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.

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.

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)
  • 4-hydroxy-N-methyltryptamine
  • Norbaeocystin (aka [3-(aminoethyl)-1H-indol-4-yl] dihydrogen phosphate)
  • 4-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin)

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 is solely responsible for the different effects between amphetamine (e.g., Adderall) and methamphetamine (aka crystal meth).

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).

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

  1. Jimmortal Soul

    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 author

      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.

  2. Eric

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

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