Psilocybe baeocystis is a peculiar psilocybin-producing mushroom species that are quite rare compared to other species in the Psilocybe genus.
This species grows in sparse groups in very specific areas of habitat. It’s generally a wood-loving fungus that grows on rotting deciduous and coniferous wood or mulch.
This species can be difficult to find, but those willing to put in the time and effort to find it won’t regret it. It’s hard to cultivate at home but not impossible, with outdoor cultivation in temperate climates proving most fruitful.
P. baeocystis mushrooms have low to average potency for a Psilocybe species — producing anywhere from 0.15% to 0.85% psilocybin.
This species is not as popular as some others in the genus, but it’s intriguing nonetheless. Originally discovered in the city of Eugene, Oregon, back in 1945 but recorded scientifically much later, this species is relatively “new” to the guidebooks.
In this article, we’ll be delving into:
- What Psilocybe baeocystis is
- The history of the species
- The mushroom’s potency and effects
- The dosage of P. baeocystis
- Whether it’s suitable for microdosing
- Where Psilocybe baeocystis can be found
- How to identify it
- Psilocybe baeocystis’ known look-alikes
- How it may be cultivated
- How to prepare the mushrooms after harvesting
- How the mushrooms can be consumed
- The legality of P. baeocystis around the world
I’ll also be answering a few frequently asked questions about psychedelic mushroom species in the genus Psilocybe.
What Is Psilocybe baeocystis?
Psilocybe baeocystis is a wild species of psilocybin-producing fungi that grows in a few select regions of the United States and Canada. This species is rare, and its population is sparsely distributed. The first sample was discovered in 1945 in the city of Eugene in Oregon, but it took another 13 years before it made its way into the guidebooks.
The binomial name of the species — Psilocybe baeocystis — comes from the Greek words “Baeo,” meaning “little,” and “kystis,” meaning “bladder.” It’s unknown exactly why this mushroom claimed its binomial name. However, it may come from its appearance.
The cap of Psilocybe baeocystis is bulbous and has inwardly-rolled edges that somewhat resemble a bladder-like structure. The stems are short but relatively thick in proportion to the cap, and the overall size of the fruit is small — with a cap diameter of only 15 to 55 millimeters (0.6 to 2.2 inches) and a stem length of 5 to 7 centimeters (2.0 to 2.8 inches).
The species has a short but intriguing history. It was once blamed for a deadly mushroom poisoning but later gave its name to two significant alkaloids found in Psilocybe mushrooms — baeocystin and norbaeocystin…
The History of Psilocybe baeocystis
Despite being discovered nearly 80 years ago, it’s considered a relatively “new” species of psychedelic mushroom. Let’s break down its history in more detail.
1. The Discovery & Naming of Psilocybe baeocystis
The first sample of the species that would later be named “Psilocybe baeocystis” was collected at some point during 1945 in the city of Eugine, Oregon.
The discovery of Psilocybe baeocystis as a distinct species cannot be attributed to a single individual. However, the scientists that first described and assigned its binomial name are known.
The species wasn’t described in the guidebooks until 1958 — 13 years after its discovery. The German mycologist Rolf Singer and the American Mycologist Alexander H. Smith formally named and described the species in the scientific literature .
2. Psilocybe baeocystis: A “Deadly” Mushroom
Just a few years later, in 1960, Psilocybe baeocystis was blamed for the death of a small child as well as a series of other poisonings in Oregon.
Alexander H. Smith supposedly showed the famous mycologist Paul Stamets the photos of the “deadly” mushroom that was responsible for the 1960s poisonings several years later. The photos were clearly of a Psilocybe baeocystis specimen, but Smith told Stamets that there were several other species in the yard where the child was fatally poisoned.
The other species were never identified, so P.baeocystis took the blame for the death and the other poisonings in the area, although another mushroom was likely the culprit.
Researchers began testing this species to expose its chemical profile during the early 60s in light of the reported poisonings. Researchers R. G. Benedict, L. R. Brady, and V. E. Tyler Jr found the presence of psilocin in the mushroom in 1962 and published their findings in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences .
Although no known lethal toxins were found during the profiling of this mushroom, the species carried a dangerous aurora with it for several years.
3. The Discovery of Two New Alkaloids
With a deadly reputation, this misunderstood mushroom almost fell onto the “deadly” list in the species guidebooks. However, in 1967 and 1968, the chemists Albert Leung and Ara Paul discovered two related alkaloids that they named after the Psilocybe baeocystis species — baeocystin and norbaeocystin [3,4].
