Question: Different Effects from Different Magic Mushrooms?

Different Effects from Different Mushrooms?

Norbaeocystin is one of several psilocybin derivatives present in “magic mushrooms.” It has not been formally studied, leaving uncertainty regarding its role in the overall effects of magic mushrooms.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that different batches of magic mushrooms lead to different effects for the users consuming them.  For example, some discussions refer to various “descriptions of different mushrooms saying that some are more visual, some more funny, some more spiritual, etc.”  Based on several of these anecdotal reports, the variation in effect between different samples of mushrooms appears to be dramatic.  The variation in effects also seems reasonable based on the high variability in chemical compositions between different collections of magic mushrooms.

Different Mushrooms = Different Chemicals

From a chemical standpoint, different batches of magic mushrooms have different chemotypes.  In other words, different magic mushrooms have different chemical compositions. See Chemical Variability of Magic Mushrooms.

In “magic mushrooms,” psilocybin derivatives make up the principle psychoactive molecules.  Accordingly, variation in user experience (aka clinical effect) is most likely due to variation in the concentration of those psilocybin derivatives between different samples of “magic mushrooms.”  Examples of related (but structurally distinct) psilocybin derivatives include the following molecules:

  • Psilocin (sometimes spelled psilocyn)
  • [3-(2-trimethylaminoethyl)-1H-indol-4-yl] dihydrogen phosphate (aka Aeruginascin)
  • 4-hydroxy-N,N,N-trimethyltryptamine
  • Baeocystin (aka [3-(2-methylaminoethyl)-1H-indol-4-yl] dihydrogen phosphate)
  • Norpsilocin (4-hydroxy-N-methyltryptamine
  • Norbaeocystin (aka [3-(aminoethyl)-1H-indol-4-yl] dihydrogen phosphate)
  • 4-hydroxytryptamine

Other actives such as phenethylamine are also potentially present in some collections of psychoactive mushrooms.

Different Chemicals = Different Drugs

Mushrooms having different compositions of active ingredients are technically different drugs.

Differences in the chemical composition of magic mushrooms would likely lead to different pharmacology.  As discussed in previous articles, “minor” chemical differences can make a big difference in the body. For example, amphetamine and methamphetamine “only” differ by the presence or absence of one methyl group on the amine.  That difference (a single methyl group) is solely responsible for the different effects between amphetamine (e.g., Adderall) and methamphetamine (aka crystal meth).  To be clear, small structural changes can produce profound changes to a drug’s pharmacology.

Like cannabis pharmacology, the multiple active ingredients in magic mushrooms work together synergistically to produce the user’s experience.  See Analogy between Cannabis and Mushrooms; See also Entourage Effect I and Entourage Effect II.

Scientists have isolated many of the above listed psilocybin derivatives and observed that they modify the pharmacological action of psilocybin.  See, e.g., Gartz, J. Int. Journ. Crude Drug Res. (1989), 27:30, 141-144.  Aeruginascin “seems to modify the pharmacological action of psilocybin to give an always euphoric mood during ingestion of the mushrooms.”

Request for Observations about Different Mushroom Trips

Psilocybin technology can be improved by shifting our focus from magic mushrooms to

Fresh magic mushrooms available for sale. These unaltered products of nature can be taken as-is or used to make refined products.

magic molecules. Towards this goal, we would appreciate any observations that could be used to correlate particular mushroom strains with specific observations of the effects attained by consuming those mushrooms.  Then, we can attempt to correlate the strain with information about its chemical composition.  For example, reports from the psilocybin community have allowed for correlating “Wood Lover Paralysis” with particular strains that grow on wood substrates.  The next step is identifying a chemical difference that accounts for the symptoms of Wood Lover Paralysis.

** If you have observations/correlations, we would appreciate your leaving a comment below.  Specifically, can you offer information connecting a particular strain/specie of magic mushrooms with a specific effect on the user?

Naturally occurring psychoactive mushrooms can be extracted with a solvent to eliminate the insoluble structural material of the mushroom. That extract can be further processed, to separate out the molecules present in the extract — resulting in a collection of isolated individual molecules that are much easier to study scientifically.

