The T3 mushroom strain is believed to be a genetic off-shoot of the Koh Samui strain. Some say that the T3 is just a rename of this strain, but there’s reason to believe otherwise.
The T3 strain is named due to the three distinct growth patterns that occur between each flush. It’s unusual to get such a diverse array of growth patterns from a single stock. Although the “original” Koh Samui strain does have occasional anomalies in growth patterns, the fruiting bodies don’t have the same three growth patterns so consistently.
This Psilocybe cubensis strain has above-average potency and relatively good yields. However, it’s not one for the commercial grower or home grower looking for consistent results in both psilocybin levels and weights. This strain is more for the connoisseur that wants to explore the bizarre and interesting nature of this mushroom.
In this read, we’ll be delving into what makes the T3 strain so different from other cubensis strains out there. We’ll be exploring the history of the mushroom, the conflicted beliefs surrounding its origin, and how to obtain and cultivate its spores.
What Are T3 Shrooms?
There is a lot of debate and confusion surrounding the T3 strain.
What we know for sure is that it derives from the Koh Samui mushroom — a strain of Psilocybe cubensis from Thailand. However, there’s a lot of confusion about what traits this particular strain has.
It’s widely believed that the T3 strain is a close relative to the original wild Koh Samui strain. The wild and unstable genetics cause this strain to show three different growth patterns. If this is the case, then the famous Koh Samui strain we know and love now has been isolated to produce more uniform fruiting bodies and isn’t “the original.”
There are so many conflicting opinions about the strain. Other people claim that T3 stands for third-generation, and initially, the “T3” was a more stable isolation of the original Koh Samui strain. Of course, this completely conflicts with the first statement.
So, is the T3 the original wild Koh Samui strain, or is the T3 a variant of the Koh Samui that came later?
The unfortunate truth is that the history and origins of this strain have been lost in time.
Whether the T3 name was originally used to label a more stable third-generation Koh Samui or a Koh Samui variant that produces three different growth patterns, we don’t know. However, when looking for T3 spores now, you’ll find that most vendors describe the strain as having three very distinct growth patterns through several flushes.
Although the origins are a little unclear, the T3 strain that’s being sold today is a variant of the Koh Samui that produces three different-looking fruiting bodies.
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Strains vs. Species: What’s The Difference?
There are hundreds of different psilocybe cubensis mushrooms on planet earth. From Golden Teacher to Penis Envy and everything in between, these mushrooms differ greatly in shape, color, size, and psilocybin levels.
So, are these variants different species?
The answer to that question is no. These genetic variants are strains of the species psilocybe cubensis, but what does this all mean? What’s the difference between strain and species?
Species is the term we give to a biological family of organisms within a specific kingdom (plants, animals, fungi, etc.). A strain is a genetic variant of a species. A species can be made up of several different strains, and although all of these strains are technically the same species, they have vast differences in characteristics.
Fungi is one of the six kingdoms. This is the kingdom that mushrooms fall under. Under Fungi, you’ll find several different species, such as Psilocybe cubensis (a common type of psychedelic mushroom). Within the Psilocybe cubensis species exists hundreds of different strains, for example, Penis Envy, Golden Teacher, and of course, T3.
Genetic variants (strains) are present throughout the six kingdoms, but they are more prevalent in the Plantae and Fungi kingdoms. They’re especially common among species that are frequently used by humans for consumption.
You’ll find several different strains of consumables that are used recreationally by people. Take cannabis, for example. Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, as well as hybrids of the two species, have several different strains — “Sour Diesel,” “Lemon Haze,” and “Kush,” for example. Humans have crossbred the plant to create strains with different characteristics.
Hundreds of cannabis strains have been created through selective breeding so we as humans can benefit from different growth characteristics. People create new cannabis strains to alter THC and CBD levels as well as yield, resistance, looks, and aromas.
The same goes for psychedelic mushrooms. We, as humans, have selected strains for their rapid colonization, resistance, high yields, and psilocybin levels and cultivated new strains through mycelial mating. There are now hundreds of Psilocybe cubensis strains, each with its own distinct characteristics.
