Shrooms vs Weed: Are They The Same?

Shrooms vs Weed Are They The Same

When it comes to recreational drugs, shrooms and weed have always been compared to each other. Before they were legalized in various states, shrooms and weeds heavily influenced music, art, and movies. Although shrooms and weed are in the same spotlight, these drugs are not the same. They do, however, share some similarities in effects and experiences.

As more and more people adopt both drugs in their lifestyle, the difference between shrooms vs weed should be elaborated for safer and more effective use.

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What Is Weed?

Weed is also known as cannabis or marijuana. It is derived from Cannabis Sativa or Indica strains and can be used in various ways, such as through edibles, pill forms, ointments, smoking, or brewing. The main component found in weed is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.

THC is the cannabinoid responsible for inducing psychoactive side effects. It works by attaching itself to your brain’s cannabinoid receptors, which affects your thinking, memory, coordination, and perception of time. Check out examples of quality weed here.

Cannabis or weed is highly sought after due to its potential medicinal benefits. When taken in high doses, weed can produce psychedelic-like or spiritual experiences. Some of the potential advantages of using weed include the following:

  • Improved mood
  • Pain relief
  • Relaxation
  • Nausea relief
  • Better sleep
  • Higher energy levels
  • Reduced spasticity

Keep in mind that although weed is naturally grown, it does not mean it is 100% safe. Long-term use of weed can cause memory loss and dependency. Once you have developed a dependence, this can lead to addiction, requiring you to undergo a medically monitored detox to overcome it. Other side effects of marijuana include:

  • Heightened senses
  • Coordinate and movement difficulties
  • Impaired memory
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Altered mood

The effects of weed on each user can vary depending on various factors. This may include the dose, strain, and potency of the cannabis, the consumption method, and the body’s tolerance to the substance.

Shrooms vs Weed: Understanding The Active Ingredients

Despite being in the limelight of discussions around recreational and medicinal drug use, shrooms and weed still carry a lot of misconceptions. A scientific lens focusing on their active compounds can offer insights into their effects. Below, we dig into the key active components in shrooms (psilocybin) and weed (THC and CBD), shedding light on how they interact with our brain and body.

Psilocybin: The Magic in Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms get their mind-bending abilities from a compound called psilocybin. Psilocybin is a psychedelic substance that occurs naturally and acts as a prodrug – a substance that turns into an active drug, psilocin, through metabolism in our bodies.

When ingested, psilocybin is converted into psilocin by the liver, which is the real agent behind the hallucinogenic effects. Psilocin has a molecular structure similar to serotonin, a key neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, sleep, and our perception of the world. Due to this similarity, psilocin can attach to serotonin receptors in the brain, especially the 5-HT2A receptor, leading to changes in sensory perception and experiences, commonly referred to as a psychedelic ‘trip.’

The strength and length of these effects can significantly vary, influenced by dosage, individual biology, and surrounding conditions. While the experience can involve perceptual transformations and spiritual encounters, it can also provoke anxiety or fear in some cases, highlighting the importance of mindset and environment when consuming psilocybin.

THC and CBD: The Dual Stars of Cannabis

Cannabis, also known as weed, is chiefly recognized for two active ingredients: THC and CBD. These substances belong to a broader family known as cannabinoids that interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors influencing several bodily functions.

THC is the main psychoactive component in cannabis. Like psilocin, THC resembles a neurotransmitter that naturally occurs in our bodies, called anandamide, often referred to as our body’s own THC. When consumed, THC latches onto cannabinoid receptors in the brain, especially CB1 receptors, and mimics the effects of anandamide. This interaction releases dopamine and brings about the well-known ‘high,’ typified by feelings of bliss, altered perception, and occasionally, anxiety or paranoia.

On the contrary, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not induce a ‘high.’ However, it has been the subject of extensive research for its potential therapeutic effects. CBD acts on both CB1 and CB2 receptors in a more roundabout manner than THC, often preventing these receptors from binding with other cannabinoids. It’s believed that this mechanism is behind the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits associated with CBD.

