Golden Teacher Mushroom Strain: Best Strain For Beginner Growers

These wise old mushrooms teach about subjects you can’t learn anywhere else.

By Justin Cooke Last Updated: November 23, 2022
Last Updated: November 23, 2022
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Golden Teachers are among the most ubiquitous of the so-called magic mushroom “strains.” They’ve been the most popular option among new and experienced growers alike for decades and remain a top choice to this day. 

What is it about the Golden Teachers that make this strain so popular? What’s the best way to grow this particular strain, and where can I find Golden Teacher spores?

What Are Golden Teacher Mushrooms?

Golden Teacher is a strain of the psychedelic mushroom species Psilocybe cubensis. They’re known for their “gentle” nature and are often considered the baseline for comparing the potency of various magic mushroom strains today. 

These psilocybin-containing mushrooms feature a distinct golden cap and form dense clusters of medium to large-sized mushrooms. They thrive in just about any substrate, are fast colonizers, and generally produce large yields over the course of 2–4 flushes. 

The original sample is thought to have been collected from the Gulf region of the United States in the late 70s (unconfirmed). 

Golden Teachers are just one of several hundred strains being sold on the open market. However, the very existence of many strains is debated among mycology experts.

A strain is essentially a distinct cultivar various growers have created through selective breeding. In order to qualify as a strain, the sample must have measurable and repeatable traits or characteristics between generations — such as differences in chemical makeup or growth patterns. 

Many experts argue that the majority of “strains” don’t technically qualify as strains at all and are merely marketing terms used to sell spores or grow kits. Some vendors will make up names for stock they’re trying to sell and associate seemingly random growth traits or effect profiles without justification. 

A true strain is made by either harvesting a phenotypically unique sample from the wild or through selective breeding. Selective breeding is what’s allowed growers to develop strains with larger caps, enhanced disease resistance, higher potency levels, or albino characteristics. 

Related: List of All Known Magic Mushroom Strains.

Golden Teacher Specs: 

PotencyAbove Average
CultivationEasy
SpeciesPsilocybe cubensis
Suggested SubstrateBrown Rice Flour + Vermiculite (BRF Tek)
Cost$
Sold ByRalphsters Spores, Sporeworks, Spores 101

Golden Teacher Variations & Genetic Relatives

Golden Teachers have been around for a long time and have been the dominant strain on the market for decades. It’s very likely that many of the strains listed on the market today are either Golden Teachers rebranded as something else or are were selectively bred or crossed from Golden Teachers. 

The essential characteristic of this strain is the gold-yellow caps. While we can’t be sure exactly which strains were derived from Golden Teachers, there are quite a few that share the gold-colored tops and have a high likelihood of being offshoots from this well-known mushroom.

Mushroom strains that feature golden caps: 

Where to Buy Golden Teacher Mushrooms

You can find Golden Teacher genetics from virtually all the major spore vendors in the United States, Canada, and Europe. 

It’s also easy to find these shrooms from local dry shroom vendors, which can be used to obtain spores to cultivate at home yourself.

If you’re interested in growing Golden Teachers, check out vendors like Spores 101 (Canada or US), Sporeslab (Canada only), or Magic Mushrooms Shop (Europe), or Viking Spore (UK-only). 

Related: Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores.

How to Grow Golden Teacher Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms are surprisingly easy to grow. You can get started yourself with equipment that’s probably already lying around your house or can be picked up at your local hardware shop or gardening center.

To get started, you’ll need to pick up some Golden Teacher spores, or a magic mushroom grow kit that contains live GT mycelium. 

Golden Teachers are known for their ease of cultivation. They’re fairly contaminant-resistant, have fast colonization rates, and are less sensitive to underoptimized growing conditions. This could be because this is a wild strain, unlike a strain selectively bred in captivity. 

You can grow Golden Teachers on popular mushroom substrates, including rye grain, BRF tek, Uncle Ben’s tek, manure, wild bird seed, etc. 

