Have you always wanted to try truffles in the Netherlands? Or are you just curious about what they are and how they work? In either case: You’ve come to the right place. We’ll happily share all that there is to know about the hallucinogenic.
Psychedelic truffles, also called “magic truffles”, are fungi that give psychedelic effects when consumed. They are a narcotic couched under the “drug” label and outlawed in most countries — but not in the Netherlands.
What are truffles?
Truffles are a by-product of the well-known Magic Mushrooms. While the terms “truffles” and “magic mushrooms” are often used interchangeably, and both are parts of the same vegetable, there is a slight difference between the two.
Whereas mushrooms are the fruit that sprouts above ground, truffles grow entirely underground and never break the earth’s surface. Both parts of the vegetable produce psychedelic effects.
Nonetheless, firsthand accounts show that truffle trips are often a little milder than mushroom trips, which tend to be deeper, more intense and introspective.
A possible reason is that truffles come in set quantities, so their consumption is more standardised. It’s important to know the differences between magic mushrooms and truffles in the Netherlands — which we’ll elaborate on later (spoiler: one is banned).
How should you consume truffles?
Truffles can either be eaten or consumed in the form of tea. Generally, most people eat them raw, though they describe their taste as foul.
Depending on your stomach content, the truffles should take more or less 45 minutes to start affecting you. That being said, it is recommended to consume truffles on an empty stomach.
Unfortunately, unlike a shot of Jägermeister, they cannot be downed quickly. To release the psilocybins effectively, you must chew them slowly before swallowing.
One popular way to make their taste less unpleasant is by mashing them up into a paste using a truffle grinder.
What are the effects of truffles?
Thanks to the compound called psilocybin, which enhances serotonin activity in the brain — doing truffles can make the user feel very euphoric.
They may also make you feel relaxed, at peace in the world and searingly introspective and insightful (but you might get a bit of anxiety about the crappy weather in the Netherlands).
Colours and geometric patterns become more vivid, and sounds may flow into each other. 😵💫
A truffle trip can last between four and six hours, but time is often distorted while tripping. That all depends on the strength of the truffle and your mood or state of mind when taking it.
Some people cope okay with this, but others panic themselves into believing they’re stuck in a never-ending time warp. Some accounts also report nausea as a side effect of the trip.
But in a similar vein to people who say “time heals all” while going through a bad breakup, tell yourself, “It’s just a trip, don’t panic”. All you can do is get through it and have a reassuring friend to calm you down and watch over you.
A loophole in the law
Magic mushrooms are illegal, so how come you can buy truffles in the Netherlands?
The Dutch try as much as possible to decriminalise the use of drugs, making it a private matter for each individual and not a matter for the enforcement apparatus.
However, protests against hallucinogenics broke out in 2008 after a girl jumped out the window while under the influence. The girl’s parents blamed the state of the Netherlands because the drug wasn’t illegal. Following this, several politicians lobbied to ban the sale of mushrooms.
READ MORE | Your complete guide to drugs in the Netherlands
A bunch of mushrooms were banned under the legislation, but one type was omitted from the list: the truffle! That’s why you can still legally buy and consume truffles in the Netherlands.
Where can you buy truffles in the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands, truffles can be bought from a so-called smart shop (which is different to a coffeeshop).
Smart shops opened in 1993 and sold items like herbal drinks and vitamins. A while later, they became known for selling magic mushrooms and truffles.
Like weed in coffee shops, there are ridiculous names and descriptions for truffles in the Netherlands. There are, for example, Mexicana’s, Dragons Gynamite, and Tampanensis — to name a few.
Ask the shop owner for advice on what type to buy, or even better, tag along with an experienced friend you trust and who knows your limits.
Three smart shops for buying truffles in Amsterdam
Kokopelli: You will find this very curious smart shop very close to the red light district in the Warmoestraat. Even if you are not interested in tripping, this shop is worth a visit.
