The Sanctuary Wellness Institute does not offer Psilocybin Therapy. This web page is meant for informational use only.
Psilocybin is a psychoactive compound found in some mushrooms that gives them hallucinogenic effects. While humans have consumed mushrooms for spiritual and religious practices for thousands of years, modern scientists are only now unlocking the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.
“Magic mushrooms” contain high enough psilocybin content to cause mind-altering effects. Many psilocybe mushrooms, including psilocybe cyanescens, are consumed to induce perception-altering states. Researchers are learning how psilocybin (combined with therapeutic techniques and clinical supervision) can treat psychological disorders and physiological conditions.
If you or a loved one experiences a persistent health condition that resists traditional therapy or lacks effective treatment protocols, psilocybin may be a life-changing treatment alternative.
This article covers the anatomy of cyanescens, its common habitats, and the effects it causes when ingested. Learning about mushrooms will help you better understand psilocybin and prepare you for discussion about its possible therapeutic uses.
What is Psilocybe Cyanescens?
Psilocybe cyanescens, also known as p. cyanescens or “wave caps” for the shape of their head, are a highly potent psychedelic mushroom. The species was first identified in 1838 by British mycologist Elsie Maud Wakefield. Today, the fungus grows and is consumed worldwide. Other types of psilocybin mushrooms found within the genus psilocybe include psilocybe cubensis, psilocybe azurescens, and psilocybe semilanceata (also known as the “liberty cap”).
The cap is 2 cm to 5 cm in diameter and begins with a convex shape before flatting as the mushroom matures and acquires its distinct wave pattern. The cap often bruises blue along the edges and is slightly sticky. Cyanescens means “turning blue.”
The mushroom’s gills begin with a slight brown color that turns purplish-brown as the mushroom ages and spores are ready for release. Cyanescens has a white cylindrical stem measuring up to 6 mm in diameter that can reach 8 cm in height. The spores are a dark purplish-brown with a smooth elliptical shape viewable under microscopic exam.
Where to Find Psilocybe Cyanescens
Though first documented by scientists in Britain, these fruiting bodies grow wild within the pacific northwest region of North America, particularly along the west coast of the U.S.A. This type of hallucinogenic mushroom is prevalent throughout Western and Central Europe as well.
This psilocybe species is drawn to habitats with an adequate supply of wood and lignin, a substance produced by woody plants, available for a substrate. Viable options include mulch containing wood chips. As a result, cyanescens commonly grows along plant beds and gardens.
This purple-brown “shroom” derives its nutrients from wood, so wild samples often grow on deposited or transported wood chips. However, the mushroom thrives wherever it has access to the proper substrate. Due to the proliferation of wood-based mulches, cyanescens now grow across the East Coast of the United States, New Zealand, and Western Asia.
Fruiting generally occurs between late October and February. This broad window is due to the mushroom’s wide geographic distribution, but fruiting usually happens in the autumn when the weather turns cold.
Psilocybe Cyanescens Effects
Cyanescens’ odor can be that of fresh-cut green beans, faintly mealy like fresh flour, or absent. Its temperature and moisture exposure influence how it develops. Beyond aroma, environmental conditions influence its psychedelic potency.
The mushroom can contain up to 1.68% psilocybin and 0.06% to 0.96% psilocin. It is a highly-desirable mushroom due to its relatively high psilocybin content. Fresh mushroom caps are more potent than dried ones.
These mushrooms often produce intense euphoric feelings because of psilocybin’s ability to simulate the effects of serotonin. Many individuals report profound introspective thoughts, synesthesia, and auditory hallucinations.
Cyanescens is also associated with intense and vivid visuals. These visions can include distorted perceptions of your surroundings or dazzling patterns.
While non-toxic, this fungus can cause anxiety if the dose is too large or the individual experiences a “bad trip.” The main risk in this situation is taking actions in response to distorted perceptions that cause harm to self or others.