Myth-Busting Shrooms and Weed

Despite growing recognition and curiosity about substances such as shrooms and weed, several unsupported beliefs persist around their usage. Using scientific research and evidence-based facts, our goal is to bust these myths, bringing clarity about the effects of these substances.

Myth 1: Shrooms and Weed Are Gateways to Harder Drugs

One of the most entrenched misconceptions is the “gateway theory,” which implies that usage of shrooms or weed inevitably paves the path to harder drug usage. However, the truth is that many individuals who experiment with shrooms or weed never move on to more potent substances. Environmental conditions, mental health status, and genetics play crucial roles in each individual’s substance experience.

Myth 2: Shrooms Can Cause Brain Damage

A frequently heard myth suggests that shrooms, known for their intense psychedelic effects, can lead to brain damage. The fact is that psilocybin, the active compound in shrooms, is recognized as one of the least toxic substances to our organ systems and physiological functions. While the psychedelic experience can be mentally challenging, it doesn’t inflict any damage on the brain.

Myth 3: You Can Overdose on Weed

While excessive weed consumption may result in a distressing experience marked by paranoia or severe disorientation, there is no documented case of a fatal overdose from weed. This is attributed to the lack of cannabinoid receptors, which THC binds with to elicit its effects, in the areas of the brain responsible for critical functions like breathing.

Myth 4: All Shrooms Are the Same

A widespread misunderstanding is that all magic mushrooms provide the same experience. In contrast, over 180 mushroom species contain the psychedelic compound psilocybin, each offering varying potency levels and differing psychedelic experiences.

Myth 5: Weed is Not Addictive

Despite popular opinion, weed can lead to addiction, formally referred to as marijuana use disorder. This condition often presents itself as dependence, where users endure withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of the substance. Nonetheless, this typically happens in individuals who use weed daily or near daily.

The Science of Tolerance in Shrooms and Weed

To put it plainly, tolerance is the body’s response to constant exposure to a substance, which leads to lessened effects over time. Looking at shrooms and weed, continual consumption can render the brain less reactive to their key compounds, namely psilocybin and THC. This can lead users to consume larger amounts to pursue the same effects, a pattern that might risk misuse.

Building Tolerance: Shrooms and Weed

When it comes to shrooms, tolerance can build up rapidly but also dissipate just as fast. Regular usage over several consecutive days can significantly decrease the psychedelic effects. Remarkably, after roughly a week of non-use, the tolerance usually reverts, allowing psilocybin to exhibit its full effects once more.

In contrast, weed tolerance takes a slower route to development and requires more time to revert. Long-term users might notice reduced effects over weeks or even months, which could prompt them to use larger doses or switch to more potent strains. To disrupt this pattern, a period of non-use, often labeled a “tolerance break” or a “t-break,” is required. Depending on the person and their usage habits, this period can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

Cross-Tolerance: A Ripple Effect

Cross-tolerance describes a situation where tolerance to one substance can influence the response to a different substance. With shrooms and weed, despite their action on different neurotransmitter systems (the serotonin and endocannabinoid systems), some anecdotal accounts suggest that users might experience a reduced response to weed after shroom usage, hinting at possible cross-tolerance. This theory, however, calls for more robust scientific studies for confirmation.

Managing and Resetting Tolerance

Effective tolerance management requires conscious monitoring of consumption habits and routine breaks. These “tolerance breaks” allow the body to flush out the substances and reset the brain’s response. Moreover, embracing harm reduction strategies, like lower quantities, less potent strains, and avoiding the combination of substances, can contribute to maintaining a lower tolerance level.

