Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita, is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Amanita muscaria has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the Southern Hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species.
It is sometimes mistaken for psilocybin mushrooms, which are quite different.
Amanita muscaria var. muscaria is easily identified by its distinctive red cap with white spots. Amanita muscaria var. formosa has the same chemical properties, though has an orangish/dark yellow cap with white spots. Make sure to identify when picking wild Amanitas because quite a few of them are kill you dead poisonous.
Amanita muscaria has been used for thousands of years, most notably in Siberia before they decided that getting wasted on homemade vodka was more fun. In Siberia, different tribes used to collect these mushrooms and have parties, and then piss in bowls so the poor of the village could then trip. The psychedelic properties in Amanita muscaria are metabolized in a way that can be urinated out, making them gross but reusable. Some say that Viking berserkers consumed them in large doses before battle, which when mixed with prodding and alcohol, gave them their rages.
Most people think that Amanitas are either deliriants or dissociatives. The truth is that it is neither of these. Amanitas target a completely different set of systems when compared with dissociatives, and while it does target the same system as deleriants, it does so in a completely different way.
Deleriants are acetylcholine inhibitors, that is, they block that chemical, and cause you to trip balls. Amanitas target half of the acetylcholine receptors in your body (the muscarinic variety known as MAChR) and turns the dial to 11. The other half are targeted by nicotine and called NAChR. (For more on this, see acetylcholine)
So the active ingredient bonds to MAChR and activates it. Another ingredient also acts as a GABA agonist. This makes you trip. The reasons are poorly understood, but this mechanism of action makes it unlike any of the three major types of hallucinogen, and thus it is called atypical.
It is a rather unpleasant experience of utter confusion, with some visual effects such as waves and brighter colours. Music is more overwhelming but not necessarily more appealing. There are no particularly pleasant revelations or psychological effects other than bewilderment and an inability to cope with any normal social situation.
You might be able to buy it legally because it's so unpleasant no-one wants to do it.
Amanita muscaria is usually taken orally, with some reporting effects when smoked. The most potent part of the mushroom is material just under the skin.
Dosages are for dried Amanita caps.
|Light effects||1 - 5g (1 medium cap)|
|Common effects||5 - 10g (1 - 3 medium caps)|
|Heavy effects||10 - 30g (2 - 6 medium caps)|
|Onset||30 - 120 minutes|
|Peak||1 - 2 hours|
|Duration||5 - 10 hours (higher doses seem to last longer)|
|Normal after effects||1 - 5 hours|