Frequently Asked Questions
How big is a magic mushroom microdose?
0.05g – 0.1g – Microdose.
Unless you have the most sensitive scales in the world, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be able to weigh out less than 0.05g magic mushrooms. This is a good microdose starting point for those who are just experimenting. Completely sub-perceptual effects with very little chance of tipping over into a tripping state.
At this dose, you might perceive:
- Heightened creativity
- Increased energy, focus, and attention
- Increased mood, restfulness, peacefulness, calm
- Better memory and cognitive performance
- Increased physical and emotional comfort
0.1g – 0.2g – Medium microdose.
Yes. An amount this small makes a difference when it comes to microdosing. Even the tiniest increments can bring on more pronounced effects. This is still considered a microdose event and isn’t likely to cause serious tripping.
At this dose, you might perceive:
- Heightened creativity and mental activity
- Increased focus, attention, and pattern recognition
- Improved mood, heightened perception of the mind and emotions
- Quick mental performance
- Improved physical performance
0.2g – 0.3g – Strong microdose.
This could easily turn into a light tripping experience and so it’s not typically recommended as a microdose. However, it’s low enough to not be full on tripping for most people, and so for seasoned microdosers it could be considered.
At this dose, you might perceive:
-Altered visual and physical perception
- Heightened attention to detail
- Increased mental dexterity and problem solving
- Improved mood, energy, and increased perception of thoughts and emotions
- Abstract thoughts
How big is a magic mushroom minidose?
0.3g – 0.5g – Minidose.
This is a very safe place to start for beginners. At this dose, visual perception becomes noticeably different and the world might start to become “trippy”.
Thoughts can become introspective and existential, or deep abstract concepts can be entertained. At the same time, this is not the kind of journey that leads to ego death or a loss of motor control.
At this dose, you might perceive:
- Mild euphoria or excitement
- Changes in visual perception (lights, vivid colours, movements)
- Changes in the way things sound and feel physically
- Heightened physical senses
- Mundane tasks suddenly become more engaging and exciting
- The arts are highly engaging, especially music and visual art
- A preference for introspection over social activity
- A desire to stretch or flow
- Increased creativity, mental acuity and pattern recognition
0.5g – 1.5g – Museum dose.
As the dose gets stronger, the effects all become more prominent. Dr Alexander Shulgin coined this dose the “museum” dose because although the psilocybin landscape is much more apparent, you can still do public or social activities like go to a museum without attracting too much unwanted attention.
At this dose, you might perceive:
- Increased visual effects (“breathing” in the environment)
- Alterations to sound, time and space perception
- Heightened physical sensations
- Confusion, anxiety, fear
- Desire to converse or talk, or alternatively a preference not to talk
- Abstract thoughts
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Frustration at the “no man’s land” concept of mushroom dosage, where you tinker on the edge of a full blown psychedelic experience
1.5g – 3g – Moderate dose.
Welcome to the psilocybin psychedelic experience. It’s from here that many of the mysteries, discomforts, and epiphanies of the netherworld can take place. In these states, people can have religious experiences, terrifying experiences, or deep healing experiences. Sometimes, it’s all three.
The thing is — it’s very difficult to describe the psychedelic experience. Yes, there’s the breathing buildings and stuff. But it’s important to remember that it’s never that every time. The psychedelic is all together physical, emotional, and mental. Sometimes it manifests as heavily physical, other times completely mental, and at other times it’s emotional without the super vivid visuals.
It is different every single time.
At this dose, you might perceive:
- Altered visual perception
- Loss of fine motor control
- Desire to engage in philosophical, religious, or existential thoughts
- Desire to disengage socially
- Fear or anxiety (bad trip experiences)
- Excitement, joy, euphoria
- Deep emotional healing experiences, memory retrieval
- Repeated yawning
- Desire to move the body or stretch
- Increased appreciation for music, physical touch, the arts
- Difficulty with everyday tasks like tying shoe laces and operating mobile phones
- Nausea, dizziness, sleepiness
How big is a magic mushroom macrodose?
3g – 5g – Macrodose.
At this dose, everything that has already been mentioned may occur but with increased potency, intensity and vigour. In addition, you may perceive:
-Intense visuals with eyes closed
- A desire to remain still, lying down, or motionless
- Dissociation from the physical body
- Deep healing, memory retrieval, what feels like self-guided psychotherapy
- Complete loss of the sense of time
- Disorientation, confusion, fear or anxiety in the event of a bad experience
- Loss of motor control (recommended to have friends around)
- Nausea, vomiting, dizziness
5g – 7g – Megadose.
