Even though magic mushrooms are illegal under Dutch law, many smart shops in Amsterdam stock other hallucinogenics called magic truffles that contain identical psychoactive compounds including psilocybin, psilocin and baeocystin. These truffles are derived from the same fungi as magic mushrooms and have very similar effects to their illegal counterparts.
No, you’re not (Culture) tripping – we are now doing bookable premium getaways. Our immersive, expansive Epic Trips and compact, but culture-stuffed Mini Trips are packed with authentic local experiences, exciting activities and one-off accommodations. Discover the full collection here.
Psilocybin mushrooms explained
Psilocybin mushrooms, more commonly referred to as magic mushrooms or shrooms, are found throughout the Americas, including the United States, Mexico and South America. They’ve been used in rituals throughout various cultures for thousands of years and their psychedelic properties have been studied extensively over the past half-century.
There are dozens of different strains of magic mushrooms and their impact on the body is similar to that of LSD and other potent hallucinogens. Psilocybin mushrooms can produce strong positive and negative effects on the brain, including but not limited to an intensified sensory experience and feelings of relaxation, as well as paranoia and nausea. Large doses of psilocybin can intensify negative reactions, especially if other mood-altering chemicals such as alcohol or marijuana are also consumed.
Indulging in magic mushrooms typically causes a stronger trip that could last six hours or more. Whereas truffles typically grant a fun high, the effects of magic mushrooms reportedly create a deeper experience. Compared to magic truffles, the higher concentration of psilocybin in magic mushrooms means that they may be more likely to cause a bad trip.
The difference between magic mushrooms and magic truffles
The term “magic mushrooms” may be used to mean any hallucinogenic fungi, but while they are similar to magic truffles, they are in fact separate psychedelics. That said, both contain active compounds baeocystin, psilocin and psilocybin – albeit in different concentrations – and both can be consumed in a similar way.
Aside from the legalities of each and the concentrations they are consumed at, the most significant difference between magic mushrooms and magic truffles is the way they grow. With their tall, thin stems, white-topped caps and dark undersides, the former look similar to many other non-psychoactive or poisonous mushrooms. Truffles, on the other hand, grow beneath the ground.
Mixing magic truffles with other substances
Whether you are looking for a crazy night out or a chilled afternoon, Amsterdam’s relaxed yet responsible drug and alcohol culture presents opportunities to indulge in fun experiences few other places in Europe can deliver. Should you choose to consume magic truffles, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re only enjoying one legal high at a time – especially if this is your first time experimenting with them.
As with other drugs, different strains and concentrations will produce different physical and psychological effects. Your body may react to a specific truffle in a positive way, while another person may have a serious adverse reaction to the same thing. To keep the risk of negative effects low, it’s always a smart plan to lay off the alcohol and other mood-enhancing drugs. Remember, you can always ask for advice at one of Holland’s smart shops, where they sell the stuff, to help you decide whether experimenting with truffles is right for you.
Want to experience a different kind of high? Book ono our Belize & Guatemala Epic Trip, which includes trekking up the slopes of an active volcano to make s’mores and cook pizza over the searing heat of a lava flow.
Despite sharing their name with one of the most prized gastronomic delicacies in the world, magic truffles don’t taste great. In fact, they taste somewhere between dry soil and old, damp walnuts. Although it is possible to disguise this taste by seasoning them with herbs, spices or other ingredients, the truffles are still quite difficult to digest and often cause pretty harsh bouts of nausea. It is also possible to brew a tea out of the truffles by covering them in boiling water, then guzzling down the resulting brown stew – bits and all.
There are around 40 smart shops in Amsterdam, selling a wide range of paraphernalia related to cannabis, drug culture and legal highs. Most of these stores also stock strains of magic truffles in bags or boxes, usually labelled with small blurbs that describe their effects. Clerks at these stores are often pretty knowledgeable about their wares and many will advise customers about magic truffles if asked.
It is always advisable to plan ahead when taking magic truffles, as their effects can be overwhelming. Think, comfortable, controlled environments such as living rooms or bedrooms with comfy sofas, blankets and easy access to tap water. Strolling through green areas like parks or forests is also nice, so long as you’re certain that you’ll be OK with interacting with strangers, as this can become quite daunting when you’re under the influence.
Although it is difficult to estimate when the effects of truffles will wear off, most trips last less than six hours and most users will be more or less back to normal within eight. Fortunately, small, one-off dosages don’t usually cause particularly bad hangovers, but it is still important to drink water, eat vitamin-rich food and rest after taking truffles.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Tom Coggins.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.