Strongest psychedelic mushrooms

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Types of Magic Mushrooms: 10 Shroom Strains You Should Know About

Magic mushrooms are so incredible and mysterious, from the beautiful experiences they occasion to the mystical compounds that they naturally produce. But what’s even more mindblowing is that there are over 180 different species of mushrooms that grow wildly around the globe—and which all contain psilocybin. Not to mention, some species have dozens of different strains with their own signature shape, flavor, and trip (we’re looking at you, Psilocybe cubensis!). So let’s explore 10 of the most common and widespread magic mushrooms (which also happen to be our favorites), but remember, we’re just scratching the surface! 

Psilocybe cubensis 

DoubleBlind: Dried mushrooms on a table. In this article Doubleblind takes a look beyond Psilocybe Cubensis: 10 Magic Mushroom Strains You Should Know About

If you’ve eaten psilocybin mushrooms, but had no idea what species it was, chances are it was a strain of Psilocybe cubensis. That’s because “cubes” are the easiest magic mushroom to cultivate indoors, and since the ’70s, there have been a few pivotal books teaching hobby growers how to do so, including Terence and Dennis McKenna’s, Psilocybin: The Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide. In fact, due to decades of selective home breeding, there are now 60 different strains of P. cubensis, like Golden Teachers, B+, Penis Envy Mushrooms, and Pink Buffalo. In clinical trials looking at the potential of psilocybin to treat mental health conditions, subjects actually receive isolated, synthetic psilocybin, rather than the whole mushroom, so we don’t actually have any rigorous data on the differences between all the magic mushrooms for healing purposes.

While different strains of cubensis can also be found in the wild all over the world, the indoor-grown types are typically more potent. That’s one of the reasons that mushrooms you buy on the underground market are often stronger than the ones you pick in nature, since they’ve been bred for strength and are grown in specific substrates (the material in which you grow mushrooms) that increase potency.

However, you can find cubensis growing throughout the southern US, into Mexico, Central American and South America. They also grow in Cuba, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia. In nature, they prefer to live on dung and can also be found on well-manured land in the spring, summer, and fall. 

In mycologist Paul Stamets’ mushroom identification guide, Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, he calls P. cubensis “the most majestic of the Psilocybes” because of their easy-to-recognize size and golden color. Like all Psilocybes, P. cubensis’ color depends on its level of hydration; they also turn a bluish color when handled due to psilocin oxidizing (basically being exposed to oxygen). Cubensis is distinct from other Psilocybe species because of its relatively large size and the way the mushroom’s cap widens with maturity. Overall, this is the most famous and widely consumed magic mushroom in existence, but it’s not the only one.

Psilocybe semilanceata (Liberty Caps) – One of the most Widespread Naturally Growing Types of Psychedelic Mushrooms

DoubleBlind: Dried mushrooms on a table. In this article Doubleblind takes a look beyond Psilocybe Cubensis: 10 Magic Mushroom Strains You Should Know About

Psilocybe semilanceata, also known as Liberty Caps, are considered the most widespread naturally growing psilocybin mushroom in the world, according to Psilopedia. Not only that, but they’re also the third most potent, according to tests done in 1997 by Paul Stamets and Jochen Gartz, a German chemist and mycologist. 

Identified in 1838, P. semilanceata was the first psilocybin mushroom native to Europe to be formally recognized. This species is still wildly popular and abundant, especially in England, where the first report of a family tripping out on them appeared in print: In London, 1799, a family reportedly picked and ate wild mushrooms growing in Green Park, which caused one son to laugh uncontrollably, the father to believe he was dying, and most family members to have vertigo.

Liberty caps, also known as Witch’s Hats, grow wildly all over the Northern Hemisphere. They prefer rich and acidic soil, like grasslands, meadows, pastures, and lawns, especially ones fertilized with sheep or cow manure. Because this is such a common environment around the world (think lawns, gardens, soccer fields), they grow in many countries throughout Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Finland, Iceland, Russia, and Turkey. They also grow in North America, on the West Coast from California to British Columbia in the fall to early winter, and to a lesser extent on the East Coast from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, Canada. Plus, some varieties are known to grow in the Southern Hemisphere, too, in Chile and New Zealand.

Read: Canada Now Has Psilocybin Dispensaries

Liberty caps are small and can blend in with the grass because their stems are only 40 to 100 mm (1.5 to 4 in) long. In fact, they’re the smallest of the top few most potent psilocybin mushrooms. They have a conical or bell-shaped cap, hence their name, and they reportedly taste similar to flour. 

Although they grow all over the world, they’re very difficult to cultivate indoors, so most Liberty Caps that are consumed are picked in the wild. But be careful when identifying because they can easily be confused with a few similar looking poisonous species that grow in the same areas. 

Psilocybe azurescens (Flying Saucer Mushrooms) – One of the Strongest Magic Mushroom Strains in the Wild

DoubleBlind: Mushrooms in the grass. In this article Doubleblind takes a look beyond Psilocybe Cubensis: 10 Magic Mushroom Strains You Should Know About

P. azurescens, also known as Flying Saucers, Blue Runners, Blue Angels, or Azzies, are the strongest psilocybin species that grows in the wild. As the story goes, they were originally found by Boy Scouts camping in Oregon in 1979, but weren’t an official species until Paul Stamets identified them in 1996 and published his findings. 

Azurescens are only found on the West coast of the U.S. from California to Washington, and mostly cluster near the Columbia River delta in Oregon. That’s because they prefer to live in sandy soils, such as near dunes and sea grasses, and on loose, decaying wood. They can even withstand pretty chilly temperatures compared to other psilocybin containing mushrooms, from 16 to 24° C (60 – 75° F). Fortunately, that also makes Azzies easy to cultivate outside for home growers in the U.S. and Europe. Unfortunately, though, they apparently taste very bitter.

Read: Why You Should Grow Your Own Mushrooms

Psilocybe azurescens have some of the highest percentages of psilocybin (up to 1.78 percent), psilocin (0.38 percent), and baeocystin (0.35 percent), which is three to four times more than p. cubensis or p. semilanceata. Therefore, one dried gram could be a potent dose, so psilonauts should tread lightly with these extra powerful fungi. 

Not to mention, there is also a potential side effect of paralysis after ingesting higher doses. Although only temporary, it can be an anxiety-inducing experience if you’re not prepared. However, flying saucers—named for their unique UFO-like shape—are known for their intense visuals and profound inner journeys. Their potent strength also makes them popular for microdosing according to strain database Psillow, and you would need very little for intended effects.

Psilocybe tampanensis (Magic Truffles, Philosopher’s Stone)

DoubleBlind: Mushrooms in a plastic box. In this article Doubleblind takes a look beyond Psilocybe Cubensis: 10 Magic Mushroom Strains You Should Know About

Psilocybin tampanensis produces truffles, or “sclerotia,” which contain psilocybin. These truffles are often called philosopher’s stones, magic truffles, or psilocybin truffles. P. tampanensis can also fruit into small yellow-brown mushrooms with conic caps, but most folks just grow and eat their sclerotia, which grow underground and contain up to 0.68 percent psilocybin and 0.32 percent psilocin, according to Stamets’ book. 