The discovery of these two tryptamine alkaloids gave Psilocybe baeocystis more scientific value. The compounds would later be discovered in several other psilocybin-containing species — many of which belong to the Psilocybe genus.
From here, researchers, alongside your typical 60s hippies, became intrigued by the mushroom. Through the 1970s, those stories of the deadly 60s Psilocybe baeocystis poisonings faded away. This psychedelic mushroom became commonplace in the hands of mycological psychonauts throughout the decade.
4. The “Rise and Fall” of Psilocybe baeocystis
From the late 1960s to the mid-90s, Psilocybe baeocystis was widely mentioned in several pieces of scientific literature. It was frequently described in writings from famous psychedelic and mycological researchers such as Jochen Gartz, Gaston Guzman, Jeremy Bigwood, and Paul Stamets.
The popularity and frequency of its mentions in scientific literature fizzled out over time, and now, it’s rarely spoken about. It seems Psilocybe baeocystis has disappeared into the shadows amongst more potent, common, and easily cultivable species.
Psilocybe baeocystis is difficult to find, and encounters are rare among foragers that are in search of psychedelic mushrooms. However, this species is an intriguing one to the keen mycologist and seasoned psychonaut alike. Its contribution to the world of psychedelic mushrooms is also great — being the responsible body for the discovery of baeocystin.
The Potency & Effects of Psilocybe baeocystis
Psilocybe baeocystis isn’t particularly potent when compared to other species of psilocybin-producing fungi, such as Psilocybe semilanceata and Psilocybe azurescens. However, it may be more potent than the typical Psilocybe cubensis mushroom, such as Golden Teacher or the Koh Samui strain.
The presence of psilocybin and psilocin in Psilocybe baeocystis was first identified in 1962 by R. G. Benedict, L. R. Brady, and V. E. Tyler Jr . Five years later, A. Y. Leung and A. G Paul identified the presence of baeocystin, desmethyl, and norbaeocystin in a saprophytic culture of P.baeocystis [3,4].
It wasn’t until much later that the concentrations of these compounds were recorded. In 1981, Beug and Bigwood recorded the concentrations of psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin present in a Psilocybe baeocystis sample .
The psychedelic tryptamine concentrations found in Psilocybe baeocystis were:
These numbers place the species on a similar level to Psilocybe cubensis strains with above-average potency and species in the Panaeolus genus, such as Panaeolus cyanescens.
The effects produced by most psilocybin-containing species are similar. However, species that produce higher levels of psilocin tend to have a faster onset of effects. Psilocybe baeocystis has been noted to produce relatively high psilocin levels compared to other species.
The effects of psilocybin and psilocin include:
- Altered perception of time
- Visual & auditory hallucinations
- Intense emotions
- Increased introspection
- Mystical (spiritual) experiences
- Changes in perception of self
- Enhanced creativity
- Increased empathy
- Increased sociability
- Improved mood
What’s the Dose of Psilocybe baeocystis Mushrooms?
It’s difficult to determine an accurate dose of Psilocybe baeocystis if you want to know exactly how much (in milligrams) of psilocybin and psilocin you’re consuming. The potency of this species is highly variable — some samples have produced as little as 0.15% psilocybin and others as much as 0.85%.
From the information we currently have on the psychedelic tryptamine content of Psilocybe baeocystis, we can assume a “rough” combined psilocybin and psilocin dose of 10 milligrams per gram of dried mushroom. However, as mentioned, this is variable.
Here are the rough doses in dry weight and milligrams of combined psilocybin/psilocin for Psilocybe baeocystis:
- Low Dose: 1 gram (10 mg psilocybin/psilocin)
- Medium Dose: 1.75 grams (17.5 mg psilocybin/psilocin)
- High Dose: 3.5 grams (35 mg psilocybin/psilocin)
- Heroic Dose: 5 grams or more (50 mg psilocybin/psilocin)
Magic Mushroom Dosage Calculator
Double-check the potency of the DXM you’re using, and look for the addition of other compounds such as acetaminophen which can cause severe liver-toxic side-effects at this dose.
Microdosing Psilocybe baeocystis
If you can get your hands on Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms, they can be a good option for microdosing psilocybin.
They are relatively low-potency shrooms which makes them easy to divide up into non-perceptual doses for microdosing. However, due to the sparsity of their distribution, you may be better off microdosing with a low-potency strain of Psilocybe cubensis or a species that are more prevalent in your area.
If you find a good P.baeocystis patch or manage to successfully cultivate them at home (either indoors or outdoors), they can be processed for microdosing pretty easily.
