Posted on Leave a comment

All about The B+ Mushroom

Have you heard of the B+ mushroom? No, that’s not a letter grade — for those of you whose interests have been drawn to the wide world of Psilocybe cubensis spores in recent years, the B+ mushroom name may not carry the same weight for you as it has for those whose tenure extends back to the vegetative stage of internet mushroom discussion.

               All the way back in 1999, in the (relatively) early days of the internet, a user on the Shroomery forum by the name of “Mr. G” was a regular contributor and the proprietor of a spore vendor known as Foggy Mountain Farms (fmfarms.com – now defunct, with the name belonging to a quaint livestock farm in Virginia). Mr. G’s last post on the forum was in 2002, and his account has since been banned; his posts on the forum contain some colourful language, with his last post on the contentious subject of the B+ mushroom ending in 206 (!) exclamation points. According to the now ancient mythology of B+ shrooms, Mr. G was the originator of this ‘strain’ and claimed that it was a cross between a Psilocybe cubensis and Psilocybe azurescens. This claim has been widely disputed and/or debunked, evidently much to Mr. G’s chagrin. But why is this such a radical claim on his part? Why is it impossible (?) for the B+ mushroom to have been a cross between a cube and an azure?

               This subject takes us into an area of mycology and mushroom discussion which has thrived amongst some communities and waned almost completely in others, although it is a very interesting subject. (Much of this information is courtesy of the extensive knowledge compiled by Shroomery user Rose.)

Some basic biology to start with: the names “Psilocybe cubensis” and “Psilocybe azurescens” are examples of binomial nomenclature (a “two-name naming system”). Each of these names represent both a genus (Psilocybe) and species (cubensis, azurescens, mexicana, etc.). Think of it like a family tree; Psilocybe cubensis is a member of the genus Psilocybe, while Psilocybe is a member of the family Hymenogastraceae; Hymenogastraceae a member of the order Agaricales, and so on. (The classification of “fungi” is all the way up at kingdom! That tells you how enormous the world of mycology really is.)

[image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a5/Biological_classification_L_Pengo_vflip.svg]

               Below all of these levels of classification, we find the home of the B+ mushroom: the ‘strain’ (or, as Rose terms it, ‘race’ or ‘variety’) of B+ shrooms are one of many variations of the species Psilocybe cubensis. But, just like with humans, races can and do mix, and each person (like each mushroom) has a unique genetic code (like a unique spore print) — although the infinite variation of genetics is a spectrum, we see somewhat distinct characteristics amongst ethnic groups, just like we see in the variations of Psilocybe cubensis. You could call B+ mushrooms (or Golden Teacher mushrooms, or Penis Envy mushrooms, or Blue Meanies… you get the idea) a distinct ethnic group of the species Psilocybe cubensis.

               But, in the words of Rose, trying to combine two different species of Psilocybe, cubensis and azurescens, would be like “successfully mating a human with a gorilla.” We may share some important characteristics with our distant primate cousins, but the idea of producing (healthy) offspring from such a union… is a pretty far-fetched one (and I would hope no one would want to try…).

               So, while we can thank Mr. G for his contribution to the colourful spectrum of cubensis varieties (or strains — language changes, after all), we don’t necessarily have to believe everything he says. Who knows, maybe he has cooked up some mad scientist experiments that no one has seen the proof of yet… but I’ll wait until I see the spores under my microscope to believe it.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psilocybin_mushroom

https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/7955887

https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/7955834

https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/66463#66463

Posted on Leave a comment

The Blue Meanie Mushroom

Blue Meanie Mushroom

The Blue Meanie mushrooms: a towering force coming in a diminutive package. Also known by the scientific names Panaeolus cyanescens (sometimes abbreviated as Pans or Pan cyans), Copelandia cyanescens (“Copes”), or as simply Hawaiians, this shriveled fungus is well known to be multiple times stronger than its similarly psychoactive counterparts in the Psilocybe family*. With a name clearly alluding to the antagonists of The Beatles’ psychedelic animated film Yellow Submarine, Blue Meanie mushrooms have a fitting moniker in two senses: one is that they are, in fact, damn mean, with a reputation for intense effects post-ingestion, and the other is that the high levels of psilocybin and psilocin contained within cause the Blue Meanie mushroom, when bruised, to turn a distinctive shade of blue. But why is that? Why do Blue Meanies turn so characteristically blue? And why do mushrooms turn blue (when picked or handled) at all?

