How To Grow Magic Mushrooms
Magic mushrooms is a common name for fungi containing psychoactive compounds such as psilocybin and psilocin, and sometimes baeocystin, which is considered less potent. They are also known under the name “shrooms“. There exist around 190 different species of psilocybin mushrooms, spread across different continents and countries.
Origin of Magic Mushrooms
While there are magic mushrooms all over the world, they’re mostly available in North and South America, in Asia and in Oceania. Specifically, magic mushrooms are most common in tropical or subtropical areas of the earth.
In the North and Middle America, magic mushrooms are available in some Southern US states (such as Texas) as well as on the West Coast, but most commonly in Mexico and Cuba. In South America, they are available in most countries.
In Asia, concentrations of magic mushrooms are very common in India, Thailand and Vietnam. Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are also home to a lot of magic mushroom species.
Finally, the Eastern States of Australia (Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria), as well as New Zealand, are also known as growing grounds of magic mushrooms.
Well Known Species and their Origins
Growing particularly in North America, Conocybe smithii can be found in bogs, ditches or swampy areas, as well as sometimes along river banks or in lawns. It is also very common in sphagnum moss. This species is known to occur in Canada, as well as in some US American states, namely Michigan and Wisconsin, and Oregon and Washington. In the two later states, Conocybe smithii is considered an early summer mushroom, limited to the period before June. This species can be characterized by gills on its hymenium, having a conical or convex cap, as well as having a bare stipe (the stalk of the mushroom) and have a spore print (color) of brown.
Gymnopilus purpuratus grows typically in clusters on dead wood, but may be also found in pig dung as well as wood chip mulch. Findings of this mushroom have been reported in South America (Argentina, Chile), in Australia, and also less commonly in Europe (UK, Germany). It has gills on its hymenium, its cap is convex, while its stipe usually has a ring and the spore print is in orange-yellow. It is known to contain around 0.34% psilocybin, 0.29% psilocin, and 0.05% baeocystin, summing of a total of around 0.68% psychedelic alkaloids.
Panaeolus cinctulus, which is commonly known by the name “banded mottlegill“, is a very common species of magic mushrooms, especially in California. Other names by which it is known are “weed Panaeolus“ as well as “red caps“. The Panaeolus cinctuculs tends to grow on well-fertilized lawns and gardens during spring and fall, especially after rain. This species is available all over the world, including South Africa, several European countries (Middle Europe, as well as UK and Norway), as well as Russia. It is available in India, Japan, and several parts of Australia and New Zealand. Major occurrences have been reported in Brazil and Argentina. It is common along the American West Coast (Washington, Oregon, California), but also known to occur in all 50 states. This type of mushroom commonly has gills on its hymenium, the cap is convex, the stipe is bare, while the spore print is black. In terms of psychedelic contents, Panaeolus cinctulus contains an overall of 0.151–0.605% psychoactive alkaloids, making it relatively less potent than other species.
Psilocybe azurescens is a species of magic mushrooms with a particularly high content of psychoactive elements. This species is rarely found in nature, usually only in small areas of the American West Coast. It has been cultivated, however, in several other US states and internationally also in Germany and New Zealand. As with most other species, it has gills on its hymenium, while its cap is usually convex, the stipe bare, with the spore print being black to brown. Psilocybe azurescens may contain up to 1.78% psilocybin, 0.38% psilocin as well as 0.35% baeocystin, which sums up to an overall of 2.51% active psychedelic contents.
One of the most common types of magic mushrooms is the Psilocybe cubensis, often referred to as “boomers“, “cubes“ or “gold caps“ due to its shape. It was first described in the beginning of the 20th century in Cuba, but was later discovered to grow in many different places across the globe, including Mexico, South America, India, Indonesia and Eastern Oceania. Having gills on its hymenium, its cap is almost always convex, while the stipe has a ring, and the spore print is purple. Psilocybe cubensis is a potent species, containing at most around 1.26% psychoactive alkaloids, and is probably the most widely known type of mushrooms containing psilocybin.
Psilocybe cyanescens, often called “potent Psilocybe“ or “wavy caps“, is a type of mushrooms originally discovered in England in 1946, although it may have been isolated as early as 1910. This species may at times fruit in a very high quantity; in England, more than 100,000 mushrooms were found growing in a single patch near a racetrack. It has gills on its hymenium, while its cap is completely flat. The stipe is bare, and the spore print is black to purple. Psilocybe cyanescens contains at most 1.24% psychoactive alkaloids, and as such is very similar in contents to the Psilocybe cubensis.
Another species of the genus Psilocybe, although much less potent, is the Psilocybe cyanofibrillosa, also known as the Blue-Haired Psilocybe. It known to grow across the American West Coast, from Northern California up to British Columbia in Canada. It has gills, its cap may be convex or conical, while its stipe is bare and the spore print purple brown. Psilocybe cyanofibrillosa contains as little as 0.25% active psychedelic compounds.
Liberty cap, known under its scientific name Psilocybe semilanceata, is the type of psychoactive mushroom most common in nature. It can be found all across Europe, while having a widespread distribution in North America as well. It has also been recorded in South America, in India, as well as in New Zealand. Liberty cap has gills, its cap is usually conical, while the stipe is bare and the spore print brown or purple. It can be quite potent, having up to 1.36% active psychedelic compounds.
Cultivation of Mushrooms
In order to grow mushrooms, a suitable substrate must be colonized by the fungus. This step requires sterility, as the substrate usually contains no preservatives and can be befallen by bacteria. To begin cultivating, we need canning jars which can prepared in the kitchen. We prepare a substrate using brown rice flour and vermiculite (natural mineral), place it in the jars, and sterilize the jars by heating. Once the jars have cooled off, they are inoculated (introduced the basis for growing) with a spore syringe.
After the substrate is incoluated, we are to wait until it is colonized completely by the funds. Once that has happened, sterility can become a lesser concern as the fungus can fight off invaders on itself. At this point, we have to place the substrate in a terrarium with high humidity available to the fungus. Afterwards, we need to wait some more. While the terrarium is kept at around 90% humanity, the rice cakes (the substrate) will start growing mushrooms within a week. After a few weeks, we will have enough mature mushrooms for consumption. However, the cakes will continue to produce mushrooms until the nutrients in the rice cake are used up, or the moisture in the rice cake is depleted.
Once he cropping phase (removing fully grown mushrooms) of the cycle begins, it is very likely that the mushrooms will grow faster than they can be consumed at home. In this light, it is wise and fairly easy to dry the mushrooms and preserve them for a long period.
Preparation for ingestion
Psychedelic mushroom themselves usually do not taste very well. In response to this, various methods have been developed to consume the mushrooms. It is possible to extract the psilocybin from the magic mushrooms by means of using pure ethyl alcohol (drinking alcohol). Other common approaches are the so called Classic Pb&J. This preparation method involves chopping up dried mushrooms into small pieces with scissors, and then making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, while the chopped mushrooms are placed in the middle of the sandwich. The peanut butter’s taste serves to mask the texture of the dried mushrooms, while the jelly contributes to the overall taste.
Several recipes for making mushroom tea are common and available. Ginger Mint mushroom tea is one of them, and it is usually made from ginger chai tea, fresh mint leaves, lemon twists as well as honey. The mushrooms themselves are left to simmer for around 15 minutes in water together with the tea bags. Afterwards, to make sure all the psilocybin and psilocin are properly extracted, the mushrooms are squeezed to collect all the water in them.