So, what is microdosing exactly?
A “microdose” is a sub-perceptual dose of a psychedelic substance (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, etc). A “sub-perceptual dose” is a dose that’s too low to induce any strong psychoactive effects. A psilocybin microdose may make your vision sharper and provide light euphoria and stimulation, but it won’t cause you to hallucinate.
Most people consider a microdose of psilocybin to be somewhere between 50 and 100 milligrams of dried mushroom — roughly 5 to 10 milligrams of psilocybin/psilocin. Of course, the exact amount of psilocybin and psilocin may be variable, but unless you’re using a highly-potent magic mushroom species, 50 milligrams of dried product shouldn’t exceed 10 milligrams of the psychedelic tryptamines.
Rather than ingesting daily magic mushroom microdoses, most people prefer to consume a dose once per week or every few days. This seems to be enough to provide the positive effects the person is looking for.
Microdosing may help enhance well-being, improve mood, encourage creativity, and improve cognitive function, as some studies suggest . Many people with ADHD, anxiety, and depression believe that microdosing psilocybin helps reduce their symptoms. However, the results can be variable, and not everyone seems to benefit from the practice.
If you decide to experiment with microdosing Psilocybe baeocystis — or any other psychedelic mushroom or substance — it’s important to do so in a controlled environment. These substances can affect people differently, so it’s vital to experiment with dosage at home before consuming microdoses during normal day-to-day activities.
Where Can You Find Psilocybe baeocystis Mushrooms?
Psilocybe baeocystis is a rare mushroom that can be found in temperate to hemiboreal climates. They aren’t nearly as common as species such as Psilocybe cubensis and Psilocybe azurescens, so finding samples isn’t easy.
So far, these mushrooms have only been discovered growing in a few select areas in the United States and Canada— specifically the Northern Pacific Northwest (U.S.). They grow in clusters, but their distribution is often sparse, making it difficult to collect a large amount of mushrooms.
P.baeocystis mushrooms have a restricted geographical range and favor a very specific habitat. They’re a wood-loving Psilocybe species that can be found growing on decomposing organic material such as logs, woodchips, and leaf matter.
This species also appears to be synanthropic — able to grow in a human-created habitat. Like species such as Psilocybe cyanescens (the Wavy Cap mushroom), Psilocybe baeocystis can be found growing in cultivated flower and vegetable beds, under garden hedgerows, and in other botanical landscapes that have been mulched.
Unlike other wood-loving species such as P.cyanescens and P.azurescens, Psilocybe baeocystis doesn’t have a “deciduous preference.”
Often, wood-loving Psilocybe species only grow on deciduous wood chips and mulch because coniferous wood is too acidic. Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms have been discovered growing on logs and wood chips from a range of species — both coniferous and deciduous.
Within its limited geographical range (the Northern Pacific Northwest), P.baeocystis mushrooms grow from late summer into early winter. They do grow in “clusters,” but they are far more spread out compared to many other Psilocybe species, such as P.cubensis and P.semilanceata (Liberty Cap mushrooms).
You’ll often find them growing in “loose groups” rather than tight clusters, or you’ll find several single mushrooms scattered over a wide area. Contrary to this statement, some mycologists have discovered the species growing in “caespitose” — dense clumps — although this seems to be a rare phenomenon.
Related Article: Where Do Shrooms Grow? How to Find Magic Mushrooms In the Wild
What Countries Do Psilocybe baeocystis Mushrooms Grow In?
The original sample of Psilocybe baeocystis was discovered in Oregon but has since been found in a few other regions. So far, this species has only been noted in parts of the United States and Canada, but it may be present in other temperature and hemiboreal climates across the globe.
Psilocybe baeocystis has been identified and recorded in the following:
- Oregon (USA)
- Washington (USA)
- British Columbia (Canada)
There have also been potential sightings of this species in North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Maine. However, these sightings haven’t been confirmed, and samples are yet to be taken and recorded scientifically from these states.
How To Identify Psilocybe baeocystis
Foraging for any wild mushroom comes with a certain level of risk. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the species in question as well as the potential look-alikes and deadly-poisonous species in your region.
Identifying Psilocybe baeocystis and other species with this level of rarity is arguably more dangerous than identifying common mushroom species. The chances of collecting and misidentifying a look-alike species are much higher when searching for P.baeocystis because you’re less likely to come across the mushroom in question.
It can be disheartening when searching for rare mushroom species because you can go for weeks without finding a single sample.
