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Lemon Tek Your Mushrooms
Explicit illicit drug recipe. Yes. Seriously. But also descriptions of trips, advice, and things you might find useful if you ever decide to take any psychedelic.
First off, this is a warning that the content of this particular essay is explicitly about the consumption of psilocybin. If you’re not drug-oriented or in recovery, this could be not your cup of [mushroom] tea. However it might be interesting to those who aren’t familiar with it, so if this isn’t particularly triggering as a topic, stay to check it out!
Second, yes, my Thursday post usually comes in the morning but I’m working on two lengthy essays and neither is finished, so today you get a recipe! I’m releasing this post before midnight eastern time on Thursday, so it still counts!
The following essay will include a recipe for taking psilocybin mushrooms, but also include descriptions of drug experiences, some of the chemistry and science behind “tripping”, and other advice regarding psychedelic usage. If you are not considering taking drugs or aren’t interested in the subject generally, you may still find it informative or interesting, but I’m not offended if you skip this piece.
I’m not shy about admitting I take various psychedelic drugs with some amount of regularity. During lockdowns and quarantine last year, I basically stopped drinking alcohol at all (I generally don’t drink at home, besides a little Bailey’s in hot chocolate), and started taking psilocybin mushrooms monthly, up to weekly (I usually do every 2-3 weeks). Friends of mine chose “farming” as their quarantine lockdown project, so I’ve had the advantage of an on-demand supply as desired.
I could say a lot about the trip itself - every mushroom trip is different, with similarities in heightened emotional states, euphoria, waves of yawning and wanting to cuddle, sensory sensitivity (light, sound, smells, feelings) - sometimes in the best way (showers feel amazing on shrooms). Visuals of textured patterns overlaying the most average of items, fractal visions with eyes open and closed. Falling deep into strange neural connections and imaginings with my eyes closed, like remembering the smell of the books on the bookcase at the landing of the stairs of my childhood home, remembering turning the page of a book and then mentally falling into the frames of sepia-toned photos of long-dead relatives I only remember from the stories my parents tell, leading to complex introspection about the nature of family legacies, family history, matriarchs, and the realization that someday I’ll be the keeper of family stories for my children and children’s children. All of this tempered by cuddles with my partner, dancing, laughter, and spotting my own pupils in the mirror, seeing my irises nearly disappear. A trip dilates your pupils - it truly feels like your eyes have been opened in a way they haven’t been before, and you see things and connections you never realized were there.
It can be profound or silly. It can be happy or heartbreaking. It’s often healing. A trip can break you into a million pieces and put you back together, all in four to eight hours time. It’s incredible, and I love it.
But actually taking the mushrooms sucks.
At least for me. I dislike mushrooms of the completely normal legal kind - they taste like rubber dirt to me, and I’m inclined to pick them off my food when they appear on it. Take a dehydrated psilocybin mushroom and ask me to chew it up, and my body hates it. I loathe the taste, my stomach turns, and I usually end up throwing them up at some point in the night. I tried teas, peanut butter, chocolate - it’s all helpful but nothing made me feel good about consuming them.
So when I found lemon tekking, my life was changed.
Like all recipe blogs, I just told you the long story before getting to the recipe, and for that I apologize, but I feel like drugs require more explanation than soup. Sorry.
The following recipe is for 2 doses/people. You can increase quantities proportionately. Here are a few notes before we get started:
Shroom doses can be anywhere from 1-7 grams of dehydrated mushrooms. Average doses are probably 2-3 grams, I generally take 3.5 grams, unless I’m taking a highly potent strain, at which point I stick to 2.5 on average. Generally, unless someone has warned you that they’re wicked strong, I say go with 3.5g and enjoy. Don’t take more than 4g unless you’re an experienced psychonaut, and know your own tolerances and abilities.
Mushrooms generally come dehydrated, with both caps and stems.
Set and setting matter. Some people like to be around nature. I like to be around comfort. Be sure you’re safe. If you have people around you, make sure they’re good people, with good energy. Don’t be surprised if shrooms bring up personal emotional issues you were repressing - they will, you can deal with them, and then you’ll feel better - don’t run from it, but have friends and support on hand to help bring you up if you get down. Have fun. Shrooms have “chapters” - the first hour may be different than the next several. Be game for the adventure.
Prepare your space ahead of time. Cold drinks, music, comfortable clothing, comfortable bedding, whatever makes you happy. High!You will thank Sober!You later for anything from lip balm, fruit, candy, comfy blankets, easy-to-change music, paper and colored pencils, a notebook, or whatever else later. Set yourself up for a good time, and then let Past!You take care of Tripping!You through those preparations. Generally avoid internet/technology if you can. It’s just really confusing sometimes when tripping.
Ingredients (serves 2):
Two doses of mushrooms, separated (see quantity note above)
Four regular sized lemons (if you have a juicer it’s awesome)
Four small tumblers (bigger than a shot glass, but short, not something tall, a basic cup).
