You think you know your magic mushrooms?

So, you’re a scholar of shrooms, eh? A fungi fiend? A mushroom mastermind? Do you really know your stuff when it comes to magic mushrooms?

1) How many types of psychedelic mushrooms are there in Aotearoa?

A) Five
B) Seven
C) Ten
D) Eight

2) Of these psychedelic types, how many are native to Aotearoa?

A) Two
B) Three
C) Four
D) Five

3) According to the Misuse of Drugs Act, what class of drug are magic mushrooms?

A) A
B) B
C) C
D) Too damn classy for words

Decorative image only
What do you mean there’s a dragon in my mushroom? Are you seeing things? (Image: Wood blewitt from Xavier Collette’s Champidragon series)

4) What is the common recreational dose for psilocybin? (Psyocybin is the main active component found in Psylocybin)

A) 5-10 mg
B) 10 – 25mg
C) 25 – 30mg
D) 35 – 50mg

5) Ok, but what’s that in actual mushrooms though?

A) 1-2g dried
B) 2-3g dried
C) A handful
D) It’s really hard to tell because individual mushrooms have different amounts of psilocybin in them

6) What are set and setting? (Hint, we wrote a blog post about it not long ago)

A) Set is where you shoot a film, and setting is what you use in jewellery to put a stone into something
B) Set is your physical environment and setting is how you’re feeling at the time in your heart, body, and mind
C) Set is what you’re feeling at the time in your body, heart, and mind; and setting is your physical environment such as where you are and who you are with
D) Set is when you have a group of mushrooms that are all the same type, and setting is what they’re kept in

7) Are fly agaric (A. muscaria) psychoactive?

A) Yes, but they take a lot of preparation
B) Yes, but they take a lot of preparation and can put you in hospital if you mess it up
C) No, they’re just straight up toxic
D) No, those are smurf houses, don’t eat those!

Don’t contribute to Smurfs being unhomed this autumn. Look before you pick.

8) Have there been clinical trials of psilocybin to help people with mental illness in Aotearoa?

A) Yes, one
B) Yes, lots
C) No, but we’re working on it
D) No, absolutely not!

9) Is psilocybin therapy for mental illness legal yet?

A) Yes, in some states in America, Canada, and Australia
B) Yes, in some European countries, the UK, and Ireland
C) No, but people are doing it anyway
D) No, and people shouldn’t do it because drugs are bad, mmmkay?

10) When is it ok to go foraging for mushrooms?

A) When you’ve been out with an experienced forager a few times
B) When you’re with an experienced forager
C) When you go out with iNaturalist on your phone
D) Whenever I want you’re not the boss of me

11) What’s the best way to tell the difference between a psilocybe mushroom and one of its toxic lookalikes? (Hint, it’s in our blog post)

A) Toxic fungi bruise brown
B) Some toxic fungi have a gleba instead of a cap
C) Some toxic fungi have rusty brown gills
D) Some toxic fungi have no gills
E) Using all traits is essential to identify fungi accurately.

12) Can you snort ground up mushroom powder?

A) Sure! Absolutely nothing will go wrong and you won’t regret it at all
B) Yeah, but it’s a bit uncomfortable
C) I mean…you can snort anything if you put your mind to it? Might not be a good idea though
D) Nope

1) D. There are 8 identified species of psychedelic mushrooms in Aotearoa so far (Te Ara, 2023)

2) B. There are three: Psilocybe makarorae, Psilocybe aucklandiae and Psilocybe weraroa

3) A. Class A: (MoDA)

4) B. (Psychonaut Wiki)

5) D. While you can kiiiiiinda use the 2-3g of dried fungi as a base, there’s no way to tell how much actual psilocybin is in the organism, so 2g of fungi from one patch can be mild and vaguely disappointing, and 2g of fungi from a patch 1m away can put you on your arse.

6) C. Set is what’s going on with you, setting is what’s going on with your surroundings.

7) B. While you can eat A. muscaria for psychedelic purposes it’s the actual ibotenic acid and muscimol toxins that make it psychedelic. You need to process the fungi so that the toxins are denatured to a point where they won’t make you sick or put you in a coma. The preparation involves dehydration, boiling, and filtration (or feeding it to a reindeer and then waiting for the reindeer to pee and collecting the pee).
If you get any of these steps wrong, you can experience vomiting, convulsions, and extreme cases, coma. (Amanita muscaria: chemistry, biology, toxicology, and ethnomycology; Cambridge University Press, 2003)

8) C. Professor Marie Crowe from Otago University was seeking funding for a program back in September last year, but there’s been no movement on psilocybin-only studies here since then

9) A. Australia, Canada, and Oregon, USA all have legal psilocybin-assisted therapy. California’s working on a bill, but it hasn’t been passed yet (Wikipedia, 2023).

10) A and B. Even food mushrooms have incredibly toxic lookalikes that will put you in hospital, so it’s best to learn what to avoid from someone who knows what they’re doing. Please be careful. Liver failure is a horrible way to die (Internatinal Medical Case Reports Journal, 2013)

11) E. All of the above. Like we said, please be careful because liver failure really is a horrible way to die. (We know we’ve said this twice but it’s important enough to repeat)

12) D. While psilocybin nasal sprays for therapeutic use are currently being developed by a couple of pharmaceutical companies, grinding up actual mushrooms and snorting them carries a risk of inhaling mould spores. This can lead to lung infections, breathing problems, and heart problems.

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