Ultimately, psilocybin technology will benefit from studying the effects of known amounts of known collections of molecules.  This effort will inevitably require isolating each individual psilocybin derivative and studying how it affects cellular receptors (e.g., serotonin) alone and in combination with other molecules.  This information will make it possible to make psilocybin formulations that target specific effects (and avoid others). See The Future of Magic Mushrooms is Formulations of Tryptamines.

31 thoughts on “Question: Different Effects from Different Magic Mushrooms?

  1. Jimmortal Soul Reply

    As with cannabis it will be found out the broad spectrum extracts are more therapeutic than individual molecules. This is pointing at the end of reductionist approach to plant therapies. My own experience is many single tryptamines are “empty rooms” compared to the melange of substances in the plant source

    • Staff Scientist Post authorReply

      Thank you for your comments. Great point, drawing an analogy to cannabis.
      The state of the art in cannabis (at least in May 2018) certainly favors whole plant extracts over formulations made from purified ingredients. Of course the downside of whole plant extracts is that no one knowns all of the molecules creating the user’s experience.
      Perhaps a hybrid approach could combine the advantages to each. For example, using a “reductionist approach” to scientifically study individual molecules (and simple combinations) to determine their individual attributes. Then, using that information to select “whole plant” (or whole mushrooms) extracts for future clinical study.

      • Joy Reply

        Although I fully realize how precocious I am going to sound stating this, I’m going to say it anyways because I whole-heartedly believe it to be true and I hope to someday put my unique personal qualities and abilities to good use. I seem to have a far greater tolerance for hallucinogenics than 99.9% of people. I also believe that I have a very natural “knack” for navigating the psychedelic realm, for examining the properties of a trip in a remarkably cognitive and analytical fashion despite my level of intoxication and also I am able to explore the depths that others seem reluctant to let the experience take them to. I was unaware of myself having any differing experiences from “the norm” until open, public debate about mushrooms become so common. What I’ve heard referred to as “the hero dose” was always a “small, mild dose” for me and I am barely 100lbs. After researching more, I discovered that the way I liked to experience a trip is identical to how ancients used to, in which they, apparently from what I’ve read, liked to have their trips in dark silence. I used to jokingly refer to this as “cacooning,” believing that I had invented this method and coined the phrase, only to learn that I was a couple thousand years late on the trend and the term. I have reached a place of absolute white, silence and void and in this place, I have never been more at peace. I’ve always been interrupted far too soon after arriving there and so I’ve not been able to fully explore that particular “place,” but I hope to be able to someday. I have also had an unusual amount of experiences helping others who were having a bad trip and my method has always brought about instantaneous relief for those suffering and has never failed. If I could have my dream job, something that I feel I have a natural, in-born talent for and possess a unique, specialized skill set for that could potentially improve society and potentially produce beneficial gains and outcomes for mankind, it would be as a “psychedelic assistant,” or a “shroom-nurse” or whatever you want to call it. After all of this lengthy rhetoric, it has now comeback to my attention that I have described, in essence, a shaman, but that is not exactly what I’m going for. I’m speaking of a place in western society where my services could be viewed as more of a professional expertise, for the sake of those who steer clear of anything that sounds too spiritual or occult-like…surely with all the benefits that are being discovered, there will arise a need for persons such as myself, right?

        • Staff Scientist Post authorReply

          Given the legal, political, and cultural changes that are presently underway, your “dream job” may not be so far off in the future. Perhaps try connecting with some of the folks working on psychedelic therapy as a service? In any event, thanks for your comments and best of luck to you.

        • Michael Bayly Reply

          Hi Joy, you don’t happen to be in Australia do you, I was hoping to find someone who could sit/guide for me sometime?

    • Kevin Reply

      Best thing I can share is these mushroom after 2 sessions of 5 grams doses completely eliminated my cocaine addiction and helped me through my depression. Thank you Gaia for this gift.

      • Staff Scientist Post authorReply

        Hi Kevin – Congratulations. This sort of report gives everyone a huge boost!