               It has been known for some time that mushrooms containing psilocybin display a distinctive blue hue along their stalks and caps when the fresh fungus is cut or handled enough to be bruised. The widespread nature of this knowledge is clear even in the species’ scientific naming: Panaeolus cyanescens and Psilocybe azurescens being prime examples. While this is a feature required to identify many species [RJ1] of psychotropic mushrooms, it is necessary but not sufficient; other mushroom species, such as Boletales, bruise blue but are occasionally poisonous, and Lactarius indigo will bleed a bright blue latex (in addition to being blue, unbruised, itself). But these are not the same blues as those of psilocybin-containing mushrooms.

               While Lactarius’ blue colour is due to a derivative of guaiazulene, and Boletus’ to pulvinic acid or other compounds, recent (2019) research into the mystery of psilocybin mushrooms’ “bluing” has answered the long-standing question of how this process works.

According to this research, the process involves two enzymes named PsiP and PsiL. When a psilocybin-containing mushroom is damaged, PsiP acts on the psilocybin in a mushroom to release psilocin. (Psilocin is the compound which is released as a result of metabolic activity from psilocybin when ingested by humans; it’s responsible for psilocybin mushrooms’ hallucinogenic properties, in a similar process to this one.) The released psilocin is then acted on by PsiL to cause the psilocin to fuse into larger groups, some of which have a blue colour.

What does this mean for the Blue Meanie mushroom? Well, the Bluer the Meanie, the more psilocybin it previously contained – since the blue pigments made up of groups of psilocin are the product of broken-down psilocybin, it might indicate that the specimen in question had a high content of psilocybin prior to being bruised. But the blue bruises on a mushroom are proportional to the amount of psilocybin oxidised – thus the mushroom’s potency may be accordingly reduced.

               Perhaps not so psychoactive, but certainly very pretty. The Blue Meanie mushroom is a perfect example of this interesting phenomenon amongst so-called “active” species of mushrooms, and due to the legality (or lack thereof) of cultivated specimens** of these species, research into such facets of psilocybin mushrooms has been limited until very recently. We are lucky to see the Blue Meanie mushroom, amongst its fungal fraternity, brought to light in more detail; a tickle of joy on the blue belly of the universe (just don’t scratch it).

* Note: the Blue Meanie mushroom discussed in this article, Panaeolus cyanescens, is one of two mushroom species known by the Blue Meanie nickname: the strain of Psilocybe cubensis which is known as Blue Meanie is largely not distinguished from the Pan cyan, and a lack of information exists on the subject. We can only hope for the research of these fascinating organisms to continue as their complexity is further explored.

** SporesWorldwide does not endorse, or participate in, the cultivation of any species of “active” mushroom which, when cultivated, contains or may contain psilocybin and/or psilocin. Any mention of cultivation or requests for cultivation will result in you being banned[RJ2] .

References:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201910175

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03614-0

https://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/identifying-mushrooms.html

https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/mystery-of-why-magic-mushrooms-go-blue-solved/4010870.article

https://touchbase.org.au/alcohol-and-drugs/mushrooms


Posted on Leave a comment

What are Golden Teacher Mushrooms?

               Those who find themselves drawn to the intrigue and mystique of mushrooms, specifically those belonging to the Psilocybe genus, have undoubtedly heard of the Golden Teacher mushroom. Arguably the most popular and widely known of the Psilocybe variants, Golden Teacher mushrooms have gained widespread appeal as the most welcoming of this nook of the mushroom kingdom. With user reports describing experiences that range from soft and inviting to revelatory and awakening, Golden Teacher mushroom spores earn their namesake well. These mushrooms are part of a class of organisms that have been recognized by multiple cultures as “agents of change” – organisms which, on contact with a human mind, provoke experiences which many regard as providing lessons, prompting changes of perspective and belief, and uprooting old and worn-out convictions and prejudices. With its golden-brown, yellow-speckled cap donned, the Golden Teacher shows its students their own mind, and the world around them, in a new light.

