Why Some People Don’t Feel Psychedelics

Are your psychedelic trips seeming a bit lackluster? Here are some possible explanations.
Why Some People Don’t Feel Psychedelics

Before doing 5 MEO DMT, a hallucinogen made from the venom of the Sonoran Desert toad, people told me it was the most powerful psychedelic of all, one that would take me to another dimension. So, after three doses, I was surprised to stay firmly on the ground, talking through the problems in my life.

5 MEO DMT still gave me valuable insights and a feeling of inner peace and euphoria, but some people experience even less with psychedelics. Hannah, 27, didn’t feel anything when she took magic mushrooms. Zoe, 23, once tripped on acid at a festival and saw nothing but “some lights dancing and some shadows” for 10 minutes. Bianca, 27, has taken LSD a few times, and they’ve all been very subtle. “If I focused on one thing for a long time, it would start to get wavy and glisten a little. And I was so, so giggly,” she says. “But that’s pretty much it.”

While most things you hear about psychedelics, both good and bad, focus on how intense their effects can be, some people feel very little or nothing. This can happen for a variety of reasons, ranging from the physical to the psychological. 

What’s Inhibiting Your Trip?

One reason is painfully obvious: If you’re not feeling the effects of a drug, you may not be taking enough to do so. “A lot of newcomers are appropriately concerned about the dose, so they take a low dose, and it’s not enough for them,” says James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center.  

The other obvious factor has to do with other substances in someone’s system. Antidepressants called SSRIs will blunt the effects of psychedelics, says Giordano. That’s what Hannah was on when she took mushrooms. SSRIs, as well as benzodiazepines, affect both your nervous system and the enzymes that process psychedelics, says Giordano. This can make trips shorter and less intense and also make the effects come on later. 

Then, there are innate differences in how people metabolize drugs. “You can share the drug, but you can’t share the trip,” says Giordano. “My trip can be very different from your trip on the exact same dose of the exact same drug under the exact same circumstances.” Or, as he tells his med students, “The devils and the deities live in the details of the structural and functional connections of our brains. That’s why these experiences can activate different nodes and patterns in different people to produce different effects.” 

This is especially true for DMT-based psychedelics like ayahuasca and 5 MEO DMT. “A lot of what people describe with DMT effects — dimensional deportation and reaching an enlightened state — those really vary,” says Giordano. “Some people just get kind of chill, some people get multi-sensory hallucinations, and some have this profound spiritual experience, but that’s not uniform.”

Those who approach psychedelics from a spiritual perspective see deeper reasons why some appear unaffected by them. Tricia Eastman, who runs retreats with iboga, magic mushrooms, and 5 MEO DMT, says the mind sometimes blocks psychedelics’ effects because someone’s ego doesn’t want to go where the substance may lead them. People who are highly intellectual or who have histories of trauma are often more prone to this, she says. 

Zoe thinks this kind of self-protection may have to do with what happened to her when she didn’t feel the acid. “I wasn’t at ease like the times I tried it before,” she says. “I was in a public place with people I [didn’t] know.”

Giordano, however, is skeptical that someone’s mind can really block the effects of a psychedelic. “Those drugs are pretty strong,” he says. “I really don’t know many instances that I’ve ever heard of clinically where somebody says, ‘I’ve been able to think myself out of it.’” 

Another thing that can blunt the psychological effects of a psychedelic, in Eastman’s view, is the person’s intention. For example, if someone goes into a shamanic ceremony with the intention of physical healing, they may not get visions because the substance is working on their body. 

Whatever the reason you’re not feeling a psychedelic, taking more in an attempt to bring on an effect can be risky — the trip can be more intense and last longer once it finally hits, says Giordano. You also may want to reconsider what counts as “feeling it.”

“Medicines are here to clean you, to align you, it’s meant for purification, or sometimes just a deeper understanding of self,” says Eastman. “That doesn’t necessarily come from visions. Sometimes, the visions can be a distraction, and if someone goes in with this attachment — ‘I have to have this experience, and I hear you’re going to see a white man in a robe with a beard and all this stuff’ and they’re expecting to see that, then they don’t see it and they’re disappointed, and they miss out on a huge part of the experience because they have this attachment.” 

