Amanita Muscaria Part II: Active Ingredients, Effects, Nutrition & Legality

The Amanita muscaria mushroom (A. muscaria) seduces you with its vibrant red cap, frosty white spots, and bristling stature. A mycelial muse, this fungi commands your attention, almost imploring you to take a bite. And yet A., muscaria, known as fly agaric, promises nothing but uncertainty to the uninitiated. Depending on the dosage and preparation, A. muscaria’s effects range from ethereal to medicinal to deadly.

This illustrious mushroom leaves most people with more questions than answers. We aim to provide clarity as we explore amanita muscaria’s psychoactive effects, toxic potential, edible preparation, and legality.

Is Amanita muscaria a psychedelic mushroom?

Amanita muscaria mushrooms are not considered psychedelic like most magic mushrooms. This red-spotted species exhibits psychoactive effects. However, A. muscaria doesn’t work like classic psychedelics like LSD, DMT, mescaline, and psilocybin. 

Traditional psychedelics, like psilocybin, activate serotonin receptors in the brain, quiet the default mode network responsible for the egoic self, and forge new neural connections that transform people's lives.  A. muscaria, on the other hand, interacts with distinct neural receptors, GABA and glutamate, and typically doesn’t elicit mind-manifesting trips. 

 What does an Amanita muscaria trip feel like?

Amanita muscaria trips arise rapidly within fifteen minutes and usually last several hours. Some people describe feeling delirious as they drift into a deep, dreamy sleep, experiencing profound visions. Others say they defecated and vomited for hours. 

Famed mycologist Paul Stamets, who ate the fly agaric at least four times, described his friend  foaming from the mouth during one of the trips. In another case, Stamets described a man throwing himself off an eight-foot bridge, surviving the fall, and doing it again, and again. Why? According to Stamets, Amanita mushrooms can cause “repetitive motion syndrome,” or repeating the same action repeatedly for no reason. A. muscaria can also cause temporary insanity and drug-induced convulsions. 

On the other end of the spectrum, some people report the amanita muscaria trip is calming and downright euphoric.

Others feel nothing at all. 

Amanita muscaria Active Ingredients

Amanita muscaria contains three primary active ingredients responsible for its strange psychoactive effects: muscimol,  ibotenic acid, and muscarine.


Muscimol is A. muscaria's most potent psychoactive agent. In fact, it is ten times stronger than ibotenic acid. Muscimol is a fungal metabolite that binds to and activates GABA receptors, delivering “sedative-hypnotic, depressant and hallucinogenic psychoactivity.” 

Sedative-hypnotic and depressant qualities mean A. muscaria’s effects range from anxiety relief to loss of consciousness. Meanwhile, its hallucinogenic psychoactivity can manifest as intense visuals, hallucinations, temporary psychosis, and confusion. Muscimol also possess analgesic properties, and recent research shows its ability to treat conditions ranging from pain to epilepsy to schizophrenia. 

Ibotenic acid 

Ibotenic acid is A. muscaria’s second most potent psychoactive alkaloid. Unlike muscimol’s GABA affinity, ibotenic acid interacts with glutamate receptors. This mechanism of action makes ibotenic acid more stimulating and energizing. Additionally, when mushrooms contain more ibotenic acid than muscimol, users typically report confusion, agitation, and euphoria. Reportedly ibotenic acid is also more irritating to the stomach. 

Amanita muscaria mushrooms typically contain more Ibotenic acid than muscimol in their raw form. However, ibotenic acid is volatile. As a result, heat, drying, age and digestion partially decarboxylate (convert) ibotenic acid into muscimol. This chemical conversion process makes dried fly agaric mushrooms highly psychoactive.


Muscarine exists in trace quantities (0.02% dry weight) and is the weakest psychoactive compound in this red-spotted species. Still, this minor alkaloid acts on muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the parasympathetic nervous system to produce notable effects, including salivation and sweating. Muscarine is also linked to sexual arousal, crying, urination, digestion, and defecation.

Is A. Muscaria Poisonous?

These white wart-speckled mushrooms are edible, psychoactive, and even medicinal in some cases. Still, A. muscaria is 100% poisonous and highly dangerous in its raw form and high doses. Fortunately, very few people have perished from fly agaric, but many have gotten sick or worse. 

Reported risks include:

  • Coma
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Visual distortions 
  • Temporary insanity (lasting up to five days)
  • Death

Preparing Amanita muscaria for ingestion

People prepare A. muscaria in two broad ways, depending on their desired outcomes and effects. 

People who want to trip from Amanita muscaria mushrooms often dry them to convert most of the ibotenic acid into the more potent psychoactive agent, muscimol. After drying the mushrooms, some people consume them as is or blend them into a tea simmered with citric acid. This process typically takes two to three hours.

Functional mushroom fans hoping to consume A. muscaria as an edible mushroom (without the psychoactive effects) often parboil the fungi. This process involves boiling the mushrooms twice to detoxify the psychotropic compounds and throwing the water away each time. Afterward, some A.. muscaria enthusiasts cook the mushroom as a normal edible in their favorite recipes. 

