Cannabis Science

Shrooms vs Acid

shrooms vs acid depiction of what a trip on shrooms or acids may look like with the distortion

You’re probably wondering what’s the deal with shrooms and acid. Well, both shrooms and acid are psychedelics. Psychedelics are drugs that cause hallucinations. That’s why you may hear either drug being referred to as a hallucinogen. They are very similar since they’re both the same class of drugs. However, they have key differences, let’s see how they compare in our shrooms vs acid analysis. 

Photo: Unsplash

Shrooms vs Acid

In our analysis, we’re going to compare shrooms and LSD based on their:

  • Origin
  • Consumption
  • Effects
  • Trip
  • Risks 

We’re doing this to equip you with information so that you can make more informed choices about these drugs. 

Let’s dive right in. 


The first way we can compare shrooms and acid is how they originate. Both shrooms and acid are from fungi. 

Shrooms, also known as magic mushrooms, are naturally occurring mushrooms. They’re known as magic mushrooms because they contain the chemical psilocybin, which causes hallucinogenic effects. 

Mushrooms that contain psilocybin are typically found in the meadows or woods. The National Council on Drug Abuse says that these mushrooms are indigenous to sub-tropic and tropical areas. Therefore you can find them in sections of South America, Mexico, and the United States.

In case you’re wondering what these mushrooms look like, Very Well Mind says to look out for long slender stems that are whitish gray. In addition to that, their caps are dark but have a lighter brown or white in the center. 

magic mushrooms
Magic Mushrooms (Source: Peter Dejong / AP file from NBC)

On the other hand, acid, also known as d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), is created from a compound found in ergot. According to the National Council on Drug Abuse, ergot is a fungus that grows on grains such as rye.

iridescent bong december sale

Dr. Albert Hofmann, who was also the first person to isolate psilocybin, discovered lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

ergot on rye grain
Picture of ergot on rye (Source: University of Hawaii Botany Department)

You may be wondering, how does a scientist get LSD from ergot?

Well, scientists are able to derive LSD from ergot alkloids (organic nitrogen-containing bases) namely ergotamine and ergonovine. They do this through chemical synthesis also known as a  synthesis reaction.


Acid is pretty much always taken orally. According to The National Council on Drug Abuse, LSD comes in pills, capsules and in liquid form. In addition to that, sometimes, LSD is added to an absorbent paper with decorations on it. Each image is usually one dose. 

Picture of LSD on paper. Each heart represents one dose (Source: Medical News Today)

Shrooms are also taken orally. People usually either steep them in tea or add them to food. 


According to Medical News Today, people typically start feeling the effects of shrooms 30 minutes after ingesting them. Users will feel the effects for 4-6 hours. It’s important to note that there can be other factors that alter this timeline. 

With acid or LSD, Healthline says that the effects of LSD begin 20-90 minutes after taking a dose. While the effects last for several hours after, most of the time the trip won’t last longer than 9 hours. 

So clearly we can see that the effects of LSD tend to last longer than the effects of shrooms. However, as we said before, other factors may alter those timelines. 

So now that you know when you’ll be feeling the effects, you want to know what the effects will be. In addition to what’s expected during a trip, which we will get into later, there are other effects. 

According to Healthline and Medical News Today, an acid trip may cause you to experience: 

  • Sweating and dehydration
  • Increase in body temperature and heart rate
  • Euphoria
  • Hallucinations
  • Sensory distortion 
  • Dizziness

Shrooms have all these same effects which make sense because they’re the same class of drugs. 


Since they’re both hallucinogens, the trips are pretty similar. Some people who have trips on either of these drug experience euphoria or a spiritual awakening.

According to Medical News Today, shrooms don’t always cause visual or auditory hallucinations. On the other hand, acid typically has visual distortions, sensory hallucinations, illusions.

Here’s what a trip with either drug may look like. 

 According to The National Council on Drug Abuse, an acid trip involves:

  • Several different emotions at once
  • Moving from one emotion to the other rapidly
  • Sensory changes such hearing colors and seeing sounds

A trip on shrooms is pretty similar and according to The National Council on Drug Abuse, you’re likely to experience:

  • An altered perception of time
  • An inability to discern fantasy from reality
  • Alterations of autonomic function, behavior and perception
  • Difference in motor reflexes 

Bad Trip

On the other hand, users of either drug can also experience a bad trip. A bad trip, as the name suggests, is characterized by unpleasant feelings. 

According to The National Council on Drug Abuse, a bad acid trip can look like:

  • Severe or terrifying thoughts 
  • Feelings of despair
  • Fear of losing control, 
  • Fear of insanity and death

On the other hand, a bad shrooms trip can look like, according to Medical News Today and the National Council on Drug Abuse:

  • Panic
  • Psychosis
  • Feelings of despair, confusion and paranoia


We couldn’t discuss shrooms vs acid without looking at the risks. Believe it or not, there are risks involved with using shrooms and acid. Besides the unpleasant physical effects and bad trips we noted earlier, you may experience: 

  • Serotonin syndrome – This happens when serotonin builds up in your body and both acid and shrooms may increase your serotonin levels. Serotonin syndrome may cause dry throat, nausea, vomiting as well as seizures and coma. In some cases, it can be fatal. Therefore, if you’re having symptoms of this condition, you may need to seek medical attention. 
  • Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) – This disorder typically causes flashbacks of past trips. You may be visual disturbances, anxiety, depersonalization and suicidal thoughts. 

Neither shrooms nor acid are seen as addictive, however, they can affect tolerance over time. Taking large doses may cause bad trips or other conditions that are unpleasant. 

One risk that is unique to shrooms and not acid is the risk of poisoning. Magic mushrooms aren’t poisonous. However, people may mistake poisonous mushrooms for magic mushrooms and that’s how they may get poisoned. 

Can You Take Shrooms and Acid at the Same Time?

Taking shrooms and acid at the same time is called soul bombing. Many users have done this and say that it was a great trip. However, we have to caution you on this. Mixing drugs, in general, has several risks. 

However mixing shrooms and acid at the same time can make you have a bad trip, HPPD, or serotonin syndrome. 

If you’re new to either drug, mixing them is probably a really bad idea. 


When it comes to the shrooms vs acid comparison, there are many similarities. That’s due to the fact that they’re the same class of drugs. Remember, people experience drugs differently and so your experience may differ from what we’ve reported here.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].

Related Posts