These are the type of psilocybin mushrooms that are sold at specialty shops and given at magic truffle retreats in the Netherlands through a legal loophole. Although philosopher’s stones were first discovered near Tampa, Florida in 1977, they haven’t been found in the sunshine state since. In fact, they are very rare to find in the wild, but have become popular for home cultivators due to their relative ease of growing.

The experience of magic truffles in comparison to other psilocybin-containing mushrooms is said to be very similar, but depending on the dose, somewhat less intense. That said, it’s also been reported that the body load can be heavier and nausea more common due to the dense nature of the “stones.” Like all magic mushrooms, the trip itself really depends more on the person, their experience, the dose, and of course, the set and settingin which they were consumed. (You can learn more how to take shrooms in our guide, and if you’d like to go even deeper, we have a class that will walk you through every step of preparing for and navigating your shroom trip.)

Psilocybe zapotecorum

Psilocybe zapotecorum is another species native to Mexico that has current and likely ancient ceremonial use. It’s named for the Zapotec indigenous community of southern Oaxaca, and according to Gaston Guzman, is thought to be the mushroom in many of the ancient ceramic mushroom statues that have been uncovered in Mexico. In the Zapotec language, P. zapotecorum are referred to as “Bado, Badao, and Badao Zoo,” which translates to drunk mushroom or possibly, drunk god. In Guzman’s 1983 book, The Genus Psilocybe, he reported this species of mushroom could sometimes be found growing naturally inside the adobe homes of the Zapotec people.

Psilocybe zapotecorum also grows outside of Mexico, and has been found in subtropical South America, including Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and Argentina. According to Stamets, this sacred shroomy prefers to live in swampy, muddy soil that’s humus rich with leaves and wood debris, and is often found in “gregarious” patches. It can vary in size and shape, with a stem that can grow anywhere between 3 and 36 centimeters that’s typically white but fades to blue then black with age or when bruised. It has a tan to creamy brown cap that’s conical to convex and that can grow between 2 and 13 centimeters.

Psilocybe cyanescens (Wavy Caps)

DoubleBlind: Mushrooms in the grass. In this article Doubleblind takes a look beyond Psilocybe Cubensis: 10 Magic Mushroom Strains You Should Know About

Psilocybe cyanescens is known as the Wavy Cap mushroom because of the rippled shape of its cap. It was first formally identified by Elsie Wakefield in England in 1946, although according to Psilopedia, she had been collecting Cyans since 1910. 

They’re believed to be native to Central Europe and the Pacific Northwest, but it’s hard to tell because they are now one of the most widespread wild psilocybin-containing mushrooms in the world. That’s because of the environment they prefer: woody debris, like the wood chips and mulch that populate gardens, trails, and parks. In fact, that’s how P. cyanescens is thought to have spread internationally, from lumber and other mulch production and distribution centers to gardens around the globe.

While they’re tough to grow indoors, they’re wildly popular with mushroom identifiers because of their strength. Wavy caps are known to be potent and can contain between 0.3 percent to 1.68 percent psilocybin, 0.28 percent to 0.51 percent psilocin, and 0.02 percent to 0.03 percent baeocystin, according to Stamets. When they’re found in the wild, they can be in enormous patches, and are stronger when eaten fresh, although still produce substantial effects when dried.

Copelandia cyanescens a.k.a. Panaeolus cyanescens (Blue Meanies)

DoubleBlind: Mushrooms in the grass. In this article Doubleblind takes a look beyond Psilocybe Cubensis: 10 Magic Mushroom Strains You Should Know About

Panaeolus cyanescens or Copelandia cyanescens are sometimes referred to as “Blue Meanies,” which can be confusing because there is also a strain of Psilocybe cubensis called Blue Meanies. However these mushrooms are different in a few ways. For one, these are the first species of mushroom we’ve listed that isn’t part of the Psilocybe genus, but instead, Panaeolus. Yet that doesn’t mean they aren’t magic. In fact, these shroomies are some of the strongest in the world, with two to three times the amount of psilocybin and psilocin than good ‘ol cubensis.

Copelandia cyanescens prefer to live in dung in pastures and fields in warmer, subtropical climates. Therefore, they can be found in the states of Hawaii, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi, but they can also be found abroad in the Caribbean (including Jamaica, Bermuda, and Trinidad), Costa Rica, Mexico, South America, and even Australia, Africa (including South Africa and Madagascar), Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, and Europe (including France and Spain). Panaeolus cyanescens is very similar to Panaeolus tropicalis, which also contains psilocybin and grows in similar dung-loving environments.

Psilocybe caerulescens (Landslide Mushrooms, Derrumbes)

DoubleBlind: Mushrooms in the grass. In this article Doubleblind takes a look beyond Psilocybe Cubensis: 10 Magic Mushroom Strains You Should Know About

Psilocybe caerulescens are known as “Derrumbes” (meaning “Landslide Mushrooms”) in Mexico, where they grow naturally. They were first reported by the scientific community near Montgomery, Alabama, in 1923 on sugar cane mulch, and to this day, can be found in the Southern US in states like South Carolina and Georgia. But Psilocybe caerulescens became famous when curandera Maria Sabina gave mycologist Gordon Wasson thirteen pairs during a Mazatec ritual velada ceremony, which Wasson then wrote about for Life Magazine, when the term “magic mushroom” was born.

Read: Will Shroom Dispensaries Become a Thing Anytime Soon?

Derrumbes are still used ceremoniously by the Mazatec people of Oaxaca, Mexico, and continue to grow in the Sierra Madre mountain range. That’s because they are resilient to the low temperatures and high altitudes of those regions, and because they prefer to live in the former sites of landslides and other regions free of plants during the Mexican rainy season (May/June until September/October). They’ve been cultivated outside for centuries, and according to Stamets, can also be found growing in Venezuela and Brazil.

Derrumbes are small, with stems ranging from 40 to 120 mm (1.5 to 4 in), and have a silvery-blue metallic luster that makes them easy to differentiate from other species, according to Psillow. Their potency is low to moderate, and the trip can even be a bit shorter, lasting from three to six hours. They’re a good introduction to magic mushrooms for this reason, but can also be a disappointment to those with Psilocybe cubensis experience who travel to Mexico to try them.

Psilocybe mexicana (Teonanacatl, Pajaritos)

DoubleBlind: Mushrooms in the grass. In this article Doubleblind takes a look beyond Psilocybe Cubensis: 10 Magic Mushroom Strains You Should Know About

Psilocybe mexicana has a rich history. It’s believed that this is the species of mushroom that the Nahuatl or Aztec people used ceremoniously and called “Teonanacatl,” meaning “flesh of the Gods,” before Spanish colonization. P. mexicana is also the species that French botanist Roger Heim sent to Albert Hoffman in 1958. Hoffman, the chemist who discovered LSD, used that sample to cultivate more magic mushrooms and isolate psilocybin and psilocin for the first time in a lab.