The determined mind and disheartened soul can often make mistakes. If you find yourself “in a rut” when searching for a rare mushroom species, it’s a good idea to take your eyes off the ground for a while or go in search of a more common mushroom to boost your spirits.
If you want to go in search of Psilocybe baeocystis, be sure to get a second, third, or even fourth opinion on any samples you collect before thinking about consuming the mushrooms.
With that said, here’s how to identify Psilocybe baeocystis:
1. Mushroom Caps
The cap of Psilocybe baeocystis ranges from 15 to 55 millimeters (0.6 to 2.2 inches). It’s bulbous yet conical in appearance with edges that turn inwards in younger specimens — rarely becoming plane in mature mushrooms. The cap’s margin has a rippled appearance that sometimes hangs down once the veil has broken in mature mushrooms.
The caps are dark olive-brown to buff-brown in color, shiny when wet, and matt when dry. Wet and young mushroom caps are sticky to the touch and have a detachable gelatinous pellicle — a thin skin-like membrane covering the cap.
The flesh is relatively thin and bruises easily. When semi-mature to mature caps are bruised, they produce a bluish hue which can also appear slightly green in older samples.
The gills of Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms are gray to cinnamon-brown. They’re closely spaced and adnate with a sinuate (with a smooth notch) attachment to the stipe.
A partial veil covers the gills in younger mushrooms — this veil has a web-like appearance and detaches from the stipe completely without leaving a visible ring in mushrooms that have sporulated.
3. Stipe (Stem)
The stipe of Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms is 5 to 7 centimeters (2.0 to 2.8 inches) long, 2 to 3 millimeters (0.07 to 0.12 inches) thick, and equal to subequal.
The color of the stipe is pallid to brown with web-like white filaments across its length. The stipes often take on a yellowish hue toward the apex (close to the cap).
It’s brittle to the touch and full of loose fibers — when split, these fibers can be seen. The base of the stipe is full of rhizomorphs — root-like strands of mycelium — that form a “bulbous root.”
The spores of the Psilocybe baeocystis mushroom are dark purple-brown in color with an oblong face view and asymmetric ellipsoid side view.
Dimensions: (8.5) 9.5 to 13.7(17) x (5) 5.5 to 6.6(7.1) μm (micrometers).
The basidium (the spore-bearing structures) are 4-spored. Pleurocystidia (a large cell found on the gill face of the basidium) are absent.
Spore prints show up as dark purplish brown.
Psilocybe baeocystis Look-Alikes
As mentioned, it’s important to learn about the potential look-alikes of any mushroom species you go in search of. If you know how to distinguish the look-alikes from the species you’re searching for, you shouldn’t make any potentially life-threatening mistakes.
It’s important to note that the term “look-alike” is relative to your knowledge of mushroom foraging and the Psilocybe baeocystis species. If you’ve studied the mushroom closely enough, you shouldn’t confuse any “look-alike” mushrooms with the real thing.
There are always differences between so-called look-alike species and the mushroom you’re hunting for — even if they’re subtle.
With that said, here are a few species that may be misidentified as Psilocybe baeocystis by the amateur forager:
1. Gallerina marginata
Similarities — Galerina marginata mushrooms share some visual characteristics with Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms. Both species are of similar color and size.
Differences — Although similar, some distinguishing features tell these two species apart. Galerina marginata has a distinct annulus (a ring from the veil) around its stem, whereas Psilocybe baeocystis doesn’t. The spore print of G.marginata is a rusty brown color, and the spore print of P.baeocystis is purplish brown.
Toxicity — Galerina marginata is also known as the “Deadly Galerina” or “Funeral Cap” for good reason. This species contains deadly amatoxin concentrations, which can cause severe liver and kidney damage — in some cases complete organ failure.
2. Hypholoma fasciculare
Similarities — Hypholoma fasciculare bears some resemblance to Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms. Both species share a similar-looking cap coloration, and young mushrooms share a similar bulbous-shaped cap. Spore prints from both species also show up as purplish brown.
Differences — Although similar, you should be able to tell the difference between these two mushrooms. Hypholoma fasciculare is generally larger and more yellow than Psilocybe baeocystis. The gills are also much more crowded and have a yellowish color.
Toxicity — Fatalities from Hypholoma fasciculare ingestion are rare. However, the species is poisonous and can cause stomach discomfort, nausea, and in some cases, temporary paralysis and loss of vision.
3. Species in the Cortinarius Genus
Similarities — Some species in the Cortinarius genus can share similar visual characteristics with Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms. They may have similar cap colors and shapes, ranging from brown to chestnut, and similar mushroom sizes.
