Psilocybe Cubensis



Psilocybe cubensis is a pan-tropical species, occurring in the Gulf Coast states and southeastern United States, Mexico, in the Central American countries of Belize, Costa Rica, and Guatemala, the Caribbean countries Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guadalupe, Martinique, and Trinidad, in the South American countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, and Peru, Southeast Asia, including Thailand,Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia, India, Australia (including Tasmania), New Zealand, Fiji, and possibly Nepal and Hawaii

Psilocybe cubensis is found on cow (and occasionally horse) dung, sugar cane mulch or rich pasture soil, with mushrooms appearing from February to December in the northern hemisphere, and November to April in the southern hemisphere. In Asia, the species grows on water buffalo dung.] Along with other fungi that grow on cow dung, P. cubensis is thought to have colonised Australia with the introduction of cattle there, 1800 of which were on the Australian mainland by 1803—having been transported there from the Cape of Good Hope, Kolkata and the American west coast. In Australia, it is found in southeast Queensland and Hobart, Tasmania.

In March 2018, several Psilocybe cubensis specimens were collected in n the Wedza District of Mashonaland East province, approx. 120km south-east of Harare. This was the first reported occurrence of a psilocybin mushroom in Zimbabwe. The mushrooms were collected on Imire Rhino & Wildlife Conservation – a nature reserve that is home to both wildlife and cattle, as well as cattle egrets

Psychedelic and entheogenic use

Psilocybe cubensis

Singer noted that Psilocybe cubensis had psychoactive properties in 1949.

In Australia, use of psychoactive mushrooms grew rapidly between 1969 and 1975. In a 1992 paper, locals and tourists were reported to consume P. cubensis and related species in mushroom omelettes—particularly in Ko Samui and Ko Pha-ngan—in Thailand. At times, omelettes were adulterated with LSD, resulting in prolonged intoxication. A thriving subculture had developed in the region. Other localities, such as Hat Yai, Ko Samet and Chiang Mai, also had some reported usage

P. cubensis is probably the most widely known of the psilocybin-containing mushrooms used for triggering psychedelic experiences after ingestion. Its major psychoactive compounds are:

  • Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine)
  • Psilocin (4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine)
  • Baeocystin (4-phosphoryloxy-N-methyltryptamine)
  • Norbaeocystin (4-phosphoryloxytryptamine)

The concentrations of psilocin and psilocybin, as determined by high-performance liquid chromatography, are in the range of 0.14–0.42% and 0.37–1.30% (dry weight) in the whole mushroom, 0.17–0.78% and 0.44–1.35% in the cap, and 0.09 and 0.30%/0.05–1.27% in the stem, respectively.

Individual brain chemistry and psychological predisposition play a significant role in determining appropriate doses. For a modest psychedelic effect, a minimum of one gram of dried Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms is ingested orally, 0.25–1 gram is usually sufficient to produce a mild effect, 1–2.5 grams usually provides a moderate effect, and 2.5 grams and higher usually produces strong effects.[15] For most people, 3.5 dried grams (1/8 oz) would be considered a high dose and may produce an intense experience; this is, however, typically considered a standard dose among recreational users. For many individuals, doses above three grams may be overwhelming. For a few rare people, doses as small as 0.25 gram can produce full-blown effects normally associated with very high doses. For most people, however, that dose level would result in virtually no effects. Due to factors such as age and storage method, the psilocybin content of a given sample of mushrooms will vary. Effects usually start after approximately 20–60 minutes (depending on method of ingestion and stomach contents) and may last from four to ten hours, depending on dosage. Visual distortions often occur, including walls that seem to breathe, a vivid enhancement of colors and the animation of organic shapes.

The effects of very high doses can be overwhelming depending on the particular phenotype of cubensis, grow method, and the individual. It is recommended not to eat wild mushrooms without properly identifying them as they may be poisonous.[16] In particular, similar species include mushrooms of the genus Galerina and Pholiotina rugosa—all potentially deadly—and Chlorophyllum molybdites. All of these grow in pastures—similar habitat to that preferred by P. cubensis.[9]

In 2019, a 15 year old boy suffered from transient kidney failure that resolved spontaneously after eating P. cubensis from a cultivation kit in Canada. His two colleagues suffered no ill effects.


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