      • Donna Reply

        Kevin may I ask what type of mushrooms you did. I suffer from high anxiety and severe insomnia for the past 40 years. I will be doing mushrooms this weekend for the first time I had my choice between psilocybin, penis envy in golden teacher. Do you recommend any of these. I need to get off medication, I’ve been through countless therapists, psychics, healers and rehabs. Yet nobody can figure out my problem except my last therapist said mushrooms would do the job!
        Any reply would be helpful thank you!

  2. Eric Reply

    The strangest trip I ever had was on mushrooms and they looked different than any other mushrooms I’d ever taken. Also I prepared them differently, I made a stirfry and while it was still hot put the mushrooms in the bottom of the bowl and put my warm stirfry on top of that mixed it and ate it immediately. They will maybe 3 inches tall with, at the largest, 1.5” caps, and a medium brown color. All others I’ve eaten had a blue tinge to them and were significantly larger.
    This trip was unlike any other experience I’d ever had psychedelically. Unlike other trips wherein you can, after a fashion still function, ie you can still recall what things are and their function, this one I began to forget everything I’d ever learned, bits at a time. I forgot what a tv was, what a phone was. I forgot my name, I forgot who I was and why I was/the things that made up my personality. I might simply have forgotten language for the significant duration of the trip, I’m not sure. I honestly don’t know what happened or how. Thank god I had a great friend as a trip sitter or i might have gotten myself hurt or in a significant amount of trouble. I had never experienced anything like that previously in my life and I’ve not experienced anything even remotely like it since.

  3. Nowpower Reply

    Yes, I had a deeply spiritual experience similar to those described by near death people. Went into the light. Communicated telepathically with numerous entities. Way too much to write here. Very heavy but ultimately uplifting. The happy news is that we don’t die following the process of physical death. Don’t know which shroom it was but from the PNW.

  4. b Cali Reply

    I have found that the strain “albino penis envy” are VERY VISUAL and VERY PHYSICAL people have compared them to mdma.
    The antidepressant effects of this strain (I feel) are not as prominent as they are in other strains (blue magnolia / god seekers) but with the APEs you only need 1 gram for 5-6 hours of fun vs 2grams or more of other strains.

  5. Tim Hagney Reply

    Another cannabis related theme is, for me, the fact cannabis is becoming far more accepted, hopefully these true psychedelics will follow in the public’s mind. Certainly getting everything off Schedule 1 will go a long way in allowing research, which should really take off if the bone-head slow political process will speed up a bit.

  6. Al Reply

    I had 1 gram of penis envy and it was quite different than any other shrooms i’ve tried; when I was peaking, the effects were much more intense, and I had a feeling of a presence, like entitites from a different dimension right beneath the everyday reality. It was almost more similar to DMT than other cubensis I’ve had. I agree with “B Cali,” the penis envy seems roughly twice as potent as the average cubensis. I disagree with the statement that it doesn’t have antidepressant effects. My trip was very therapeutic and uplifiting; I even cried tears of joy at one point. Deeply spiritual, and very intense. At one point, I nearly threw up as I was peaking, as if I was being spiritually purged from my gut.

  7. Janna Reply

    I recently had my first experience with wood lovers paralysis from a home grown golden teacher strain. Not very fun, thought I was dying! My boyfriend also experienced it when he ate some at a different time. We have both eaten many different kinds of mushrooms on multiple occasions throughout the years and have never experienced or even heard about this until now. Now that I know it’s a possible side effect, I’m curious, which strains are more likely to result in this mystery paralysis? I’ve read “wood grown” strains are more likely, but I grew mine in pertile… is it the strain or the growing conditions that cause this? The paralysis seems to be a huge mystery in the shroom community I’d love some more research or information about that side effect.

  8. spazc36 Reply

    My first trip was only 1- 1.5 grams, they were mostly white, some tan, with some blue in them. They didn’t hit me til the following day when I smoked some weed, and every time I smoked weed for the next few months the shroom effect would return, less and less as time went on. I know this seems crazy and impossible but it’s what i experienced. I had smoked weed many times before and it was basically the same type. It was in the 90’s.

