Like cannabis, magic mushrooms exist as strains and species. These terms are used to describe the physical or chemical characteristics of the plants. While they are often used interchangeably, strains and species are not the same.
Psilocybin mushrooms contain psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin. These compounds interact with the serotonin receptors to control biological and neurological processes like sleep, anxiety, cognition, appetite, nausea, learning, memory, and thermoregulation.
The effect exerted by each psychedelic mushroom is determined by the total concentration of active compounds in them. This is why they are divided into strains and species. This classification helps users to trace the origin of their favorite magic mushroom strain and the possible effect it can exert on their bodies.
While species describe a group of closely related magic mushrooms that share a similar feature in chemical composition, strains serve as a sub-group of species. Strains are often created by combining members of the same species.
For example, all humans come from the same species (Homo sapiens) and exist as strains or races. An African can interbreed with a Chinese to produce a new strain that shares the physical attributes of Chinese and Africans. Magic mushroom strains exhibit a distinctive character different from their parent fungi. Some even possess a higher potency than their parents.
Unlike the cannabis plant that exists as three species; Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis, over 200 species of psilocybin mushrooms are distributed worldwide. These species are characterized by their distinct appearance, psilocybin potency, and habitat. Some of the most commonly encountered species of magic mushrooms include but are not limited to Psilocybe azurescens, Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe semilanceata, and Psilocybe cubensis.
Psilocybe cubensis is the most common of all the species. Although its psilocybin potency may not be as high as the other species mentioned in this list, there is a high possibility that you must have come across a P. cubensis strain in your psychedelic journey. Psilocybe cubensis or cubes are easy to cultivate and are the most abundant species of psilocybin mushrooms.
Cubes have been developed into over 100 different strains that have been characterized based on their psilocybin potency. These strains exhibit a similar growth pattern with a varying concentration of psilocybin.
Potency refers to the average concentration of psilocybin in magic mushrooms. While this scale may vary from one measuring test to the other, it is clear that psilocybin strains contain different concentrations of psilocybin and are characterized as follows;
On average, strains of Psilocybe cubensis contain between 10-12mg of psilocybin per gram of dried mushroom. The effective dose of this compound starts at 6-20mg.
Very potent psilocybin strains
These are strains with the highest psilocybin concentration. They can generate an experience filled with deep philosophical ideations and intense feelings of euphoria. They produce the highest level of psychoactive interaction, and their trips are quite intense. Very potent strains are not recommended for newbies since they can knock them off.
This includes Penis envy and its relatives. These psilocybin strains offer one the most potent shrooms on the market. They contain as high as 50 percent higher concentrations of psilocybin and psilocin, producing the most prominent effects on users.
Some commonly encountered members of the very potent strains are listed below;
Potent psilocybin strains
Potent strains come with a slightly lower concentration of psilocybin than Penis envy and its relatives (the very potent strains). Potent strains often include the Albino A+ and its relatives. They offer hallucinations that make the world appear gelatinous and are known for their quick and slightly more physical high that can last up to 5 hours. They possess a high concentration of psilocybin with mild to intense visual enhancements, feelings of euphoria, excitement, and creativity. They are not ideal for newbies as their effects kick in fast and intense even after microdosing.
Members of this class include but are not limited to the following;
Above-average psilocybin strains
This is one of the largest classes of psilocybin strains derived from P. cubensis. They offer a low to moderate concentration of psilocybin and are friendlier compared to very potent strains. They feature a lower psilocybin concentration and trigger a much milder effect. These strains feature a higher than average potency estimated at 0.75 percent psilocybin and 0.20 percent psilocin.
Above-average psilocybin strains deliver a potent mental and emotional clarity with highly happy experiences. They can boost creativity and promote focus in users. They are often great for intermediate users. Members of this group include but are not limited to the following;
Average psilocybin strains
Average psilocybin strains contain the lowest psilocybin concentrations and are best for newbies. Their average concentration can serve as an introduction point to the world’s psychedelic mushrooms. They are excellent at providing an energetic, physical and euphoric experience with an actively visual twist. They can boost creativity and relaxation in users.
Average psilocybin strains of P. cubensis contain between 0.25 percent to 2 percent psilocybin, with the caps having the highest concentration. Some of the commonly encountered members of this strain potency include but are not limited to the following;
Benefits of mushroom strains and effects
Identifying mushroom strains plays a critical role in assisting users in understanding which strain contains a favorable psilocybin concentration for their body type and health condition. It also gives the users an idea of the possible effects to be exerted on their bodies.
Depending on the potency and concentration of psilocybin ingested, users are most likely to experience mild to moderate and strong effects. While the mild and moderate effects are triggered by mild dosages and are responsible for the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin strains, the strong effects are a different ball game. It involves several side effects and prolonged trips that may be dangerous for first-time users.
Regardless of your tolerance to psilocybin and its sister molecules, microdosing seems to provide one of the safest ways to enjoy the numerous therapeutic potentials without any side effects. Choosing a strain should be solely centered on its psilocybin potency.
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