For years, my friends tried to convince me that marijuana was the safest, most relaxing drug that anyone could take. “No one dies from it,” they would tell me while lighting up, “you just feel really good!” Then I tried weed, promptly had a panic attack, and ended up in the hospital where my stoner friends laughed and laughed at the idiot trying to convince the nurses that his pot-induced paranoia was more important than the plight of the actual heart attack victim being wheeled in behind him.
Years later, weed and I are chill, but my friends (and yours) may have been wrong in proclaiming it the safest drug to enjoy. According to a new study by the Global Drug Survey (which surveyed 120,000 people) if you’re looking for something to really take the edge off, you should wander past the densely packed marijuana buds everyone’s always raving about and seek out magic mushrooms, which will send you on a hell of a trip (without the need for an ambulance or costly medical procedures that will bring you down).
Researchers found that of all people who tripped on psilocybin hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2016, only 0.2 percent needed emergency medical attention, according to the annual recreational drug survey released Wednesday. Meanwhile, harder psychedelic drugs such as LSD and MDMA were almost five times more likely to send users to the emergency room in 2016.
What about the people who do end up in the ER? It turns out they’re enjoying their IVs and hospital gowns thanks to the fact that they’re picking and eating poisonous mushrooms instead of the one that will produce moderate psychedelic effects. “Magic mushrooms are one of the safest drugs in the world,” GDS founder Adam Winstock told The Guardian. “Death from toxicity is almost unheard of with poisoning with more dangerous fungi being a much greater risk in terms of serious harms.”
What should you avoid? LSD, because it’s too strong and hard to dose; meth because, well, obvious; MDMA because its physical effects can be dangerous and unpredictable; and synthetic marijuana (because god knows what’s in it). These drugs sent users to the emergency room much more often than a couple of bites of magic mushrooms.
No one’s saying you should go out and get yourself a baggie of nature’s most pleasant fungi right now, but if you’re looking for something that may improve your quality of life (mushrooms have been shown to help with anxiety, depression, and cancer-related demoralization) then perhaps it’s time to do a little more research. Just don’t go out looking for the mushrooms yourself. And make sure that you get high in a place where you feel safe and with people you trust. Believe me, it’s the difference between having a good time and ending up shouting “I’m too young to die!” as a doctor pumps you full of Ativan to get you to shut up.