Psilocybe Cubensis - The Gold Cap Mushroom
Psilocybe cubensis is a wide spread, large bodied, psychedelic mushroom that can be found in tropical and sub-tropical climates around the world. P. Cubensis produces the chemicals psilocin and psilocybin, which classifies it as one of the psilocybin mushrooms. This mushroom was "discovered" F.S. Earle in Cuba in 1904 as Stropharia cubensis, and later renamed to what it is now known as: Psilocybe cubensis. This species is the largest of all the Psilocybes with equally robust rhizomorphic mycelium. Typically, the caps of the mushroom are chestnut brown to golden sometimes with a white ring around the outside of the cap, which is where it earned the nick-name gold cap mushroom from. Other common names for this mushroom are cubes, cubies, shrooms, magic mushrooms, boomers, and gold tops. This is usually the first psychedelic mushroom people encounter, and is the most commonly available due to it's ease of indoor cultivation.
- Cap: 1.5-8 (10) cm wide, broadly conical, oval or bell-shaped (often with an umbo ) when young, gradually expanding to convex, broadly umbonate, or plane; surface smooth or with small whitish veil remnants when young, viscid when moist, soon dry, color variable: whitish with a brown to yellowish center, or entirely yellow to yellowish-buff to yellow-brown, or sometimes cinnamon-brown when young and sometimes dingy olive in old age; bruising and aging bluish; margin sometimes hung with veil remnants. Flesh firm, white, staining blue or blue-green when bruised.
Spore print: dark purple-brown to blackish; spores 11-17×7-12 microns, elliptical, smooth, thick-walled, with a large apical germ pore. Cystidia present on faces of gills, but chrysocystidia absent.
- Bruising: blue or blue-green
- Gills: adnate to adnexed or seceding to free
- Stipe: 4-15 cm long, 0.4-1-5 cm thick, equal or more often thicker below, dry, white or sometimes yellowish to yellow-brown, aging or bruising blue or blue-green; smooth.
- Veil: Membranous, white or bluish-stained, usually forming a thin, fragile, superior ring on stalk which is blackened by falling spores.
- Mycelium: robust rhizomorphic white
Entheogenic Experience and Potency
As a psychedelic mushroom, psilocybe cubensis is most commonly encountered and used throughout the world. It contains adequate amounts of the chemicals psilocybin and psilocin to be considered a potent entheogen. It's major psychoactive compounds known to date are:
This mushroom, contrary to popular belief, has a high amount of both psilocin and psilocybin, when it was compared to members of the Panaeolus genus (in the study they were refered to as Copelandia, and no measures were taken to identify the species), in a study using high-performance liquid chromatography. PDF link to the study
The question of dosage arises fairly often with people who are trying psilocybin mushrooms for the first time. For any hallucinogenic mushroom it is always advised that individual brain chemistry is what depends on the dose. 1 gram (dry) is considered a low dose to more experienced people, and 3.5 grams (dry) is considered a standard dose that can produce moderate to intense effects. For some people doses over 3 grams could be overwhelming. Likewise, some people are much more sensitive to the psychoactive compounds that are present than other people. A 1 gram (dry) dose could trigger intense effects in some people. For most people a 1 gram (dry) dose will have little to no effect. It is always recommended to start low, and see how it will effect you, individually. Other factors come into play as well when trying to determine potency and dose, such as the phenotype of the cubensis, temperatures the mushrooms were grown at, drying method, storage, and age. Many different things can affect or decrease the potency of a mushroom. Effects usually start within 20-40 minutes of ingesting the mushrooms, and may last as long as 4-8 hours depending on doasge. Visual distortions may occur, as well as feelings of uphoria, and vivid hallucinations of colors, feelings of peace, oneness with things in the general vicinity, and laughter. Other times negative effects can occur such as anxiety, and fear of death, among other things.
The cultivation of this mushroom is very easy, whether indoors or outdoor. There are many tutorials available on the internet ranging from small scaled operations that can produce small amounts of mushrooms, such as the PF-TEK, or the more advanced methods that utilize professional mushroom growing techniques, that can sometimes require very little maintenance. P. cubensis is extremely adaptable and can be grown on a large variety of substrates from rice flour to its preferred substrate of dirt/compost, to even wood chips. It is not a picky mushroom by any means. See how to grow magic mushrooms (shrooms) in bulk for beginners
Cubensis has many strains available on the market. Many claim that this is vendor hype, and that might be partially true. However, a petri dish inoculated from spores tells a different story. Many sub-strains appear in the mycelium, walled off from each other in sectors, as seen below. Each of these sectors represents a various sub-strain, each having different potentials for strain isolation.