Did you know psilocybin spores can be legally purchased in all but three states in the US? However, you’ve officially broken the law once you begin growing mushrooms from these magic mushroom spores. But fear not; we’ll break down everything you need to know about shroom spores, from where to buy them to what to know and how to grow your fantastic fungi.
This article has been medically reviewed by Katrina Oliveros, MSN-ED, BSN
Maria Katrina is a trauma-informed Wellness Educator and Psychedelic Harm Reduction Consultant. Beyond nursing, she supports health & wellness teams through medical aid, psychedelic harm reduction, and integration services.
Mushroom spores are one of nature’s most powerful tools, responsible for the lifecycle and distribution1 of fungi across the globe.
These microscopic cells are also the main starting point for at-home mushroom growers. Choosing the appropriate spore type is essential to a successful harvest. Better news: you can get psilocybin spores delivered right to your doorstep without breaking the law. However, once you begin to grow your psychedelic mushrooms from these spores, you’re engaging in an illegal act.
Shroom spores don’t contain psilocybin, so they can be shipped across the country (except for three states) without a worry on your end or the suppliers’. But as soon as you begin germinating them, the rules change.
So, no matter where you are on your magic mushroom spores journey, this article will help you learn more about these spores. We’ll cover the difference between prints and syringes, selecting the right magic mushroom strain for you, and how to grow psilocybin spores into flourishing fungi.
What Are Mushroom Spores?
Mushroom spores are fungi’s microscopic reproductive cells. Their name comes from the Greek word spora, translated to “seed” or “to sow.” Like seeds of a plant, they play a vital role in a mushroom’s life cycle, including production, distribution, and germination.
Spore production plays a crucial role in the reproduction and propagation of mushrooms. Mature mushrooms produce spores using specialized basidia cells2 in the gill structures found under the cap. These cells can produce one billion spores3 daily to spread their genetic material. However, most spores won’t become fully fruited mushrooms.
Spores spread4 from mushrooms by wind, water, or living organisms (such as insects) across vast areas. Widespread distribution increases their chances of survival since uninhabited areas have more resources, such as nutrients and water, needed to thrive. Approximately five percent of spores5 journey far enough, while the rest fall within a one-mile radius.
If spores land in a suitable environment, they absorb water and nutrients, triggering a growth process called germination6. Germination involves spores developing into thread-like structures called hyphae7, which construct the mycelium network from which mushrooms fruit. When mushrooms eventually mature, they produce spores, restarting the life cycle.
Spore Syringes, Cultures, and Prints
Along with the mushroom species, you’ll need to choose the method for obtaining and preserving the strain. You can choose a spore syringe, spore print, or mycelium culture.
Spore syringes contain a simple solution of psilocybin spores suspended in sterilized water. They are a convenient method for injecting the material directly into the substrate, the growing medium made of organic materials.
Alternatively, mushroom growing can begin with a liquid culture, a suspension of mushroom mycelium, and nutrients in the liquid.
Liquid cultures grow into mushrooms much quicker than spore syringes since the spores are already germinated. However, liquid cultures are generally more expensive than syringes and prints. Additionally, some mycologists prefer to experience the mushrooms growing in their very early stages.
Another starting point for mushroom growing is a spore print. Spore prints are made by laying a fresh mushroom cap on a piece of paper overnight to deposit its spores. Prints from different species have unique patterns, like fingerprints on humans.
After obtaining a spore print, the next step is to make your injectable syringe. This involves filling a sterilized needle, such as the ones offered in our Third Wave Mushroom Grow Kit, with water and carefully adding spores from the print using a sterilized scalpel.
Spore prints are more time-consuming and complicated than syringes and cultures. However, you can use the same print to make multiple syringes once you familiarize yourself with the process. Another advantage is that spore prints have a longer shelf life than syringes and cultures.
Proper spore storage is essential to mushroom cultivation because it ensures viability and longevity. If you store them in the wrong place, they can become damaged, contaminated, or lose their ability to germinate and grow into healthy mycelium. Maintaining proper storage conditions can increase the likelihood of successful harvests when you decide to use them.
Keep psilocybe cubensis spore syringes or liquid cultures in an airtight container away from sunlight. Mushroom cultivators recommend refrigerating syringes to maintain the ideal temperature for long-term storage.