Read: Redesigning Psychedelic Mushrooms to Never Cause a “Bad Trip”

Psilocybe mexicana still grows to this day in Mexico during the rainy season, especially in the states of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Puebla, and others. The species is common at altitudes between 1000 and 1800 meters (3280 to 5900 feet), and prefers to live in moss, meadows, deciduous forests, and soils rich in manure, as well as alongside roads and trails—but never directly on dung.

In Mexico today they’re often called “Pajaritos” meaning “little birds” for packing such a potent experience into such a small, fragile mushroom. Because they somewhat look like Liberty Caps and live in similar environments, Paul Stamets has taken to calling them “Mexicana Liberty Caps.” They can also grow truffles or sclerotia, which contain both psilocybin and psilocin. (Although, their fruiting bodies generally contain more psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin according to Psillow.)

DoubleBlind: Mushrooms growing on a tree. In this article Doubleblind takes a look beyond Psilocybe Cubensis: 10 Magic Mushroom Strains You Should Know About

Psilocybe caerulipes, also known as the Blue Foot Mushroom, is a rare psilocybin mushroom that grows in the US. It’s a wood loving mushroom and can be found growing on or around decaying hardwood logs, “especially near river systems,” writes Stamets. They can also be found growing on hardwood slash and debris, and are “widely distributed” east of the Great Plains throughout the Midwest and the Eastern US and up to Canada. “Although widely distributed, P. caerulipes is not found frequently,” writes Stamets. But when they grow on forest floors after warm summer and fall rains, they’re known to fruit in the same place for years. 

Blue Foot mushrooms are named for their appearance: They have a blue-hue at the base of their stem. They are a moderately potent psilocybin mushroom, roughly the same strength as Psilocybe cubensis. Psillow warns that the experience could possibly be strong, so start small with one to three grams of dried mushrooms before diving into headier experiences.

Psilocybe stuntzii (Blue Ringer Mushroom, Stuntz’s Blue Legs)

DoubleBlind: Mushrooms in the grass. In this article Doubleblind takes a look beyond Psilocybe Cubensis: 10 Magic Mushroom Strains You Should Know About

Psilocybe stuntzii is a rare psilocybin mushroom that only grows in the West Coast of the US and Canada. It was first found on the University of Washington’s campus and named for Dr. Daniel Stuntz, who made the first type collection. Their nicknames “blue ringer” or “blue legs” come from the significant bluing reaction that occurs when handled.

Blue Ringers are also wood loving mushrooms and prefer to live on decaying debris, fresh mulch and wood chips. They can be found in grassy areas, as well, like fresh sod and well-manicured lawns, or along roads, paths, and gardens, according to Stamets. He also says that these mushrooms can fruit in “prodigious colonies” within 90 kilometers (56 miles) of Oregon’s , Washington’s, and British Columbia’s coastal regions. However, be warned that Blue Ringers look very similar to a toxic species of mushroom, Galerina marginata. Psillow writes that P. stuntzii will be sticky to the touch when moist, unlike G. marginata, and Stamets writes that Galerina’s orangish brown cap and rusty brown spores distinguish it. Always be careful when collecting mushrooms and never ingest something you can’t absolutely identify.

Shrooms: Risks of Foraging For Different Types of Magic Mushrooms

There are some things to look out for when foraging for mushrooms—or buying them on the black market. Firstly, because there are dozens of different kinds of shrooms with varying potencies, you always want to make sure to clarify what kind of shrooms you’re buying. A standard dose of shrooms is around two or three grams, but two grams of penis envy mushrooms could be much stronger than, say, two grams of golden teachers. When foraging, the biggest risk, as mentioned, is that you might misidentify a mushroom. Some mushrooms found in the wild are actually fatal.

Shrooms: Addiction Potential

Once you’re sure that you’ve identified the correct mushroom, are there risks to actually taking it? In terms of addiction, shrooms have actually shown promise for treating substance use disorders. There are other risks, though, if you have bipolar, schizophrenia, or a personal or family history of psychosis. Otherwise, they’re relatively safe, especially if you’re engaging in best practices such as checking in on your set and setting before diving in.


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Psychedelic Mushroom Strains Explained: What is the Strongest Psychedelic Mushroom Strain?

The Most Potent Mushroom Strains – Best Magic Mushroom Strains for Potency

When one first enters the field of mycology, either as a profession or a hobby, there comes a certain time where newcomers find themselves in awe at the sheer scale of it all – especially with the variety of what is seen as the most potent magic mushroom strains. There are many types of shrooms or psychedelic mushrooms strains or species that are voted-in as the best magic mushroom strains.

Let’s put it this way – even scientists can’t agree on the different types of psychedelic mushroom spore prints that are available online, not to mention the many different kinds of species of fungi there are in the psychedelic mushroom strains category, but we do know that there are a lot. And psychedelic mushroom spore prints are a good way to begin your study.

How many is “a lot”? The estimate lies somewhere between 1.5 to 5 million different species. Some scientists think that this is an overestimate, and others think that even 5 million may not even be enough to account for each unique species. In fact, there’s actually quite a bit of debate on this topic. Either way, we think it’s safe to say that if there weren’t a whole lot of fungal species out there the debate probably wouldn’t exist in the first place.

Naturally, a certain subset of those fungal species are the kind that contain psychoactive compounds like psilocybin. There are hundreds—at least—and that number becomes even larger if you start categorizing each species by individual strains. For example, we carry the spores of many strains of Psilocybe cubensis in the psilocybin spores section of our store.

With this in mind, it’s only normal that you’d wonder what is the most potent psychedelic mushroom strain after all?

What is the Strongest Psychedelic Mushroom Strain? Scientists Believe It’s Psilocybe azurescens. Could this indeed be the strongest mushroom strain of Psilocybe Cubensis Mushrooms?

Psilocybe azurescens is widely thought to be the magic mushroom with the highest concentration of psilocybin and could be considered as the strongest mushroom strain candidate.

It’s a real beauty of a mushroom, but rarely seen outside of nature, for reasons we’ll discuss in the following section.

For now, here’s what you need to know about this ultra-potent magic mushroom and potentially the strongest strain of mushroom: azurescens only grows along the coastal region of Washington and Oregon in the United States and is one of the strongest strains of psychedelic mushrooms. Unlike cubensis, which normally grows in manure or pasteurized soil, P. azurescens prefers environments with a high lignin content, such as grass or wood.

Researchers also may be interested in how to microdose mushrooms or psilocybe cubenis mushrooms for safety and efficacy in researching fungi, or even learn about key details on mushroom strains that can have the greatest or highest psilocybe cubensis potency.

These strongest magic mushroom fungi are also usually only spotted in the latter months of the year, most commonly from October through December. This is because azurescens thrives in cold weather—40°F, which is practically freezing compared to cubensis, the strains of which often require temperatures in the upper 70°s F.

