Psilocybin 101: Your Guide to Magic Mushroom Spores
By Daniel Gana
Why are more people interested in magic mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms belong to a class of intoxicating mushrooms known as psychedelic mushrooms. They contain a combination of psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin, which are intoxicating. These compounds can interact with the serotonin receptors to promote relaxation with a feeling of euphoria. Recent clinical trials have shown their possible use for mental disorders, depression, and addiction.
The practice and use of magic mushrooms started over 6000 years ago. At that time, people heavily relied on its psychotropic (mind-altering) properties to communicate with the divine and trigger trips. It was an important part of several religious rituals and was often utilized for its therapeutic benefits.
While psilocybin and its sister molecules may be illegal in several regions of the world, the possession and use of magic mushroom spores are widely available online. This has successfully divided the world into a group of praise-singers and naysayers. As more people are getting interested in the possible use of shrooms and shroom spores for their therapeutic and recreational benefits, there are questions on how to grow these mushrooms successfully at home.
What are magic mushroom spores?
Unlike plants, mushrooms don't grow from seeds; they produce a specialized structure known as spores. These spores are tiny structures that contain the genetic material of fungi and are capable of reproduction. Mushroom spores are microscopic and formed in specialized structures known as the pores or gills. They are housed in small sac-like structures that burst open when the spores mature. The released spores are transported by air or wildlife to settle on fertile grounds.
Mushroom spores behave like seeds and settle on a suitable substrate where they germinate and produce strand-like structures known as the hyphae. These hyphae are responsible for absorbing nutrients from the substrates, and they form a network known as mycelium. As the mushroom continues to absorb nutrients from their substrate, they grow larger and denser and become visible to the naked eye. They develop into a fruiting body known as the mushroom and continue to grow if the environment favors them. The fruiting body matures and produces more spores germinating, creating more mushrooms in other environments.
All mushrooms reproduce via spores. These spores are named after their representative species hence the name psilocybin mushroom spores or magic mushroom spores.
Magic mushroom spores are produced by the psychedelic mushroom with over 200 species. The term mostly describes mushroom spores from the Psilocybe species such as Psilocybe cubensis (cubes). Out of the over 200 species of psilocybe mushrooms, you are most likely to have come across spores from P. cubensis since they are the most available and marketed options in the market. These mushrooms are developed into strains that offer distinct properties (see our article on magic mushroom strains).
Each strain produces a spore with unique properties that may not be readily available in the wild. These are often created from selectively cultivating mushrooms of the same species with desirable traits.
Do Magic mushroom spores contain psilocybin?
Psilocybin spores don’t contain psilocybin or any of its psychotropic or intoxicating compounds. It is mostly made up of genetic material for reproduction. So while they may not contain psilocybin, they carry the genes responsible for creating these compounds.
Are Psilocybin spores legal?
Possessing Psilocybin spores is legal if you don't germinate them to grow magic mushrooms. The possession, use, and cultivation of magic mushroom spores are still a gray area since their composition is not fully known.
Psilocybin and its sister molecules or analogs are considered schedule 1 substances in the United States. Schedule 1 substances or drugs are substances with no verifiable medical use and have a high probability of abuse – if you believe everything the government tells you. Schedule 1 substances are mostly psychotropic or intoxicating.
Magic mushroom laws differ from one region to the other. They are either labeled as legal, illegal or decriminalized. Magic mushroom spores are legal in most regions of the United States, thus allowing purchase and possession for study purposes.
In countries like Indonesia, possessing psilocybin mushrooms or their spores is punishable by death. At the same time, people living in Samoa, Brazil, Jamaica, and the British Virgin Islands can easily possess and cultivate shrooms.
How to Grow Psilocybe mushroom spores
Growing magic mushroom spores is quite technical as its success depends on the environmental conditions and choice of substrate. As stated earlier, this activity may be illegal in some regions. In any case, be sure to double check the laws where you live.
If you intend to use magic mushrooms, growing the spores is safer than picking them from the wild. Growing magic mushrooms gives you total control over the process and increases safety. Here are a few reasons to grow your magic mushrooms.
Magic mushrooms come in different strains that offer several potencies. See our article on magic mushroom strains for more information. Using magic mushroom spores allows you to grow only the most desirable strains.
Growing magic mushrooms give you a chance to have a controlled environment that will favor the optimum growth and yield of your most desirable psilocybin strain.
Lower chances of mushroom poisoning.
Picking Magic mushrooms from the wild can make you more susceptible to mushroom poisoning since psilocybin mushrooms share similarities with poisonous mushrooms. Mushroom poisoning can lead to several health complications, from gastrointestinal disturbance to death in 10 days.
Here are a few steps to follow if you intend to grow magic mushroom spores.
1. Identify why you need to grow the magic mushrooms and settle for a strain that meets your needs.
2. Source for the spores from a verified seller. Reddit is a good place to find sellers and read reviews.
3. Germinate the spores in a suitable substrate. These substrates may include Rice flour and vermiculite, Coconut fiber and vermiculite, Straw, Coffee grounds, Manure, Wood blocks, and Living trees.
4. Incubate the substrate to begin mycelium colonization. You should see a visible spawning between 1-3 weeks of incubation.
5. Create a grain spawn using millet, wheat, or rye.
6. Inoculate or plant the grain spawn with mycelium
7. Incubate the grain spawn until you observe full colonization.
8. Inoculate the bulk substrate as mentioned in 3 above.
9. Incubate the bulk substrate.
10. Initiate fruiting
Note that these steps can vary from one person to the other. There are alternative ways to grow your favorite magic mushroom strain from their psilocybin spores.
Where can I purchase magic mushroom spores?
Magic mushroom spores are accessible since they are mostly used for microscopy. Depending on your location, they are often sold online or in physical stores. Feel free to check out some of these companies if you need some shrooms spores.
b. Ralphsters Spores
Remember to purchase only from verified sites for psilocybin mushroom spores. This will save you a lot of trouble and reduce your possibility of purchasing the wrong spores. If you intend to purchase the spores online, make sure you ask around, read reviews and reach out to the shop for more information.
Magic mushrooms are the next big thing.
The possible roles of magic mushrooms in dealing with depression, anxiety, and addiction are budding research areas. The few data pointing to a successful utilization show psilocybin mushrooms may become the next big thing after cannabis.
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