               How did we come across these peculiar little beings? “How did humans discover magic mushrooms?” — this is perhaps the more important question in general. It may be a familiar notion to some entheogenic enthusiasts that the origins of such Golden Teachers began long ago in certain Central and South American cultures, but the specifics may be hazy. Let’s take a look, shall we?

               At Tassili n’Ajjer, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Algeria, thousands of cave paintings, some dating from 10,000 B.C., depict our human heritage in the form of our earliest activities: of hunting, domesticating animals, and other aspects of daily life. However, of special interest here are the paintings depicting magic and religious rituals – one of which depicts a shaman, with the face of a bee, and fists of mushroom silhouettes, and surrounded by mushrooms sprouting from their skin.

[image: https://174082-685741-raikfcquaxqncofqfm.stackpathdns.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Algerian-cave-painting-mushroom-shaman.jpg]

The most widely acknowledged candidate for the mushrooms adorning this ancient ancestor? Psilocybe. That’s right: the Golden Teacher mushroom we all know today is one in a long line of messengers stretching back to our earliest human experiences, being a representative of Psilocybe cubensis. The tradition of viewing fungi as teachers, guides to accompany shamans in communication with the spirit world, is one which stretches across both time and geography, as suggested by archeological evidence such as this cave painting and others like it, historical texts, sculptures, and even evidence in surviving languages of ancient cultures. In the Mazatec language, they are known as nti si tho, the Ones Who Leap Forth, in Nahua, as Teonanacatl, the Flesh of the Gods. The “legendary food of the gods,” the “healer of disease” known as Soma in ancient Hindu Vedic texts, has been identified by scholars as likely referring to the Amanita muscaria (though not a Psilocybe species, Amanita muscaria, or fly agaric, has also been widely used in Siberia and other parts of the northern Eurasian continent as a part of shamanic rituals).

               Perhaps the discussion of the effects of Golden Teacher mushrooms, the effects of their relatives, and the reason for a name such as “Golden Teacher,” is best summed up by the words of the Mazatec shaman, Maria Sabina:

“There is a world beyond ours, a world that is far away, nearby, and invisible. And there is where God lives, where the dead live, the spirits and the saints, a world where everything has already happened and everything is known. I report what it says. The sacred mushroom takes me by the hand and brings me to the world where everything is known. It is they, the sacred mushrooms that speak in a way I can understand. I ask them and they answer me. When I return from the trip that I have taken with them, I tell what they have told me and what they have shown me.”

               (Quote from U.S. Forest Service website, “The Mighty Fungi”)

References:

https://www.erowid.org/plants/mushrooms/mushrooms_timeline.php

https://www.erowid.org/plants/mushrooms/mushrooms_info14.shtml

https://www.erowid.org/plants/mushrooms/mushrooms_history.shtml

https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/179/

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/ethnobotany/Mind_and_Spirit/fungi.shtml

https://www.britannica.com/topic/soma-Hinduism

Posted on Leave a comment

What’s So Special About The Penis Envy Mushroom Strain?

What’s so special about Penis Envy mushrooms?

If you’ve ever looked into the strength differences between each Psilocybin containing mushroom strain/variety, you would have likely come across some mention of Penis Envy mushrooms. On reddit for example, most users on mushroom and related subreddits have the common knowledge that the Penis Envy mushroom strain is generally penis shaped and produces stronger effects then the average Cubensis mushroom. Even well vetted Shroomery user RogerRabbit stated that “Cubes are cubes, with the exception of PE.” Why though? And where did the original Penis Envy mushroom come from? What makes it so different then the others? While the history of P.E. is quite mysterious and not entirely full, we are going to touch on some interesting points that may give the reader a better idea of all the hype around this particular variety of P. Cubensis.

At one point mycologist John Allen proposed that that the original Penis Envy mushroom may have been found in the Amazon by Terrence and Dennis McKenna in the early 70’s. Hamilton Morris, a journalist who investigates psychoactive substances, also stated that the original specimen “was taller and thicker than anything found in American soils.” and “A monstrous Amazonian mushroom growing on the dung of local Zebu cattle”. These statements were never confirmed to be entirely true by the McKenna brothers in terms of finding a penis shaped mushroom. Terrence often talked about masculine energies of the mushroom; you would think that he would remember a penis shaped one. The brothers did have many mushroom hunting expeditions (including a handful in the Amazon); so it seems much more likely that this fabled Amazonian spore sample found by the McKenna brothers is the parent of what we know as Penis Envy (i.e. genetic isolation).

