The reasons people use psychedelics vary. Some are merely curious. Some are seeking entertainment. Some are using psychedelics to improve their work performance and boost their creativity. And many are hoping to use psychedelics intentionally to work through depression, anxiety, or a traumatic experience.
With the diversity of drivers, more and more people from all walks of life are finding ways to incorporate psychedelics into their lives. Whether it’s just a one-time experience with ayahuasca or a daily microdose of psilocybin mushrooms, there’s no one-size-fits-all for psychedelic use these days.
Once people make the decision to use psychedelics, one of their first questions is how much do psychedelics cost? Unfortunately in this case, the answer doesn’t come as easy as the question. As many of the psychedelic substances we’ll mention are illegal in the US, not only are sources limited and nontransparent, so too is the fluctuation of prices. That said, this price guide should be used purely as a general overview.
The prices of each substance will vary depending on several factors including quality, location, source, etc. Until psychedelics are fully descheduled or made legal, there is no regulation around issues of pricing, purity, or user safety. It is our hope that legalization will eventually happen, as there is no doubt that this will ensure safer access to these substances and a better experience overall.
But first, a word of caution. We want to reiterate that these psychedelic drugs are illegal, and any intent or attempt to purchase these substances comes with a variety of financial and legal risks, including imprisonment. We wish that were not the case, but this is the reality of American society today. We DO NOT provide sources for these substances and the following (largely anecdotal) information may vary depending on a number of different factors.
Disclaimer: The psychedelic substances mentioned here are illegal. We do not encourage any use of psychedelics. We do understand, however, that illegal drug use does occur, and we wish to share any harm reduction information that might keep individuals safe.
We would also like to remind readers that beyond legal risks, there are inherent risks to exploring these substances. Many everyday actions also have inherent risks. Think of the seatbelt you put on every time you drive your car. And just like psychedelic use, there are methods and protocols that should be followed to increase your safety and reduce the potential for harm.
Research, thoughtfulness, and preparation should be exercised when experimenting with psychedelic substances. If you think it may be beneficial to further discuss any questions or concerns with a professional, we can put you in touch with a psychedelic guide with the same respect for safe and responsible psychedelic use.
Now, let’s explore average prices for 4 of the most in-demand psychedelics and further discuss who exactly are seeking these substances.
Average Price for Standard Dose (½ to 1 eighth (1.75 to 3.5 grams)): $12 to $35
Like many of the other substances we’ll mention here, the price of psilocybin mushrooms fluctuates for a number of different reasons. One reason is that, in nature, different varieties grow at different times throughout the year, which creates a seasonal supply.
While someone in the US may be able to access psilocybe cubensis (the most common type of magic mushroom) at pretty much anytime throughout the year, other types only fruit during certain times of the year. There are also clandestine indoor grows that produce psilocybin mushrooms year-round, but these are typically small operations due to its illegality.
Another factor is city- and state-level consequences for possession and distribution, which range from as little as a fine to a misdemeanor and all the way up to a serious felony charge depending on your location. This plays a role in supply and demand dynamics, where areas with stricter policies typically have higher prices.
However, this is not always the case. Recent decriminalization of psilocybin in Oakland, CA; Santa Cruz, CA; Denver, CO; Ann Arbor, MI; Washington D.C.; Cambridge and Somerville, MA; and the entire state of Oregon increased the demand for psilocybin, actually driving up prices temporarily due to the short supply.
Interestingly, the prices paid by recreational magic mushroom users pale in comparison to those paid by psilocybin researchers. It’s been reported that researchers at Johns Hopkins University have paid up to $10,000 per gram! While this is partially due to the fact that dried mushrooms are replaced by pure psilocybin, the huge difference in price is definitely a barrier for those hoping to expand psilocybin research.
Average Price for Standard Dose (100 to 150 µg): $5 to $15
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is one of the most expensive liquids in the world because of lab equipment, raw materials, and requisite background in chemistry necessary to produce. However, because of its illegality, it is difficult to determine the actual cost of production. One gallon of pure LSD has been estimated to cost about $123,000 to produce.
Ironically, a single dose of LSD is one of the most inexpensive drugs in the world. In the 1990’s, standard doses were as little as $1 to $2! That same gallon of pure LSD is the equivalent to over 14 million standard doses, depending on dilution and dose concentration. If this tells you anything, it’s that you need just a very, very small amount to safely and effectively consume LSD.
Just like psilocybin above (and the other two substances addressed below), supply and demand play a role in the average price of a standard dose. Potency (or concentration of the active ingredient), also is a factor. However, unlike psilocybin, MDMA, and Ketamine, LSD is more difficult to weigh.
This is both due to its minimum effective dose (we’re talking micrograms here) as well as the form it usually arrives in, which is typically absorbed onto blotter paper or in a diluted liquid. Therefore, even if you’re paying within the average price range, the actual amount of LSD you receive may vary, and is near impossible to quantify.
Similar to psilocybin, legal purchase of LSD for research purposes means a much higher price tag. In one study with just 12 participants, the total cost for researchers was $190,000. While we are making significant advances towards understanding psychedelics and how they may benefit our lives, it’s clear that there are still significant barriers preventing large-scale research.
Average Price for Standard Dose (one tablet, approximately 125 mg): $10 to $25
For the most part, the price of MDMA varies due to what’s contained in the tablet, pressed pill, or powder. Pure MDMA is commonly supplemented with a range of adulterants. Fortunately, in some areas of the world, the purity of MDMA has increased over the past decade, and this also typically means an increase in price, too.