Spore prints should be wrapped inside tinfoil or an envelope and placed inside a sealer, airtight bag away from light. Refrigeration isn’t necessary for long-term storage of prints as long as the environment is cool, dry, and dark. One Shroomery account reported his spore print was viable for 22 years by storing it “in a baggie in an envelope in a drawer.”
Top Psilocybin Mushroom Spores for Beginner Cultivators
Regardless of the mushroom, you’ll want to look for spores that are easy to germinate and less likely to be contaminated, making them good options for beginner cultivators.
Some species grow considerably faster than others. If you need the mushrooms ready by a specific date, research the growing time first.
This list will rank the best magic mushrooms to grow independently. We factor in yield size, strain potency, and resilience to contamination, disease, or growing in less-than-suitable conditions.
1. Golden Teachers
Golden Teachers is a strain of Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, one of the most widely consumed species globally. Their name describes golden caps that characterize their appearance.“Teachers” may refer to people’s profound insights during the experience. They’re also relatively mild, making Golden Teachers an excellent ‘gateway shroom’ for first-time explorers.
Golden Teachers grow quickly, tolerate cultivation mistakes, and produce large crops.
2. B+ (Be Positive)
Like Golden Teachers, B+ is also a strain of P. cubensis characterized visually by its thick, tall stems. B+ is quite resilient, withstanding poor growing conditions and contamination. This quality makes it an excellent strain for first-time growers. B+ is known for quick germinating spores and significant flushes (harvests).
As for its psychedelic effects, B+ has mild potency, leaving people feeling warm and with pleasant experiences. This strain is great for first-time growers or journeyers.
3. Psilocybe mexicana
P. mexicana are relatively easy to grow, although they take longer to form a crop compared with strains of P. cubensis. They also require more sunlight to grow than P. cubensis.
Interestingly, P. mexicana spores can become mushrooms or “magic truffles (sclerotia9),” To transform your spores into sclerotia, obtain a nutrient-rich substrate and keep the growing set up in the dark.
Image source: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/54026-Psilocybe
4. Psilocybe tampanensis (Philosopher’s Stones)
Like P. Mexicana, P. tampanensis is widely cultivated for its sclerotia and is commonly found in headshops in Amsterdam. P. tampanensis mushrooms are called Philosopher’s Stones because of their purported introspective, creative thinking and spiritual effects.
Cultivating philosopher’s stones truffles is easier than P. cubensis, according to experienced mushroom growers.
Unlike magic mushrooms, truffles don’t require a fruiting chamber and easily grow in a dark location at room temperature. However, online reports suggest sclerotia take longer to form than fruiting bodies, with an approximate two to three-month wait from inoculation.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psilocybe_tampanensis
5. Psilocybe cyanescens (Wavy Caps)
Psilocybe cyanescens mushrooms are characterized by their large brownish wave-shaped caps, lending them the name “Wavy Caps.” They’re a saprobic mushroom species, meaning they feed on decaying material and are often found growing in sawdust, woodchip, and woodchip mulch.
Wavy Caps spores are an excellent choice for outdoor cultivation, although the temperature must be between 10-18°C. Germinated spores or liquid cultures can be inoculated into wood chips or mulched garden beds. As long as the temperature is relatively consistent, a crop should form.
It is also possible to grow P. cyanescens indoors. However, growers report this is a tricky process. Note that this strain has a relatively high potency compared to other magic mushrooms.
6. Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata (Ovids)
Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata, known as “Ovids” or “Ovid mushrooms,” are less well-known but highly regarded among growers and psychonauts.
Like P. cyanescens, Ovids thrive in wood chips and mulch. However, they’re much easier to grow indoors than P. cyanescens and can withstand a larger range of temperatures.
Ovid mushroom potency is reportedly moderate, falling somewhere between P.cubensis and P.cyanescens.
7. Panaeolus cyanescens (Blue Meanies)
Panaeolus cyanescens, known as “Blue Meanies” and “Pan cyans,” have been deemed the crown jewel of magic mushrooms. They’re regarded for their rapid-onset, intense psychedelic effects and reduced nausea compared with other species.
Pan cyans are trickier to grow than other mushroom species. However, with extra attention and simple setup tweaks, the mushrooms will fruit easily. This includes regularly spraying the substrate with water to maintain humidity and using a fan to ensure adequate air exchange. You’ll also need to add a casing layer of material over the colonized substrate before fruiting to help retain moisture.