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  • Super Silver Haze: A Sativa hybrid that provides a fast-acting and long-lasting head high. It has citrus, herbal, spicy, and sour strain flavours and is often used to manage chronic pain, fatigue, stress, headache, and appetite loss.
  • Bubba Kush: An Indica strain known to provide a relaxing body high. It has coffee, cocoa, sweet, pine, and fruit strain flavours and is often used to manage insomnia, stress, chronic pain, anxiety, migraines, and appetite loss.
  • Purple Space Cookies: An Indica hybrid strain known for its mood-boosting effects. It has berry, nutty, spicy, and earthy strain flavours and is often used to manage chronic pain, insomnia, stress, mood swings, and depression.
  • OG Kush: It is an Indica hybrid known to deliver strong sedative effects. It has lemon, pine, and woody strain flavours and is often used to manage anxiety, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, and nausea.
  • Blue Dream: A Sativa hybrid that produces an immediate onset of uplifting high and creative energy. It has berry, fruity, herbal, and vanilla strain flavours and is often used to manage chronic pain, depression, headaches, PTSD, nausea, and stress.
  • Gelato Strain: An Indica hybrid that induces a cerebral head rush and uplifting euphoria. It has pine, sweet, berry, and citrus flavours and is often used to manage chronic pain, fatigue, muscle spasms, inflammation, and migraines.
  • Strawberry Cough: A Sativa hybrid that is known for delivering a relaxed and uplifting head high. It has sweet, berry strain flavours and is often used to manage chronic pain, depression, fatigue, stress, and loss of appetite.
  • Granddaddy Purple: An Indica hybrid strain that produces full-bodied euphoric and numbing effects. It has a fruity, berry, and sweet strain flavours and is often used to manage arthritis, chronic pain, muscle spasms, stress, insomnia, and loss of appetite.
  • Pineapple Express: It is a Sativa hybrid strain that offers a mild body-numbing buzz. It has citrus, sweet, and tropical strain flavours and is often used to manage fatigue, depression, migraines, nightmares, nausea, and appetite loss.
  • Strawberry Cough: A hybrid strain that is known for delivering cerebral and uplifting effects. It has sweet and berry strain flavours and is often used to manage chronic pain, depression, fatigue, stress, and loss of appetite.

What Are Shrooms?

Magic mushrooms, or shrooms, are psychedelics that fall under the psilocybin drug class. Psilocybin is the natural psychoactive compound in certain mushrooms that causes hallucinogenic side effects. It is addictive and causes anxiety-inducing symptoms if regularly used in high amounts.

Shrooms are usually eaten, brewed, or ground into powder and placed in capsules. Magic shrooms can take an hour or more for the effects to kick in, usually lasting for four to six hours.

Psychedelics like LSD, ayahuasca, and peyote shrooms can alter your inner and outer world experiences. They can produce profound feelings and intensely positive emotional states. Some of the popular experiences that shrooms users had when using the substance include:

  • Enhanced introspection
  • Improved sociality
  • Emotional empathy
  • Feelings of bliss
  • Increased access to emotions
  • Intensified feelings
  • Mystical experiences
  • Relaxation
  • Audiovisual synesthesia

However, Shrooms can trigger various adverse mental and emotional side effects, especially when mixed with alcohol or other drugs. Side effects of shrooms can include:

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Delusions
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Altered perception of time
  • Euphoria
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Numbness
  • Derealization
  • Depersonalization
  • Diarrhea
  • Fluctuating body temperature, heart rate, or blood pressure

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Dried Mushrooms

There are various strains of dried mushrooms that you can consume on their own such as:

  • Golden Teacher Magic Mushrooms: These gold-coloured shrooms are known for their reflective and philosophical effects. They can induce an educational experience and are best taken on an empty stomach.
  • Amazonian Cubensis Magic Mushrooms: These potent shrooms are often used recreationally and ceremoniously due to their cerebral high. A dose of 5g can provide powerful feelings of wonderment, insights, euphoria, and sensory hallucinations.
  • Blue Meanies Magic Mushrooms: These shrooms are a popular strain of the Psilocybe cubensis species. They induce intense euphoric and vivid experiences, especially when taken in 2.5 grams to 4 grams.