In nature, P. azurescens is usually found in tightly packed clusters of mature fruiting bodies and has a small, 30-100 millimeter cap. The shape of the cap sometimes leads this fungi to be called the “flying saucer” mushroom. The caps tend to be caramel colored and sit atop a pale, thin stem.

Since this mushroom’s psilocybin content is so high, mycologists who have observed it in the wild have noted its extreme propensity for colorful bruising.

When psilocybin comes into contact with the air, a chemical reaction occurs that changes its color. This is why, when observed in the wild, psilocybin-containing fungi will bruise a blue or purple hue. Generally the darker the bruising, the more psilocybin content within the fungi. Psilocybe azurescens bruises a very dark blue, bordering on black. Mycologists have described its bruising as rich and heavy.

It all sounds lovely—so how come you really don’t hear about azurescens all that often? We’ll explain:

The Strongest Psychedelic Mushroom Strain is Psilocybe azurescens. So Why Don’t You Hear More About It?

Now, we’d like to correct something for the sake of accuracy. Psilocybe azurescens isn’t a “strain,” it’s a lineage or species within the Psilocybe genus. We sometimes use the word strain interchangeably, but it’s worth noting that it’s a lazy use of the word—if you strive for accuracy, you should think in terms of lineages, species, or genii.

With that out of the way, let’s talk a bit more about the elusive Psilocybe azurescens.

If it’s truly the most potent kind of magic mushroom, why don’t you hear more about it? For that matter, why don’t we carry its spores in our shop? (Trust us, we would if we could.)

It’s primarily because azurescens is incredibly difficult to locate outside of its natural setting. In order to harvest its spores in a legally accredited mycology laboratory, it would have to be artificially grown at some point. Psilocybe azurescens is notoriously difficult to cultivate and you also need to pay attention to the laws in the magic mushrooms legal states. It makes the easiest Psilocybe cubensis strain to grow look like an absolute walk in the park—azurescens has strict needs in terms of temperature and substrate.

Unlike spores from cubensis fungi, azurescens spores are very hard to come by. While most microscopists would love to have the chance to get it on a slide in their lab, legal cultivation by mycology labs is simply too difficult for the spores to be worth gathering.

The good news is that there are plenty of extremely potent Psilocybe cubensis strains available, and we carry spores for the best of them—so if you’re interested in researching spores from cubensis strains with these characteristics, read on.

What are the Other Strongest Strains of Psychedelic Mushrooms?

So, since we now know why Psilocybe azurescens spores aren’t generally available, even from the best mycology labs, one can’t help but wonder: other than P. azurescens, what is the strongest psychedelic mushroom strain?

Consider the following to be a little psychedelic mushroom strain guide so that you can learn more about the psychedelic mushroom spores we sell.

You’ll find some of the strongest strains of psychedelic mushrooms in our “advanced” category in the shop. If you’re interested in finding the most potent strains of psychedelic mushroom, you’ll likely want to begin with something like our Blue Meanie spores, which are known by mycologists to be among the most potent cubensis mushrooms found in nature.

Like azurescens, the Blue Meanie strain is known for its bruising characteristics in the wild. Mycologists have reported that this particular strain bruises a deep, dark blue—which is, of course, where it gets its name from.

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Different strains of psychedelic mushrooms which have a very, very high psilocybin content are Penis Envy, Albino Penis Envy, Luminous Lucies, and the rather humorously named Jedi Mind F* strain.

Of those strains, Penis Envy is perhaps the most popular. This is thanks to not only its very high psilocybin content and attention-grabbing name, but also because this strain is believed to have been cultivated by Terence and Dennis McKenna, who are famous figures in the world of magic mushrooms. The story goes that Terence actually smuggled the first Penis Envy spores into the United States.

That’s part of the fun of studying psilocybin mushroom spores—so many of our cubensis strains have fascinating stories behind them.

Psychedelic Mushroom Spores for Mycology Research & Microscopy

Did you know that you can buy psychedelic mushroom spores online?

In fact, in addition to providing high-quality microscopy lab equipment, that’s exactly what we do here at Quality Spores. We have a wide variety of spores available from nearly all strains of psychedelic mushrooms, including the ones mentioned above like Penis Envy and The Lucy.

Whenever dealing with psychedelic mushroom spores, there are some important legal considerations you must understand. Let’s discuss them now:

Psychedelic Mushroom Spores Legality: Things You Need to Know Before Studying Mushroom Spores

Since it’s a well established fact that psilocybin itself, the psychoactive compound in cubensis and other types of psychedelic mushrooms, a natural question to ask is this: are psychedelic mushroom spores illegal?

In 47 of the 50 states, the answer is no, they aren’t. It is perfectly legal to buy, sell, own, and study psilocybin mushroom spores for research purposes only.

Emphasis on that last bit—it is illegal in nearly all jurisdictions to cultivate magic mushrooms! Psilocybin mushroom spores are never to be cultivated. The only exception at the time of this writing is in New Mexico, where it’s legal to grow magic mushrooms as long as one doesn’t take any steps to preserve them (i.e., drying them, freezing, and so on).

Make sure that you familiarize yourself with your local psychedelic spores laws before you place an order with us. Unfortunately, psilocybin mushroom spores are illegal in California, Georgia, and Idaho, and we cannot deal with any customers residing in those states.

Medicinal Mushroom Spores Have Taken the Medical & Scientific World by Storm – What You Need to Know

In recent years, mushrooms as medicine have become more popular than ever.

All kinds of different mushrooms have made their way into the contemporary public consciousness; Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Shiitake, and more varieties of these ancient healers are enjoying a resurgence in notoriety. Of course, our ancestors knew about these restorative properties all too well—but at least we’re catching up to what used to be common knowledge.

One surprising medicinal mushroom that is currently making big waves in news headlines and on lawmaker’s desks is none other than so-called magic mushrooms, or those fungi which contain the psychoactive compound psilocybin. Like other medicinal mushrooms, ancient people across the world used psilocybin to heal themselves and for spiritual purposes—our culture seems to be rediscovering these benefits now, and perhaps more importantly, proving them with science.

Clinical trials have indicated that psilocybin may offer certain individuals a great deal of benefit in treating a variety of maladies, including depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and even addiction to alcohol or cigarettes. This is thought to be because of psilocybin’s unique capability to “rewire” the brain.

Rewire isn’t an entirely accurate term, but it describes the effects well enough. In more scientific terms, psilocybin has been shown to have neuroregenerative properties, meaning that it’s capable of formulating new neural pathways. Scientists believe that because of this, those who undergo psilocybin-assisted therapy are able to form new neural pathways. These new pathways can be used instead of the old, potentially damaging ones, which is why psilocybin is being studied as a potential treatment for major depressive disorders which have been traditionally resistant to treatment.