Coffee filters (I recommend four - 2 per person)
A coffee or weed grinder (or a baggie and a hammer to grind them up)
Two forks or spoons
Orange juice (optional but highly recommend)
Grind up your dehydrated mushrooms (each dose separately if you want to ensure even experience). If you don’t have a grinder, you can crush the mushrooms in a baggie with a mallet or hammer or whatever you have, it doesn’t need to be powder but small pieces are best.
Put your dry powdered dose in a cup.
Cut and squeeze two lemons over your mushrooms in the cup. (Fresh lemon juice is key due to its pH for breaking down the psilocybin.) Don’t worry about lemon seeds, you’ll be filtering them out after.
Set timer for 20 minutes once you’re done squeezing out lemon juice.
Use your fork or spoon to continuously stir the mushrooms - making sure they’re thoroughly soaked/covered in lemon juice. You don’t need to constantly stir for 20 minutes, but make sure they’re totally soaked, and every few minutes give them a few turns to ensure best results.
Once your 20 minutes are up, take your second glass and place the coffee filters over it, forming a cup inside the cup, and gently pour your lemon juice & mushroom mix inside. Keep the sides of the coffee filter up.
Lift the filter with the ground mushrooms up and above the cup, squeezing to get all the juice out but leaving the mushroom grindings/pulp in the filter.
BONUS: if you really want to, you can throw the mushroom grindings into a tea bag or loose leaf tea container with some chai or something and make shroom tea, but honestly the lemon tek process exhausted most of the available psilocybin in the grindings, so it’s not going to do much for you. You can also just throw this away.
You now have a glass with somewhere around 2 ounces (give or take) of lemon juice which has been thoroughly infused with psilocybin. The pH of the lemon juice has broken it down into the best part.
Drink it like a shot.
Chase it with orange juice (optional but recommended).
From that point it takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes to kick in, generally.
Other consumption notes:
I recommend clearing your schedule for 24 hours if you can. Do them Saturday night with no plans on Sunday, something like that. The commitment is anywhere from 4-8 hours of the actual trip, and then you’re usually exhausted and it can take some time to fall asleep. I often sleep for 12 hours after. I usually need half a day to recover. Some people are totally fine after sleep the next day. You’ll figure your dynamic out, but give yourself time and space to recover.
Nausea is a common side effect of mushrooms. Lemon tekking is said to reduce it, because your stomach isn’t the one doing the work of breaking down the psilocybin, but I have still gotten nauseated with lemon tekking. It’s much better though. For the record, once you start tripping, if you need to throw up, just get it over with and get back to the experience - you won’t lose out on your trip.
Lemon tekking lowers the kick-in time, and is indicated to shorten the come down time. I find it helps compress the experience a little bit, people generally assume mushrooms last 6-8 hours, lemon tekking makes it 4-6. I also find it easier to sleep after.
Limes are acceptable as an alternative to lemons, but other citrus fruits sometimes aren’t acidic enough to be effective. 2-3 pH is ideal.
Some people prefer to fast before tripping. I like to eat 3-4 hours before tripping, something light, and generally avoid dairy.
If you have a family history of certain types of mental illness (such as schizophrenia) be very cautious about doing mushrooms. They are considered a good treatment for depression. Sober “trip sitters” can be helpful if you’re unsure of your mental state and need support.
There is a list of medications (such as Lithium, Tricyclics, Ritonavir or Indinavir) which can have dangerous interactions with psilocybin. Certain SSRIs or MAOIs are consistently reported to noticeably reduce the effects of psychedelics.
I recommend increased vitamin C and 5-HTP intake prior to and after a trip. That’s up to your own personal preference, but I find they help.
The chemistry of tripping: Psilocybin gets metabolized into psilocin which is the psychoactive ingredient causing your trip. Psilocin opens up your serotonin receptors, and activates the 5-HT2A receptor, which is linked to the changes in cognition associated with a “trip”.
If you ever feel your trip is too intense, change your scene first: different music, lighting, temperature, taking deep breaths, talking to someone, can all shift your mental space fairly easily. Distracting yourself from the experience can bring you to a different mental space, without any major changes to your environment. You can also tell yourself “okay I’m thinking of something daunting, but I can come back to it later” and tell yourself to put it away while you think of different things. In severe situations, I’ve known people who can pull out of a bad experience with the use of a small dose of Xanax or Ativan, but that’s something I recommend a trip-sitter consider if someone can’t calm down, not that it be self-administered, and that it be a last resort to tone down a wildly insane trip (which is rare).
There are other ways to consume psychedelic mushrooms, such as microdosing/capsules. That’s a whole different essay. :)
I learned much of my Lemon Tek process through trial & error, friends advice, and this article. Here’s another one that isn’t about lemon tekking, but the general “preparing for your first trip” advice that is worthwhile, as is this piece on bad trips.
Finally, be aware that I’m giving this advice as an experienced psychonaut of the past 15 years or so, but that I’m not a doctor, scientist, or medical professional. Additionally, other people with the same or more experience than me may have slightly different recommendations or explanations, and the best you can do is take in a variety of sources to better equip yourself for the journey you take.
If you’re never considering taking shrooms but stayed to read this through, I appreciate that you took the time, and I hope it was informative, whether or not you ever decide to.