Differences — Most species in the Cortinarius genus produce rusty brown spore prints and have a partial veil that covers the gills until the mushroom sporulates.
Toxicity — The toxicity of Cortinarius species varies. Some contain toxins that can cause liver or kidney damage and, in some cases, complete organ failure.
4. Species in the Leratiomyces Genus
Similarities — Some Leratiomyces species can share general visual characteristics with Psilocybe baeocystis. Cap and stem color, size, and shape can be similar. Some species also produce purple-brown to purple-black spore prints.
Differences — Most species of Leratiomyces have one or more distinct features that set them apart from Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms. Some have an annulus, some produce different-colored spore prints, and some have differences in size, shape, and color.
Toxicity — Most species in the Leratiomyces genus are non-toxic. However, many aren’t considered edible and can cause mild to severe stomach discomfort when ingested.
5. Other Species of Psilocybe
Many species in the Psilocybe genus share similarities with Psilocybe baeocystis.
Cap colors, mushroom size, general shape, blue bruising, gill structure, and spore color can be remarkably similar between species of Psilocybe.
If you’re going in search of Psilocybe baeocystis, you probably won’t mind picking up another species or two of Psilocybe for the collection.
They all produce psilocybin to some degree and aren’t considered “toxic.” However, you should learn how to distinguish between different species of Psilocybe if you want to start foraging for psychedelic and edible mushrooms seriously.
Can You Grow Psilocybe baeocystis At Home?
Yes. Psilocybe baeocystis can be cultivated at home, but it’s a challenging species to grow. Psilocybe cubensis is a much easier species to start with if you’re interested in growing magic mushrooms for the first time.
Psilocybe baeocystis is difficult to cultivate in an artificial environment. This species — like many other wood-loving Psilocybe species — is hard to reproduce using typical indoor-cultivation techniques. However, these mushrooms have been found growing in human-created habitats such as compost/mulch bins, flower beds, and vegetable beds.
A few people have managed to cultivate Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms using indoor cultivation techniques such as PF-Tek by using sterilized woodchip or pasteurized manure. However, it’s definitely no easy feat, and more people seem to fail than succeed.
If you live in a temperate or hemiboreal climate, it may be wiser to cultivate this species outdoors. Mulch or wood chip beds can be created in shaded areas and inoculated with spores. If successful, these beds should continue to produce fruits continuously every autumn.
How To Cultivate Psilocybe baeocystis Mushrooms Outdoors
It can be difficult to cultivate Psilocybe baeocystis indoors. However, if you live in a temperate or hemiboreal climate, you may have some success with outdoor cultivation. This wood-loving species is able to thrive on wood chips or mulch in garden vegetable beds.
It’s important to note that outdoor cultivation can be problematic. Even if you take great care in the cultivation process, the chances of success are 50/50. A variety of uncontrollable environmental factors can impact your success. However, if you’re lucky, an outdoor mushroom patch can provide fruits for several years with a low level of maintenance.
Here’s how to cultivate Psilocybe baeocystis outdoors:
1. Prepare the Growing Medium
First, you’ll need to prepare a bed for the mushrooms to grow in. To a raised vegetable bed, add a layer of compost or mulch topped with a layer of deciduous or coniferous wood chips. Moisten with water, but don’t saturate the substrate completely.
The bed can then be covered with a dark, breathable membrane until you’re ready to inoculate the substrate with Psilocybe baeocystis spores.
2. Obtain a Psilocybe baeocystis Sample
Once the outdoor mushroom bed has been prepared, you’ll need to source a Psilocybe baeocystis sample. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where the species grows and know where a colony is, you may be able to collect a mycelium sample.
If you decide to collect a sample from the wild, you must ensure you respect any local nature laws — these laws are in place to protect our environment. In some areas, it’s an offense to collect any mushrooms, mycelium, or wild plants, regardless of whether they’re psychoactive or not.
If you’re able to collect a sample from the wild, do so responsibly, and don’t be greedy. Remove a small patch of mycelial growth from the ground making sure to leave plenty in the forest to continue thriving.
The mycelium sample can be taken back to your garden and introduced to the mushroom bed. Plant it loosely in the substrate and brush some woodchip over the top.
If you don’t live close to a Psilocybe baeocystis patch, you can use a spore syringe.
Using a spore syringe to inoculate an outdoor mushroom bed is a little more involved than introducing a formed piece of mycelium. The mycelium must be cultivated from the spore samples before being introduced to the bed to ensure it builds up resistance before planting.
