This results in them consuming mushrooms that are potentially poisonous, and in many cases, even life-threatening. This issue is further exacerbated when dealing with psychoactive mushrooms (also called “magic mushrooms”) as the psychological profile of people likely to consume psychoactive mushrooms include a higher tolerance and willingness to take risks. This makes them far more susceptible to mushroom poisoning, especially if they don’t have the adequate knowledge and information on the safety of identifying psilocybin mushrooms.
This is why it is absolutely vital for individuals to inform and educate themselves on the specific characteristics of psilocybin mushrooms before consuming what they ‘believe’ to be safe. In fact, it could be the defining factor on whether you have a profound spiritual experience or end up in the ER with serious mushroom poisoning.
Let’s dive deeper into what psilocybin mushrooms are, how to differentiate between the different types of psilocybin mushrooms as well as how to safely identify psilocybin mushrooms.
Psilocybin mushrooms are considered the most popular type of “magic mushrooms”. These types of mushrooms contain strong psychoactive properties. Psilocybin mushrooms are also deemed sacred medicine among many indigenous tribes and have been used in various spiritual and religious ceremonies in the past, especially in Central and South America.
While psilocybin mushrooms are classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the United States, together with various other countries, there has been some incredibly strong and promising research pertaining to its potential benefits. Several studies, including recent John Hopkins research, have shown that the consumption of psilocybin mushrooms can have a beneficial impact on individuals suffering from various psychiatric disorders, including depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety.
In addition to its range of beneficial properties, many individuals rated the consumption of psilocybin mushrooms to be one of the most significant spiritual experiences of their lives according to a study done by Johns Hopkins University. This study also proved several long-lasting positive personality changes in participants who ingested psilocybin mushrooms.
As safely identify psilocybin mushrooms are vital to ensuring both your safety and overall experience, here are some great guidelines on how to differentiate between psilocybin mushrooms. Paying close attention to the appearance of these mushrooms is also very important as there are distinct differences between them.
Psilocybe semilanceata, also known as “Liberty Caps” (due to their large caps), is considered to be among the most potent psilocybin mushrooms in the world. Psilocybe semilanceata frequently grows in Europe as well as North America.
Unlike psilocybe cubensis, psilocybe semilanceata do not grow directly out of dung. These mushrooms typically grow in meadows and pastures that are often grazed by sheep.
Psilocybe Mexicana, also called “teonanacatl”, are highly prevalent in both Central and South America. They have been used ceremonially in these areas for millennia.
Psilocybe Mexicana are very similar in aspect to psilocybe semilanceata, thus making it incredibly difficult to distinguish the two from each other. It is thus important to know each one’s distinct characteristics in order to accurately identify and differentiate the one from the other.
Psilocybe cyanescens, also known as “Wavy Caps”, is found in several destinations across the world. They are distinctly known to be incredibly potent when it comes to their psychedelic effects.
Although psilocybe cyanescens is prevalent in various areas, there is evidence of this type of psilocybin mushroom at the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs according to research conducted by Jacob Akin from the University of Wisconsin.
Research further suggests that psilocybe cyanescens was used by the ancient Egyptians during their religious ceremonies specifically for their strong psychoactive properties.
Psilocybe azurescens, also referred to as the “Flying Saucer Mushroom”, is widely considered the most potent psychoactive psilocybin mushroom. This is owed to the fact that it contains the highest concentration of psilocybin and psilocin – two prominent psychoactive biochemicals.
Psilocybe azurescens is known to be a very adaptive species. Fruitings start in late September and typically continues until late December, or in some cases even into January. This type of psilocybin mushroom prefers to grow in dune grasses. It also favours the beachland interface when its found growing along the northern Oregon Coast. Psilocybe azurescens typically cause the whitening of wood.
Psilocybe baeocystis, also known as “Knobby Tops”, can typically be found in lawns with high lignin content, on decaying conifer mulch or in wood chips. These psilocybin mushrooms also sporadically grow from fallen Douglas Fir seed cones.
Fall is the most popular time of year for psilocybe baeocystis, although you can also find them in early winter. They are rarely present in the spring.
Psilocybe cubensis, also called the “Golden Teacher”, is widely considered the most popular species of psilocybin mushrooms. Psilocybe cubensis is found in several destinations across the world. This species of psilocybin mushroom can be found throughout Central America, south-eastern United States, northern South America, as well as southeast Asia, in countries like Vietnam, India, Cambodia and Thailand.
Psilocybe cubensis typically thrives in the two months prior to the hottest time of year, growing to their maximum size during this period. For this reason, they can generally be found during both May and June, and in many cases up until January, in the United States.
As psilocybin mushrooms pose a serious threat and a very high risk of poisoning and even death when misidentified and then consumed, it is absolutely vital that individuals take the necessary time to adequately educate themselves on all the characteristics and must-know information about these magic mushrooms.
In addition to consumption, it is paramount that all individuals who grow and cultivate psilocybin mushrooms do so with extreme caution and are properly equipped with all the information, facts, and guidelines to do so safely.
Besides educating yourself on the specific characteristics and important facts of each psilocybin mushroom, it is crucial that you are able to identify the visual differences between them before ingesting any type of psilocybin mushroom.
If you’re looking for an additional resource to assist you, Paul Stamets’ reference book on identifying psilocybin mushrooms around various parts of the world is an excellent book filled with vital information.