Mediamatic Fabriek: Here, you can learn about the growing process of truffles. Mushroom-loving futurists Mediamatic offer mushroom-growing workshops every few months, covering either the magic kind or the boring (oyster) kind. Sign up for their newsletter to find out when the next one’s scheduled.
Tatanka Smartshop Amsterdam: A big, spacious, smart shop with helpful and knowledgeable staff.
Truffles can also be bought online from sites like Truffle Magic.
How much should I take?
It is recommended that each person takes between 5-10 milligrams. Truffles in the Netherlands are usually sold in 15 or 20 milligrams. Each box has a potency indicator.
A box ranges in price but typically costs between €10 and €40.
What to do (and not to do) when you’re high on truffles
- DO take them with people you feel totally comfortable with and trust
- DON’T consume them if you are in a bad mental state
- DO take them in a safe or peaceful environment such as an apartment or forest or a park
- DON’T panic — if the trip is getting too intense, tell a friend, breath deeply and repeat to yourself that it will be over soon
- DO eat sugar (after consumption) if you want to lessen the high, as dextrose is known to calm the effects
- DON’T combine truffles and alcohol — this can increase the risk of a bad trip
- DO have a sober trip-sitter who can watch over you while you’re high
How to be a conscientious trip-sitter
Taking one for the team and remaining sober while your friends take truffles in the Netherlands? You’re amazing. 🌟
Here are some pointers to be a good trip-sitter:
- DO be soft-spoken and reassuring
- DON’T be condescending
- DO offer drinks and food
- DON’T disregard their requests
- DO engage with their weird chats
- DON’T mock or laugh
- DO bring distractions like glow sticks and interactive games to heighten the experience
- DON’T panic if someone else is panicking
Is it dangerous to take truffles in the Netherlands?
The short answer to this question is simple: no. Especially in the Netherlands, where the sale of truffles is regulated and controlled, their consumption should not pose a danger. But let’s elaborate.
Scientific investigations have repeatedly ranked mushrooms and truffles as the least dangerous drugs. Regarding potential harm to self and others, alcohol and tobacco rank MUCH higher.
Another big difference between truffles and other, less demonised drugs is that they are not addictive, as Johns Hopkins professor Dr Matthew Johnson explains.
While the infamous “bad trip” is a real phenomenon, he claims it is a rare occurrence.
Research shows: truffles have positive effects
Rather than dangerous, magic mushrooms and truffles are proven to have profound healing effects. Clinical psychologist Ros Watts, PhD, of Imperial College London, is one of the leading researchers on psilocybin.
She explains that the brain is more malleable whilst on the drug. “We think this is why many study participants can break out of rigid, restrictive patterns; after the session, they often describe being able to see, feel, and do things in a new way.”
Still unsure if the shroom trip is for you? Why not start your truffles experience with a microdose?
This way, you can safely test if you vibe with the drug. Consuming minor amounts of psychedelics is noted to be highly beneficial, and firsthand accounts almost unanimously hail the benefits.
One study at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore showed that a mushroom trip eased the anxiety of people with life-threatening cancer and dramatically improved mood and well-being.
One user’s account showed how micro-dosing dramatically helped his ability to cope with the grief of losing his child.
He comments: “On the days I took the dose, my mind felt more open and free-ranging… I would feel closer to nature, which would appear more beautiful, and I felt more “present” in the moment, better connected to my family and to my own emotions, more likely to spark up conversations with strangers.
The dose was too small to cause visual disturbances. It was more a feeling of energised openness — I would notice details that had previously passed me by.”
Doing truffles in the Netherlands, when the user is informed and sensible about the drug, can be an eye-opening experience with long-lasting effects.
Of course, you must always be wary of the possible side effects and use them appropriately, but once informed, don’t shy away from having new experiences.
Do you have any extra tips for taking truffles in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in July 2019 but was updated for your reading pleasure in November 2023.