However, a higher price and purity isn’t always associated with a better product. Some “super strength” pills contain up to 300 mg of MDMA—which is more than enough to make someone ill, or even lead to serious health problems such as cardiac arrest.
MDMA, in particular, is a substance that has been negatively affected by the War on Drugs. Its illegal status means a lack of regulation and oversight on its production, meaning illegal producers sometimes add fillers and potentially dangerous additives to increase profit. This is why we always recommend a reliable drug testing kit to ensure the integrity of the substance, particularly with a riskier psychedelic such as MDMA.
While recreational users have to be wary of acquiring MDMA, the drug is safely being used around the world in a therapy context. It’s well on its way to legalization for use in psychotherapy in the US, but some estimates predict a pretty significant investment for those wanting to take part in this new type of therapy.
Estimates for therapy sessions range from $150 per session to upwards of $15,000 for a full treatment! However, when compared to SSRIs and other types of medicines, several thousands of dollars for a solution that may provide persisting results with potentially fewer negative side effects is a very attractive option.
Average Price for Standard Dose (50 to 100 mg): $20 to $25
Similarly, the price of ketamine used in assisted therapy sessions at legal clinics also varies significantly, and not just because of the cost of the substance itself. Typically in the form of oral lozenges, intravenous injection, or intramuscular injection, these different routes of administration require varying levels of oversight and staff presence, which add to the overall costs.
Clinics can charge anywhere from $350 to $1000 per infusion and most patients end up getting several rounds of treatment. While these treatments have been successful for many of those who use them, the expense of each session is turning some to seek ketamine illegally—and for much cheaper.
However, despite the lower costs of acquiring ketamine in the illicit market, there are obvious risks and potential downfalls, the primary one being that ketamine use outside of a clinical setting is illegal. You also may be at risk of consuming unknown fillers or replacement substances (get a drug kit and test before you ingest!).
And as an anesthetic and dissociative, ketamine produces stronger physical and mental impairment during the psychedelic experience. We urge you to conduct your own research and take an abundance of care if you’re considering trying ketamine. Connecting with one of our psychedelic guides or trip sitters may provide the information you’ve been seeking.
Who Uses Psychedelics?
When psychedelics emerged into American culture in the 1960’s, countercultural practices were a way people could “drop out” of the restricting confines of American culture. The spiritual practices used during those years have continuously become more mainstream, perhaps preparing our culture to welcome psychedelics more wholeheartedly.
We’re only just starting to fully grasp the importance of community and rituals, like those used by indigenous cultures for thousands of years. This has contributed to a better understanding of how to use psychedelics safely and how to harness all the benefits they have to offer—which has, in turn, led to more people using them.
Over the past few decades, psychedelic use has been on the rise. As of 2013, there were more than 30 million psychedelic users in the US. While psychedelic use is more popular among men and is higher in those aged 30 to 34, all segments of the population have been known to experiment with psychedelics.
It is important to mention that psychedelic use among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) is lower than other Americans. Black citizens have been subject to serious ethical violations in the name of medical research in America’s history, and the War on Drugs was used to systematically disenfranchise communities and incarcerate Black and brown individuals.
It’s no wonder why BIPOC representation in clinical studies and illicit psychedelic use is low: the social and legal consequences are higher for people of color. This is a shame considering that intentional psychedelic use could be a useful tool in healthily navigating identity and racial tensions in American society.
Though we have a long way to go, the stigma that was formerly shrouding psychedelic use has continuously faded as the world has come to recognize that not only are psychedelics for the most part very safe but also that they provide a unique range of benefits. For these reasons, more healthy people are seeking out psychedelics to improve their lives.
In fact, research has demonstrated that psychedelics like LSD can make someone happier, healthier, and smarter. People are even using them daily to help support their work lives and boost their creativity.
While not everyone who uses psychedelics has found the bravery and comfort to step outside of the psychedelic closet, more and more people are stepping out to share their experiences. Perhaps most famously, is the foodie-turned-psychonaut Michael Pollan whose 2018 book recounted his experiences with psychedelics as a person with little drug experience and in his 60’s.
Pollan is just one of many who don’t fit the countercultural stereotypes we’ve been trained to associate with psychedelic use. From Steve Jobs to Susan Sarandon to Kary Mullis to Chance The Rapper, psychedelics are no longer used in just one segment of the population.
Before You Buy
If you’re reading this article, you’re likely one of the millions of people who have either had a psychedelic experience or are curious about having one. It’s clear to see that you’re not alone and, whatever your reasons, you can rest assured that there are others out there with the same questions and concerns. While the cost of psychedelics is definitely a curiosity, it’s generally not a concern as most substances are inexpensive.
However, what IS a concern is quality and safety, and we hope this guide has been valuable in those efforts. Safe psychedelic use begins with safe substances.
Given the legal status and lack of regulation, you will have to take this matter into your own hands. That’s why we ALWAYS emphasize the importance of buying a reliable scale and drug testing kit to test the substance before you consume.
We understand that you want to join the millions who have benefited from their experiences with psychedelics, but safety is paramount. If you are still curious about using psychedelics but realize you need further guidance on how to do so safely and effectively while minimizing harm and risk, our trip sitting program may be just what you’re looking for.