Obtaining cyanescens from a reputable source ensures purity and that the psilocybin content is safe. Consuming mushrooms with a trained professional is the best way to experience therapeutic benefits and safely navigate a “bad trip.”
Is Psilocybe Cyanescens Legal?
Psilocybe cyanescens, like all mushrooms containing psilocybin, is federally illegal. The DEA considers psychedelic mushrooms as likely to lead to abuse and without medicinal value. Possession can result in stiff penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
However, overall notions on psilocybin are evolving nationwide. Colorado and Oregon have legalized the possession and personal use of mushrooms. Bills to legalize mushrooms have passed one legislative chamber in California, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Maine. Five other states are formally exploring legalization. Numerous cities have decriminalized possession.
Based on the success of early studies, the FDA has granted researchers expanded permissions to conduct trials using psilocybin, bypassing its narcotic classification. These studies will likely inform further legislative debate and strengthen the cases made by advocacy groups.
Researchers are currently investigating psilocybin’s ability to treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, and other chronic conditions. Investigators believe the therapy can rewire brain connections responsible for many psychological and physical disorders.
Can You Grow Psilocybe Cyanescens?
You can legally purchase cyanescens spores because they do not contain psilocybin. Cultivating the mushrooms is only legal where psilocybin is legal or decriminalized. Verify applicable state and local laws before attempting to grow cyanescens.
While the mushrooms will yield more fruit if grown outdoors, cyanescens prefers colder conditions and poorly tolerates temperature fluctuations. Fortunately, you can successfully cultivate the mushroom indoors by creating the appropriate environmental conditions.
After obtaining a grow kit from a trustworthy retailer, you will need a pressure cooker, mason jars, rye grain, and wood chips. Your kit will include detailed instructions, but the process is straightforward. You will need to sanitize the grain and wood chips to kill potentially harmful microorganisms.
Then, you will inoculate the grains with cyanescens spores using the syringe from the kit, place the material on the wood chips, and keep it in indirect sunlight between 73 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit for four to six weeks.
You can fertilize the sample once the fungal threads, which look like wispy mesh, appear. Then refrigerate it between 43 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Usable fruit will appear after about six weeks.
What is the deadliest mushroom?
Amanita phalloides, known as the “death cap,” is the deadliest mushroom in the world. It damages the liver and kidneys, ultimately causing hepatorenal syndrome. The amatoxins in the mushroom are responsible for 90% of mushroom-related deaths worldwide. A single cap contains enough toxin to kill an adult.
Is psilocybe cyanescens poisonous?
No. Cyanescens are safe for human consumption and are one of the most desired psychedelic mushrooms due to their potency.
Cyanescens has multiple lookalike mushrooms, including galerina marginata and several members of the conocybe species. These mushrooms contain toxins that can seriously harm or destroy the liver, possibly causing death.
What time of year do psilocybe cyanescens grow?
Cyanescens bear fruit between October and February because they require sustained cold to properly mature. They can be cultivated year-round indoors.
How do I identify a wavy cap?
You can identify a wavy cap based on its moist brown head that spans up to 1.5 cm in diameter. Fully mature mushrooms have a distinct wave shape to their flattened caps. The gills attach broadly to the stem and are dark purple at maturity. The edges of the cap and stem may turn blue when touched.
The environment and nutrient sources influence how mushrooms develop, making it challenging for skilled mycologists to identify wild mushrooms without a spore print. It is never safe to consume wild mushrooms.
Is psilocybe poisonous?
Psilocybe mushrooms are not poisonous, though many mushrooms with similar appearances are. Consuming wild mushrooms can be potentially fatal if they are misidentified.
Psilocybin, the compound that gives “magic mushrooms” their effects, is non-toxic. It is not chemically addictive, but individuals can build tolerance with prolonged use. Additionally, psilocybin consumption over several consecutive days can lead to psychological withdrawal and difficulty processing reality.
John DiBella is a medical marijuana advocate, owner of The Sanctuary Wellness Institute, and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about medical marijuana, he enjoys hiking, camping and sailing.