one of the most experienced figures in the psychedelic field today. Richards, who has overseen hundreds of experiences and had his own too, has put together a set of flight instructions that are read to all study participants who take psilocybin at Johns Hopkins.

These instructions are one of the best resources I’ve found when it comes to high dose psychedelic navigation. They offer advice on what to do at certain encounters or points on your journey. They are the basis for an adapted form of flight instructions I put together for New Moon retreat participants.

You can read more of the study instructions at trippingly here, and find Richards’ music playlist for tripping here.

Flight Instructions by Bill Richards

Please relax.  You will never be left alone during your experience.  You need not worry about physical safety, [the name of the other sitter] and I will be here to help you and maintain your safety.

You may experience a deep and transcendental experience.  You may have feelings of the loss of one’s self, experience a sensation of rebirth or even death.  You may experience a feeling that you have ceased to exist as an individual and are connected with the world or the universe.  If you experience the sensation of dying, melting, dissolving, exploding, going crazy etc. — go ahead.  Experience the experience.  Remember that the death/transcendence of your ego or your everyday self is always followed by Rebirth/Return to the normative world of space & time.  Safest way to return to normal is to entrust self unconditionally to the emerging experiences.  

Instruction for Study Guides

Avoid attempting to guide the participant down any journey. However, we encourage you to help the participant enter a deeper experience by encouraging the participant with phrases such as:

“If you see a door, what will you do”?  (Encourage the participant to “walk through it”)

“Trust the trajectory, follow your path”

“Let Go, Be Open, Trust”

“If you see a window, what will you do?”  (Encourage the participant to “look through it” or “open it”)

“If you feel like you’re dying, melting, dissolving, exploding, going crazy etc.—go ahead, embrace it.”

“Climb staircases, open doors, explore paths, fly over landscapes”

If the participant is feeling fear, encourage the participant to confront the fear:

“Look the monster in the eye and move towards it… Dig in your heels; ask, ‘What are you doing in my mind?’ Or, ‘What can I learn from you?’ Look for the darkest corner in the basement, and shine your light there.”

“The same force that takes you deep within will, of its own impetus, return you safely to the everyday world.”

If the participant is mild physical pain encourage the participant to investigate the pain using the phrases below (if confronted with intense or acute pain, immediately notify the medical staff):

“Look into the pain you are experiencing, visualize it and see it as clearly as you can.  Where is the source of the pain?  Can you embrace the pain or make the pain leave you?”

“Can you visualize the pain?  Can you see it clearly for what it is?  Is this pain serving you or should the pain leave?”

If the participant encounters nausea or vommits remind the participant:

“Part of your being is discomfort, which shall pass.”

“Feel the nausea leaving you, and you will soon return to comfort”

“Nausea is temporary and it will pass, embrace it and then send it on its way.”

If the participant becomes sick, use the waste bin and towel provided in the room and alert the medical staff.  Follow the training you received regarding nausea until the medical staff arrives.

What is a psilocybin experience like? After seeing the popularity of my recent post: What is an LSD experience like? I decided to do a follow up about psilocybin. Psilocybin is the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms and truffles, and although very similar to the LSD experience, it does have one or two differences.

As with the LSD post these were taken from a study which looked at aspects similar amongst people‘s psilocybin experiences. All of these findings were presented in a talk by Katrin Preller which you can view online:
How Psychedelics Can Help Us Understand Social Cognition and Self-Experience.

I think the list provides an excellent summary of common psilocybin experiences.

Subjective Effects of Psilocybin

  • Elementary visual alterations
  • Vivid imagery
  • Audio-visual synesthaesia
  • Changed meaning of percepts
  • Experience of unity
  • Blissful state
  • Disembodiment
  • Impaired control and cognition
  • Insightfulness
  • Religious experience
  • Anxiety

The diagram below shows us which of the subjective effects were felt most strongly under the influence of psilocybin. I have ordered the list above in order. As you can see, elementary visual alterations scores highest, and anxiety lowest.

Subjective effects of psilocybin. From Vollenheider & Kometer, 2010.

Course of Subjective Effects of Psilocybin

This chart shows the course of a psilocybin journey including the intensity of the effects over a timeline. As you can see the peak is around 1 hour in with ‘transient peaks of self transcendence’.

Course of subjective effects of psilocybin. From Preller & Vollenweider, 2017.
psilocybin magic truffles

One of the most important factors leading to a beneficial magic truffle session is finding a dosage that is well calibrated to your intention. I would argue that it is of equal importance to the set and setting when it comes to a positive outcome.

