Meet Psilocybe Cubensis
Psilocybe cubensis is an old friend that has taken many of us on a far reaching journey. So we thought it was time to get to know it a little better.
Psilocybe cubensis is one of the most popular magic mushrooms of the current age, enjoyed by people across the globe. To delve into what makes this king amongst kings what it is, we have put together a handy overview of these little wonders. Meet Psilocybe cubensis!
Psilocybe cubensis is a pretty special species of magic mushroom. Although most commonly known by its Psilocybe name, it is also known as Stropharia caerulescens, Stropharia cubensis, Stropharia cyanescens, or even the “Mexican Mushroom” – despite being grown for millennia across the world.
Of all its excellent traits, it is the ease and resilience (for a mushroom) with which Psilocybe cubensis grows that has led to its ongoing popularity. Anyone can grow them with very minimal effort.
THE HISTORY OF PSILOCYBE CUBENSIS
The earliest estimated evidence of Psilocybe cubensis use dates back as far as 15,000 years ago! An archaeological dig in the Non Nak Tha region of Thailand uncovered the bones of zebu cattle alongside the remains of humans. Psilocybe cubensis is well known in the region and thrives in zebu manure. In 1992, Terrance McKenna suggested that the psychical and temporal relationship between the cattle and human bones is definitive evidence that Psilocybe cubensis was known to the peoples who inhabited the region at the time.
The tribes of Central America were also well known for their use of magic mushrooms as both a spiritual and recreational aid. Many statues and depictions show the relevance of mushrooms within both Aztec and Mixtec society. In fact, each tribe had a God specifically dedicated to mushrooms and other entheogens. The Mixtec God (Piltzintecuhtli) even has a pair of mushrooms in his hands in all of his depictions. Unfortunately, their use was stamped upon by invading Spanish settlers.
As we mentioned earlier, Psilocybe cubensis is sometimes referred to as the “Mexican Mushroom”. This is largely due to the way magic mushrooms entered mainstream Western society. Fortunately, Spanish settlers didn’t manage to completely eradicate the use of magic mushrooms like Psilocybe cubensis in the region, and their use was soon “rediscovered” by Gordon Wasson. From here, an article was written in LIFE magazine about the mushrooms, which led to their rapid and popular uptake by Western society.
Firstly, Psilocybe comes from ancient Greek Latin, the words psilos (bare) and kube (head) have been formed up into the new Latin “Psilocybe”, literally meaning “bald head”. It is thought that this comes as a description of their physical appearance.
Cubensis refers to the discovery and first documentation of the mushroom. It was initially identified in Cuba in 1904, given the name Stropharia cubensis.
PSILOCYBE CUBENSIS CHARACTERISTICS
Stipe: The stipe of Psilocybe cubensis is 4-15 cm long and 0.4-1.5cm thick. It is usually equally thick along the entire stipe, but occasionally bottom heavy, being slightly thicker towards the base. It is dry, smooth and white, and can also be slightly yellow/yellow-brown tinted. When bruised, it will turn blue or blue-green.
Cap: The cap of Psilocybe cubensis tends to vary between 1.5-8 cm in diameter. It is bell-shaped when young, but changes as it grows, eventually becoming convex, umbonate, or plane in shape. It is smooth when dry, and becomes viscid when wet. In terms of colour, the cap can vary greatly. It is usually white with a brown our off-yellow centre, but can also be entirely yellow, or even cinnamon-brown. The flesh of the cap is firm and white, staining blue or blue-green when bruised.
Gills: The gills of Psilocybe cubensis can be adnate to adnexed, or seceding to free.
Spore Print: To the eye, the spore print of Psilocybe cubensis is a dark purple-brown to blackish in colour. Under a microscope, the spores are 11-17x7-12 microns in size, elliptical, thick-walled, smooth, and have a large apical germ pore. Chrysocystidia are not present on the face of the gills; however, cystidia are.
PSILOCYBE CUBENSIS DOSE
According to Albert Hofman, the ideal medium dose for an adult is 4-8 grams of psilocybin, the main active compound of Psilocybe cubensis.
When taking fresh mushrooms, the following scale is usually used and accepted:
Light trip: 5-10 grams
Medium trip: 15-25 grams
Intense (for the experienced): 30-35 grams
When it comes to dosing dry mushrooms, things get a lot harder. This is because magic mushrooms are usually around 90% water (depending on species). As such, there is no reliable way to create a scale like above. Dosing dry magic mushrooms is a gut feeling that comes with the experience of using a particular species.
And remember guys, always use psychedelic mushrooms with care! They have the ability to show us hidden truths within ourselves, and can be greatly affected by mood. Always make sure you are in a good frame of mind should you consider their use.