The effects of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin mushrooms vary tremendously, and are difficult to categorize – they affect different people, at different places, and at different times, with incredible variability.

However, psilocybin and other psychedelics are known for their profound changes in consciousness and perception. Psilocybin’s effects last around 4-6 hours, with peak effects occurring 2-3 hours after ingestion.

Psilocybin Mushroom Effects

  • Sensory enhancement
  • Sense of time changing (minutes can feel like hours)
  • Real or imagined objects appear to be moving (flowing patterns and shapes) both with eyes open or closed
  • Unusual thoughts and speech
  • Personal insight and reflection
  • Excited mood

Individual reactions to these perceptual changes are very much based on set and setting.  

  • Set (or “mindset”) refers to the psychological state and the beliefs of the person taking the drug.
  • Setting is the external circumstances they’re in – the people around them and their environmental surroundings.

Because set and setting vary so widely from person to person, and even from experience to experience, each psilocybin experience can produce vastly different outcomes – from frightening to deeply meaningful and positive, life-changing experiences (though some parts may still be overwhelming or psychologically jarring).

See the fact sheet for more information and sources.