Increase in the intensity of all effects. You may also perceive:
- Complete ego death
- A “catatonic” state whereby there’s no desire to move nor much of a response to the physical world
- A state of existence that feels like dreaming
- Complete removal and disinterest in the physical world
- Inability to control any stream of thought or logic
- Anxiety, paranoia, terror in the event of a bad trip experience
How big is a magic mushroom heroic dose?
Heroic dosing – 7g+.
If a mushroom user ever gets to this stage, it’s after years of experimentation. Terrence McKenna coined 7g the “heroic dose”. There is no real knowing how far the experience goes or whether there is a limit to what can be achieved on a dose of mushrooms. Terrence McKenna obviously believed the only limit was the dose.
Not all heroic doses end in the sense of heroism. An experience so impactful can be terrifying to the point of trauma which is why it’s not recommended without a lot of experience or even supervision.
At the heroic dose, you might perceive:
- Nothing at all (a sense of nothingness)
- Inability to differentiate between a thought or object or physical sensations, complete dissolution of boundaries
- Loss of identity
- New dimensions, parallel realities, alternate universes, aliens
What do psychedelic mushrooms do to your brain?
Psilocybin is a hallucinogen that works by activating serotonin receptors, most often in the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain affects mood, cognition, and perception.
Hallucinogens work in other regions of the brain that regulate arousal and panic responses. Psilocybin does not always cause active visual or auditory hallucinations. Instead, it distorts how some people that use the drug perceive objects and people already in their environment.
The quantity of the drug, past experiences, and expectations of how the experience will take shape can all impact the effects of psilocybin.
After the gut ingests and absorbs psilocybin, the body converts it to psilocyn. The hallucinogenic effects of psilocybin usually occur within 30 minutes of ingestion and last between 4 and 6 hours.
In some individuals, the changes in sensory perception and thought patterns can last for several days.
Mushrooms containing psilocybin are small and usually brown or tan. In the wild, people often mistake mushrooms containing psilocybin for any number of other mushrooms that are poisonous.
People usually consume psilocybin as a brewed tea or prepare it with a food item to mask its bitter taste. Manufacturers also crush dried mushrooms into a powder and prepare them in capsule form. Some people who consume these mushrooms cover them with chocolate.
The potency of a mushroom depends on:
whether a person eats them fresh or dried
The amount of active ingredients in dried mushrooms is about 10 times higher than the amount found in their fresh counterparts.
How do magic mushrooms effect depression?
The substance that makes some mushrooms "magic" also appears to help people with major depressive disorder.
A study of 27 people found that a treatment featuring the hallucinogen psilocybin worked better than the usual antidepressant medications, a team reported Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
"The effect was more than four times greater," says Alan Davis, an author of the study and a faculty member at both Johns Hopkins University and Ohio State University.
The study comes after earlier research offered hints that psilocybin might work against depression and after a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins found that it could ease depression and anxiety in patients who had life-threatening cancer.
The study of cancer patients "led us to consider whether or not this treatment might be effective for people in the general depression community," Davis says.
In the new study, patients received two doses of psilocybin on different days and also received about 11 hours of psychotherapy. The drug was administered in a supervised yet homey setting designed to put participants at ease, Davis says.
"They have a blindfold on, they have headphones on, listening to music," he says. "And we really encourage them to go inward and to kind of experience whatever is going to come up with the psilocybin."
Half the participants began treatment immediately. The rest were put on a waitlist so they could serve as a comparison group until their own treatment began eight weeks later.
"There was a significant reduction in depression in the immediate-treatment group compared to those in the waitlist," Davis says. And patients responded much faster than with typical antidepressants.
"The effect happened within one day after the first session and sustained at that reduced level through the second psilocybin session all the way up to the one-month follow-up," he says.
The study is notable for its scientific rigor, says Dr. Charles F. Reynolds III, distinguished professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine and the author of an editorial that accompanied the research.
"It offers, I think, a good deal of promise as a feasible approach to treating particularly chronic forms of depression," Reynolds says. Even so, the results still might be skewed because patients were told they were going to get the drug.
Can psilocybin help treat PTSD?
Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy could provide needed options for debilitating mental-health disorders including PTSD, major depressive disorder, alcohol-use disorder, anorexia nervosa and more that kill thousands every year in North America, and cost billions worldwide in lost productivity.
