The Aztec Combo: Mushrooms & Cacao
Theobroma cacao, the main ingredient in chocolate, isn’t called „food of the gods“ for no reason - it has beautifully elevating effects, specially when mixed with a pinch of magic.
Intuitively we know it: Chocolate makes us feel good. We naturally associate chocolate with sensual pleasure, love, and pleasure, which couldn’t be better represented by the common heart shape of chocolate pralines. But it is little known that behind this mildly uplifting and satisfying piece of sugar, a bean with powerful psychoactive effects is hiding.
Conventional supermarket-variety milk chocolate actually has a very small amounts of cocoa in it, plus that cacao has undergone various hardcore industrial processes to make to shiny and flawless. Even most commercially available dark chocolates is made of cacao that has been alkalinized, heated up to high temperatures, and pressed under tons of hydraulic pressure. In the quest to make the perfect-tasting chocolate with a long shelf-life, unfortunately most of the psychoactive compounds have been destroyed.
This is why we would highly recommend getting your hands on some raw and whole cacao beans - for the full and real cacao experience. Make sure the beans come with their skin still on, you can find them like this in many ecological stores.
The psychoactive effects of cacao perfectly blend with those of magic mushrooms or truffles, and can be combined with a truffle/mushroom tea to make a very pleasant magic chocolate drink. It is a combination that has been used for thousands of years by the Aztec tribes of Central America for its synergizing effects. The cacao introduces a mild MAO-Inhibition, which intensifies the effects of the mushrooms, but there is more to than that. Cacao is considered a teacher plant on its own, and when consumed in sufficient amounts induces a very distinct state of mind. Cacao brings a warmth and light-heartedness, it makes you smile and feel good - similar to what chocolate does, but much stronger. Both magic truffles and magic mushrooms affect the way our serotonin receptors operate, which in turn alters our mood - upwards.
Compared to Syrian Rue or Caapi, Cacaco isn’t a strong MAOI, but in sufficient amounts will produce a mild MAOI effect, which is certainly responsible for a part of the synergy between cacao and magic truffles. The MAO inhibitors found within cacao allow more serotonin and neurotransmitters than normal to be circulating around the brain at the same time, increasing the feelings of happiness and joy. Bear in mind that this will also slow down the onset of your trip, so prepare accordingly. Never combine Cacao with another MAOI such as Syrian Rue, it can make for a highly unpleasant experience. That is partly because of the caffeine, which will hit you much harder.
Anandamide is one of the body’s natural forms of cannabinoids, and can be found naturally within cacao. It is often referred to as the ‘bliss neurotransmitter’ and is most similar to THC, inducing feelings of relaxation, happiness and bliss.
PEA is a chemical produced by the brain when we are in love. It is also found in cacao. This enhances feelings of love, empathy and compassion. Also, it is the basic building block for many psychedelic substances, for example Mescaline is 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine.
For thousands of years, cacao has been cultivated and harvested in Central America. The indigenous Aztecs held in in very high esteem, both as a food and as an entheogen. As such, cacao was the preserve of the upper echelons of society, used by the Aztec aristocracy and priests.
Cacao was seen as a divine gift from the peaceful god Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. This resulted in cacao holding a lot of religious significance, and was often consumed with magic mushrooms during religious ceremony - a tradition still practiced by many throughout the region to this day. Many ancient Aztec drinking vessels have been found on archaeological expeditions. They depict the ritual use of cacao, and depict how it was used in religious ceremony.
Using cacao with your truffles/mushrooms
To make your own magic mushroom cacao drink you will need to obtain some very high quality raw cacao beans, untreated and with their skin still on. The process is a lot like making an elaborate hot chocolate, but with added mushroom/truffles.
To begin with, you need to make a mushroom tea as a base:
1. Cut up your mushroom/truffles into small pieces. The smaller the better, as it will increase the potential surface area for infusion.
2. Heat up some water so that it is hot, but not quite boiling.
3. Place your truffles in a container and pour in the water.
4. Allow the mixture to steep for 10-15 minutes, stirring it up occasionally.
5. Strain the mushroom tea into a cup.
Now that you have the base tea, it’s time to prepare the cacao slur. Don’t expect the taste of a store-bought cacao drink, you will be disappointed. Traditional and raw cacao drinks, specially in these amounts, don’t taste very pleasant, even with much sweetener added. We would say it’s an acquired taste.
1. First, select between 30-50 beans per person. Put them into a larger Ziplock freezer bag, and smash them into pieces with any piece of wood.
2. Empty your smashed beans into a plate or baking tray. Now, take a hair drier on the lowest setting and carefully blow over the beans. The airflow will separate out the light skin but the heavier bean pieces stay on the plate.
3. Take the de-skinned beans and grind them to a fine powder in a coffee grinder. Don’t grind for more than 15 seconds at a time, otherwise too much heat will build up. Better, do 3 or 4 grind until it’s a fine powder.
4. This step is optional, but will improve the tea. After the coffee grinder, the beans won’t be super smooth, so you can further grind them in a manual stone grinder if you have one. After 20 minutes and a lot of elbow grease you should have a pretty fine paste.
5. At this point, your mushroom tea should have cooled down to some 30-40 degrees, which is an ideal temperature to combine the two elements. Mix the mushroom tea and the cacao paste and stir until they are blended.
6. If you can handle the taste, enjoy! Otherwise add your sweetener of choice until it’s palatable, but avoid refined sugar.
It will be a quite a slurry to drink, but surprisingly we haven’t found it to be heavy on the stomach. Within short time you will be well on your way to a cacao enhanced trip - bon voyage!