What Makes Shrooms and Weed Differ From Each Other?

Shrooms and weeds mainly differ in the intensity of their psychoactive effects. Weed rarely produces intense hallucinations in healthy users. On the other hand, mushrooms tend to induce significant changes in your perception, especially when taken at high doses.

Generally, weed impacts emotion, perception, and condition, but it can only produce true hallucinations on rare occasions. In simpler words, using weeds alone rarely produces hallucinogenic effects. Only those with a history of psychosis are at risk for such effects, and only when ingested in high doses.

On the other hand, psilocybin mushrooms act like classic psychedelics, leading to an altered perception of time and space and visual patterns.

Similarities Between Shrooms and Weed

Weed and shrooms are commonly taken together and seem like a natural pairing. This is because they have some similarities. Both drugs can impact your cognition and coordination, alter your sense of time and reality, and produce side effects like anxiety or paranoia.

Weed and shrooms can be taken together since many believe that cannabis can mitigate the adverse effects of shrooms, such as vomiting or nausea. Others claim that cannabis enhances the high of the shrooms.

Although shrooms outperform weed when it comes to the strength of their hallucinogenic effects, both substances can induce powerful, psychoactive, and complex effects.

Using Shrooms and Weed Together

Using shrooms with weed can intensify the psychedelic effects of psilocybin, especially when larger doses of cannabis are used. Adding cannabis will produce more mystical visual experiences. Weed is also associated with making the “trip” more challenging than using shrooms alone. Again, such experiences can only be obtained when high doses of cannabis are used.

Combining shrooms with THC-rich cannabis strains can intensify the trip, primarily when used during the shroom’s peak, which is around two hours after the consumption of the substance. After three to four hours, the weed can slightly prolong the experience when your shroom trip begins to fade.

If you are new to using shrooms, it is best to avoid using weed first so you can know the effects of mushrooms on your body. In rare cases, using shrooms and weed together lead to “flashbacks.” Here, the hallucinogenic effects associated with the drugs can come back later, even if you are no longer consuming the substance.

How to Use Shrooms and Weed

Using shrooms and weed simultaneously does not appear to pose serious health risks. However, it is vital to note that these interactions have not been studied much. If you do not have much experience with both substances, it will be best to stick with only one, at least until you know how each substance will affect your mind and body.

The best way to ensure a safe and enjoyable shroom and weed experience is to be mindful of your set and setting. Set is your state of mind before you consume a substance, while the setting is your environment or the people around you while taking the drug.

If you are already feeling down and plan to take shrooms in an unfamiliar place or with people you are not comfortable with, chances are you will have a “bad trip” or negative experience. Before taking shrooms or weed, always be physically and mentally comfortable and have a trusted friend around you if things take a turn.

Other pointers you need to know when using shrooms and weed are as follows:

  • Avoid driving while having a trip. Wait for the effects to subside, which can take at least 12 hours completely.
  • Do not mix shrooms and weed with other substances, such as alcohol.
  • Always start with a low dosage and slowly increase the amount only after the effects have fully kicked in.
  • Consult a doctor or proceed with caution if you have a history of mental health issues before using shrooms or weed.

How to Handle a Bad Trip

There are times when a bad trip will occur, especially if you have histories of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Most of the time, having a trusted friend or experienced user beside you is enough to manage the adverse effects. However, there are other things you can do to reduce the likelihood of having severe hallucinations. Check some of them out below:

  • Remove mirrors within your space.
  • Change the setting by adding soothing colours or playing relaxing music in a quiet space.
  • Take a small amount of food and water if you can to reduce the intensity of the effects.

You will know it is time to call for help when someone cannot maintain consciousness or displays threatening behaviour to themselves or others. If you are concerned about law enforcement, you don’t have to mention the substance over the phone. Tell them about the symptoms so they can send the proper response immediately.