The estimated potency of Pan cyans is up to three times that of P. cubensis, requiring careful dosing.
Guide to Buying Mushroom Spores
Are spores legal to buy in the US?
Spores are legal10 to buy and sell in the U.S. for educational and research purposes because they don’t contain psilocybin. Only California, Georgia, and Idaho specifically ban spore sales and ownership.
However, once spores germinate into psilocybin-containing mushrooms, law enforcement can penalize you for possessing Schedule 1 compounds.
Fortunately, numerous U.S. cities have decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms, resulting in potentially less severe punishment in these regions.
Finding a Reputable Psilocybin Spore Seller
A reputable vendor should provide a contact form and be willing to answer questions about their standards if they’re not already stated on their website. Other signs of legitimacy include an About Us page, quality control methods, product reviews, and shipping and payment details.
Here is a list of our vetted and recommended places to buy psilocybin spores:
- Mushroom Prints ships worldwide and ensures customers receive the high-quality strain they order with perfect satisfaction, as these strains are grown under strict conditions.
- Sporevision, based in the Netherlands, offers an extensive range of high-quality magic mushroom spores.
- Spores 101 ships within the US and Canada and has been online since 2004. They offer great products with discreet shipping at low prices.
- Sporeworks, established in 1998, only ships within the US. They offer great customer service, accept cryptocurrencies, and house exotic shroom spores.
How to Grow Your Mushrooms From Psilocybin Spores
Once you’ve sourced your spores, it’s time to begin the mushroom-growing process.
Cultivating mushrooms is a great hobby and a fun way to obtain a renewable, abundant supply. You can find a wide array of mushroom species and strains online, but choosing a reputable supplier that offers the spores you seek is essential. Take the time to research vendors to ensure a smooth and reliable procurement process.
Once you’ve acquired the spores, consider using a grow kit to optimize the process. Our Third Wave Grow Kit contains all the tools to grow your mushrooms, pre-sterilized and ready-to-use. The kit includes an LCD hydrometer to ensure optimal environmental conditions and a 100W light bulb to accelerate fruiting.
You’ll also get instant access to a Mushroom Growing Course, which includes a text-based manual and detailed step-by-step videos. Plus, you’ll join our private community of amateur growers and expert mycologists who can support you throughout your mushroom-growing journey.
Start Cultivating Mushrooms with Third Wave’s Grow Kit
There you have it. By now, you should’ve learned more about the legal landscape of magic mushroom spores.
Plus, you can walk away knowing more about where to buy spores, what to look for, and how to grow magic mushrooms yourself.
However, make sure you check your local laws before buying psilocybin spores. While things are progressing positively for mushroom enthusiasts, it’s still important to play by the rules.
The Dalai Lama once said, “Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”
Disclaimer: Psychedelics are largely illegal substances, and we do not encourage or condone their use where it is against the law. However, we accept that illicit drug use occurs and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason, this document is designed to enhance the safety of those who decide to use these substances.
- Britannica. (n.d.). Life cycle of fungi. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/science/fungus/Life-cycle-of-fungi
- Erke, K. H. (1976). Light microscopy of basidia, basidiospores, and nuclei in spores and hyphae of Filobasidiella neoformans (Cryptococcus neoformans). Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/789347/
- Dressaire, E., Yamada, L., Song, B., & Roper, M. (2016). Mushrooms use convectively created airflows to disperse their spores. Retrieved from https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1509612113
- Harvard Gazette. (2010, September). More from spores: How they spread. Retrieved from https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/09/more-from-spores-how-they-spread/
- Galante, T. E., Horton, T. R., & Swaney, D. P. (2011, December). 95% of basidiospores fall within 1 m of the cap: a field-and modeling-based study. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21700637/
- Britannica. (n.d.). Fungi: billions of fungi rise generations. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/video/81494/spores-Fungi-billions-fungi-rise-generations
- Cole, G. T. (1996). Basic Biology of Fungi. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8099/
- Carod-Artal, F. J. (2015). Hallucinogenic drugs in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21893367/
- Musshoff, F., Madea, B., & Beike, J. (2000). Hallucinogenic mushrooms on the German market – simple instructions for examination and identification. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10978653/
- Boos, T. L. (2024, January 2). Status of “Magic Mushroom” Spores Under the Controlled Substances Act. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CAlwRu7NedNogyX1qWpZXcucfRojb3u8/view