So, she recommends that journeyers keep an open mind and understand the drug may not affect them in the way they expect, but it’s still doing something. “The medicine wants you to completely let go and go on a journey.”

  1. Is there more info on which SSRI s may block psilocybin and cause a person not to feel the effects of the mushrooms?

  2. What about those of us who don’t feel anything at all? I have tried a few psychedelics, but so far nothing has worked.

    1. It may be the case that your body lacks the ability to convert psilocybin to psilocin, the psychoactive byproduct of metabolism. This is the explanation for why some people can eat a large quantity of marijuana (THC) edibles, then feel nothing. They (genetically) lack the digestive enzyme required to make THC available for uptake in the digestive system for use by the endocannabinoid system.

      1. I think that’s the case for me. I can’t feel anything off edibles & every time I’ve done shrooms I barely feel anything, if I feel anything at all. It’s kind of disappointing. My sister is the same way so it must be genetic too.

        1. I wonder you could have the experience if you took a natural MAOI along with it. I’m very sensitive to these substance anyway but when I ingested some mushrooms accompanied by a few grams of Syrian Rue, the experience multiplied as well as the length of the experience.
          There are people selling extractions of Rue for a more refined experience than taking the whole seed. There are three compounds that are extracted: harmine, harmaline, tetrahydroharmine.
          The first two are needed and the third just enhances the experience.
          People use these orally along with smoking DMT to lengthen the experience. It helps to “ease into the space”. I’ve also read about people using this method to lengthen and enhance mushroom sessions, calling it “shroomahuasca”.
          The Rue (or extracts from Rue) are also used as a stand in for the Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis Caapi) when it’s NOT available.
          I hope this helps…

  3. I have taken shrooms a total of 5 times.While everyone else around me was having a good time, I felt absolutely nothing. First time I took half an eighth, my last time, I took an entire 1/4, absolutely 0 effects what so ever. Only hint of being high is that my pupils were extremely small, but I had absolutely no “trip” in any sense. Guess I’m just a freak? My friends were freaking out asking what the fuck was wrong with me.😂

  4. First time doing dmt had an amazing experience, about 6 months ago. Have tried 3 or 4 times since and nothing. However everyone I’m with enjoys their experience. So wait again for another month and try again heavier and harder, others enjoy, while I feel nothing. What is going on, so frustrating. Am I trying to hard. I set environment , candles, low lights, soft music, one other person. Where am I going wrong, please help.

    1. My thoughts were the same, but now I’m having faith and no longer need my medications due to having only 1mushroom cap per 2 days in a tea. But for a trip I am currently making a tea with about 5g of shrooms and hoping for the best haha.

  5. I have a high IQ and I’ve had multiple traumas as a child so this does make sense. I am afraid to allow the unknown to happen, yet I deeply want to enter the unknown, or open my mind, or let go, or to just feel something, anything. How I can I override my brain if this is in fact true? Changing the environment possibly? I dont take any SSRIs, nor do I take Benzos. I have tried DMT, shrooms, acid all multiple times with no effects at all and I am the only one who doesn’t trip it seems. I admit to sometimes pretending I do just to avoid the questions or to avoid taking the drug again in the same setting because I dont want someone to waste it on me.

    1. It sounds like we’re in a similar situation. What little bit I experience, is virtually irrelevant. I can actually create a better “trip” experience with meditation. I know I lack a liver enzyme (CYP family of metabolites) to metabolize lidocaine, sedation, Vicodin, and Marijuana edibles, but I don’t think it plays a factor with metabolizing hallucinogenics. It is possible, I suppose, but I do get a massive amount of pain relieve when I take LSD. Perhaps it is a mental block and requires further exploration at some point.