While therapy, antidepressants, and antipsychotics help many patients, these methods often fall short. Studies have suggested that antidepressants do not work well for people who have had multiple traumas over the course of years or chronic PTSD. A new study found that the antipsychotic risperidone worked no better than a placebo in alleviating typical PTSD symptoms in patients who had the disorder long-term or who continued to experience symptoms after being treated with antidepressants.
Because these drugs can also cause intolerable side effects, many patients are left to experience PTSD with no sign of relief. Many of these patients turn to substance abuse, develop anger management issues, or commit suicide. A study analyzing data from the National Comorbidity Survey showed that out of six anxiety diagnoses, PTSD was significantly associated with suicide attempts.
There is some evidence in animal studies to show that psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in “magic mushrooms,” may act by stimulating nerve cell regrowth in parts of the brain responsible for emotion and memory. A 2013 study from the University of South Florida. Opens in a new tab found that psilocybin stimulates neurogenesis—the growth and repair of brain cells in the hippocampus, which is the brain’s center for emotion and memory. In the study, mice that were given psilocybin overcame fear conditioning far better than mice that were given a placebo. The study supported the hypothesis that psilocybin can help break the traumatic cycle that occurs in patients with PTSD.
Stephen Ross, MD. Opens in a new tab, a psychiatrist at NYU Langone, conducted a study on terminally ill cancer patients. Opens in a new tab , and found that one-time treatment with psilocybin very quickly brought relief from distress that had lasted more than 6 months in 80 percent of study subjects.
In Dr. Ross’s study, half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive psilocybin. The rest received a control drug of niacin, which is known to produce a “rush” similar to that associated with a hallucinogenic drug experience. Halfway through the seven-week study period, all of the participants switched treatments. Neither the researchers nor the patients knew which patients had first received psilocybin or which received the control. All of the patients, mostly women, had advanced gastrointestinal, blood, or breast cancers and had been diagnosed as having serious psychological distress related to their disease.
Patients noted that after being treated with psilocybin, they felt their quality of life improve. They noted that they wanted to engage more with external activities, had more energy, experienced improved relationships with their family members, and performed better at work. The researchers concluded that if psilocybin could reduce psychological distress in terminally ill cancer patients, it could apply to less extreme medical conditions related to psychological distress as well.
Dr. Ross says that the findings “…have the potential to transform the care of cancer patients with psychological and existential distress, but beyond that, it potentially provides a completely new model in psychiatry of a medication that works rapidly as both an antidepressant and anxiolytic and has sustained benefit for months.” Dr. Ross has hope that the drug will become legal in the next five years. “If larger clinical trials prove successful, then we could ultimately have available a safe, effective, and inexpensive medication—dispensed under strict control—to alleviate the distress that increases suicide rates among cancer patients.”
Can magic mushrooms help with anxiety?
Taking a single dose of a psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms can ease symptoms of anxiety and depression in cancer patients for years, according to a study.
Almost five years after taking the compound psilocybin while having therapy, between 60 to 80 percent of cancer patients taking part in the study experienced “clinically significant” drops in their levels of anxiety and depression.
In addition, participants “overwhelmingly”—between 70 to 100 percent—linked positive life changes to their psilocybin-assisted therapy, the authors wrote in their paper published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The team also found the participants felt less hopeless, demoralized, and were less afraid of dying after taking the drug, compared with those who took a placebo.
The volunteers rated the treatment as “among the most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives,” they said.
The 14 participants involved had taken part in an earlier study that found consuming psilocybin while having psychotherapy could combat depression and anxiety for up to six months.
That study, which took place in 2016, involved a total of 29 people, but 14 of them died before the second study was conducted, and one didn’t want to be involved in the follow-up.
In a 2017 study of psilocybin and depression, researchers at Imperial College London gave psilocybin therapy to 20 patients with treatment-resistant depression, who reported benefits as long as five weeks after treatment. The study found that psilocybin decreased activity in the amygdala, which processes emotions like fear and anxiety.
"We know that when someone is on a therapeutic dose of a psychedelic, there's a dramatic increase in communication across brain areas," Johnson said. "My theory is that what we're seeing with psychedelic therapy is more like what we normally associate with talk therapy. Psychedelic therapy prompts a therapeutic process, and people learn something by transcending their sense of self and getting out of their own way."
How do magic mushrooms help with cancer?
A single dose of psilocybin, a compound found in "magic mushrooms," provides long-term relief of anxiety and depression in cancer patients, a new study finds.