Those who wish to study the formative stages of these natural healers are best suited to begin by examining medicinal mushroom spores under a microscope. Amateur microscopy is a lovely hobby to begin with, and once you start looking at fungal spores, you’ll truly never be bored again—the diversity of fungal organisms is simply too great.

How to Learn More About the Strongest Psychedelic Mushroom Strains & Their Spores

One of the best ways to learn more about the strongest psychedelic mushroom strains is to simply spend some time browsing around the Quality Spores website. We’ve prepared multiple articles, resources, and dozens of blog posts for your education and enjoyment. Our team has compiled the best exotic mushroom spores research for you, all in one convenient location!

Looking for even more fungi facts?

In that case, we heartily recommend that you download a copy of our 100% free eBook, Amateur Microscopy: Mushrooms, Psilocybin, and YOU.

You’ll learn everything an amateur microscopist could want to know about psilocybin mushroom spores, including the surprisingly exciting history of how “magic mushrooms” first came to the west, why they were eventually outlawed, and more. You’ll also learn about the life cycle of mushrooms and how to best get started in the world’s greatest hobby.

Get your copy here:


Get answers to your questions about mushroom spore legalities and discover the long history of our relationship with mushrooms. It is a great primer to get started in the world of mushroom spore microscopy and premium spores.

In addition to your free copy of the report, you’ll also get signed up to the Quality Spores mailing list so that you can receive additional information about amateur microscopy, mushroom spores, and even special coupons, discounts, and important site announcements. You definitely don’t want to miss it!

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What It’s Like to Trip on the Most Potent Magic Mushroom


“I felt as though I were communing directly with a plant for the first time.”

By Michael Pollan

A colorful psychedelic illustration with two figures and flowers

Paul Stamets, a mycologist I had come to visit in Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula to go mushroom hunting, had a gift he wanted to give me. We were in his office, looking at some images on his computer, when he pulled off the shelf a small pile of amadou hats, made of felt pressed from mushroom fibers. “See if one of these fits you.” Most of the mushroom hats were too big for me, but I found one that sat comfortably on my head and thanked him for the gift. The hat was surprisingly soft and almost weightless, but I felt a little silly with a mushroom on my head, so I carefully packed it in my luggage.

Early Sunday morning we drove west toward the Pacific Coast and then south to the Columbia River, where it flows into the Pacific, stopping for lunch and camping provisions in the resort town of Long Beach. This being the first week of December, the town was pretty well buttoned up and sleepy. Stamets requested that I not publish the exact location where we went hunting for Psilocybe azurescens, a variety of “magic mushroom” first identified and named by Stamets, and the most potent ever found. But what I can say is that there are three public parks bordering the wide-open mouth of the Columbia—Fort Stevens, Cape Disappointment, and the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park—and we stayed at one of them. Stamets, who has been coming here to hunt “azzies” for years, was mildly paranoid about being recognized by a ranger, so he stayed in the car while I checked in at the office and picked up a map giving directions to our yurt.

As soon as we unloaded and stowed our gear, we laced up our boots and headed out to look for mushrooms. Which really just meant walking around with eyes cast downward, tracing desultory patterns through the scrub along the sand dunes and in the grassy areas adjoining the yurts. We adopted the posture of the psilocybin stoop, except that we raised our heads every time we heard a car coming. Foraging mushrooms is prohibited in most state parks, and being in possession of psilocybin mushrooms is both a state and a federal crime.

The weather was overcast in the high 40s—balmy for this far north on the Pacific Coast in December, when it can be cold, wet, and stormy. We pretty much had the whole park to ourselves. It was a stunning, desolate landscape, with pine trees pruned low and angular by the winds coming off the ocean, endless dead-flat sandy beaches with plenty of driftwood, and giant storm-tossed timbers washed up and jack-strawed here and there along the beach. These logs had somehow slipped out from under the thumb of the lumber industry, floating down the Columbia from the old-growth forests hundreds of miles upriver and washing up here.

Stamets suspects that Psilocybe azurescens might originally have ridden out of the forest in the flesh of those logs and found its way here to the mouth of the Columbia—thus far the only place the species has ever been found. Some mycelium will actually insinuate itself into the grain of trees, taking up residence and forming a symbiotic relationship with the tree. Stamets believes the mycelium functions as a kind of immune system for its arboreal host, secreting antibacterial, antiviral, and insecticidal compounds that protect the trees from diseases and pests, in exchange for nourishment and habitat.

I saw plenty of LBMs—little brown mushrooms—that might or might not be psilocybin and was constantly interrupting Stamets for another ID, and every time he had to prick my bubble of hope that I had at last found the precious quarry. After an hour or two of fruitless searching, Stamets wondered aloud if maybe we had come too late for the azzies.

And then all of a sudden, in an excited stage whisper, he called out, “Got one!” I raced over, asking him to leave the mushroom in place so I could see where and how it grew. This would, I hoped, allow me to “get my eyes on,” as mushroom hunters like to say. Once we register on our retinas the visual pattern of the object we’re searching for, it’s much more likely to pop out of the visual field. (In fact the technical name for this phenomenon is the pop-out effect.)

It was a handsome little mushroom, with a smooth, slightly glossy, caramel-colored cap. Stamets let me pick it; it had a surprisingly tenacious grip, and when it came out of the ground, it brought with it some leaf litter, soil, and a little knot of bright-white mycelium. “Bruise the stipe a bit,” Stamets suggested. I did, and within minutes a blue tinge appeared where I’d rubbed it. “That’s the psilocin.” I never expected to actually see the chemical I had read so much about. The mushroom had been growing a stone’s throw from our yurt, right on the edge of a parking spot. Stamets says that like many psilocybin species, “azzies are organisms of the ecological edge. Look at where we are: at the edge of the continent, the edge of an ecosystem, the edge of civilization, and of course these mushrooms bring us to the edge of consciousness.” At this point, Stamets, who when it comes to mushrooms is one serious dude, made the first joke I had ever heard him make: “You know one of the best indicator species for Psilocybe azurescens are Winnebagos.” We’re obviously not the first people to hunt for azzies in this park, and anyone who picks a mushroom trails an invisible cloud of its spore behind him; this, he believes, is the origin of the idea of fairy dust. At the end of many of those trails is apt to be a campsite, a car, or a Winnebago.

We found seven azzies that afternoon, though by “we,” I mean Stamets; I only found one, and even then I wasn’t at all certain it was a Psilocybe until Stamets gave me a smile and a thumbs-up. I could swear it looked exactly like half a dozen other species I was finding. Stamets patiently tutored me in mushroom morphology, and by the following day my luck had improved, and I found four little caramel beauties on my own. Not much of a haul, but then Stamets had said that even just one of these mushrooms could occasion a major psychic expedition.

That evening, we carefully laid out our seven mushrooms on a paper towel and photographed them before putting them in front of the yurt’s space heater to dry. Within hours, the hot air had transformed a mushroom that was unimpressive to begin with into a tiny, shriveled gray-blue scrap it would be easy to overlook. The idea that something so unprepossessing could have such consequence was hard to credit.