    2. Same boat high iq, traumatic brain injury, thyroid cancer hyperthyroidism took 150mg of dmt nothing my wife took 25 mg blasted off three times within a four hour period she seen animals and all kinds of stuff I was so disappointed.
      I eat mushrooms and I do get very minor visuals at 5+grams
      But I mostly feel very good body high and internal thought process is great music is the best sometimes i get emotional in a positive way I love shrooms but others have strong visuals on 1-3grams where it don’t that much but I don’t understand why dmt only gives me a little pressure in my temple That’s it???

  6. I have tried psychedelics many times at parties, Amsterdam holiday, on my own, or with a few friends on a camping trip. The effects start and I’m ready for the ride but then I just feel something in my brain say “nope, we’re not doing this” and it just stops. While my friends where having a great time it was like I had taken nothing. It was very frustrating. I just gave up trying in the end.

  7. i took .8 but i’m on an ssri and feel nothing. how much should i take next time?? this was also my first time so i didn’t wanna over do it

    1. lol, did you mean .8 grams or 8 grams? If you only took .8 grams, it would be highly unusual to trip at such a small amount. If you took 8 grams, you should feel something if not trip. Yet, taking an SSRI may be the reason why you can’t feel it. Please don’t stop taking the SSRI and then take 8 grams! That’s too much to start off. If you start without the SSRI, Try 1 to 3 grams and add a gram an hour later and see.

  8. I took shrooms for the first time last night and I took a large dose, more than a gram, felt a little euphoric ig and lost my filter almost as if I was drunk, but I didn’t trip, I had 0 visual effects at all. Don’t know if there’s something wrong with me or the shrooms were bad, I don’t think it’s possible to reply on here but I need some advice badly and I don’t know how to fix the issue

    1. yes, I took shrooms 3 times so far (over 1 month between each session) hardly anything happened even if I took 1g. each time. The first 2 times, i just felt a little bit sick like I was about to throw up and a little spooked … and then it was over 2 and a half hours later, last one really nothing happened, like a had taken a placebo and that was taking a kind of shroom that is supposed to be quite strong … I took 3 different kinds of shrooms, always the same disappointing result, I’ll finish the capsules I have already at home and then that’ll be it I guess … Those bottles cost me 90$, seems like it was a waste of money since the experiences haven’t been pleasant … I was worrying about hallucinations and whatnot but nothing really happened …

  9. I took a sheet of LSD and didn’t feel anything like my friends who only took a tab described. I just felt relaxed, and normal annoyances went away. I’ve taken a ton of shrooms on separate occasions and didn’t feel anything other than seeing vibrant colors. The “trips” or “highs” have been incredibly underwhelming. I suffer from anxiety and depression due to combat traumas, and I don’t take meds for any of it. I just drink alcohol when it’s too much to deal with, and on a daily basis I try to eat a healthy diet and exercise vigorously. Maybe it is the traumas that blocks the effects of the psychedelics, but I’ve just accepted that psychedelics aren’t for me. I’ll stick to exercise and booze.

  10. My brothers and I bought acid recently. My oldest brother and myself had done it before, while my middle brother hadn’t. I had taken 2 hits, they had taken 1. I tripped like crazy, and so did my oldest. My middle brother has only seen a few tracers and he laughed a bit. He’s really bummed out.

  11. I am one of those that doesn’t trip 🙁
    I’m pretty sure my friends don’t believe me. I have tried acid so many times in hope of it working. All my friends are tripping bollocks and I get literally nothing. Believe me.. I have taken enough!
    I have taken many shrooms. I do get a body high from shrooms… extreme fatigue and a spell of laughter but no visuals.
    I really want it to work!!

