After ingesting psilocybin/magic mushrooms, you will not immediately begin to trip. Typically, you may have to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour before you begin to feel the effects of psilocybin mushrooms.
The amount of time the “come up” takes depends on several factors, but one way to speed up the onset of your psilocybin mushroom trip is to use the Lemon Tek, in which you grind or chop mushrooms and soak them in lemon juice before consuming them.
How does Lemon Tek Affect Your Trip?
After ingesting magic mushrooms, your body breaks down the mushrooms and metabolizes their psilocybin into psilocin, the active psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms. During digestion, highly acidic gastric juices cleave the phosphate group off psilocybin, converting it into psilocin. 1 When mushrooms are eaten whole, this process typically takes about 30 minutes to 2 hours for effects to begin, and the trip lasts roughly 4–6 hours depending on your metabolism and sensitivity to psilocin. 2
The Lemon Tek is purported to drastically speed up this process and reduce the come-up time to as little as 15 minutes and reduce the overall trip duration by about one to two hours. Some users even report having a “smoother” trip with less of a body load. 3. The faster onset and shorter peak lead users to anecdotally report a much more intense experience when using the Lemon Tek. Some psychonauts warn that the effects can feel up to twice as strong, so you may want to consider lowering your usual dose to avoid feeling overwhelmed. 4
How Does Lemon Tek Work?
There have been no published studies on either the effects or mechanism of Lemon Tek. The leading hypothesis about Lemon Tek’s mechanism of action is that the low pH of lemon juice (roughly 2–2.6) mimics the effect of gastric juices and helps dephosphorylate the psilocybin, thereby bypassing digestion and instead converting psilocybin immediately to bioavailable psilocin. 5
Even though it’s still contested how or if the Lemon Tek really works, there’s evidence to suggest that this method may also work well for the grey-market psilocybin analogue 4-AcO-DMT, which similarly gets converted to psilocin through ester hydrolysis when exposed to an acid solution. 1,6
If the hypothesis is true that psilocybin mushrooms are more easily digested due to the low pH of lemon juice, then theoretically other acidic citrus fruits and beverages would work as substitutes: lime juice, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, kvass, or even flavored kombucha would all be viable candidates.
An alternative theory as to the Lemon Tek’s effectiveness is a far simpler and more intuitive one: the increased surface area of powdered mushrooms makes them easier to digest. If that’s the case, then there’s no reason not to add an acidic liquid to the powder for good measure, not to mention it will help mask the mushrooms’ otherwise unpleasant flavor and texture.
How To Do Lemon Tek
Like with any recipe, the Lemon Tek has numerous variations, but the tried-and-true method of doing the Lemon Tek is pretty straightforward:
- Chop or grind the mushrooms as finely as possible. A coffee grinder works well for getting a fine, homogenous powder.
- Transfer the powdered mushrooms to a shot glass or small cup.
- Pour undiluted lemon juice into the glass, just enough to cover the mushrooms.
- Stir lightly, then let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.
- Add a few tablespoons of water or another beverage so the mixture is a drinkable consistency.
- Drink up and fasten up!
Diluting your mixture with water before soaking the mushrooms will raise the pH of the solution, defeating the purpose of using an acidic liquid in the first place. For this reason, fresh-squeezed juice seems to be preferable to pasteurized, store-bought beverages since fresh fruit juice is less watered down and contains a higher percentage of citric acid. 7
Fasting or eating light meals on the day of your trip may also help increase the absorption of psilocin and reduce the come up time when using the Lemon Tek.
If you are having trouble stomaching the Lemon Tek slurry, there’s good news: you can add sweeteners to help mask the taste. Honey is slightly acidic, and sugar will not change the pH of the mixture, so feel free to add a teaspoon or two of either. 8,9
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