Psilocybe Cubensis: The Mushroom Behind the Magic
Perhaps one simple, down-to-earth observation serves as the strongest testament to the power and sacredness of psychedelics—that they grow naturally, like a gift, from our very own earth. No other naturally occurring psychedelic illustrates this better than the psilocybin mushroom. It is important to clarify that “psilocybin mushrooms,” or “magic mushrooms,” may refer to any number of mushrooms that contain psychedelic compounds like psilocybin or psilocin.
Though there are many different types of psilocybin mushroom, the Psilocybe cubensis mushroom species is probably the most popular, particularly for growing.
Psilocybe cubensis grows naturally in some areas of the U.S., throughout Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and Australia. They are so popular for home growing because they are relatively forgiving– even within the cubensis species, some specific strains have earned reputations as being particularly easy to grow.
While some mushroom strains can’t thrive in home grown settings without painstaking measure to accurately recreate their natural conditions, cubensis can grow well even in suboptimal conditions that are so common with amateur growing setups. They are also robust against changing conditions, while more sensitive strains might be damaged by a slight fluctuation in the environment.
The B+ and Amazonian cubensis strains are favorite picks for beginners. Probably the easiest and most popular psilocybin cubensis strain, though, is the Golden Teacher strain.
Golden Teacher mushrooms have a distinct appearance, with long, winding stems and wide caps. They are a favorite among growers for being relatively easy to maintain and cultivate.
Golden Teachers have mild potency and a variety of effects. These include visual distortions, enhanced colors, lightness or giddiness, and powerful emotions. People also report feeling euphoric, spiritually in-tune, and perceptive when taking Golden Teacher mushrooms.
Golden Teacher trips can often be revelatory, or at least insightful. As suggested by their name, these mushrooms impart powerful lessons that remain even after the experience.
A Golden Teacher dosage, like most other psilocybin mushrooms, would start at around two grams dried. Two grams should be enough for most people to feel some effects, but nothing overpowering. A higher dosage would begin with three or more grams, and exceeding five grams should be plenty to experience the Golden Teacher in full force. They can take effect in as quickly as 20 minutes, and the experience usually lasts for four to six hours.
How to Grow Psilocybe Cubensis
Whether the Golden Teacher, Amazonian, B+, or another strain, the cubensis mushroom is one of the easiest species to cultivate. With proper preparation and research, you should be able to grow your own within two months.
To grow psilocybin cubensis, you can either gather your materials from scratch or use a mushroom growing kit. In the purest sense, to grow mushrooms, you need a mycelium substrate and a hospitable environment for the mycelium to thrive. The cubensis mycelium is simply the underlying fungus that grows into your edible cubensis mushrooms.
Because growing kits include the mycelium and a grow box, it makes the growing process very easy and straightforward—they already include almost everything you need, and you can grow without spores. However, when using growing kits there is a potential risk of contamination, lack of consistency, and even fake products .
An alternative is to grow your mushrooms from scratch using what is known as the PF Tek method. It requires some more preparation to assemble the materials but is still a simple, reliable way to grow cubensis mushrooms from home.
Using the PF Tek method, you would cultivate your mycelium by injecting cubensis spores into jars containing a substrate. The substrate serves as fertile ground for the spores to develop and consists of brown rice flour and vermiculite.
After about a month, the spores will grow into mycelium and colonize the substrate. These substrate “cakes” can then be moved into grow chambers, where they will further develop and eventually fruit. After sprouting, the mushrooms are usually ready to harvest in about a week or two.
It is best to use a dehydrator to dry cubensis mushrooms, but a less expensive alternative is to use a dessicant, like silica gel.
This year, Denver moved to decriminalize psilocybin and Oakland went a step further by decriminalizing all plant medicines. It’s a safe bet that interest in cultivation is likely to expand. Using either a growing kit or a method like PF Tek, you can reliably cultivate a mushroom like psilocybe cubensis in less than two months, with materials that are readily available online or in stores.
Compared to the resources required to synthesize psychedelic substances like LSD or MDMA, the process of growing psilocybin mushrooms is not only easy, but will liberate your dependence on an outside source for psychedelics, and deepen your experience when consuming them.