3 different magic mushroom species on yellow background. the title says: the myth of magic mushroom strains

The myth of magic mushroom strains

Let's unveil the truth about magic mushroom strains

Would you have thought that 99% of what you read online about magic mushroom strains is bogus!?

As a result of over two decades of marketing efforts targeted specifically at the Dutch market, now people believe that variety is king. And while everyone likes to have a choices when shopping - but in this case it's mostly just hot air.

The (mis)concept of mushroom strains

Almost all grow kits make the same species of magic mushroom. Yes, you read that right! 
The answer is provided by nature itself. Simply put, there's one species of mushroom which grows pretty much everywhere in the world, all by itself. (And yes, mushrooms are amazing at adapting to different environments)

This lead to magic mushrooms being discovered in different areas of the planet. But here is the twist: since nature and the natural environment is never the same in two different places, how this [the same] mushroom exactly looks differs widely from place to place.

Names like:

  • "Golden Teacher"
  • "Thai"
  • "India"
  • "Cambodia"
May give the impression that those are different species, but in reality they are all the same:

Stropharia Cubensis

This means that differences (if they even exist) between these strains are very minor, and are primarily a result of the mushrooms being grown in different environments.

However, the appearance and potency of magic mushrooms is not primarily determined by their geographical origin!

The way in which the mushrooms are grown, including factors such as:

  • temperature

  • humidity

  • oxygen levels

  • stability of these conditions

are much more important in determining the final product. In fact, the active substances within a single flush of mushrooms can vary more than between different strains.

What's the hype about magic mushroom strains?

The interest in different strains of magic mushrooms has been artificially inflated over the years, basically due to smartshop marketing tactics.

Before the Netherlands banned magic mushrooms in 2007, customers had limited options and little interest in specific strains, with only "Mexican" or "Hawaiian" mushrooms available. However, after the ban, magic mushroom grow kits were introduced as an alternative product. Marketing experts with limited knowledge of the product then came up with various justifications for selling the same product under different names and at different prices.

As the use of grow kits as a replacement for magic mushrooms became more widespread after the ban, marketing campaigns began to capitalize on the the new trend. To create a sense of variety and differentiation, these campaigns devised categories of the different strains based on perceived effects, such as "visuals" and "deep thoughts" and attributed them to seem like they belong to different "species".

Over time, and thanks to the internet these "magic mushroom strains" have become widely accepted, and many customers now believe that the different strains of magic mushrooms have distinct and predictable effects. The truth is that these categorizations are largely based on subjective experiences and the placebo effect, rather than any scientifically proven differences between strains.

What determines magic mushroom potency?

The potency of magic mushrooms is influenced by several factors influencing each other, and there is often significant variation between different batches and even individual mushrooms within the same batch! This is rather something to note, than open foundationless conversations about different "magic mushroom strains".

The two most important factors that influence the look and potency of magic mushrooms are growing conditions and post-harvest processing. 

The growing conditions, such as temperature, humidity, light, and nutrient levels can all affect the growth and development of the mushroom, and ultimately its potency.

Post-harvest processing, such as drying and storage, impact the potency of magic mushrooms, as well. Proper drying and storage can help preserve the potency of the mushrooms, while improper handling can cause degradation of psilocybin and other compounds, resulting in decreased potency. 

So if you want to learn how to properly grow mushroom using magic mushroom grow kits or grow bags, download our comprehensive, free guide on how to grow magic mushrooms.

A little bit of Mycology

Mycology is the study of fungi, and within that field, there are many species of mushrooms that produce what are commonly known as "Magic Mushrooms." While these sacred mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in spiritual and shamanic practices, they are gaining popularity in recent years as more people seek out natural alternatives for therapeutic and recreational purposes. Furthermore, Mycology is a vast field with different families and varieties of fungi, which have different shapes, sizes and colors, and have a different role in the ecosystem. This makes the study of mushrooms an exciting and ever-evolving field, with new discoveries being made all the time.

Magic Mushroom Strains or Species?

The terms "strain" and "species" are often used interchangeably when talking about magic mushrooms, but they actually have different meanings. Let's clarify this: 

A "species" is a taxonomic classification that refers to a group of organisms that share similar physical and genetic traits and can interbreed to produce fertile offspring. In the case of magic mushrooms, there are several species within the genus Psilocybe, such as Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe semilanceata, and Psilocybe cyanescens.

On the other hand, a "strain" typically refers to a sub-variety or cultivated form of a species, which has been selectively bred or developed for specific traits.  

Remember, while different magic mushroom species can greatly vary based on their characteristics or potency magic mushroom strains is mostly a differentiations picked up by marketers with little to no influence on the psychedelic effects or the musroom potency.

Magic Mushroom Species

One of the most well-known and widely used magic mushroom is the Stropharia Cubensis. It is also known as the "Mexican Magic Mushroom." This particular mushroom is native to regions in Central and South America, and was the first species to be brought to the Western world in the 1960s. Stropharia Cubensis gained widespread attention when it was used by the famous curandera, Maria Sabina, in her shamanic practices. She lived in the Oaxaca region of Mexico and used these mushrooms to induce a state of altered consciousness and facilitate communication with the spirit world. Sabina's unique use of these ancient and sacred mushrooms gained recognition worldwide, and many Westerners started travelling to Oaxaca to participate in her ceremonies.This particular mushroom was the first to be brought into the west in the 60s and was used by the famous curandera, Maria Sabina, in her shamanic practices. Her "magic mushroom retreats" were the first one open to public and free anyone who wanted to try.

The other popular magic mushroom species is Copelandia cyanescens, also known as the "Panaeolus cyanescens" or "Blue Meanie" is a potent psilocybin mushroom species that is native to several regions around the world, including Hawaii, Southeast Asia, and Australia. This species has gained popularity due to its high concentration of psilocybin. It has earned the nickname "Hawaiian Magic Mushroom" because it is commonly found in Hawaii and is believed to have been used by indigenous Hawaiian communities for long centuries. 

In addition to these two species, there are also the Psilocybe Cyanescens, Psilocybe Azurenscens, the Gymnopilus Spectabilis, the Liberty Cap, and many other mushroom families that are known to produce psychedelic effects Each of these species has its own unique properties and characteristics, making them valuable for both medicinal and recreational use. 


It's important to understand that the interest in different strains of magic mushrooms has been artificially inflated by years of misleading marketing efforts, and that the strains themselves are not a significant factor in determining the effects of magic mushrooms. It's also worth noting that dosage, set and setting, or individual biology are more important factors that can largely change one's personal magic mushroom experience.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.