Can Amanita Muscaria Get You High

Amanita muscaria, also known as the fly agaric mushroom, has long been a subject of fascination and speculation. Its distinct appearance, with its bright red cap speckled with white spots, has made it a symbol in fairy tales and folklore. As a mushroom enthusiast and hobby grower, I’ve often been asked about the psychoactive properties of this iconic fungus. In this article, I’ll delve into the question: can Amanita muscaria get you high?

Amanita Muscaria: A Brief Overview

Amanita muscaria is a species of poisonous mushroom found in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America. It contains several toxic compounds, including muscimol and ibotenic acid, which can cause a range of effects on the central nervous system when ingested.

Psychoactive Effects

Some individuals have reported experiencing psychoactive effects after consuming Amanita muscaria. These effects can include feelings of euphoria, visual distortions, and altered perception of reality. However, it’s important to note that these experiences can vary widely from person to person and are often accompanied by unpleasant side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and confusion.

The Role of Muscimol

Muscimol is thought to be the primary psychoactive compound in Amanita muscaria. When ingested, muscimol acts as a potent GABA agonist, affecting the brain’s neurotransmitter systems and leading to its psychoactive effects. It’s worth noting that the concentration of muscimol can vary widely in different parts of the mushroom, making it challenging to predict the strength of its effects.

Historical and Cultural Significance

Amanita muscaria has a rich history of use in various cultural and religious practices. It has been used in shamanic rituals by indigenous peoples in Siberia and parts of North America, where it is revered for its perceived ability to induce altered states of consciousness. However, the recreational use of this mushroom is not without its risks, and caution should be exercised when considering its psychoactive potential.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

In many jurisdictions, the cultivation, sale, and consumption of Amanita muscaria are either heavily restricted or outright illegal. Due to its toxicity and unpredictable effects, using this mushroom for recreational purposes is not advisable. It’s crucial to prioritize safety and responsibility when exploring the world of psychoactive substances.


While Amanita muscaria has a storied history and intriguing cultural significance, its psychoactive properties come with significant risks and uncertainties. As a mushroom enthusiast, I believe in the importance of respecting nature and understanding the potential consequences of interacting with it. When it comes to exploring altered states of consciousness, it’s essential to prioritize informed decision-making and harm reduction practices. The allure of Amanita muscaria may be strong, but the potential hazards should not be underestimated.