Regardless of the preparation method, A. muscaria mushrooms pose of risk of intoxication and poisoning. As a result, we do not recommend anyone forage A. muscaria mushrooms and attempt to prepare them at home. 

Is A. muscaria an edible species? 

Amanita muscaria mushrooms are extraordinarily diverse. Although highly toxic in its raw form, A. muscaria is also an edible species with a history of nutritional and medicinal use in parts of Japan, Europe, Russia, and North America. 1800s and 1900s literature indicates people in these regions prepared A. muscaria in soups, gravies, and sauces. Medicinally, people used A. muscaria as a painkiller, anti-inflammatory, and anxiety reliever.

Modern understanding of Amanita’s medicinal and functional properties is limited. However, Psyched Wellness recently announced its pioneering research into fly argaric’s potential health benefits. A Canadian health supplement company, Psyched Wellness, is launching a line of Amanita-derived products featuring naturally extracted muscimol. Their inaugural product will be marketed as a sleep aid. 

Is Amanita muscaria Legal?

Amanita muscaria compounds do not exist on the DEA’s drug scheduling list. As a result, A. muscaria is federally legal in the U.S. Additionally, all states allow A. muscaria sales except Louisiana. However, the FDA has not approved the mushroom for human consumption. 

Brands like Psilomart and Awakening Roots sell A. muscaria extracts and powders, specifying their products are intended for spiritual and educational uses only (not for human consumption). Sellers that don’t label products with this disclaimer risk getting pulled off shelves. 

Recently, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services removed Chillum’s Amanita products from stores. Chillum’s owner and founder, Carlos Jose Angel Hermida, believes he could’ve avoided these consequences by indicating his formulas were not intended for human ingestion. 

Unlike the US, Canada has taken a more progressive stance on this fascinating fungi. Health Canada recently approved Psyched Wellness’ request to add Amanita muscaria to the country’s Natural Health Products Ingredients Database. This designation means Canada now regulates A. muscaria as a food product, and companies can extract the mushroom’s active compounds and sell them as supplements.

The Takeaway

Amanita muscaria is a complex mushroom with undoubtedly horrifying risks in its raw form. Still, when properly prepared, A. muscaria’s active ingredients, like muscimol, may have considerable health benefits. The legal status and the growing consumer interest in this bold mushroom species make it worthy of continued exploration. 

At ACS Laboratory, we test the Amanita muscaria to ensure it is free from pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and bacteria. For anyone wanting to ensure that the Amanita does not contain any psilocybin or psilocin for sales, we can also do a certified safe and compliance test. Contact us today to get started. 

The Cannabinoids Guide

This complete cannabinoid guide covers major and minor cannabinoids, how they work in the body, and highlights the top compounds brands and operators must test for today.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The Cannabinoid Guide

The definitive resource on leading major and minor cannabinoids, how they work in the body, and what to test for.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related Blogs

May 24, 2023

Cannabinoid Report: A Guide to CBD Extraction, Storage, Price, Benefits & More

CBD research indicates could relieve symptoms of anxiety, pain, inflammation, and insomnia, without psychoactive effects.

Elena Schmidt

April 27, 2023

Amanita Muscaria vs. Psychedelic Mushrooms (Psilocybin): What’s the Difference?

Here we explore the main differences between Amanita muscaria and other psychedelic mushrooms, examining where they grow, active ingredients, medicinal value, and legality.

Masha Ty

December 8, 2022

Companies Producing Edibles Containing CBD and Delta-8 THC Receive New Warning Letters from the FDA

FDA recently issued new warning letters to companies that produce CBD and Delta-8 THC edibles.

December 14, 2022

Visit the New and Improved ACS Laboratory Website

Enhanced education, intuitive navigation, mushroom program launch, compliance updates, and more!

Elena Schmidt

January 5, 2023

Functional Mushrooms: Exploring Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi Benefits & Uses

Reviewing functional mushroom benefits, research, and top products, with a focus on reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps.

Masha Ty

December 20, 2022

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Camphene Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Research suggests that camphene possesses anti-microbial and antiviral properties, provides coughing relief, and may even be able to prevent heart disease.

Elena Schmidt

December 9, 2022

INTERVIEW: Live Rosin Delta-8: How It's Made, Effects, Safety & Quality

Live rosin delta 8 is a cannabis concentrate made from frozen plant material and manufactured delta-8 extract. Learn more.

January 25, 2023

Comparing Exotic Cannabinoids: Delta-9 THC vs. Delta-8, Delta-10, HHC, HHCP, THC-O (THCOa), & THCP

The main difference between exotic cannabinoids and Delta-9 THC is their molecular structures, psychoactive intensity, and legality.

Elena Schmidt

January 19, 2023

Amanita Muscaria Part II: Active Ingredients, Effects, Nutrition & Legality

Exploring amanita muscaria’s psychoactive effects, toxic potential, edible preparation, and legality in the US and Canada.