Psilocybe baeocystis spore samples can be obtained from a variety of online spore vendors.
Related: Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores
If you want to cultivate Psilocybe baeocystis using spores, I recommend checking out the book “Mycelium Running” by Paul Stamets. The book has detailed instructions on outdoor mushroom cultivation — including wood-loving species — using spores.
3. Leave the Area Alone
The next step is simple. All you need to do is cover the vegetable bed with a dark breathable membrane for a year. You can leave the bed open, but a breathable membrane helps keep weeds out of the beds while the mycelium colonizes the substrate.
Make sure to keep the area moist but not saturated during this time.
Once a year passes and the following summer comes to an end, you can remove the membrane completely (if you decide to use one) and check the substrate. Gently move a patch of the wood chipping and check for mycelial growth. If you see several white thread-like strands throughout the substrate, you’ve successfully cultivated Psilocybe baeocystis.
Now, let nature do its thing. Check on the bed daily throughout the autumn, and hopefully, you should begin to see mushrooms sprout up from the ground. Let them develop completely and naturally drop some spores before harvesting them.
Mushrooms will continue to grow from the bed in “flushes” until the temperatures decrease and the colony once again becomes dormant. The mushroom bed can now be left open for the foreseeable future — it doesn’t matter so much if any weeds grow. The following autumn season, you should see the mushrooms spring up again — hopefully, in greater numbers.
How To Prepare & Store Psilocybe baeocystis Mushrooms
After harvesting Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms — either from nature or a home cultivation setup — they need to be prepared properly for storage.
These mushrooms have a varied shelf life when fresh. The age of the mushrooms at harvest, whether any unseen contaminants were collected with them, and the temperature at which they’re stored will affect their shelf life.
The best way to store Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms long term is to clean and dry them before placing them in air-tight jars.
Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms are relatively small, which makes them incredibly easy to dry. Once harvested, the mushrooms can be cleaned with a small artist’s paintbrush without the use of water. Simply brushing off any dirt and checking for insects or mold is enough.
Once cleaned up, the mushrooms can be placed on a piece of parchment paper in a dimly lit area with good ventilation. Make sure there’s plenty of space in between each mushroom, and turn them periodically (every four or five hours) to ensure they dry evenly.
After a day or two, the mushrooms will be completely dry. You’ll know they’re dry enough for storage when the stems audibly “crack” when snapped and the caps crumble when crushed.
Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms can also be dried using a food dehydrator at a low temperature. This will shorten the drying time significantly.
Once the mushrooms are completely dry, they can be stored in air-tight mason jars with the addition of a pack or two of food-safe silica gel. Silica is a desiccant, meaning it absorbs moisture in its surrounding atmosphere. This ensures that any moisture remaining in the mushrooms after storage is eliminated — improving their shelf life.
When properly dried and stored in this way, the mushrooms will last indefinitely. However, the potency will decrease slowly over time — it’s best to store the mushroom-filled jars in a cool, dark place and use them within 12 to 18 months.
How Can Psilocybe baeocystis Be Consumed?
Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms can be consumed in a number of ways. Of course, you can chow down on the mushrooms, fresh or dried, but this may not be to everyone’s taste. These mushrooms are certainly not gourmet, and they can cause stomach upset in some people if eaten raw.
Here are a few popular ways to consume psilocybin-containing mushrooms:
1. Eating the Mushrooms Whole
The easiest way to consume Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms is to simply eat them whole. They can be eaten fresh or dry by simply chewing and swallowing a measured dose of water. This is effective enough and is usually okay for most people.
If you want to improve the bioavailability of the mushrooms, you can use something called “Lemon Tek.”
Simply soaking the mushrooms in lemon juice for 15 to 20 minutes before consumption helps break down some of the chitin (cell walls) of the fungi. It may also help convert some of the psilocybin to the bioavailable metabolite psilocin. This results in a faster onset of effects and often less nausea and stomach pain after ingestion.
2. Making Magic Mushroom Tea
Magic mushroom tea is a popular way to consume psilocybin-containing fungi. By steeping the mushrooms in hot water, you can extract the active compounds from the fungi and consume them without eating any of the organic matter.
Consuming psilocybin in this way speeds up the onset time dramatically, improves flavor, and reduces nausea and stomach discomfort.
Making magic mushroom tea from Psilocybe baeocystis is simple.