This is one of the strains I recommend new growers start with because of their consistent and above-average potency, widespread availability, and relative ease of cultivation. 

Other Beginner Mushroom Species

Golden Teachers aren’t the only strains recommended for beginner growers. 

Generally speaking, a good beginner strain is any strain that’s easy to find, has fast colonization rates, is less prone to aborts, and is tolerant to underoptimized fruiting conditions. 

Some of the best beginner mushroom strains include: 

Golden Teacher FAQs

1. How Potent Are Golden Teachers?

Golden Teachers are considered above average in terms of potency, but there are certainly strains that are more potent (such as Penis Envy, B+, or Tidal Wave). 

In the 2021 Psilocybin Cup, a sample of Golden Teachers submitted by PsillyBoys was recorded to have 0.79% psilocybin and 0.05% psilocin. Other samples were lower (0.52% and <0.01% psilocin). 

2. How Long Do Golden Teachers Take To Grow?

Golden Teachers are about average in terms of how fast they grow. With the right environmental conditions (temperatures between 22 and 27ºC and humidity levels over 80%), you can expect to go from spore to harvest within two months.

3. Where Do Golden Teachers Get Their Name?

The true origins of Golden Teacher are unknown, but the name is believed to be derived from their golden-colored caps. The psychedelic nature and history of magic mushroom use is likely the reason behind calling these mushrooms “teachers.”

4. How Do I Take Golden Teacher Mushrooms?

There’s no particular way of using Golden Teachers different from other mushrooms. You can eat the fresh or dried mushrooms as-is, prepare them into a tincture, or make psilocybin-infused honey, chocolates, or capsules. 

Many people like to take dried mushrooms using the lemon tek method (faster absorption and improved flavor); others prefer to grind them into a powder and combine them with ingredients like L-theanine and caffeine to make DIY microdose capsules. 

5. What’s The Dose of Golden Teachers? 

Golden Teachers are often used as the baseline for comparing the dose of magic mushrooms. This means the standard dosage ranges for any Psilocybe cubensis will work for Golden Teachers: 

  • Microdose — 0.2–0.5 grams
  • Threshold Dose — 0.5–1 gram
  • Standard Psychoactive Dose — 2–3 grams
  • Heroic Dose — Over 5 grams

The optimal dose of magic mushrooms depends highly on the individual (genetic factors, metabolism, size, and weight), as well as other factors, including set and setting (mindset, company, current mood, and environment).

For a more detailed estimate according to your weight and desired experience, check out our handy magic mushroom dosage calculator.

It’s important to pay attention to the fundamentals of responsible psychedelic use before taking Golden Teachers or any other magic mushroom strains. 

6. Are Golden Teachers Legal?

Magic mushrooms are illegal in most countries, including the United States and Canada. However, in recent months, some municipalities have moved to decriminalize magic mushrooms and other natural psychedelics — such as the state of Oregon, Vancouver (Canada), and a handful of cities in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Michigan). 

Related: Decriminalization vs. Legalization: What’s the Difference?

In these places, magic mushrooms are still listed as illegal. Still, offenses no longer qualify as criminal charges — cultivation and possession in these places usually involve a fine or confiscation rather than jail time or a criminal record. 

Magic mushroom spores, including Golden Teacher spores, are legal throughout the United States (with the exception of California, Georgia, and Idaho), Canada, and Europe.

You can also order mushroom grow kits containing live mycelium in Canada and the Netherlands

Final Thoughts: Golden Teacher Mushrooms

Most people who have consumed magic mushrooms today have encountered the term “Golden Teachers” or “Golden Caps.” This is one of the most common mushrooms on the open market, and for a good reason — Golden Teachers are potent (but there are stronger strains), easy to grow, and are reportedly native to the United States. 

Some experts contest the existence of magic mushroom strains. While it’s clear some companies are simply asking for names for mushroom genetics already in circulation, it’s also hard to deny the existence of unique phenotypes of mushrooms.

Golden Teachers are characterized by their above-average psilocybin content, low psilocin content, and distinct golden-yellow tops.