  9. Anonemouse Reply

    I have researched the mutant strain Penis Envy quite a bit. It has a much different, I have tried both Penis Envy and Golden Teacher strains hundreds of time to alleviate the symptoms of my treatment-resistant depression. Here are the major differences I’ve noted:

    At large doses (5+g dried,) Penis Envy feels much more like DMT/Ayahuasca, Golden Teachers like MDMA.

    I am able to talk to the same “beings” I communicate with on vaporised DMT.

    I do nothing but enjoy music on GT, but do not enjoy music on PE.

    PE creates thin blue lines between objects, or around them

    PE does not help with my depressive symptoms nearly as much as GT

  10. Mark Reply

    Does anyone know where I may help locating reputable psychedelic therapists in US major metropolitan areas?

  11. Antoni Reply

    It is very nice that psychedelics are getting the adequate interest they deserve from the medical and scientific communities, but i would humbly suggest that- do not simply limit yourself to treat the plant/mushroom like a mechanical object, such as a watch- you take it apart, put it back together, examine parts piece by piece, the scientific way. There is a powerful force within that cannot be studied through the current means we have available at our disposal. There is a “spirit” in these plants that you cannot take apart, and you will never understand fully- but can experience and communicate with in the proper setting. The scientific community recognizes the entourage effect but this is far more than just that. You cannot “recreate” nature by synthesis, without reducing it to a blander, more plastic-like experience. and most of those experienced in psychedelics will understand the difference between a lab-synthesized “psilocybin” and an actual magic mushroom experience immediately. Even if you combine the synthesized psilocybin with a synthesized entourage of all the molecules and alkaloids within the mushroom, it will still not work in the same way. They are called magical for a reason, and if studied globally long enough- will break the long-held barrier between spirituality and science. Cheers !

  12. J S Reply

    Experimenting with micro dose only, I have found Cambodian to be uplifting with clean effects and clear headed creativity. The stain on these are only small amount of blue with more dark flat green. I can even eat on these and the added strength of these allow me to reduce dose.
    B+ is somewhat uplifting with odd audio effects, even at low dose. Standard feeling to what was sold many years ago. Prefer Cambodian. Blue green stain
    Golden Teacher I tried from two different sources with very negative results. Very intense blue ultraviolet stain makes me suspect the blue stain may not work for me. Stomach upset, downer depression relief. I am highly sensitive to effect and generally allergic to many things in life. Desire to sleep even on low dose (0.2gm). Colombian has some blue stain but better potency allows for a reduction of dose as well as having far less blueing. The GT also seems to have a hangover effect of short term memory loss. Memory returns but all stains so far have a fast tolerance build up. Two days is ok but the third day have very little effect. Not interested in “mining for serotonin” that shrinks would have you do to by increasing dose. anti depression meds make me violently ill. I don’t have emotional depression, more a complete loss of vitality which is worse in the winter but still a problem year around. After three to four days of not dosing the micro effects are back in force. Over all reduction in interest in things like politics helps a great deal in focusing on what’s important. Even at once every four days it does seem to have movement toward more kick back attitude toward life. Hope to complete more studies of different strains soon.

  13. Anders Reply

    Good comment, Antoni.

    The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We cannot reduce things to their final component parts because at the very bottom below perceived molecules and atoms, we find probability waves fluctuating in fields of we-do-not-know-what and we-do-not-know-why. The mystery is far greater than the sum of the “facts” we have managed to assemble.

    The experience you will have on any magic mushrooms is not only a function of ratio of the five main psychoactive elements and the potency of each in relation to body weight, but also of non-measurables such as attitude, intent, expectation, ambition, focus, confidence, robustness, heart, character, etc., as well as the setting – where you are and who’s with you – and what you’ve eaten, blood sugar levels, etc. A whole symphony playing together, something beautiful that finally sprang up like a fountain out of someone’s mind, like Beethoven.

  14. Steve Reply

    Am going to try micro-dosing mushrooms for my Treatment Resistant Depression. Any suggestions what dosage to start at? Any other suggestions??

    • Gab Reply

      Mushrooms I would go for 0.2-0.4g fully dried and ideally powdered. Truffels I would start with 0.8-1g wet.

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