All you need to do is boil a kettle of water and allow it to cool slightly before combining it with a dosage of dried ground mushrooms in a thermal flask. Adding a bag of herbal tea can help improve flavor, and a splash of lemon juice can help improve the bioavailability of the tea. After an hour, the solid matter can be strained off, and the liquid consumed.
If you want to learn the best way to make magic mushroom tea, have a read through this article: How to Make Shroom Tea.
3. Making Psilocybin Smoothies
Psilocybin smoothies are a popular way to consume magic mushrooms. Mixing Psilocybe baeocystis with a variety of fruity flavors in a smoothie is a great way to cover up the musky notes of the mushrooms.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to psilocybin smoothies. Using strong flavors helps cover up some of the taste associated with psilocybin mushrooms, but it may not completely eliminate nausea if your stomach is particularly sensitive to mushrooms.
Making psilocybin smoothies is simple. All you need to do is combine your chosen dose of raw (fresh or dried) Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms with a selection of fruits and fruit juices in a blender. The ingredients can then be blended until completely smooth and combined. The resulting liquid can then be consumed.
4. Making Psilocybin Edibles
Making psilocybin edibles from Psilocybe baeocystis mushrooms is the most demanding method of consumption. Edibles can be as simple as topping a slice of pizza with some shrooms or as complicated as making psilocybin gummies. The kind of edible you make will depend solely on how determined you are to make some tasty “trippy” treats.
The main concern when making psilocybin edibles from any Psilocybe mushroom is heat. Although psilocybin in its raw form starts to break down at temperatures between 220 to 228 °C (428 to 442 °F), most people believe that psilocybin in mushrooms starts to degrade at temperatures above 80 °C (176 °F) .
There’s no real science to say that psilocybin breaks down at temperatures as low as 80 °C, and I believe far higher temperatures are required to affect potency. However, it’s wise to limit the amount of time the mushrooms are cooked at temperatures above this point to reduce the chances of psilocybin — or any of the more delicate tryptamines — degrading.
Limiting the mushrooms’ exposure to temperatures above 100 °C (212 °F) to under 30 minutes doesn’t seem to alter the potency — at least to a noticeable degree. You can achieve this by using low-heat recipes or adding the shrooms into the dish toward the end of the cooking time.
If you’re interested in cooking with psilocybin and want some recipe inspiration, check out this guide: Learn How to Cook With Magic Mushrooms.
Are Psilocybe baeocystis Mushrooms Legal?
Although you can find Psilocybe baeocystis and other species in the Psilocybe genus growing in the wild, these mushrooms are illegal in most countries. The active ingredient psilocybin is a restricted substance in many countries across the globe.
It’s not all doom and gloom. The laws surrounding psilocybin and other so-called “soft drugs” are gradually improving. In some parts of the U.S., Europe, and Canada, psilocybin is tolerated, decriminalized, or completely legal.
It’s also worth noting that magic mushroom spores are legal in the United States, Europe, and Canada because they don’t contain the banned substance psilocybin. You can purchase and collect spores legally for microscopy, but as soon as they’re cultivated, and psilocybin mushrooms begin to sprout, they become illegal.
Let’s take a look at the laws surrounding psilocybin in a few different places:
The United States
Psilocybin is a federally controlled substance in the United States, making it illegal to possess, consume, and distribute. However, a handful of states (or municipalities within select states) have legalized or decriminalized the substance for certain uses.
Although some states have relaxed their laws on psilocybin, it’s still a restricted substance to some degree. There’s still a way to go until psilocybin is treated similarly to cannabis in the United States. Even in “legal” states, psilocybin-containing mushrooms are difficult to purchase legally from a reputable dispensary.
So far, seven U.S states have decriminalized Psilocybin-containing mushrooms:
It’s important to note that some of the states on this list — California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Michigan — have certain municipalities that have relaxed their psilocybin legislation. This means it’s not completely legal state-wide, and traveling outside of a legal municipality can land you in trouble.
Canada is a strange country when it comes to psilocybin and psilocybin-producing mushrooms such as Psilocybe baeocystis. Technically, the production, sale, and possession of psilocybin mushrooms are completely illegal in Canada.
It is possible to get an exemption from Health Canada if the patient shows “serious or life-threatening conditions” that may be treatable with psilocybin. However, this is notoriously difficult to get.
What’s strange about Canada is the abundance of “magic mushroom shops” popping up across the country — regardless of the illegality of psilocybin. It seems that law enforcement in Canada doesn’t prioritize the current laws surrounding psilocybin and psychedelic mushrooms.
This not only allows the police time to focus on “real crime,” but it also takes some of the anxiety away from people who want to consume mushrooms.
