Planning a trip to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, or even just Europe, and want to make an inner journey too? This guide is for you.
What Are Magic Truffles?
Magic truffles, AKA psilocybin truffles, are a type of fungus that contain psilocybin. Psilocybin is the naturally occurring psychedelic molecule that is found in ‘magic mushrooms’ and is what gives them their psychedelic effect and ‘magic’ title.
Truffles are at an earlier stage of fungal development than mushrooms but effectively the same thing. The only real difference is that the amount of psilocybin per weight is lower in truffles than mushrooms. More on dosage below.
Interested in a week long, legally facilitated psilocybin retreat? Contact me to find out more and set up a discovery call
Psilocybin has been shown to have an impressive range of positive effects. It can trigger lasting personality changes, improve mood and alleviate depression, reduce anxiety, catalyze creative insights, and reliably occasion mystical experiences. Psilocybin has been shown to be safe, non-addictive, and non-toxic.
Why In The Netherlands?
There are only two countries in the world where psilocybin is legal: Jamaica and the Netherlands. You can find magic mushrooms in Jamaica but there are a lack of quality vendors.
In Holland, magic truffles are fully legal. Truffle production has reached a commercial level; you can walk into a store, choose from a variety of truffles that have been vaccum packed and refrigerated, and ask staff questions before making your purchase. These types of stores, often called ‘smart shops’, are plentiful in Amsterdam, which is a short journey from any major city in Europe.
Where Can I Buy Magic Truffles?
You can find magic truffles at Azarius at Kerkstraat 119. Azarius is a great smart shop with an impressive range of goodies. They have friendly staff who will happily answer your questions and give you information and advice about magic truffles and any of their other products.
Full disclosure: I received a voucher for Azarius in return for linking them in this post. I chose Azarius because of their excellent selection of products (I used the vouchers for 2 types of truffles) and I happily recommend them because of their friendly and helpful staff.
Generally, you can buy per dose. I recommend you to get advice from the staff in the shop you buy your truffles from; tell them your experience with psychedelics and what type of experience you are looking for, and ask them any questions you have.
Truffles are sold fresh in shops, so if bought, then kept for a long time and dried out, the equivalent weight will be significantly lower. As a rough guide here are dosages with fresh truffles, as sold.
5 – 10g Low dose. Those with a higher tolerance may not feel anything at 5g.
10 – 20g Medium dose. Could be strong for a first timer.
20 – 30g High dose
30g + Very high dose – Potential spiritual or peak experience. Not recommended to do alone or if its a first psychedelic experience.
I have 4 options for you:
1. Eat them plain
2. Make a truffle tea
3. Make a truffle smoothie
4. ’Lemon Tek’.
- Eat them plain
Eating them as they are straight out of the packet is the least appetising way but the simplest. Truffles don’t taste good and are crunchy in a bad way, but straight up chomping them will still get the job done. Chew well.
2. Truffle Tea is probably the most distinguished way to consume your truffles.
To make your truffle tea:
- Crush your truffles up well and put them in a mug or other container.
- Bring water to boil and then remove it from the heat. Let the water sit and cool off for a few minutes – you want it to be hot, but not boiling. As long as it is cool enough to drink, that’s okay.
- Optional step: Whilst your water is cooling off, add some fresh ginger. The ginger adds a nice flavour and can help to lessen any nausea. You can also add another type of tea.
- Once the water has cooled slightly, pour it over your crushed up truffles.
- Give it a good stir and let it infuse for for 10 minutes.
- Add honey or a sweetener if you’d like to sweeten it.
- Drink your tea and then eat up the truffles left in the bottom of your mug.
Extra note: If you prefer not to eat the truffles, pour over another round of tea, letting it sit for another 5-10 minutes and drink again. This will ensure that most of the psychedelic goodness makes it into your brew. If you want to be 100% certain that you don’t waste anything and get maximum effect, you should eat up any leftover truffles in the bottom of your mug.
3. Truffle Smoothie
This can be a nice yet simple way to mask that truffle taste. Chuck them in a blender with some fruits or juice, then enjoy. Throw in some slices of raw ginger to help with the nausea.