The History of The T3 Strain — What We Know
As we mentioned, the history of the T3 is blurry at best, but let’s outline what we do know about this intriguing strain’s origins.
Let’s start with where the T3 strain originated from. The T3 is a genetic variant of the Koh Samui strain. This strain was discovered by ethnomycologist John W. Allen, otherwise known as “Mushroom John.”
Allen discovered the Koh Samui strain while traveling in Thailand. The strain was found near the town of Hua Thanon on the island of Koh Samui — hence the name.
He returned to the US with a spore print of the mushroom and isolated the genetics. Since then, the Koh Samui strain has become increasingly popular for its high yields, decent potency, and rapid colonization.
Since John discovered the Koh Samui strain during his travels in 1991, the ethnomycologist has isolated genetics from the mother strain to create new strains of Koh Samui.
Strains such as the Koh Samui Super Strain (a genetic off-shoot of the original wild strain) were supposedly developed by Allen himself. However, whether this is entirely true is unknown, and some wonder whether this “off-shoot” is just a rename of the original strain.
It’s believed by some that Allen also cultivated the T3, but again, this is pure speculation.
Unfortunately, this is where the history of the T3 strain becomes blurry. The information above about the discovery of the original Koh Samui strain is as far as we can get in terms of reliable information. How the T3 came to be is uncertain, but we do know that its genetics stems from this extremely resilient Thai strain.
T3 Potency & Psilocybin Content
Not much is known about the psilocybin levels of the T3 strain. However, according to reports, this strain does have above-average potency.
We can also assume a lot about the potency and psilocybin content of the T3 mushroom by looking at the Koh Samui strain. The T3 is closely related to this Thai strain, and several private mycologists report similarities in experiences from both mushrooms.
In the 2021 Oakland Hyphae Psilocybin Cup, two entries of the Koh Samui strain were submitted. A grower by the name of Purple_Skunk submitted a sample that produced a psilocybin level of 0.80. Another grower by the name of Fractured Ego submitted a sample that produced a psilocybin level of 0.62.
By looking at data from this closely related strain, we can assume that the T3 strain produces psilocybin levels within the range of 0.55 to 0.80. This puts it in a similar category to strains such as Golden Teacher and B+ — two strains that are also favored for their ease of cultivation.
Where to Buy T3 Spores
The T3 strain can be purchased from a few vendors across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Although we’re unsure whether these spores are from the original strain, they do show the three distinct growth characteristics associated with it.
If you’re in Canada, T3 spores are rather hard to come by, certainly at the more established vendors in the country. However, you may find them at Sporeslab.
If you’re based in the United States, you’ll be able to purchase T3 spores from a few select vendors, such as Ralphsters Spores.
It’s a little more difficult finding T3 spores in Europe, but after some searching, we found that The Magic Mushroom Shop and the Netherlands-based store Tatanka do stock genetics for this strain occasionally. However, supplies can be limited, and you may have to contact the vendor for a preorder.
How to Grow T3 Mushrooms
T3 Mushrooms are relatively easy to grow. Although this isn’t the ideal strain for people looking for high production in terms of weight and psilocybin levels, it’s definitely not a boring mushroom to cultivate.
This is a great mushroom for beginners to experiment with. The three distinct growth patterns and the ability to produce multiple flushes before mold growth takes hold make this strain both interesting and productive for beginner and intermediate growers alike.
Like the Koh Samui, the T3 strain is incredibly resistant to contamination. They’re also extremely fast to colonize and fruit. These factors make them a pretty fool-proof strain that can produce several good flushes, even for the complete amateur grower.
T3 can be grown similarly to any other Psilocybe cubensis mushroom.
Regarding substrate, T3 will colonize almost any mushroom-growing substrate exceptionally quickly. However, you’ll see the best results using a substrate based on straw, grain, and pasteurized manure.
You’ll need to keep the growing environment sterile, and it’s a good idea to use a heating pad to keep the atmosphere surrounding the colony at around 28°C to 30°C (82.4°F to 86°F). However, there’s a fair bit of room for error, so you don’t have to worry too much if the temperature range fluctuates or you touch the substrate with un-sterile fingertips.
