Magic mushrooms, also known as psychedelic mushrooms or psilocybin mushrooms, are a group of fungi that contain psychoactive substances: psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin. There are over 180 types of magic mushrooms worldwide but you don’t have to know them all. This article will guide you through the magic mushroom representative species.
Psilocybin mushrooms have a long history of use in different cultures. For example, they are a staple in religious and spiritual rituals in Mesoamerica. Magic mushrooms are often depicted in prehistoric art across different geographic regions. Their effects on our ancestors are so pronounced, they have dramatically influenced prehistoric culture, art, religion, and social values.
Some scientists go even further, claiming magic mushrooms could be credited for evolutionary benefits including advancements in intelligence. It should be noted that this hypothesis is met with some skepticism in the scientific community.
Today, psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in most countries although there are exceptions. However, over the past few decades, regulatory bodies such as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have loosened their rules about using psilocybin in controlled research environments.
Studies show that psychedelic mushrooms have the capabilities to treat different types of ailments and disorders such as headaches, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even addiction.
If they are ever cleared for therapeutic use, magic mushrooms which yield psilocybin can be found all over the world! Many of these mushrooms are found in Mexico with the remainder distributed across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
In general, these psilocybin-containing mushrooms can be identified by their dark spores, gills, and location. They usually grow in soils rich in humus and plant debris. They can be found in most continents but prefer to grow in subtropical humid forests.
These are magic mushrooms representative species with features that recur among magic mushroom varieties in the world.
When people refer to magic mushrooms, they’re most likely referring to Psilocybe cubensis, also known as shrooms or cubes. This species is arguable the most popular and the most beautiful of all the Psilocybes. This widespread psychoactive species can be found in the subtropics, ranging from the U.S. Gulf Coast, where it grows virtually throughout the year on cow dung, to Mexico, Central America, South America, West Indies, Thailand, Cambodia, India, and Australia.
Psilocybin cubensis’ name can be broken down as such: “psilos,” which means to rub or bare; then “cybe” meaning head. Putting them together says “bare head,” a fitting description of the appearance of the P. cubensis mushroom caps.
Its caps are conic to convex, as wide as 2-8 cm. They start out reddish-cinnamon brown when young but become golden brown with age. It leaves dark, purple brown spore prints.
This species is also extremely active. It’s capable of producing over 1% combined psilocybin when dried.
P. mexicana are found in Mexico and Central America where they were used by the native Aztecs and Mayans for thousands of years. Ancient art depict these magic mushrooms in small sculptures where people are shown with shrooms on their heads.
P. mexicana are identifiable by their 2-3cm caps which start out brown or beige and turn to a straw color with age. Sometimes, the caps even gain bluish or greenish tones. They turn blue when injured and leave dark, purple brown spore prints.
This species also forms sclerotia. Sclerotia are similar to magic mushrooms but they just grow underground.
This type of magic mushrooms are referred to by Aztecs as “teonancatl” which translates to “flesh of the gods.” American banker Gordon Wasson is the first modern Caucasian to ingest them and document their effects. His piece helped turn the world’s attention to magic mushrooms.
These psychedelic shrooms, also known as liberty caps, are quite common and grow naturally across meadows and pastures in Europe and parts of North America. They do now grow directly out of dung, unlike the aforementioned Psilocybe cubensis. Also, they’re more likely to be found in grazing areas of sheep instead of cows.
They’re also known to be among the most potent mushrooms.
One of the earliest records of liberty caps is a British medical report in the late 1700s. The report describes how a family ingested mushrooms they picked up from a park and went through a number of strange sensations including visual hallucinations and laughter.
The cap of P. semilanceata is 5-25mm in diameter and is 6-22mm tall. It’s initially rolled inwards but unrolls and even curls upwards with age. Its spore print is brown to purple.
P.cyanescens are also known as “wavy caps.” True to their name, their caps become distinctly wavy with age. Its unique color (pale buff to slightly yellowish) is rarely seen in mushrooms of other species. Their blackish brown spores are quite distinct among the Psilocybe genus.
They grow primarily on wood chips, especially in and along the perimeter of urban areas. P. cyanescens tend to choose areas that are rich in lignin. Thus, they grow in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, Western Europe, Central Europe, and New Zealand.
Egyptian hieroglyphs depict P. cyanescens being used for their hallucinogenic properties.
This bright red, white-specked fungus is recognizable as the mushroom from the Super Mario video games, Disney’s Fantasia and Alice in Wonderland. It’s also known as fly agaric and is found across the Northern Hemisphere where it grows under pine and birch trees.
It’s native to conifer and deciduous woodlands throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It’s been transported into the southern hemisphere including Australia, New Zealand, South America, and Brazil.
Although it doesn’t contain psilocybin, it does contain the hallucinogenic muscarine which produces effects similar to psilocybin and places one in a trancelike state.
These representative species of magic mushrooms are guaranteed to give you a psychedelic experience like no other. To start your psychoactive journey, you can order magic truffles online and choose from a wide variety of hallucinogenic mushrooms!