When people refer to magic mushrooms, they are most likely referring to fungus that contain psilocybin, a chemical that’s known to produce hallucinations. Among magic mushrooms, Psilocybe cubensis is one of the most popular and most commonly available in the world. This species is relatively easy to grow and therefore is one of the most widely used hallucinogenic mushroom. Because of its Latin name psilos (bare) and kube (head), P. cubensis earned the name “bald head.” Other street names include liberty caps, mushies, shrooms, and boomers.
This particular mushroom grows in the Southwest United States, the majority of Latin American countries, India, many Pacific Islands, and eastern Australia. It’s also easy to grow Psilocybe cubensis indoors.
At first glance, the magic mushroom doesn’t look magical. Psilocybin cubensis can be easily identified by its cap which measures between 2-8cm in diameter and has a convex shape that becomes plane with age. The top has a reddish to cinnamon hue and eventually becomes golden brown. Its white shaft ranges from 4-15cm in length and turns yellow as it grows older. It has a starchy odor and taste.
Read on for more interesting facts about the trippy fungi.
Habitat – They are scattered in some of the most beautiful places across the globe. Psilocybe cubensis can make its home anywhere – from grasses and gardens to rotting woods and animal feces.
History – Ancient rock art in the Sahara show masked figures holding objects which appear to be magic mushrooms. This testifies that the relationship between humans and magic mushrooms date back to thousands of years ago.
Preparation – Magic mushrooms can be eaten fresh, dry, or incorporated in delicious meals. It can also be brewed in tea. In some Southeast Asian countries, magic mushroom shakes are a tourist attraction.
Rituals – Magic mushrooms are used in Central America for religious practices. Experts theorize the Mesolithic rock paintings in Algeria are depictions of magic mushrooms used in various rituals. Aztecs call magic mushrooms teonanacatl which translates to “flesh of gods.”
Potential Benefits – Researchers are trying to unlock the secrets of magic mushrooms. Many contemporary studies point to their lasting positive effects on a user’s mood and overall state of mind. Magic mushrooms have been credited for increasing creativity, curiosity, and general appreciation for beauty and art.
This leads to P. cubensis’ potential medical use. Researchers are now exploring their potential to help overcome nicotine addiction, anxiety, OCD, headaches, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. Magic mushrooms boost the brain’s connectivity and synchronizes activities in areas that are not normally connected.
Addiction – Despite being classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States, magic mushrooms aren’t physically addictive in the chemical sense of the word.
Spiritual Effects – Subjects from a study at the Johns Hopkins University claim that among the most significant spiritual experience of their lives were taking magic mushrooms. These people also reported an increased feeling of well-being even months after the study.
Santa Claus Connection – Have you ever wondered why children wait for a flying elf to bring them presents during Christmas? Sierra College anthropologist John Rush claims Siberian shamans used to bring hallucinogenic mushrooms as gifts to households each winter. Reindeer were these shamans’ spirit animals. Hallucinating tribe members think these animals can fly. Thankfully, not all anthropologists are sold on this connection.
Fearless – Another strange effect of Psilocybe cubensis is its ability to destroy fear. Mice who were dosed with psilocybin became less likely to freeze up when they heard a noise they learned to associate with electric shock.
Hippies – Psilocybin cubensis will always be connected to hippie lore. In the 1960s, magic mushrooms gained attention for their capability to induce euphoria. Because of its effects, hippies claim it holds the secret to achieving world peace. This is among the factors that fueled the counterculture movement.
Animals – In 2010, British tabloids reported pygmy goats in an animal sanctuary had gotten into some wild magic mushrooms. They acted lethargic and staggered around, taking 48 hours to fully recover. Siberian reindeer also developed a taste for magic mushrooms.
Wind Power – Magic mushrooms live in sheltered areas where winds don’t blow. To help spread their spores, they create their own wind. They increase the rate with which water evaporates off their surfaces, creating water vapor around them. This water vapor works to lift spores up to 4 inches above the magic mushrooms.