The more controlled your growing environment, the better yields and potency you should produce. If you follow basic mushroom cultivation practices, the T3 strain should treat you well. If you’re new to mushroom growing, find out how to grow magic mushrooms in this definitive guide.
What makes the T3 strain so interesting is the three distinct growth patterns seen in the fruiting bodies over several flushes. A flat, pointed, and bell-shaped carp can be noted during the growth of these mushrooms. This is extremely unique.
Although these three growth patterns are completely unique to the T3 strain, there are a few other strains that have growth anomalies.
Here are a few other strains that produce odd growth patterns:
The Koh Samui (KS) strain was discovered in 1991 by the infamous John Allen during his travels in Southeast Asia. This strain is extremely popular and a favorite among new mycologists that are looking for an easy high-yielding strain to grow. It has similar psilocybin levels to strains such as Golden Teacher and produces stubby fat fruiting bodies.
Koh Samui colonizes and fruits extremely quickly and aggressively. It’s highly resistant to contamination and can produce several healthy and high-yielding flushes when grown in the right conditions.
Another highly resistant Thai strain, Lipa Yai (LY), is closely related to the Koh Samui mushroom. It’s a Psilocybin cubensis strain that closely resembles the Koh Samui, but instead of producing short fat mushrooms, it produces tall fruiting bodies.
Lipa Yai is favored among beginners for its excellent disease resistance. It’s been reported that this strain is able to produce up to 10 flushes before succumbing to contamination.
The Enigma strain (ENIG) produces truffle-like fruiting bodies. These “truffles” aren’t strictly magic truffles; they are still technically mushrooms. They take an extremely long time to grow (occasionally up to 4 months) and can dramatically differ in size and shape.
This isn’t a strain for commercial or home growers looking for high yields quickly. It’s more for the connoisseur that wants to experience some truly unique psilocybe growth patterns.
The Malaysian strain (MAL) is incredibly unstable. This mushroom has no distinct growth patterns, and each flush can be different from the last in terms of size, shape, and pigmentation.
John W Allen collected this strain on his famous trip to Southeast Asia during the 90s. Like other Asian Psilocybe strains, Malaysian is incredibly resistant, colonize quickly, and produce good yields.
The Hawaiian strain (HAW) has a highly cloudy history, and it seems that the spores can vary from vendor to vendor. Some cultivators have reported several different growth patterns from a single spore syringe. Some mushrooms with large dark caps, some tall, some short, and some brown in color, appear over several flushes.
It’s unknown whether these “growth patterns” are from a single genetic or whether some unreliable vendors are mixing spore samples. The history and origins of the Hawaiian strain are unclear and hotly debated, so it’s hard to know for sure what exactly “Hawaiian” is.
The Peru strain (PER) is a Psilocybe cubensis strain that was discovered in, you guessed it, Peru. This mushroom thrived in pastures where the locals graze cattle and llamas. The mushroom produces bountiful yields of medium-size mushrooms and is best grown in manure.
What makes this strain special is its unique growth characteristics. The Peruvian strain produces uniform mushrooms with caps that change color from one flush to the next.
Final Thoughts: The T3 Strain
The T3 strain is undoubtedly curious in its nature. The production of three different growth patterns in the fruiting bodies of a psilocybe mushroom is incredibly rare.
Good yields are reported from this strain, and both colonization and fruiting don’t take long at all.
Due to the resistant qualities of T3, it’s possible to produce several healthy flushes before mold finally takes hold of the colony. This makes it a good choice for beginners that want a growing experience that’s a little different from your average “Golden Teacher” crop.
This is a unique strain, but not one for the person that enjoys growing mushrooms with detailed origins. If you don’t care so much about shroom heritage and want to experience a strain that’s unlike any other, then you can’t beat the T3.
This unique strain can be hard to come across, and unfortunately, it seems that you’re not guaranteed the same genetics from each vendor. However, a few reliable vendors in the United States, Canada, and Europe that stock T3 have these distinct growth patterns.