I had been looking forward to trying an azzie, but before the evening was over, Stamets had dampened my enthusiasm. “I find azurescens almost too strong,” he told me when we were standing around the fire pit outside our yurt, having a beer. After nightfall, we had driven out onto the beach to hunt for razor clams by headlight; now we were sautéing them with onions over the fire.

“And azzies have one potential side effect that some people find troubling.”


“Temporary paralysis,” he said matter-of-factly. He explained that some people on azzies find they can’t move their muscles for a period of time. That might be tolerable if you’re in a safe place, he suggested, “but what if you’re outdoors and the weather turns cold and wet? You could die of hypothermia.” Not much of an advertisement for azurescens, especially coming from the man who discovered the species and named it. I was suddenly in much less of a hurry to try one.

The question I kept returning to that weekend is this: Why in the world would a fungus go to the trouble of producing a chemical compound that has such a radical effect on the minds of the animals that eat it? What, if anything, did this peculiar chemical do for the mushroom? One could construct a quasi-mystical explanation for this phenomenon, as Stamets and Terence McKenna have done: Both suggest that neurochemistry is the language in which nature communicates with us, and it’s trying to tell us something important by way of psilocybin. But this strikes me as more of a poetic conceit than a scientific theory.

The best answer I’ve managed to find arrived a few weeks later courtesy of Paul Stamets’s professor at Evergreen State College, Michael Beug, the chemist. When I reached him by phone at his home in the Columbia River Gorge, 160 miles upriver of our campsite, Beug said he was retired from teaching and hadn’t spent much time thinking about psilocybes recently, but he was intrigued by my question.

I asked him if there is reason to believe that psilocybin is a defense chemical for the mushroom. Defense against pests and diseases is the most common function of the so-called secondary metabolites produced in plants. Curiously, many plant toxins don’t directly kill pests, but often act as psychostimulants as well as poisons, which is why we use many of them as drugs to alter consciousness. Why wouldn’t plants just kill their predators outright? Perhaps because that would quickly select for resistance, whereas messing with its neurotransmitter networks can distract the predator or, better still, lead it to engage in risky behaviors likely to shorten its life. Think of an inebriated insect behaving in a way that attracts the attention of a hungry bird.

But Beug pointed out that if psilocybin were a defense chemical, “my former student Paul Stamets would have jumped on it long ago and found a use for it as an antifungal, antibacterial, or insecticide.” In fact Beug has tested fungi for psilocybin and psilocin levels and found that they occur only in minute quantities in the mycelium—the part of the organism most likely to be well defended. “Instead the chemicals are in the fruiting bodies, sometimes at over 2 percent by dry weight!”—a stupendous quantity, and in a part of the organism it is not a priority to defend.

Even if psilocybin in mushrooms began as “an accident of a metabolic pathway,” the fact that it wasn’t discarded during the course of the species’ evolution suggests it must have offered some benefit. “My best guess,” Beug said, “is that the mushrooms that produced the most psilocybin got selectively eaten and so their spores got more widely disseminated.”

Eaten by whom, or what? And why? Beug says that many animals are known to eat psilocybin mushrooms, including horses, cattle, and dogs. Some, like cows, appear unaffected, but many animals appear to enjoy an occasional change in consciousness, too. Beug is in charge of gathering mushroom-poisoning reports for the North American Mycological Association and over the years has seen accounts of horses tripping in their paddocks and dogs that “zero in on psilocybes and appear to be hallucinating.” Several primate species (aside from our own) are also known to enjoy psychedelic mushrooms. Presumably animals with a taste for altered states of consciousness have helped spread psilocybin far and wide.

Such a notion would not strike Paul Stamets as the least bit far-fetched. As we stood around the fire pit, the warm light flickering across our faces while our dinner sizzled in its pan, Stamets talked about what mushrooms have taught him about nature. He was expansive, eloquent, grandiose, and, at times, in acute danger of slipping the surly bonds of plausibility. We had had a few beers, and while we hadn’t touched our tiny stash of azzies, we had smoked a little pot. Stamets dilated on the idea of psilocybin as a chemical messenger sent from Earth, and how we had been elected, by virtue of the gift of consciousness and language, to hear its call and act before it’s too late.

“Plants and mushrooms have intelligence, and they want us to take care of the environment, and so they communicate that to us in a way we can understand.” Why us? “We humans are the most populous bipedal organisms walking around, so some plants and fungi are especially interested in enlisting our support. I think they have a consciousness and are constantly trying to direct our evolution by speaking out to us biochemically. We just need to be better listeners.” These were riffs I’d heard Stamets deliver in countless talks and interviews.

“I think psilocybes have given me new insights that may allow me to help steer and speed fungal evolution so that we can find solutions to our problems.” Especially in a time of ecological crisis, he suggested, we can’t afford to wait for evolution, unfolding at its normal pace, to put forth these solutions in time.

What strikes me about both Stamets and many of the so-called Romantic scientists (like Humboldt and Goethe, Joseph Banks, Erasmus Darwin, and, I would include, Thoreau) is how very much more alive nature seems in their hands than it would soon become in the cooler hands of the professionals. These more specialized scientists (a word that wasn’t coined until 1834) gradually moved science indoors and increasingly gazed at nature through devices that allowed them to observe it at scales invisible to the human eye. These moves subtly changed the object of study—indeed, made it more of an object.

Instead of seeing nature as a collection of discrete objects, the Romantic scientists—and I include Stamets in their number—saw a densely tangled web of subjects, each acting on the other in the great dance that would come to be called coevolution. “Everything,” Humboldt said, “is interaction and reciprocal.” They could see this dance of subjectivities because they cultivated the plant’s-eye view, the animal’s-eye view, the microbe’s-eye view, and the fungus’s-eye view—perspectives that depend as much on imagination as observation.

I suspect that imaginative leap has become harder for us moderns to make. Our science and technology encourage us in precisely the opposite direction, toward the objectification of nature and of all species other than our own. Surely we need to acknowledge the practical power of this perspective, which has given us so much, but we should at the same time acknowledge its costs, material as well as spiritual. Yet that older, more enchanted way of seeing may still pay dividends, as it does (to cite just one small example) when it allows Paul Stamets to figure out that the reason honeybees like to visit woodpiles is to medicate themselves, by nibbling on a saprophytic mycelium that produces just the right antimicrobial compound that the hive needs to survive, a gift the fungus is trading for ... what? Something yet to be imagined.

You are probably wondering what ever happened to the azzies Stamets and I found that weekend. Many months later, in the middle of a summer week spent in the house in New England where we used to live, a place freighted with memories, I ate them, with my wife Judith. I crumbled two little mushrooms in each of two glasses and poured hot water over them to make a tea; Stamets had recommended that I “cook” the mushrooms to destroy the compounds that can upset the stomach. Judith and I each drank half a cup, ingesting both the liquid and the crumbles of mushroom. I suggested we take a walk on the dirt road near our house while we waited for the psilocybin to come on.

