Psilocybe Cubensis are the most widespread form of modern psilocybin mushrooms. If you have had an experience with magic mushrooms in your life, the chances are high that you ingested one of the 60 known strains of Psilocybe Cubensis. Yes, 60.
The history of Psilocybe Cubensis
Psilocybe Cubensis first entered the western world and literature in the late 1950’s. R. Gordon Wasson, the former Vice President of J.P. Morgan Chase and amateur mycologist, takes the credit as the first person to officially identify the species. Wasson and his wife Valentina met the famous shaman Maria Sabina in Oaxaca in southern Mexico. She agreed to include Mr. and Mrs. Wasson in a shamanic ceremony involving psilocybin mushrooms, being the first “westerner” ever to be experience such a ceremony.
Wasson and Hofmann
When Wasson returned to America, he wrote an article with the title “Seeking the Magic Mushroom”. This piece was published in Life Magazine in 1957. The name certainly stuck! Wasson brought samples of the mushrooms back from his Mexico trip, and sent them to Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, who’s name you may recognize, as he was the first to synthesize LSD! Hofmann got to work cataloguing the substance, and marked the existence of 4 different psychoactive compounds contained in the mushrooms. These compounds are psilocybin, psilocin, baeocysin and norbaeocystin, which all exist in <1% amounts.
Where does it grow?
Psilocybe cubensis grows naturally, most commonly found fruiting on the dung of bovines or well manured ground. This is different than most other Psilocybe species which prefer lichenous substrate as a preferred habitat. Cubensis is one of the most common species of psilocybin mushrooms on the planet. The range of the species covers the Americas, the Caribbean, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia. As a result of their widespread habitats on continents across oceans all over the world, there is a lot of variation of genetics between the strains as a result of genetic isolation.
Cubensis are fairly easy to cultivate, and in controlled conditions the results can be largely different than nature-born mushrooms, in both effects and appearance. At this point, with human cultivation and natural species combined, there are over 60 distinct Psilocybe Cubensis strains in existence.
Let’s explore the seven different Psilocybe Cubensis strains we currently carry at Faded Fungi.
Golden Teacher aka “Goldies”
Golden Teacher Psilocybin Cubensis, aka Goldies, are a strain which emerged in the 1980’s. Some reports indicate findings in the wild in Florida. However, another story suggests it is originally a Hawaiian Cubensis given a new name as a result of the golden colour of the caps. It grows large mushrooms with wide golden caps with a thick stem.
Vietnamese Psilocybe Cubensis is an old school strain of Psilocybe Cubensis mushrooms. It was first discovered in Hanoi, North Vietnam by French pharmacist and mycologist Narcisse Patouillard in 1907.
Texas Yellow Cap
Texas Yellow Cap Psilocybe Cubensis is an newer strain of psilocybe mushroom. It is native to Texas, but probably found in other areas around the region. This strain’s name is Yellow Cap because, you guessed it, the caps have a tendency to express yellow hues.
Penis Envy Psilocybe Cubensis gets its name from its distinctly phallic shape with thick and wide stems and a semi-closed cap. This strain is among the most rare of mushrooms because only 5% of it’s mushrooms drop spores, and even those spores can contaminate easily. Typically, this makes it a more expensive strain to purchase.
There are a couple different schools of thought as to the origin of Penis Envy Psilocybe Cubensis. Many people believe it is the late Terrance McKenna who bred this strain, while others claim the founder of the strain is “RG” from the 1990’s. Either way, this strain of mushrooms are often referred to as one of the most potent Cubensis strains, sometimes reported over 1.5 times as potent.
Brazilian Psilocybe Cubensis mushrooms have been a part of the culture of the indigenous tribes of Southern Brazil and the Amazon for thousands of years. They are commonly employed in traditional spiritual rituals and ceremonies. Shamans of these tribes use the mushrooms to gain teachings directly from the spirit world.
Blue Meanies Psilocybe Cubensis are actually named after a strain of Psilocybe Cyanescens of the same name. The reason why it takes the name of the Psilocybe Cyanescens Blue Meanies is because they are two times the strength of Psilocybe Cubensis. The Blue Meanies of the Cubensis variety are very strong, which is why they share their name with the extra strong Psilocybe Cyanescens strain, as an ode to its potency.
Arenal Volcano Psilocybe Cubensis have been growing at the base of an active volcano in Costa Rica. The Arenal Volcano has been highly active for seven thousand years. The local indigenous tribes of the area have consumed this mushroom since pre-history.