When it comes to recreational drugs, you can't get any safer than psychedelic mushrooms. The newest version of the Global Drug Survey, which polls people around the world about their drug use, finds that magic mushrooms cause significantly fewer emergency room visits than other drugs — including marijuana.
The survey polled more than 120,000 people in 50 countries about their drug usage, and found that while more than 12,000 people said they took shrooms last year, only 0.2% of them needed medical attention. That's only about 24 people.
In comparison, 100 people who responded to the survey were hospitalised after taking LSD last year and 250 sought emergency medical treatment after taking ecstasy.
While marijuana is generally considered pretty safe, even weed caused about three times the number of people to seek medical attention than magic mushrooms did.
And just because the survey found that shrooms are the safest doesn't mean they're without risk. Any time you take any type of drug — recreational or prescription — there's at least some risk involved.
When it comes to shrooms, one big risk is eating the wrong kind, study author 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," he said.
Still, even that risk is small and shrooms have actually been found to have some benefits, if taken carefully. Some studies have found that shrooms and other psychedelic drugs could help ease extreme anxiety.
Of course, we aren't saying that anyone should ditch their anxiety meds in favour of some magic mushrooms or should decide to give shrooms a try just because they might be safer than smoking a joint. But based on the experience of 120,000 people included in this poll, if given the choice of recreational drug — mushrooms seem to be the safest bet.