  12. I recently took my first “strong” dose of mushrooms, 3.5 g. I took 1g before that experience but I mixed it with alchol and marijuana (don’t do it guys, it’s unpredictable how your body and mind will react). I had a bad period and I used to mix lots of things. But back to the strong trip, I wasn’t really comfortable in the situation I was beforehand, bad things had happened prior taking the shrooms, but i was letting go of many things before and during the trip. I felt all the time like some sort of things were going to happen and I was at the verge of something, but all I had was a persistent sense of joy, rediscover of some of my cerebral paths in interesting ways.I think I tried to stay as positive as possible forcing it a little bit for the sake of my trip sitter that wasn’t really comfortable with what i was doing. It was profound and healing but i had a very mild effect compared to the experiences that people normally have at these doses. I wonder if it’s because of the drugs i took in the weeks/days before taking the mushrooms (no benzos, no ssri) or if the cause relies in something else. I took them on empty stomach some hours after waking up.
    And I want to point out that after this experience I started to think less and less about fucking myself up like I used to do in various ways.
    Thanks for reading my experience.

  13. Acid and mushrooms get my very high, DMT does absolutely nothing. In fact, I think it’s a massive hoax and isn’t even real. How can the most powerful psychedelic have no affect what so ever, when much weaker ones do? And I tried it from several sources, all of it a huge waste of money. It’s just a scam drug dealers use to make money.

  14. I’ve had a long history of using psychs with dozens of profound and beautiful experiences on mushrooms, lsd and dmt. I ended up catching Covid in Dec of 2020 and even though I didn’t get particularly sick (at least compared to my hosuemates) it had somehow effected me in that I am no longer able to trip. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I use, I get very little effects and they are usually overpowered by unpleasant physical symptoms (vasoconstriction and headaches mainly) Its really been a downer, I miss being able to alter my consciousness in the way that only psychs can. I miss seeing the imagery and the feelings of wholeness and oneness with the universe. Its supremely frustrating to attempt to get ‘there’ but only end up with a headache.

    Something about covid changed something in my brain and I don’t know what it is or if it’s possible to fix it. I’ve tried to see a dr about it and they referred me to a neurologist but the neurologist denied my referral so I’m basically stuck not knowing and the thought of never being able to trip again has left me really bummed out…

  15. I think I might have the same problem. I vaporized 70 mg of DMT and all I felt was like right before you get knocked out from anesthesia. No visuals at all. Similar problems too. Used medical marijuana to help temporarily alleviate my BPD emotional deregulation. In the beginning it worked really well, and then stopped working in just a matter of a few months. When I went for ECT, they told my mom I needed a way higher dose of anesthesia to knock me out. Learning all this has greatly increased my Major depression. Imagine trying everything, to find that psychedelics are so promising and you will never ever get that treatment because it doesn’t work on you. I’m an escapist. I have no problem letting go. Daydreamed for years to help cope. I hate reality. So it’s not me not able to let go. Basically fucked.

  16. Today I took my first ever dose 4g dried, it did nothing. I then took 7g about 7 hours later and still nothing. I’ve been told I’m highly intelligent by several psychologists and my psychiatrist, and obviously I’ve had some past traumas, hence the professionals.

  17. the first year i smoked weed i never really got high. i’ve done high amounts of shrooms like 3 times now and have felt nothing. i’ve done acid 3 times (twice being double dipped tabs) and nothing. shrooms just make me higher when i smoke and acid makes me really high. my sight gets a little blurry and it looks like things are like slightly shaking but that’s the most that’s ever happened. i don’t take antidepressants and i don’t think i’ve have that bad of trauma so i don’t know what’s wrong.

  18. So I have taken shrooms and LSD many times and everytime all of my friends would be tripping and I would not. I’m very convinced I found the reason why. I was at the doctor having problems with depression, anxiety, and a couple other things. They check my testosterone levels and they were extremely low . And we’re low for a female and I at the time was a 35 year old male . They did an MRI and realized I have a tiny pituitary gland that doesn’t release or regulate the proper amount of chemicals or hormones in your body. If you are here and wandering why you can’t seem to feel any effects from shrooms or lsd I would definitely recommend getting your pituitary gland checked, especially if you’re having any other problems like depression, anxiety, or things that can be related to the brain not releasing the right amount of chemicals

  19. i did acid today for the first time i did a 250ug tab and i felt fucking insane but i didnt have any hallucinations maybe its because of my trauma? idk im just a bit sad i didnt get to see the rainbows