4. Lemon Tek
It has been claimed that the ‘lemon tek’ method will make your trip come on faster and harder. I can’t neither confirm nor deny this claim, but I will say that the lemon flavour helps to mask the taste of the truffles.
To lemon tek:
- Crush your truffles up well and put in a glass. The more crushed up, the better. You can also use a coffee grinder if the truffles have been been dried out.
- Cover your truffles with freshly squeezed lemon juice, enough to cover them, so they’re bathing in it.
- Let sit for 20-25 minutes (not longer), stirring every 5 minutes.
- Drink the whole mix. It won’t taste beautiful, so you’ll probably want to get it down fast.
N.B. Whichever method you choose, I’d recommend taking them on an empty stomach – to make the most of your dose and to lessen any nausea – a common side effect.
Where To Take Them?
The setting of the trip will influence the experience so it’s worth considering. Here are a few options. Scroll down for more info on each one.
1. Private apartment / AirBnB
2. Find a natural setting
3. Go on a psychedelic retreat
1. Private apartment / AirBnB
If you’ve got access to a private place, this is a nice option. One way is to find a nice place on AirBnB. You can set the place up to be cosy and clean and get some nice playlists ready to guide your experience. You also don’t have to worry about speaking with strangers or dealing with other similar unforeseen circumstances.
Having a private space allows you to have a controlled environment and this can help to relax. I would recommend this if you are inexperienced with psychedelics and are planning a deep experience. Have enough food at base so that once your appetite returns, you don’t need to go out in to the big scary world if you don’t feel like it.
2. Find a natural setting
This can be a great way to connect with the beauty of the natural world. If you’re gonna do this, I’d recommend going further than finding a park in the city and finding nature that is out of Amsterdam, at least out of the city centre. Forests and beaches are nice. Better still, go camping. There are a couple of nature options in a blog post written here.
If you are planning this, be well prepared.
First, check the weather forecast. If it looks like weather you’re happy to be tripping in, pack well but also don’t overdo it.
Here’s some things to take:
• Suitable clothes – Fairly obvious but can be overlooked. Don’t forget your sunnies for good weather and a raincoat if there’s a chance of showers. If you’ll be out after sunset, make sure you have enough clothes to keep warm.
• Something to lie on – Though nature is nice, so is being comfortable. Think sleep/yoga mat or picnic blanket.
• Water and food – Common sense. Nuts and fruit are always a good option.
• Music/speakers – Come on, you’re gonna be tripping.
• Pen and paper – For drawing or writing.
• Pre-rolled joints – I wouldn’t recommend this if you’ve never smoked before but if you do smoke weed, your tripping self will thank you for the pre-rolleds later; trying to roll a joint whilst tripping hard can be a difficult and tedious process. Having one or two ready is nice even if its just for the end of the trip to relax. Plenty of good weed and hash to be found in Amsterdam.
3. Go on a psychedelic retreat
The unique legal status of psilocybin truffles in the Netherlands combined with increasing interest in psychedelics has lead to a rise in retreats. Now there are a few and you have a choice if you wish to have a psilocybin experience on a retreat.
The context and container of the experience – how one is prepared for it and the company and environment in which it is held – plays a large part in the experience and how it will effect you, so a retreat can play a huge role in maximising potential benefits. Different retreats can vary on many factors, including length, focus, cost, comfort level etc., so I’d recommend looking through and getting a feel for the different options, before making a decision on one which most closely aligns to what you are looking for.
Come on retreat with me! New Moon Retreats is a psychedelic retreat I’m co-creating which integrates meditation and mindfulness practices. We have a small yet amazing team working towards our aim of increasing access to psychedelic experiences in a way which is designed to maximise benefits and help people on their journey. You can find out more and apply here.
Magic truffles can have powerful effects so I wouldn’t recommend taking the decision to take them lightly. However, if you do decide to and prepare well, you may be in for an ineffably beautiful and potentially life-changing experience. I’d love to hear how about your experience, so if you do, please share in the comments. I’ll leave you with some basic guidelines found at Azarius below. Safe travels!