However, after only about 20 minutes or so, Judith reported she was “feeling things,” none of them pleasant. She didn’t want to be walking anymore, she said, but now we were at least a mile from home. She told me her mind and her body seemed to be drifting apart and then that her mind had flown out of her head and up into the trees, like a bird or insect.

“I need to get home and feel safe,” she said, now with some urgency. I tried to reassure her as we abruptly turned around and picked up our pace. It was hot and the air was thick with humidity. She said, “I really don’t want to run into anybody.” I assured her we wouldn’t. I still felt more or less myself, but it may be that Judith’s distress was keeping me from feeling the mushrooms; somebody had to be ready to act normally if a neighbor happened to drive by and roll down his window for a chat, a prospect that was quickly taking on the proportions of nightmare. In fact shortly before we got back to home base—so it now felt to both of us—we spotted a neighbor’s pickup truck bearing down on us and, like guilty children, we ducked into the woods until it passed.

Judith made a beeline for the couch in the living room, where she lay down with the shades drawn, while I went into the kitchen to polish off my cup of mushroom tea, because I wasn’t yet feeling very much. I was a little worried about her, but once she reached her base on the living room couch, her mood lightened and she said she was fine.

I couldn’t understand her desire to be indoors. I went out and sat on the screened porch for a while, listening to the sounds in the garden, which suddenly grew very loud, as if the volume had been turned way up. The air was stock-still, but the desultory sounds of flying insects and the digital buzz of hummingbirds rose to form a cacophony I had never heard before. It began to grate on my nerves, until I decided I would be better off regarding the sound as beautiful, and then all at once it was. I lifted an arm, then a foot, and noted with relief that I wasn’t paralyzed, though I also didn’t feel like moving a muscle.

Whenever I closed my eyes, random images erupted as if the insides of my lids were a screen. My notes record: fractal patterns, tunnels plunging through foliage, ropy vines forming grids. But when I started to feel panic rise at the lack of control I had over my visual field, I discovered that all I needed to do to restore a sense of semi-normality was to open my eyes. To open or close my eyes was like changing the channel. I thought, I am learning how to manage this experience.

Much happened, or seemed to happen, during the course of that August afternoon, but I want to focus here on just one element of the experience, because it bears on the questions of nature and our place in it that psilocybin seems to provoke, at least for me. I decided I wanted to walk out to my writing house, a little structure I had built myself 25 years ago, in what is now another life, and which holds a great many memories. I had written two and a half books in the little room (including one about building it), sitting before a broad window that looked back over a pond and the garden to our house.

However, I was still vaguely worried about Judith, so before wandering too far from the house, I went inside to check on her. She was stretched out on the couch, with a cool damp cloth over her eyes. She was fine. “I’m having these very interesting visuals,” she said, something having to do with the stains on the coffee table coming to life, swirling and transforming and rising from the surface in ways she found compelling. She made it clear she wanted to be left alone to sink more deeply into the images—she is a painter. The phrase “parallel play” popped into my mind, and so it would be for the rest of the afternoon.

I stepped outside, feeling unsteady on my feet, legs a little rubbery. The garden was thrumming with activity, dragonflies tracing complicated patterns in the air, the seed heads of plume poppies rattling like snakes as I brushed by, the phlox perfuming the air with its sweet, heavy scent, and the air itself so palpably dense it had to be forded. The word and sense of poignance flooded over me during the walk through the garden, and it would return later. Maybe because we no longer live here, and this garden, where we spent so many summers as a couple and then a family, and which at this moment seemed so acutely present, was in fact now part of an irretrievable past. It was as if a precious memory had not just been recalled but had actually come back to life, in a reincarnation both beautiful and cruel. Also heartrending was the fleetingness of this moment in time, the ripeness of a New England garden in late August on the verge of turning the corner of the season. Before dawn one cloudless night very soon and without warning, the thrum and bloom and perfume would end all at once, with the arrival of the killing frost. I felt wide open emotionally, undefended.

When at last I arrived at the writing house, I stretched out on the daybed, something I hardly ever took the time to do in all the years when I was working here so industriously. The bookshelves had been emptied, and the place felt abandoned, a little sad. From where I lay, I could see over my toes to the window screen and, past that, to the grid of an arbor that was now densely woven with the twining vines of what had become a venerable old climbing hydrangea, a petiolaris. I had planted the hydrangea decades ago, in hopes of creating just this sort of intricately tangled prospect. Backlit by the late-afternoon sunlight streaming in, its neat, round leaves completely filled the window, which meant you gazed out at the world through the fresh green scrim they formed. It seemed to me these were the most beautiful leaves I had ever seen. It was as if they were emitting their own soft, green glow. And it felt like a kind of privilege to gaze out at the world through their eyes, as it were, as the leaves drank up the last draughts of sunlight, transforming those photons into new matter. A plant’s-eye view of the world—it was that, and for real! But the leaves were also looking back at me, fixing me with this utterly benign gaze. I could feel their curiosity and what I was certain was an attitude of utter benevolence toward me and my kind. (Do I need to say that I know how crazy this sounds? I do!)

I felt as though I were communing directly with a plant for the first time and that certain ideas I had long thought about and written about—having to do with the subjectivity of other species and the way they act upon us in ways we’re too self-regarding to appreciate—had taken on the flesh of feeling and reality. I looked through the negative spaces formed by the hydrangea leaves to fix my gaze on the swamp maple in the middle of the meadow beyond, and it too was now more alive than I’d ever known a tree to be, infused with some kind of spirit—this one, too, benevolent. The idea that there had ever been a disagreement between matter and spirit seemed risible, and I felt as though whatever it is that usually divides me from the world out there had begun to fall away. Not completely: The battlements of ego had not fallen; this was not what the researchers would deem a “complete” mystical experience, because I retained the sense of an observing “I.” But the doors and windows of perception had opened wide, and they were admitting more of the world and its myriad nonhuman personalities than ever before.

Buoyed by this development, I sat up now and looked out over my desk, through the big window that faced back to the house. When I sited the building, I carefully framed the main view between two very old and venerable trees, a stolidly vertical ash on the right and an elegantly angled and intricately branched white oak on the left. The ash has seen better days; storms have shorn several important limbs from it, wrecking its symmetry and leaving some ragged stumps. The oak was somewhat healthier, in full leaf now with its upturned limbs reaching into the sky like the limbs of a dancer. But the main trunk, which had always leaned precariously to one side, now concerned me: A section of it had rotted out at ground level, and for the first time it was possible to look clear through it and see daylight. How was it possibly still standing?