    1. I have a genetic condition called hemochromatosis it’s an iron build up in my blood that overloads my liver giving me mild cirrhosis. It’s super common and the only reason why I know I have it is that I once over did it on keto and booze. The only way I can get stoned is by smoking. No drinks/teas or gummies/cookies work. I just tried powdered shrooms and they don’t work either. This is soo frustrating. Do other people or Doctors out there have similar findings with this disease? Is this what a “different metabolism” really means? I’d love to learn more it if anyone can recommend anymore articles or studies about people not being able to get a high from eating or drinking psychedelics.

  20. I’ve taken shrooms, LSD, both at low dose, and extremely high (a strip off a sheet aka 20 tabs). I’m high IQ, with a lifetime of trauma, and I also happen to be on SSRI’s. I also have felt nothing. I also cannot properly metabolize oral doses of opioids. (Because of this i have a morphine pain pump directly in my spinal cavity) So I wonder if that played a roll? I definitely noticed I didn’t feel as much pain, but I still felt some. Elevated mood, but no visual affects.

    I went in by my self in my home so I definitely felt safe. I’ve been wanting to try DMT, but if I can’t metabolize it enough to feel the effects, I don’t want to spend the money. Idk. I’m disappointed that my body doesn’t seem to respond at all.

  21. Omg everyone here is in the same position as me, I have taken 7 and 8g of shrooms, everyone else is tripping balls and I’m just staying the same, I feel nothing, see nothing, my partner doesn’t believe me when I say I’m not feeling anything so I just lie now, he says I’m being greedy if I where to take more as he’s a lot thinner than me and a 4g dose is enough for him, the most part of trauma if I can even call it that is my dad left when I was born, didn’t have much of a relationship with him, fast forward to when I was 14 I found out he hung himself, around about that time I witnessed a murder and then that led to years of self harm, fast forward from that at the age of 28 (I’m 31 now) I overdosed on amitryptaline (don’t know if that’s correct spelling) I was in a coma for 4 days, again felt nothing didn’t see anything (been told off loads of people when they overdosed they seen all sorts of stuff) I don’t know what to do, I just want to experience what others do, I feel like there is something wrong with me, I have taken lsd before I do want to try dmt, and also peyote, but what would be the point if I feel nothing? I’m not on any medication, so I don’t understand why? I got over that stuff as I had no choice but too, I saw psychologists ect was put on meds but the recent overdose has made me not want to take medication, I don’t get body highs, or anything like that, I just feel very empty, please someone help…

    1. I’m on your same shoes :(,, I’ve try ayahuasca, weed, lsd, dmt in a meditation center and 0 feeling! I do get warm and relax but that’s all, it’s frustraeting once the session is over everyone talks about their experience, I just listen feeling like I’m in a multilevel presentations and all this people is full of Cra*.. but it’s ME 🙁

  22. The first time I took shrooms, I got a really nice trip. The next one, I remember asking my friends if it kicked for them and yes they were all super high 🥲. It worked again a few times though. I think it’s because I made sure that I didn’t eat too much before and smoked a joint 1 hour after taking it. Smoking makes me feel like I can control if I feel the shroom feeling or not. It’s weird and I wonder if anyone feels the same 😅

  23. I took 2x omelettes in Bali. My mate had one plate. He was hallucinating on beach seeing Elephants and Crocodiles trying to bury himself in the sand.
    I felt nothing bit disappointed. But had a Hash cooky in Sumatra and after 1hr everything was getting overwhelming ,sound and sight eas in overdrive, so I ran away from my mates.