As magic truffles are kinda new in the psychedelic world compared to classic magic mushrooms, the doses are not well understood.

Below, I’ll share my calculations to match the doses of synthetic psilocybin used in 4 major and influential studies to the corresponding dose of magic truffles. Synthetic psilocybin is easy to measure and dose compared to raw mushrooms, and is therefore used exclusively in clinical trials. Below, I share my calculations.

psilocybin magic truffles

Doses Used In Clinical Research

1. Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience

Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviors – Roland R. Griffiths, Matthew W. Johnson, William A. Richards, Brian D. Richards, Robert Jesse, Katherine A. MacLean, Frederick S. Barrett, Mary P. Cosimano, and Maggie A. Klinedinst (2018)

Participants tripped twice, with a month between each session, with:
(1) high dose of 20 mg
(2) high dose of 30 mg
Doses calculated per 70kg bodyweight.

Study paper

2. Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression

Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: an open-label feasibility study – Robin L. Carhart-Harris, Mark Bolstridge, James Rucker, Camilla M.J. Day, David Erritzoe, Mendel Kaelen, Michael Bloomfield, James A Rickard, Ben Forbes, Amanda Feilding, David Taylor, Steve Pilling, Valerie H. Curran, David J. Nutt (2016)

Participants tripped twice, with a week between each session:
(1) low dose of 10 mg
(2) high dose of 25 mg
Doses regardless of bodyweight.

Study paper

3. Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer

Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial – Roland R. Griffiths, Matthew W. Johnson, Michael A. Carducci, Annie Umbricht, William A. Richards, Brian D. Richards, Mary P. Cosimano and Margaret A. Klinedinst (2016)

Participants tripped twice, with 5 weeks between each session:
(1) high dose of 22 or 30 mg
(2) very low (placebo-like) dose of 1 or 3 mg
Doses calculated per 70kg bodyweight.

Study paper

4. Psilocybin in the Treatment of Tobacco Addiction

Pilot Study of the 5-HT2AR Agonist Psilocybin in the Treatment of Tobacco Addiction – Matthew W. Johnson, Albert Garcia-Romeu, Mary P. Cosimano, and Roland R. Griffiths (2014)

On a 15 week course participants tripped 2-3 times:
(1) moderate dose of 20mg at week 5
(2) moderate or high dose of 20 or 30 mg at week 7
(3) optional session with either 20 or 30 mg at week 13
Doses calculated per 70kg bodyweight.

Study paper

Converting to Fresh Truffle Weight

magic galindoi psilocybin truffles 15g packet

One 15 g pack of truffles

The exact psilocybin content of truffles is, as far as I can find, unknown, but going off of the calculation that 1 g of fresh truffles will contain between 0.75 and 1.75 mg of psilocybin (link), we have a reasonable window with which to find a comparable dosage of fresh truffles. Keep in mind that potency may vary by strain and that individual tolerance varies depending on both physiological and psychological factors (more on this another time).

The information below is presented as a rough guide and calculated with fresh truffle weight. (If your truffles are dried, the equivalent dose will be significantly less. Fully dried truffles are approximately ⅓ the weight of fresh truffles. So for example, if the fresh truffle dose was 13g, you could calculate 13 / 3 =  to get a dried truffle dose of 4.33 g.)

The best way to find the dosage right for you is through personal experience. Start low, document your sessions, and gradually work your way up.

If you are considering to go DIY and do organise your own session at home or without a sitter, remember that the psilocybin sessions in the research studies mentioned are accompanied by psychological support before, during, and after each session.

Pure (Synthetic) Psilocybin Doses Converted to Truffle Weight

10 mg psilocybin – Low dose

10 / 0.75 = 13.33
10 / 1.25 = 8
10 / 1.75 = 5.71

6 – 13 g fresh truffles

20 mg psilocybin – Moderate dose

20 / 0.75 = 26.66
20 / 1.25 = 16
20 / 1.75 = 11.43

11 – 27 g fresh truffles

25 mg psilocybin – High dose

25 / 0.75 = 33.33
25 / 1.25 = 20
25 / 1.75 = 14.29

14 – 33 g fresh truffles

30 mg psilocybin – High dose

30 / 0.75 = 40
30 / 1.25 = 24
30 / 1.75 = 17.14

17 – 40 g fresh truffles

Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, I’d recommend lower doses for recreational trips, creative thinking, and active problem solving, and scaling up to higher doses for therapeutic experiences, deep inner journeys, and peak mystical experiences.

Safe journeys!