The field of mycology (i.e. the study of fungus) can be confusing to navigate, especially to a beginner, due to the many types of mushrooms out there.
Magic mushrooms are a group of fungi that contains psilocybin, a natural psychoactive and hallucinogenic compound that turns into psilocin upon ingestion. Researchers estimate that there are over 150 species of mushrooms that contain psilocin and psilocybin, the two compounds responsible for the effects of magic mushrooms.
150 species may seem like a lot to keep track of, but that’s not all. Many of these species have subsets of strains that often have different appearances, tastes, and effects. The sheer number of mushrooms in the wild means those looking to forage must be extremely careful – some species are poisonous and can even be fatal.
But picking the right shroom is not the only thing foragers have to keep in mind. Psilocybin and psilocin, the primary active ingredients in magic mushrooms, are listed as schedule I substances, making them illegal to manufacture or possess in the United States.
Fortunately, the growing public interest in psychedelics is influencing magic mushrooms’ legal status, with some cities such as Denver, Washington DC, Seattle, and Santa Cruz decriminalizing them. You can legally buy mushroom spores in most states, as they don’t contain psilocybin; but germinating them is illegal. Wondering how you can buy mushroom spores legally? Here’s our guide on legally buying mushroom spores online.
Common Types Of Magic Mushrooms In The USA
There are seven biological genera with psilocybin-containing mushrooms. These include Copelandia, Inocybe, Pluteus, Gymnopilus, Copelandia, Pholiotina and Psilocybe. However, this post will concentrate on the genus Psilocybe, as its species are the most common in the USA.
Here are the most common types of psilocybin mushrooms you will likely encounter.
If you’ve stumbled across a magic mushroom in the wild, chances are it was a Psilocybe cubensis strain. They are found throughout the Southern U.S., South and Central America, and Southeast Asia. These mushrooms are also known as cubes, gold caps, and golden halos because of their easily recognizable golden colors.
Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms turn blue when bruised due to the oxidation of their psilocybin content. P. cubensis are the most well-known species of magic mushrooms. They are easy to identify because of their relatively large size, shape, and golden colors.
It’s estimated there are up to 60 strains of Psilocybe cubensis species, each different in shape, feel, and potency. Here are the most popular Psilocybe cubensis strains:
Popular Psilocybe cubensis Strains For Beginners
1. Penis Envy (PE)– PE strains are some of the most sought-after strains of P. cubensis. Known for their phallic shape, Penis Envy strains have gained a reputation for spore potency and rarity.
2. Golden Teacher – This spore strain is considered potent yet mild, making it suitable for first-timers. It’s been described as suitable for entry-level research compared to more potent strains such as Penis Envy.
3. B+ – This is another strain popular among beginners. It’s a more resilient, easy-to-work-with strain. Found in the wild, it can be identified by its large, thick golden caps and white stems that bruise blue when injured. Beginner mycologists also favor it for its research experience compared to other cultivars.
4. Blue Meanie – Not to be confused with Panaeolus cyanescens species that share the nickname, Blue Meanie is a popular P. cubensis spore strain that, when germinated, produces thick stems and golden brown large caps that fade to white around the edges.
5. Mazatapec – This strain originates from a wild variety of P. cubensis indigenous to Mexico. It produces medium to large, light brown caps and dense stems. This strain is named after Mazatapec, a city in the Mexican state of Morelos near where renowned mycologist Ryche Hawk first collected its samples.
Psilocybe semilanceata (Liberty Caps)
Psilocybe semilanceata, also known as Liberty Caps, Witches Hats, or Pixie Caps, are the most widespread naturally growing magic mushrooms. Liberty Caps grow wildly all over the Northern Hemisphere, although some varieties are known to grow in the Southern Hemisphere.
Liberty Caps are some of the smallest magic mushrooms, with their stems measuring only 1.5 to 4 inches long. They have conical or bell-shaped caps that are yellow-brown and fade as they mature. But don’t let the small size fool you; mycologists report that these are some of the most potent mushrooms.
Psilocybe cyanescens (Wavy Caps)
These magic mushroom get their name from the distinctly wavy shape of their caps. They produce caramel-like brown caps that fade as they dry out. They are also highly potent.
Wavy Caps grow on woody debris or mulch plant beds and are commonly found in North America, some parts of Europe, and New Zealand. These mushrooms’ stems, caps, and gills turn blue when bruised due to the rapid oxidation of psilocybin.
Psilocybe azurescens (Flying Saucer Mushrooms)
Psilocybe azurescens are generally regarded as the most potent psilocybin mushrooms that grow in the wild. They are commonly found on the US West Coast, from California to Washington, as they prefer to live in sandy soils and decaying wood.
These mushrooms are characterized by large caps that resemble saucers – hence the name, dark gills, and white stems that turn blue when bruised. The caps are caramel brown when mature.
Thinking of Buying Magic Mushroom Spores Online?
You can now order high-quality P. cubensis spore syringes for microscopy research from PNW Spore, Co., the leading online spore store. At PNW Spore, Co., we have a wide range of spore syringes from desirable mushroom strains to help you start the journey into mycology.
You can order variations of the popular Penis Envy, as well as beginner-friendly Golden Teacher, Blue Meanie and more – we also now have gourmet & medicinal mushroom liquid cultures in stock. Our spore syringes are of the highest quality and are suitable for microscopy enthusiasts of all levels. Order today and unlock the magic!