High Population – there are over 180 different species of magic mushrooms and Psilocybe cubensis are just the tip of the iceberg. Like all forms of fungi, these psychedelic mushrooms begin their life cycle as spores, released into the environment by a mature mushroom.
These spores are carried by the wind or are redeposited by an animal. Once they’re in a resting state, a fine web of mycelium begins to cover the spores and eventually form into tight, circular colonies. These small colonies emerge from the web of mycelium and become the mushroom primordium. From this primordium, the fruiting body emerges.
Tips for Growing Psilocybe Cubensis
Growing Psilocybe cubensis is usually done indoors but that doesn’t have to always be the case. With some mycelium, you can easily (and discreetly) grow your own supply of magic mushrooms in your backyard.
Growing your own magic mushrooms comes with several advantages. It’s less expensive, you have a deeper relationship with the mushrooms you grew yourself, and you’ll always have a steady supply of psilocybin mushrooms.
The major disadvantage is it’s an endeavor that requires work. Using a cultivated grow kit is easy but starting from spores is more challenging. You’ll face challenges related to contamination and most of the process involves minimizing the risk of infection which entails regular sterilization of the equipment and consistently clean working practices.
Having a garden patch is a perfect solution. You won’t have to worry about contamination and you can still get a decent yield of magic mushrooms.
So now you face the question of how to grow Psilocybe cubensis. It’s similar to real estate: it’s all about location, location, location!
First, you need to understand that the actual mushroom is just the fruiting body of an organism. The real “living being” is the mycelium which is a white web that progresses through a substrate. To grow magic mushrooms successfully, you need to create an environment where this mycelium can grow.
When choosing a site, always consider lighting. Magic mushrooms prefer sunlight as opposed to most fungi. Therefore, pick a site that has lots of light throughout the day but is not exposed to ddirect sunlight for prolonged periods of time.
If you don’t have a backyard or if you want to use a patch of land in the woods, you want a site that’s not too far away to walk during periods of fruiting. Places where grass and shrub meet the forest work very well. Keep in mind that a moist patch of land with easy but secluded access and some sunlight will do.
Psilocybe cubensis produce fruiting bodies in late fall to early winter so it’s best to create your patch by March. To have enough fully colonized spawn ready by then, it’s important to inoculate the sawdust spawn as early as January.
These are the steps on how to grow Psilocybe cubensis.
- Create the mushroom patch. You will need the following supplies:
- Wood chips sterilized in boiling water
- Fully colonized sawdust spawn
- Straw or hay
- Remove debris from the site. This means you need to remove everything out of the way down to the mineral earth. This helps remove potential competition to the mycelium as it grows. Once you’ve removed everything, cover the area in cardboard.
- Cover the cardboard with sterile, moistened wood chips and spread them as evenly as possible until they form a layer that’s 5cm deep.
- Place a layer of sawdust spawn onto the wood chips. Approximately 400g of spawn per square meter is the proper distribution.
- Place another layer of wood chips over the sawdust spawn. This layer has to be 7cm deep and moistened too. Cover this evenly with another layer made of 400g of sawdust spawn.
- Add 3cm of wood chips on top of this layer, moisten, and cover another layer of 400g sawdust spawn.
- You should have 3 layers of wood chips and 3 layers of sawdust spawn. After layering the final level, saturate the entire lot with water.
- Cover it all with a cardboard later to lock the moisture in and prevent any contamination. As a form of camouflage, add a final layer of straw. Keep in mind that straw can also carry spores so any straw you use need to be sterilized.
It’s that simple! In 8 simple steps, you have successfully implanted a colony that will create a fine crop of magic mushrooms. With this set up, you need to have lots of patience. You can expect your psilocybin mushrooms to grow in 6 months. This will give the mycelium plenty of time to colonize the wood chips.
Once you have your first batch of fresh magic mushrooms, remember they can be stored in the fridge for about two weeks only. If you want to keep them around much longer, you can learn how to dry magic mushrooms online.
If it’s difficult for you to grow your own magic mushrooms, you can buy grow kits online. You are guaranteed to grow your own magic mushrooms in as little as three days!