Magic mushroom is a broad term used to categorise 180 different species that all share a common attribute—psilocybin. The all-natural compound is responsible for inducing vivid psychedelic journeys, and is highly sought after by psychonauts worldwide.
However, not all mushrooms are created equally. Psilocybe azurescens is a variety that contains a much higher concentration of psilocybin, and, as a result, induces a trip of much greater intensity.
WHAT IS PSILOCYBE AZURESCENS?
If you’re looking to elevate your psychedelic journeys to an experience described as “interdimensional”, then it’s time to start taking a closer look at Psilocybe azurescens. Not only is it a proud member of the magic mushroom family, but this particular specimen possesses psilocybin levels leagues above common varieties.
Don’t worry if you don’t happen to live near its native home, the West Coast of the US. This mushroom powerhouse has since spread, growing naturally in Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand—and, with the right preparation, your very own back garden.
HOW TO CULTIVATE PSILOCYBE AZURESCENS
While it is possible to cultivate Psilocybe azurescens indoors, it’s challenging to keep conditions optimal. Instead, it’s much easier to use an outdoor cultivation kit to get the ball rolling. With the spawn ready to use, you only need to find a suitable outdoor area for your Psilocybe azurescens mushroom garden.
FINDING THE IDEAL LOCATION
The key to cultivating Psilocybe azurescens is recreating the environment it loves so much. For that, you’ll need a moist patch of land away from direct sunlight. It’s also important to consider the time of year. Psilocybe azurescens takes up to 6 months to fruit, and you’ll want a damp climate for the majority of that cycle, so consider starting your mushroom patch in January or early February.
With the ideal location in mind, all you need to do is prepare the Zamnesia Outdoor Cultivation Kit. Fortunately, we have a dedicated guide that takes you step-by-step through the entire process. We won’t go over the same points, but to get started, you’ll need the following:
- 6mm beech woodchips (10 litres)
- Cardboard box (30 × 30 × 15cm)
- Plastic bag
It takes up to 6 months to successfully cultivate, but in the meantime, don’t be tempted to peek. You’ll get the best results if your Psilocybe azurescens is left undisturbed—for the most part.
The only time you’ll need to interfere with the colonisation process is if your mushroom patch (or the surrounding area) starts to dry out. If this happens, lightly moisten with a garden hose to restore optimal conditions. And, best of all, a carefully looked-after mushroom patch can provide 2–3 flushes year after year.
WHEN AND HOW TO HARVEST PSILOCYBE AZURESCENS
Once you’ve reached the latter stages of cultivation, it’s time to start taking a closer look at your mushrooms. Only by carefully examining them will you be able to tell when they’re ready for harvest.
Here’s how to identify Psilocybe azurescens:
- Caps are 3–10cm across
- Mature shrooms’ caps will have a slightly convex shape with a pronounced central nipple (the umbo)
- Colour varies somewhat from caramel to ochre (clay-like)
- The stipe ranges from 9–20cm in length, with a thicker base covered by coarse, white hairs.
The exact harvest time will vary according to the conditions and local environment. Provided your mushroom patch hasn’t dried out at any point, you can expect the first flush as early as mid-September through early December.
Here’s how to go about harvesting your flush:
- When mushrooms fruit, the cap opens up to reveal the gills so it can spread spores. You want to harvest just before this happens.
- As soon as you spot the first shrooms popping up from the substrate, you have roughly 5–12 days before they start fruiting.
- Pick the mushrooms that look like closed pinheads by pinching the stipe and twisting slightly while pulling upwards.
A final tip for harvesting is to avoid the temptation to harvest your entire patch at once. You’ll want to pick each mushroom according to the advice outlined above. You may save time harvesting the whole patch in one go, but you won’t maximise yields.
DRYING AND STORING PSILOCYBE AZURESCENS
With freshly picked Psilocybe azurescens in hand, it’s time to start drying them out. Doing so means you won’t have to eat as much thanks to the lack of water weight. This is an essential factor for azurescens varieties because the added potency comes with a trade-off—an extremely bitter taste that can cause nausea.
If you want to get started on your stash straight away, you’ll only need to leave them for a few days to dry out. Positioning them on a plate underneath a fan speeds up this process, but either way, your shrooms are ready for consumption when they look slightly shrivelled and feel dry to the touch.
Once dried, shrooms should last a couple of weeks, provided you keep them in an airtight container. If you don’t plan on consuming your entire yield in the next couple of weeks, don’t worry, there are ways to preserve your shrooms for months to come.
Storing mushrooms for longer is simple enough, but you’ll need several extra materials and a bit of preparation to do so. However, once dried extensively, you can store vacuum-sealed magic mushrooms for years!
HOW TO DOSE PSILOCYBE AZURESCENS
Dosing Psilocybe azurenscens is an all-important consideration. We highlighted earlier that this particular species of magic mushroom is significantly stronger than its Psilocybe cyanescens or cubensis counterparts. With that in mind, taking too much can overwhelm the hardiest of psychonauts.
To find the right dose for you, it helps to break down the consumption of magic mushrooms into several key categories. The first important consideration is whether you are dosing fresh or dried mushrooms.
You’ll need to eat a significant amount of fresh mushrooms to reach the same intensity as a dry mushroom trip. If you’re tight for time, or just really want to trip, then it’s perfectly acceptable to chomp down on freshly picked Psilocybe azurescens. Just bear in mind that a normal to moderate dose of fresh shrooms for an 80kg person is about 27 grams.
If we use the same fictitious person for our dried mushroom calculation, then you’ll only need 2–3 grams for a normal to moderate dose. As you can see, the recommendations are drastically lower, and, given the bitterness and nausea that comes from eating shrooms, it’s probably best to let your prized Psilocybe azurescens dry out first.
Although we’ve briefly touched on what a normal to moderate dose looks like, in reality, the ideal amount will vary from person to person based on experience, body weight, etc. If you do want some rough guidelines to work with, a low dose is usually 0.5–2g, a normal dose 2–3.5g, and a high dose is 3.5–5g.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF PSILOCYBE AZURESCENS?
With your mushrooms successfully cultivated, harvested, and with the ideal dose in mind, it’s finally time to talk about the effects. If we had to use one word to sum up a Psilocybe azurescens trip, it would be “intense”. While the fundamental aspects of tripping on magic mushrooms (auditory and visual changes, distortion of time, profound euphoria) don’t change, the overall intensity does—dramatically.
Some experienced psychonauts have even used the term “interdimensional”, describing a Psilocybe azurescens trip like a traditional experience but at x10 speed. If you’re new to psychedelics, it’s best to avoid anything more than a low dose of Psilocybe azurescens. Hell, even if the anecdotal accounts are only partially true, seasoned magic mushroom lovers will have a tough time processing this psilocybin powerhouse.
However, with the right preparation and a knowledgeable trip sitter on hand, there’s no reason you can’t dive headfirst into the out-of-body experience provided by the illustrious Psilocybe azurescens. After all, with a six month cultivation time, why let all your hard work go to waste?