Psilocybin will likely follow suit with cannabis in Canada in the near future — becoming legal to possess, consume, and distribute through government-regulated companies.
Psilocybin is illegal in most European countries. However, more and more countries are beginning to relax their laws surrounding psilocybin and other “soft substances.”
In the Netherlands, psilocybin-containing mushrooms have been made illegal. However, psilocybin-producing sclerotia (magic truffles) are legal to possess, consume, and sell. You can find “smart shops” across many of the major cities in Holland that sell several different species of magic truffles.
In Portugal, all drugs, both “hard” and “soft,” have been decriminalized. This means psilocybin-containing mushrooms such as Psilocybe baeocystis can be consumed freely without risk of penalty. However, the sale of magic mushrooms and truffles is still prohibited, so it’s not as easy as walking into a shop to buy some.
In Austria, all psilocybin-producing fungi have been decriminalized. Psilocybe mushrooms can even be cultivated freely without prosecution as long as they aren’t grown with the intention of using them as a “drug.”
Frequently Asked Questions About Psilocybe Mushrooms
Answering some of the most common questions we get asked about Psilocybe baeocystis and related mushrooms…
1. How Many Species Are There in the Psilocybe Genus?
There are over 130 known species within the Psilocybe genus. Species within the genus are present across the globe and grow in 6 of the 7 continents — Antarctica being the exception.
New species of Psilocybe are being discovered all the time. Fairly recently, a new species was discovered in the cloud forests of Ecuador — Psilocybe stametsii. Named after the legendary mycologist Paul Stamets, this species is solitary and is no taller than a matchstick.
Here are some of the most well-known Psilocybe species:
- Psilocybe cubensis
- Psilocybe semilanceata
- Psilocybe cyanescens
- Psilocybe azurescens
- Psilocybe allenii
- Psilocybe caerulescens
- Psilocybe colombiana
- Psilocybe mexicana
- Psilocybe stunting
- Psilocybe tampanensis
- Psilocybe weilii
2. What’s the Most Potent Psilocybe Mushroom Species?
The most potent recognized Psilocybe species is Psilocybe azurescens. According to a study published by Paul Stamets and Johan Garts in 1995, this species produces average psilocybin levels of up to 1.80% in fresh mushrooms and 1.10% in dry mushrooms . To put that into perspective, that’s around 4 times as potent as a typical Psilocybe cubensis mushroom.
Psilocybe azurescens is a wood-loving species that can be found growing naturally in a small area of North America. It produces strong visual effects, and a single gram can send someone spiraling into an intense psychedelic trip.
Any psilocybin mushroom should be treated with respect, but P.azurescens must be dealt with carefully. This is an extremely powerful psychedelic mushroom that’s unlike any other from the Psilocybe genus.
3. What’s the Easiest Magic Mushroom Species to Grow?
The easiest psilocybin-containing mushroom species to cultivate indoors is Psilocybe cubensis. This species is incredibly resistant to contamination and can thrive in an artificial environment.
Sterile P.cubensis spore samples can be purchased through a variety of online vendors across the globe. Cultivation equipment can be as simple and cheap as a few jars, some containers, and a bag of rye grain.
There are hundreds of Psilocybe cubensis variants on the market. These strains are all the same species but carry differences in potency, appearance, and contamination resistance.
The easiest strain of Psilocybe cubensis to cultivate is widely considered as “Golden Teacher.” This strain is remarkably resistant to contamination and other environmental instabilities. However, there are dozens of other strains that share similar characteristics that make them “easy to grow.”
4. What’s the Most Common Psilocybe Species?
The most common species in the Psilocybe genus is, without a doubt, Psilocybe cubensis. This species grows naturally across the globe in a range of different climates. In the wild, it can be found in the United States, Canada, most of Asia, Australia, South America, and some parts of Africa.
Being the easiest species of Psilocybe to grow, P.cubensis is also a common mushroom to find among the mushroom community. Spores for hundreds of different P.cubensis strains can be purchased legally across the globe — this makes it easy for people to cultivate and distribute the species.
Although the most common mushroom, Psilocybe cubensis, doesn’t grow naturally in Europe. It’s still cultivated and sold (lawfully and unlawfully) in many European countries, but it can’t be found in the wild.
In Europe, the most common Psilocybe species is Psilocybe semilanceata (the Liberty Cap mushroom). This small but potent mushroom can be found in abundance growing in pastures across Europe in the autumn months. They can be found as far north as Swedish Lapland and as far south as Italy.
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