You’ve heard me say it before: psychedelics have incredible potential. The caveat I should’ve added is that the context of the experience plays a huge role. If you look at the studies that boast the impressive results that are making headlines then you’ll find a steady theme – a controlled setting, a safe and supportive environment, and at least one carer on hand.
Because of the illegal and stigmatized status of psychedelic substances, finding a setting conducive to the most deeply moving experiences isn’t that easy. There is an option in Jamaica though, where magic mushrooms are still legal: Myco Meditations.
Myco Meditations was started by Eric Osborne, an ethnomycologist (mushroom geek) who was arrested and sent to jail in 2015 for holding mushroom ceremonies in the US (read his story here). Eric now runs beach side retreats every month – legally – in Jamaica. I skyped with him to find out more about Myco Meditations.
“I’ve seen the enormous benefit of psilocybin on others and experienced it for myself” Eric says when I ask him why he set up MycoMeds. “It’s commonly held that only a small percentage of the population would benefit from psychedelic experience, but I actually believe it’s a small percentage that wouldn’t benefit.” I’d have to agree with Eric here. And he’s seen that benefit in quite a few people, having dosed over 300 visitors since setting up in the Caribbean, with visitors from their early 20s all the way into their 70s. He believes that by facilitating these experiences in a legal setting, people’s stories can be public and therefore help to raise awareness of the safety and efficacy of psilocybin. But if you go, don’t expect him to just be handing out the shrooms.
“This isn’t something people should be doing willy nilly” he says, “psychedelics aren’t risk free, so experiences are approached with the utmost caution.” It’s clear that Eric has a deep respect for these experiences and accordingly an integral part of the retreats is the surrounding atmosphere: supportive conversations, preparation and aftercare. The care extends to the mushrooms and dosages too.
After they’ve been collected on the island, mushrooms are dried and ground before being put into capsules – each one containing 0.5g. “This method allows for consistency and for us to effectively target the desired dose” Eric says. The doses generally start low and graduate up over the sessions, taking into account the person’s experience with psychedelics, their increased tolerance over successive sessions, and their stability and level of comfort within the experience. It also depends on what the person is after. Eric makes clear that there’s no fixed pattern to the dosages and each course is tailored to the individual – “it’s based on consultation and open dialogue”.
I have to say I like the sound of this approach. My main hesitation with retreats is the inability to choose your own dose – most retreats I’ve come across will have a set amount they’ll give you and there’s not much discussion on if this can be altered – you can drink a cup full then maybe a bit more, or it’s a loaded bowl in a pipe. It’s not exactly like the carefully measured doses you’d find in a research setting. I think this more scientific approach is the way forward, it seems the best way to avoid both the risk of an experience stronger than someone is ready for, or the disappointment of an underwhelming experience.
How does psilocybin increase sense of wellbeing? “A word that we’ve kept coming back to here recently is authenticity” Eric says. He believes that by connecting to our authentic self we can alleviate ourselves of the conditions causing our suffering. And the suffering is real for a lot of those who’ve been on retreat there, with around 90% of participants wanting to work through some trauma or emotional state; people suffering from PTSD, addiction, and depression, including several stage 4 cancer patients. “They can come to a level of comfort with their diagnosis” Eric says. “These are people who have given up on life, and I see them reinvigorated, coming back to life with enthusiasm”.
The work with victims of cancer is something Eric is developing with his non-profit organisation PLEDG (Psychedelic Liberation Education Discipline and Guidance) whose focus is to bring therapies to people in need and to contribute to research and advocacy. His hope is that through the organisation they will be able to raise money to sponsor low income victims of cancer and make their journey to Jamaica and the mushroom therapy 100% free.
Until then, retreats are paid but expanding. At the end of November is a psychedelic specialists retreat and mini-conference. The event will feature comedian Shane Mauss, who recently finished a stand up tour based around psychedelics, and psychedelic scientist Katherine Maclean, who worked as one of the lead scientists on the psilocybin research at Johns Hopkins university. I love the idea behind combining psychedelic experience with education and entertainment and I hope that this type of event is something that we’ll see more of in the future, if we ever get those much needed revisions on drug policy.
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Have you ever been on a retreat with Myco Meditations? Please share your experience in the comments below.