Mycelium in its “knot” stage – Image provided by Reddit

According to Hamilton Morris’ going theory, a pioneering Psilocybe Cubensis Mycologist Steven Pollock was mailed some of the original Amazon prints from the McKennas and likely isolated it himself which later led to the penis shaped mushroom, and Penis Envy mushroom strain.  Before his unfortunate death, Pollock supposedly mailed another mycologist and print vendor Rich Gee a spore print labeled ‘Penis’!

Many thought this penis shaped mushroom had been lost after some time, but John Allen eventually found Rich Gee selling spore swabs (a sterile cotton swab wiped along the gills of a mushroom to collect spores) of Penis Envy. Around the same time a user on Shroomery was said to have a print from Terrence McKenna’s personal collection…. This may have been due to some confusion about Rich Gee saying he got the print from the McKennas originally, we really do not know for certain.

At this point its hard to tell where the original Penis Envy spore sample came from, and the name itself has no known origin either.

However, in another twist to the already baffling story of the P.E. mushroom, SporesWorldwide has received a message from Rich Gee regarding the claims of John Allen (“Mushroom John,” or mjshroomer on Shroomery.org). He writes:

The Penis Envy mushrooms began with Jewel Stevens [sic; a nickname for Jule Stevens, perhaps?] who dropped by my house to show me some Amazon mushrooms he had acquired. They supposedly came from Terence McKenna in a roundabout way. There was no bloody letter with spores sent to me by anyone. The mushrooms I saw were dried and looked normal. I cultured the spores and the mushrooms were grown in a hexagon plexiglass fish tank by Jule Stevens. In the tank there were 3 distinct strains, 2 normal and one different enough to attract my attention. This strain did not look like a penis. The strain was cultivated and the mushrooms that grew were long-stemmed with big heads. I picked the biggest one which just happened to be the one that blued the most. The next generations started to look like penises. Again the biggest and bluest one was cloned. For several more generations the biggest and most bluing mushroom was cloned culminating in large penis looking mushrooms. There was never any contact with McKenna and we never met to my knowledge.

One day I collected a bag full of mushrooms from a friend who was growing the Penis Envy so I could photograph them. At the time Jewel Stevens was dating an exotic dancer and when I stopped to visit him there were 6 dancers visiting his girlfriend. They wanted to know what I had in the bag. I said, “You don’t want to know.” They insisted so I pulled a gallon zip lock out of the bag and showed them the mushrooms. I said, “Anyone have Penis Envy!” The dancers said in unison, “They look like donkey dongs!!!” That’s where the name came from.

Mushroom John has told many stories about the Penis Envy but none of it is correct and mostly his imagination.

Incredible! We may finally have an explanation for the origin of the name of the Penis Envy mushroom; and how convenient it is that its naming fits with its Freudian inspiration.

I think that even though the air around the Penis Envy mushroom strain is quite uncertain, we can be certain of a few things. First of all, its pretty darn cool to think that any one of the legends mentioned above had something to do with this heavily sought-after P. Cubensis strain/variety. On top of that, whatever happened to the Penis Envy genetics along the way for some reason made them a lot stronger than the average Cubensis mushroom, and also made it shaped like a penis. Pretty trippy! Whatever mushroom alchemy went on here, I think its some proper good alchemy at that! This unique variety of Psilocybin Cubensis will surely go down in the mycology history books.

Lastly, we will briefly list the other types of Penis Envy mushrooms that are well known to the public. In later articles these will be discussed in more detail.

Albino Penis Envy – Cross of P.E. with Albino (see image below)

Image courtesy of Imgur

Penis Envy Uncut – Another cross of P.E. with Albino

Penis Envy #6 – Texas crossed with P.E.

Albino Penis Envy Revert – A stabilized mutant substrain of Albino Penis Envy (see pictures below)

Stay tuned for more informative articles!

Mush love,

-Sil