While shrooms and weed have similar effects, such as hallucinations, both drugs vary in the overall impact on your brain. Both substances can affect your perception but to different degrees. A difference between the two is that there is more research on weed’s potential benefits when controlled by medical personnel.

The severity of shrooms and weed’s side effects may vary depending on the strain and dose ingested. What is sure about these recreational drugs is that they cause long-term repercussions on your physical and mental health when misused.

There is still scarce research on how to best and safely use cannabis and shrooms together. But since there are pieces of anecdotal evidence that weed can make your shroom trip more challenging, it will be best to keep your dosing low. Moreover, always consult your doctor, especially if you use substances and other medications.

Shrooms vs Weed FAQs

How do magic mushrooms work differently from cannabis?

Magic mushrooms work differently from weed or cannabis in terms of the intensity of the hallucinations they provide. Generally, shrooms tend to induce more potent psychedelic effects than cannabis. Although cannabis can also produce hallucinogenic effects, such cases rarely happen, mostly only when weed is taken at high doses.

Are weed and shrooms similar in their effects?

Weed and shrooms have similarities, which is why they are often taken together. Both substances can change your cognition and coordination, alter your sense of time and reality, and produce similar side effects. Although shrooms outperform weed when it comes to the potency of their hallucinogenic effects, both drugs can induce psychoactive experiences.

Do magic mushrooms go bad?

Like all mushrooms, magic shrooms can also go bad. However, you can lengthen their shelf life by storing them properly. Fresh shrooms can last up to 10 days if stored in paper bags or containers and the refrigerator. However, the longevity of the products will still depend on the freshness when you have received or harvested them.

You will know that the shrooms are fresh when they taste like regular mushrooms. The water content of the shrooms will mask the bitter flavour and harsh textures. You can also dry your shrooms to give them a longer shelf life. However, be informed that many active compounds will oxidize during drying, making your shrooms less potent.

Where do magic mushrooms grow?

Magic mushrooms often grow in the subtropics and tropics. They are often found in meadows and wood with soils rich in plant debris and humus. When foraging for magic mushrooms, make sure to do your research, so you will know which ones are poisonous, which ones are shrooms, and which ones are typical mushrooms. The best places to start foraging mushrooms include tropical cloud forests, grasslands, dung deposits, and woodlands.

What are the differences in legal status between magic mushrooms and cannabis?

The legal status of magic mushrooms and cannabis varies significantly globally and even within countries. Cannabis has seen widespread decriminalization and even full legalization in numerous regions, including several U.S., Canada, and Uruguay. Its use, both recreationally and medicinally, is broadly regulated. On the other hand, magic mushrooms remain illegal in most countries. However, there’s a growing movement towards their decriminalization. Nonetheless, it’s vital to stay updated on local regulations.

Do magic mushrooms and cannabis have similar medicinal uses?

Both magic mushrooms and cannabis have been studied for their medicinal properties, although in different ways. Cannabis, especially its non-psychoactive compound CBD, is approved in many places for conditions like epilepsy, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis. THC, its psychoactive component, is used for pain relief, nausea, and improving appetite. On the other hand, psilocybin in magic mushrooms is being studied for its potential to treat mental health conditions. It’s important to note that while they both have therapeutic potential, the two substances have different mechanisms of action and are used to treat various conditions.

Can shrooms and weed be safely consumed together?

Using shrooms and weed is a personal choice and can affect individuals differently. Some people report that weed enhances the psychedelic effects of shrooms or helps manage the anxiety that can sometimes come with a trip. However, combining the two can also heighten the intensity of the effects and the potential for a challenging experience. It’s also worth noting that since both substances alter perception and cognitive function, their combined use could increase these effects. Hence, if you decide to mix them, it should be done cautiously and ideally under the guidance of someone with experience.

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