Masha Ty

December 29, 2022

A Guide to Delta-8 vs. HHC: Extraction, Products, Safety, Legality, Testing & More

Delta-8 THC is a mildly euphoric psychoactive isomer of Delta-9 THC. HHC belongs to a completely different chemical class known as hexahydrocannabinol. Learn more.

Elena Schmidt

February 14, 2023

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need To Know About Fenchyl Alcohol Flavor, Fragrance, And Health Benefits

Everything you need to know about fenchyl alcohol benefits, aromatic profile, and how it impacts your favorite cannabis strains.

Elena Schmidt

December 16, 2022

Amanita Muscaria (Fly Agaric): History & Toxicology of the Most Misunderstood Mushroom

Amanita mushrooms are fully legal in the United States and have a long history of use. Discovery Amanita mythology and toxicology in this ACS blog.

Masha Ty

January 3, 2023

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Farnesene Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Farnesene is a cannabis terpene known as sesquiterpenes and is thought to have sedative and regulating effects on the human body and mood.

Elena Schmidt

February 2, 2023

A Guide to Delta-8 vs. THCOa: Extraction, Products, Safety, Legality, Testing & More

Comparing Delta-8 THC and THCOa’s chemistry, effects, potency, and extraction methods.

Elena Schmidt

February 20, 2023

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Ocimene Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

As a cannabis terpene, ocimene offers strains potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-viral, anti-seizure, and anti-inflammation.

Elena Schmidt

February 24, 2023

Flavonoid Friday: Everything You Need to Know About Orientin Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Orientin is a flavonoid prevalent in cannabis, bamboo leaves, and various teas is. Its impact as an antioxidant extends into numerous human therapeutic benefits.

Elena Schmidt

March 7, 2023

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Valencene Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Valencene is a rare terpene found in cannabis. It exudes an herbaceous, sweet citrus aroma with woodsy notes and is abundant in citrus fruits.

Elena Schmidt

March 15, 2023

Understanding Amanita Pantherina Mushrooms: Appearance, Effects, and Legality

The Amanita pantherina, or the Panther Cap, is a relative of the Amanita muscaria mushroom. Its cap features ochre brown dots with white spots. It's a delirium rather than a psychedelic, and it's legal!

Masha Ty

March 23, 2023

Flavonoid Friday: Everything You Need to Know About Vitexin Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Vitexin fans praise it for everything from benefiting the brain and heart to fighting diabetes and helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Elena Schmidt

March 20, 2023

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Sabinene Hydrate Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Sabinene Hydrate is a vital component of various plant essential oils, including cannabis. It displays antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial uses.

Elena Schmidt

April 11, 2023

Psilocybin Guide: Effects, Benefits, Risks, and Legality

In this blog, we will explore the history, science, and potential benefits of psilocybin and its potential risks and legal status.

Elena Schmidt

April 12, 2023

H4 CBD Guide: Experience, Legality, Products & Benefits

This guide examines H4-CBD from every angle, explaining its effects and chemical structure, user reviews, comparison to CBD and THC, and commercial products.

Elena Schmidt

May 3, 2023

A Complete Guide to THCH: Research, Products, Potency & Effects

THC-H’ is a unique minor cannabinoid whose chemical structure allows it to readily attach to receptors in the brain, making it notably stronger than Delta-9 THC.

Elena Schmidt

May 10, 2023

A Complete Guide to THCB Research, Potency & Effects

Preliminary research suggests THCB may have a range of potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anticonvulsant properties.

Elena Schmidt

May 18, 2023

Psilocin Guide: Effects, Benefits, Risks, and Legality

This guide compares psilocin to psilocybin, highlighting differences and similarities in how they work in the body, their effects, strength, benefits, and legality.

Masha Ty

February 17, 2023

DEA Says Delta-8 and Delta-9 THCOA (aka THCO) Falls Under Controlled Substances Act, not Farm Bill

According to the DEA's interpretation of the law, THCOA doesn’t fall within the Farm Bill's definition of hemp because hemp plants don’t naturally produce the cannabinoid.

Elena Schmidt

March 28, 2023

The Powerful Benefits of Beta-Glucans in Functional Mushrooms

Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber located primarily in the cell walls of mushrooms and whole grains, known to lower blood sugar, defend against infections, and even kill cancer cells.

Elena Schmidt

April 5, 2023

ACS Laboratory Launches the First Premium Hemp “Bored Gummy” COA on the Blockchain

New collection of Bored Gummy, Launches April 7 in the Automatic Slims Metaverse Marketplace

Elena Schmidt

January 30, 2023

ACS Laboratory Receives 82 Emerald Badges for Exemplary Hemp and Cannabis Test Results, More Than Any Laboratory in the USA

Recently Awarded 21 Emerald Test Proficiency Badges for 2022, ACS has Reaffirmed its Position as the Most Trusted Third-party Hemp and Cannabis Testing Provider

ACS Laboratory