In fact, cancer patients who were given psilocybin reported reductions in anxiety, depression, hopelessness, demoralization, and death anxiety more than four years after receiving the dose in combination with psychotherapy.
"Our findings strongly suggest that psilocybin therapy is a promising means of improving the emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being of patients with life-threatening cancer," said Dr. Stephen Ross, associate professor of psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health.
The findings build on improvements first reported by the team in 2016, in which 29 patients with cancer-related anxiety and depression were given either a single dose of psilocybin or a vitamin placebo called niacin. Seven weeks later, they were given the opposite. This was in combination with nine psychotherapy sessions.
By 6½ months, after all patients had received psilocybin, about 60% to 80% showed clinically significant reductions in depression, anxiety and existential distress and and improved attitudes toward death.
Fifteen of the original participants were then followed up 3.2 and 4.5 years later and showed sustained long-term improvements, with more than 70% of them further attributing "positive life change's to the therapy experience, rating it among 'the most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives," according to the study published Tuesday in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
"This approach has the potential to produce a paradigm shift in the psychological and existential care of patients with cancer, especially those with terminal illness," Ross said in a statement.
Is it legal to grow psychedelic mushrooms in Canada?
While no law allows it, the sale of magic mushroom spores and grow kits has been tolerated in Canada for some time. The argument for legality of spores is premised on the fact that the spores do not contain a controlled substance – there is no psilocybin in the spores themselves.
The legal and regulatory landscape concerning psychedelics continues to evolve as it becomes more traversed. The proliferation of companies in the capital markets (i.e. publicly traded) and increasing approvals granted by Health Canada are the first glimmers of change, and indicate that, much like cannabis pre-2018, there is ubiquitous tolerance at worst and acceptance at best.
Notwithstanding that, it is important to note that as of today, the psychedelics industry in Canada is highly regulated, and companies like ourselves seeking to operate within it will need to contend with complexities around compliance. Though the investing public has clearly demonstrated comfort with supporting it by capitalizing issuers operating within this industry, psychedelics remains at an emerging stage.
Which magic mushrooms grow in Canada?
Psilocybe azurescens Stamets & Gartz
This species originates from around Astoria Oregon where it grows from driftwood among beach grasses in the sand dunes around the mouth of the Columbia River. It is easily cultivated in outdoor chip beds and has been introduced into the Lower Mainland of BC. It is considered very potent and exhibits very strong blue staining where bruised or in age.
Psilocybe baeocystis Singer & A.H. Sm.
This was a very common urban weed mushroom in residential and institutional landscaping, where it was especially associated with conifer bark chips used as mulches. Around Vancouver it was most abundant in the 1980’s but has virtually disappeared from developed urban settings since then. It still occurs in the interface areas of suburban developments with adjacent forested or agricultural lands. Psilocybe baeocyst is very potent and stains darkly blue.
Psilocybe cyanescens Wakef.
Known as “Wavy Caps” these often grow in recently landscaped areas where woodchips have been incorporated into soils and mulches and it is especially fond of alder chips. Fairly long term and stable populations may grow in disused clearings that have grown in with alder trees, broom and Rubus plants such as Blackberries and other brambles.
Psilocybe fimetaria (P.D. Orton) Watling
This European mushroom has appeared occasionally in grassy fields and grazed pastures in the Lower Mainland. It resembles the common weed mushroom Psilocybe stuntzii in having a membranous ring on its stem.
Psilocybe pelliculosa (A.H. Sm.) Singer & A.H. Sm.
These are little brown mushrooms (or LBMs) that grow in conifer debris and litter along trails and logging roads in second growth forest lands. They may also be found in landscaped areas in conifer mulch. It is a low potency species that resembles many other LBMs of the forest, including some potentially poisonous Galerina species. Eating this mushroom is not recommended.
Psilocybe semilanceata (Fr.) P. Kumm.
The Liberty Cap is the iconic Magic Mushroom of British Columbia. It grows from dead grass roots and is especially common in wet pastures where the grass roots form a heavy thatch. It can thrive in grazed fields but is not associated with animal dung. It can also grow in lawns and playing fields in wet coastal areas. Many magic mushroom enthusiasts consider this the most “user friendly” of our mushrooms.
Psilocybe stuntzii Guzmán & J. Ott
This is a common weed species of urban and suburban landscapes sometimes growing in large quantities in recently established lawns and plantings in woodchip mulch or where the soils contain woody materials. This mushroom is very low in potency and closely resembles some deadly Galerina species which often grow in the same habitat. Eating this mushroom is not recommended.
