Psilocybin therapy is an emerging intervention that has already proven effective at treating many physical and psychological conditions that previously resisted conventional therapies. Doctors now use psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in certain mushrooms, to supplement conventional therapies and rewire patients’ neural pathways.
While research into the treatments is ongoing, patients have reported excellent results. This promise is fueling a nationwide reevaluation of psychedelics’ place in health and wellness. Patient advocates are lobbying lawmakers at the state and federal levels to expand research opportunities and access.
One source of psilocybin is psilocybe tampanensis (also known as p. tampanensis), a rare psychedelic mushroom that bears truffles. Familiarizing yourself with mycology—the study of fungi and mushrooms—is a vital first step if you are considering talking to a doctor about the therapeutic use of this psilocybe species, or any other. This article discusses the biology of psilocybe tampanensis, how it affects the body, and the traits of its truffles.
What is Psilocybe Tampanensis?
Psilocybe tampanensis is one of the rarest psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Other mushroom species found within the genus psilocybe include psilocybe cubensis (p. cubensis) and psilocybe mexicana (p. mexicana). First discovered near Tampa, Florida in the late-1970s, the “shroom” vanished from the wild for over 40 years before re-emerging. Mycologists were able to clone and reproduce the hallucinogenic mushroom, thereby spreading it for consumption.
The mushroom’s yellowish-brown cap can be convex to conic and flattens as the mushroom ages, forming a center protrusion called an umbo. The cap has a diameter of about 2.4 cm.
Tampanensis has a thin stem that reaches about 6 cm in length. The cap transitions to a yellowish-gray and may develop subtle blue shading when dried. The mushroom is smooth and becomes sticky when wet.
Tampanensis has a mealy scent and taste, often described as a fresh flour smell. The mushroom is one member of the psilocybe genus that develops sclerotia, truffle-like bodies containing psilocybin that grow underground.
Where Does Psilocybe Tampanensis Grow?
Tampanensis was fortuitously discovered during the Second International Mycological Congress, held near Tampa in 1977. Scientist Steven Pollock, a pioneering voice in the therapeutic use of psychedelics, skipped the conference to go mushroom hunting. He then discovered a lone sample of tampanensis in a sandy dune.
Pollock later cloned the mushroom and successfully created a pure culture, allowing botanists worldwide to grow tampanensis and keep it in circulation for decades.
Wild tampanensis has only been documented in the Tampa metropolitan area and Pearl River County, Mississippi. Based on those areas’ climates and topography, scientists speculate the mushroom’s ideal substrate is sandy soil in or near deciduous forests in humid subtropical environments.
Tampanensis’ ability to form sclerotia indicates it is well-adapted to surviving wildfires and natural disasters that would typically destroy mushrooms that fruit above ground.
Psilocybe Tampanensis Effects
One of the most popular psilocybe mushrooms, tampanensis caps can contain between 0% and 0.19% psilocybin and 0.01% to 0.03% psilocin. Dried mushrooms may have up to 1% psilocybin and psilocin. This content makes tampanensis a moderate to highly active mushroom.
Psilocybin ranges from 0.31% to 0.68% in the sclerotia, which have a bitter walnut-like taste. Most grow kits include instructions for cultivating sclerotia, making them the most common consumption method.
Individuals typically report their experience with tampanensis is pleasant and leads to deep internal thoughts that can reveal new insights. These effects are valuable for self-discovery and introspection.
While the strain does not cause particularly vivid hallucinations, individuals report experiencing dazzling visuals when they close their eyes. In most cases, the effects are considered less intense than those from other “magic mushrooms.” As a result, tampanensis is often more popular for recreational use.
As with other psychedelics, the mushroom dilates the pupils, elevates the heart rate, and raises blood pressure. The main adverse effect is a “bad trip” resulting from an excessive dose or intense anxiety. These occurrences are typically rare for tampanensis due to its relatively low psilocybin content.
Is Psilocybe Tampanensis Legal?
No. All psilocybe mushrooms, including tampanensis, are illegal because they contain psilocybin and psilocin. The DEA classified these substances as Schedule 1 narcotics based on the conclusion they offer no medical value and carry a high likelihood of abuse.
This determination resulted from both false assumptions about psychedelics and the intensifying war on drugs. Despite the illegality, doctors and medical researchers lobbied for further study into the potential of psilocybin as an alternative therapy throughout the second half of the twentieth century.
In the 2000s, researchers began studies on the therapeutic value of psychedelics and reported promising results for conditions like epilepsy and PTSD. These early breakthroughs, in which transformative therapy effectively helped patients with debilitating disorders, opened lawmakers to the medicinal potential of psilocybin.
Already, Oregon and Colorado have legalized mushrooms and are working toward establishing the framework of therapeutic programs. Several other states are actively pursuing or considering legislation on psilocybin. Mushrooms are decriminalized for personal use in multiple cities across the country.
Can You Grow Psilocybe Tampanensis?
You can legally grow tampanensis anywhere psilocybin is legal or decriminalized. Check state and local laws before beginning your cultivation. The methods for growing tampanensis are well-established thanks to the mushroom’s popularity and the successful cloning completed in the 1970s.
Like other fungi, mushrooms grow from spores rather than seeds. In the wild, the gills release the spores once the mushroom is mature and conditions are right. Tampanensis yields purple-brown spores that have an elliptical shape.
The optimal way to grow tampanensis is using spores and a grow kit purchased from a retailer with a track record of success. In general, growing sclerotia is easier and quicker than growing mushrooms.
You can maximize your chance of a successful harvest by selecting a grow kit with a spore syringe or a spore print of living mycelium, grass seed, and a grow bag with a filter. You will also need distilled water to create proper moisture and a pressure cooker to simulate the nurturing conditions.
The grow kit will contain detailed instructions on the process. With proper care, you can have usable truffles within three months.
What is a magic truffle?
A magic truffle, known scientifically as sclerotia, is a consumable part of a mushroom. Certain fungi, including tampanensis, grow the psilocybin-filled portion or fruit beneath the surface rather than in their cap.
This adaptation protects the mushroom from natural disasters and predators that may harm the mushroom above ground. Tampanensis truffles are nicknamed “philosopher’s stones” for their appearance and mind-opening effects.
Is psilocybe tampanensis poisonous?
No. Tampanensis caps and truffles are safe for consumption. However, excessive consumption can lead to “bad trips,” in which an individual experiences intense anxiety and possible paranoia. In these cases, the person may unintentionally harm themselves or others in response to their altered perceptions.
What time of year do psilocybe tampanensis grow?
Due to the scarcity of tampanensis in the wild, scientists are unsure of its natural fruiting season. It can be grown year-round under warm and humid simulated indoor conditions.
What do magic truffles taste like?
The truffles from tampanensis have a bitter flavor that is often described as similar to a walnut. They can be cooked into food or mixed into beverages if it makes consumption more palatable.
How to do a spore print?
A spore print is one method mushroom hunters and scientists use to identify mushrooms. It involves extracting the spores, which are the mushroom’s reproductive material, and examining them under a microscope.
First, you need to remove the mushroom cap from the stem. Then place the cap with the gills facing down onto a sheet of foil or paper. In the wild, the gills release the spores once conditions are right and the mushroom is mature.
Finally, add a drop of water to the cap and seal the mushroom beneath a glass. After 24 hours, the print will be visible. You can then gently remove the cap from the sheet and study the spore print with your microscope.
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.