As I gazed at the two trees I had gazed at so many times before from my desk, it suddenly dawned on me that these trees were—obviously!—my parents: the stolid ash my father, the elegant oak my mother. I don’t know exactly what I mean by that, except that thinking about those trees became identical to thinking about my parents. They were completely, indelibly, present in those trees. And so I thought about all they had given me, and about all that time had done to them, and what was going to become of this prospect, this place (this me!), when they finally fell, as eventually they would. That parents die is not exactly the stuff of epiphany, but the prospect, no longer distant or abstract, pierced me more deeply than it ever had, and I was disarmed yet again by the pervasive sense of poignancy that trailed me all that afternoon. Yet I must have still had some wits about me, because I made a note to call the arborist tomorrow; maybe something could be done to reduce the weight on the leaning side of the oak, in order to prevent it from falling, if only for a while longer.

My walk back to the house was, I think, the peak of the experience and comes back to me now in the colors and tones of a dream. There was, again, the sense of pushing my body through a mass of air that had been sweetened by phlox and was teeming, almost frenetic, with activity. The dragonflies, big as birds, were now out in force, touching down just long enough to kiss the phlox blossoms and then lift off, before madly crisscrossing the garden path. These were more dragonflies than I had ever seen in one place, so many in fact that I wasn’t completely sure if they were real. (Judith later confirmed the sighting when I got her to come outside.) And as they executed their flight patterns, they left behind them contrails that persisted in the air, or so at least it appeared. Dusk now approaching, the air traffic in the garden had built to a riotous crescendo: the pollinators making their last rounds of the day, the plants still signifying to them with their flowers: me, me, me! In one way I knew this scene well—the garden coming briefly back to life after the heat of a summer day has relented—but never had I felt so integral to it. I was no longer the alienated human observer, gazing at the garden from a distance, whether literal or figural, but rather felt part and parcel of all that was transpiring here. So the flowers were addressing me as much as the pollinators, and perhaps because the very air that afternoon was such a felt presence, one’s usual sense of oneself as a subject observing objects in space—objects that have been thrown into relief and rendered discrete by the apparent void that surrounds them—gave way to a sense of being deep inside and fully implicated in this scene, one more being in relation to the myriad other beings and to the whole.

“Everything is interaction and reciprocal,” Humboldt wrote, and that felt very much the case, and so, for the first time I can remember, did this: “I myself am identical with nature.”

This post is adapted from Pollan’s new book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.


Psilocybe azurescens

Species of fungus

Psilocybe azurescens is a species of psychedelic mushroom whose main active compounds are psilocybin and psilocin. It is among the most potent of the tryptamine-bearing mushrooms, containing up to 1.8% psilocybin, 0.5% psilocin, and 0.4% baeocystin by dry weight, averaging to about 1.1% psilocybin and 0.15% psilocin. It belongs to the family Hymenogastraceae in the order Agaricales.


  • Pileas: The cap (pileus) of Psilocybe azurescens is 30–100 mm in diameter, conic to convex, expanding to broadly convex and eventually flattening with age with a pronounced, persistent broad umbo; surface smooth, viscous when moist, covered by a separable gelatinous pellicle; chestnut to ochraceous brown to caramel in color, often becoming pitted with dark blue or bluish black zones, hygrophanous, fading to light straw color in drying, strongly bruising blue when damaged; margin even, sometimes irregular and eroded at maturity, slightly incurved at first, soon decurved, flattening with maturity, translucent striate and often leaving a fibrillose annular zone in the upper regions of the stipe.
  • Gills: The lamellae are ascending, sinuate to adnate, brown, often stained into black where injured, close, with two tiers of lamellulae, mottled, edges whitish.
  • Spore Print: The spore print is a dark purplish brown to purplish black in mass.
  • Stipe: The stipe is 90–200 mm in length and 3–6 mm thick, silky white, dingy brown from the base or in age, hollow at maturity, and composed of twisted, cartilaginous tissue. The base of the stipe thickens downwards, is often curved, and is characterized by coarse white aerial tufts of mycelium, often with azure tones. The mycelium surrounding the stipe base is densely rhizomorphic (i.e., root-like), silky white, tenaciously holding the wood-chips together.
  • Taste: extremely bitter
  • Odor: odorless to farinaceous

Habitat and distribution[edit]

P. azurescens occurs naturally along a small area of the West Coast of the United States, including in parts of Oregon and California.[1] It has been regularly found as far south as Depoe Bay, Oregon, and as far north as Grays Harbor County, Washington. Its primary locations are clustered around the Columbia River Delta: the first type collections were made in Hammond, Oregon, near Astoria. It is also quite prevalent north of the Columbia River in Washington, from Long Beach north to Westport. Some feral specimens have also been reported in Stuttgart, Germany. While infrequent, the mushroom can sometimes be found around decaying wood in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Ilwaco, Washington also has a large population, but harvesting is a potential felony that is enforced by local law enforcement agencies.

The species' preferred environment ranges from caespitose (growing in tight, separated clusters) to gregarious on deciduous wood-chips and/or in sandy soils rich in lignicolous (woody) debris. The mushroom has an affinity for coastal dune grasses.[2] In aspect it generates an extensive, dense, and tenacious mycelial mat (collyboid). P. azurescens causes the whitening of wood. Fruitings begin in late September and continue until "late December and early January", according to mycologist Paul Stamets.[2]Psilocybe azurescens has been cultivated in many countries including Germany,[3] the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and its native United States (especially in California, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania).[3]

Legal status[edit]

Possession and/or cultivation of this species is illegal in a number of countries including the United States, however the State of Oregon, Denver Colorado, Oakland California, and Ann Arbor Michigan decriminalized possession of personal amounts of psilocybin mushrooms, this species included. It is considered a Class A Drug in New Zealand.


See also: Psilocybin § Effects

NamePsilocybin [% of weight]Psilocin [% of weight]Baeocystin [% of weight]Total [% of weight]
Psilocybe azurescens
Psilocybe cubensis

See also[edit]


  1. ^Guzman, Gaston; Allen, John W.; Gartz, Jochen (1998). "A Worldwide Geographical Distribution of the Neurotropic Fungi, An Analysis and Discussion". Annali del Museo Civico di Rovereto. 14: 219, 223. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  2. ^ abStamets, Paul (1996). Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. ISBN . p. 95.
  3. ^ abGastón Guzmán, John W. Allen, Jochen Gartz (1998). "A worldwide geographical distribution of the neurotropic fungi, an analysis and discussion"(PDF). Annali del Museo Civico di Rovereto (14): 189–280.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) (on Fondazione Museo Civico di Rovereto)
  4. ^Approximate Alkaloid Content of selected Psilocybe mushrooms,, retrieved 2012-10-08

External links[edit]


Psychedelic mushrooms strongest

Ghostly glittering figures already familiar to them descended from heaven to earth. Luihad and several beautiful girls, as always, smoothly descended from heaven to earth, descending in the center of the clearing and hanging low above the earth, piercing the inhabitants of. The earth with radiant glances.

The Rise of Psychedelic Truffles in Amsterdam

According to the old tradition, I pulled out first, the name Misha ooo, okay, take off your jacket. Misha pulled out Yana's name and said take off your dresses. so off we went, we were all naked.

Now discussing:

Let's meet Andrey. I shake hands. Embarrassed: Hi.

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