Psilocybe subfimetaria Guzmán & A.H. Sm.
This species closely resembles the Liberty Cap but lacks the exaggerated pointy nipple typical of Psilocybe semilanceata and has a heavy zone of veil fibrils around the stem. Psilocybe subfimetaria was first discovered in Vancouver in 1976 and also grows in Washington and Oregon. It may be the same as Psilocybe sierra which is found in Chile or merely a distinct form of Psilocybe semilanceata.
Gymnopilus aeruginosus (Peck) Singer
These are big brightly coloured and bitter tasting mushrooms that grow on wood
Panaeolus subbalteatus (Berk. & Broome) Sacc. = Panaeolus cinctulus (Bolton) Sacc.
This mushroom grows in very rich manured soils of newly laid lawns and landscaping. and can also be found in old leached horse manure and rotting straw around stables.
Fly Agaric or Amanita muscaria
This stereotypical toadstool with its white-spotted, bright red cap has a long history of use as an intoxicant in many parts of the northern hemisphere. Various reindeer-herding peoples of Northern Europe and Eurasia, and especially Siberia, used these as inebriants in shamanic practices, and the use of Fly agaric in traditional healing has been reported for First Nations of North America among the Ahnishinaubeg of Lake Michigan and the Dogrib of Great Slave Lake. This mushroom is common in British Columbia.
Why do mushrooms turn blue when they're picked?
As if in protest, the stems of many species of mushroom instantly turn blue when they are plucked. The mechanism that underlies this ‘bluing’ is well known for some mushrooms, but bluing of psychedelic mushrooms that contain a compound called psilocybin has puzzled scientists for decades.
Dirk Hoffmeister at the Hans Knöll Institute in Jena, Germany, and his colleagues investigated the mushroom Psilocybe cubensis and discovered an enzyme that they named PsiP. When a mushroom is bruised or sliced, PsiP cuts off the phosphorus-containing portion of the psilocybin molecule, freeing the psychoactive molecule psilocin.
A second enzyme that the scientists named PsiL then destabilizes psilocin by stealing an electron from it. That forces individual psilocin molecules to fuse into pairs, trios and larger groupings. Some of the psilocin assemblies turn into blue compounds after losing hydrogen atoms. This process might explain the bluing of other psilocybin-laced mushrooms, such as Psilocybe azurescens.
Enzymes that behave like PsiP are also found in the human body. There, the psilocin produced by the enzymes creates psychedelic effects rather than a blue colour.
Why do magic mushrooms turn or stain blue?
In Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, Stamets notes that blue-staining, or "bluing", in magic mushrooms is not well understood. However, the process is thought to parallel the degradation of psilocyn - the primary active chemical in most magic mushrooms. Therefore, bluing should be avoided (through careful handling) because it probably reduces a mushroom's potency.
More recently, research has identified some of the chemicals and processes responsible for the bluing reaction in psychedelic mushrooms. These findings back up the theory that the bluing reaction is the result of active chemicals in the mushrooms degrading and oxidizing into other compounds. As such, the long-standing recommendation to avoid bruising magic mushrooms still holds.
Note: Blue-staining is not limited to hallucinogenic mushrooms, even though they are often associated. So don't use a blue-staining reaction as the sole indicator that you have a magic mushrooms species.
Can magic mushrooms grow mold?
Discovering a contaminated mushroom culture can be heartbreaking. But, it’s essential to learn how to identify the early signs and act accordingly. Just because one culture or fruiting box has fallen victim to contamination doesn’t mean your entire operation has been compromised.
Discolouration is one of the most obvious signs of contamination. Many species of invasive moulds display distinct and bright colours. If you spot green, blue, grey, or black patches on or in your fruiting box, your culture is most likely contaminated. Do keep in mind, however, that small blue stains in the mycelium may just be bruising and not mould. Especially where it presses the mycelium against packaging, you may see some blue spots or bruising.
It’s not just other species of fungi that will try to inhabit your substrate. Bacteria can also crash the party. The presence of bacteria is often made evident by the production of slime. Slimy patches on your grain or mycelium signify excess moisture and possible bacterial contamination. You might also notice brown and yellow stains, as well as crusty or gel-like textures.
A healthy mushroom culture will run through grain or other substrates reasonably uniformly. Hyphae will dart off in different directions, but will eventually converge to consolidate the growing medium. If you notice any sectoring—where borders form and hyphae refuse to merge—you could be dealing with contamination from another fungal species.