What’s Psilocybin? (And Why P. Cubensis Mushrooms?)

Where does the “magic” in magic mushrooms come from? At PNW Spore Co., we provide laboratory-quality P. Cubensis mushroom spore syringes for the purpose of microscopic research.

The properties of P. Cubensis’s main active ingredient, psilocybin, and use of the eventual fruits from this category of mushroom, a.k.a. magic mushroom, have been getting a lot of attention as of late. While there are other Psilocybe mushroom species, Psilocybe Cubensis is the most well known.

P. Cubensis: history & legal status

Psilocybe Cubensis is a pan-tropical species found to thrive in pasture-rich soils, sugar cane mulch, and cow dung. Varieties of this species can be found in vacation hotspots (minus the cow dung) all over the world. Psilocybe Cubensis mushrooms were previously referred to as Stropharia Cubensis in 1906 by American mycologist Franklin Sumner Earl while conducting research in Cuba. German-born mycologist, Rolf Singer re-categorized the species into the genus Psilocybe in 1949.

Psilocybe, translated from ancient Greek, means “bare head”, while Cubensis means “coming from Cuba.” Who knew: mushrooms and cigars!?

Singer noted that P. Cubensis mushrooms had psychoactive properties in 1949. However, indigenous tribes have used P. Cubensis mushrooms in religious ceremonies for thousands of years, with the Aztecs referring to them as “flesh of the gods.”

While Psilocybin and Psilocin are listed as Schedule 1 drugs under the United Nations 1971 Convention of Psychotropic Substances, they continue to be legal in other parts of the world. Most notably Denver, Seattle, the State of Oregon, Washington D.C. and parts of California and Michigan have decriminalized P. Cubensis mushrooms as early as 2019. As further study continues to unlock the benefits of magic mushrooms, there is no doubt that the rest of the country will follow suit in decriminalizing this wonder of nature.

Psilocybin medicinal use

Psilocin and psilocybin are not used in modern medicine today. However, research suggests they may have beneficial therapeutic applications in treating a wide range of conditions including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and migraine disorders. Additionally, psilocybin therapy is effective in relieving emotional and existential distress at end of life for terminally ill patients. Serious research into the potential benefits of the therapeutic use of psilocybin and psilocin has occurred since the notorious Harvard Psilocybin Project in 1958. Unfortunately, the project ended in 1963 when the scientists were fired for sampling the inventory (can we blame them?).

Also noteworthy, the United States Food and Drug Administration designated psilocybin as a “breakthrough therapy” in 2018.  And finally, John Hopkins University launched the Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research in 2019, signifying ongoing research and development in this clinical treatment modality.

Microscopy research

As the P. Cubensis research frontier continues to expand its boundaries, PNW Spore, Co. will continue to provide the highest quality P. Cubensis spore syringes for research enthusiasts of all levels. Microscopy research is an important aspect of unlocking nature’s magical resources, and we’re proud to be part of this community.

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