  24. Interestingly enough, I have tried marijuana a few times and I get absolutely no effect (whether I try cookies, smoking). (I tried with friends who know ‘their’ stuff and smoked the high-quality weed in Amsterdam.) Last week someone offered me acid and LSD at a multi-day festival and despite eventually taking twice their dosage, I felt hardly anything… just perhaps a bit more relaxed. I know I have a superfast metabolism but don’t take any other drugs or medications. What DOES work are magic mushrooms which I greatly enjoy (5 or 6 gr) – no visuals but very deep experiences and highly enhanced meditation sessions (either immediately after my trip or at lower doses e.g. 2 or 3gr). Anyways, I’m happy these drugs don’t work, but just wanted to try them out. I’m fully satisfied just sticking to shrooms. It’s like my reaction to alcohol – if I drink ‘too much’, I get sick and throw up well before I lose control (so I’ve never had a hang-over either). My body seems to recognize too much alcohol as ‘poison’ and – literally – throws it out 🙂 But I do enjoy my daily cider and/or glass of wine very much.

  25. So my experience some far has been weird first time with magic mushrooms 3.3g and I was off to Pluto but since then I have barely felt anything some visual slight audio even at a high dose. I grow them myself I just think they could be weak and the first one was just strong. Friend said to balance it out I should grind it all up together and dose from there.

  26. I’ve tried DMT while not on heavy mental health medications, and only saw and outline of a bunny rabbit hopping into a dark Forrest, this was my first ever time trying anything other than weed, I was in my 20’s now in my 30’s with major health issues, due to chronic pelvic pain, as well as thyroid nodules and still suffering with extreme mental health issues due to being the victim of child abuse, I don’t like taking medication so my partner suggested LCD first time I took 2 I was able to laugh and play around with my kids for the first time in a very long time, tried again a few more times increasing the dose each time to which I was always left disappointed due to not being able to have visuals, I have now been doing shrooms for a month now, I have not yet had visuals however I am now off the 200mg of desvanlaxafine I was taking every A.M. I can smile and feel more connected to nature and all its finest things, I’ve been on walking trails instead of sleeping all day, I’ve been able to go to work due to NO pain any more except maybe a niggle if I lift something that is too heavy or have just had a really hard day at work. It’s clear to me now that not everyone will see things but these wonderful things nature provides us with ate here for a reason and both my body and mind feel all the much better for it. I have 1 mushroom cap in a tea every two days now, because I know it is helping my body to repair itself. I no longer have flashbacks every single day so I feel it has dramatically improved my ptsd I also don’t talk about my trauma as much anymore as for some reason i just feel as ease i have never felt this way bedore so i am.choosing to embrace it. Tonight I am trying a dose of 5g of shrooms (have previously tried less and have been working way up) to see if I do get any visuals but if not then I believe that they are doing something, and one day once my body is repaired I will able to see what other people do see. But please anyone with an issue thinking your not getting anything out of trust that it is helping your body. Time to have my really blue tea and go lay down with my blindfold and music on and let whatever will be, be. Good night all and peace.

  27. Wow, I thought there was something wrong with me. Last night I made a lemon tek with 3g of APE which are supposed to be the strongest. After 4 hours, nothing. At. All. It was like waking up on Christmas day with no presents under the tree. I have taken larger doses but effects were minimal. However, there are other benefits to psychedelics but are they blocked as well?

    1. Bro same..like u said it’s like walking to the tree with no presents..took 7 g,s of ape last night and was so disappointed..literally all I had was a high off weed feeling nothing more..took Nother batch the day before ND was gone gone..for some reason the penis envys ain’t do nun for me like wtf

  28. Around 20 years ago, l took lsd several times and had really intense trips. Now, with the exception of 4 aco dmt, I only get a body high on lsd and shrooms. I was on anti depression meds, but not anymore and that was 10 years ago. I would like to enjoy them again. Any suggestions?

  29. I took 7 grams of penis envy last night and felt nothing more than a high off weed feeling..idk why because those are the strong ones and I ate the whole qtr..2 hrs in and 3 grams in and I’m still just confused as to why there not hitting me like they should and so I eat the rest and all night it never hit like they should’ve..the day before I literally had some other shrooms and they had me on the moon..for some reason though last night’s batch didn’t do nothing but disappoint me and there just went money ND shrooms wasted woke up mad ash

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