Magic mushrooms have been present for over a thousand or so years. They go as far back as the ancient Aztecs and have made it through to be around still even today.
Shrooms were initially used for religious and spiritual purposes. Time helped people learn more about all the things that these mushrooms can do. People still use magic mushrooms to have a spiritual experience. But then, the reasons why a person would use shrooms have gone beyond that. Today, people use them for different purposes. This ranges from meditation to going on a psychedelic trip.
Over the years, the use of magic mushrooms has changed. But one thing hasn’t. This is on how they would be gathered. If you wanted to look for magic mushrooms, you’d have to do it the same way before people did. You’ll have to forage for these little magical pieces of fungi.
Of course, the only difference between now and before would be all the information you have access to. If anything, foraging for magic mushrooms has somehow become easier to do. It’s somewhat more accessible now because you can narrow down where you can find them and know what they look like. But, it isn’t necessarily more accessible because you can find them right away.
With all the information and resources today, how does one learn how to find magic mushrooms?
What are Magic Mushrooms?
Before learning how to forage for shrooms, it’s best to know what you are looking for.
Magic mushrooms are a kind of edible mushroom. But, unlike any other edible mushroom, these pieces of fungi are not sought after for their taste. Instead, people eat these mushrooms because of the effects they have when consumed.
These mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is a psychedelic compound. It can put people in an altered state of consciousness, also known as a psychedelic trip.
Thousands of years ago, people were already taken in shrooms. They believe that this would put them in a spiritual state. Others take it to help them go on a psychedelic trip. Others would use it to expand their consciousness. At the same time, others would take shrooms to drift along with their thoughts. Nowadays, these shrooms are eaten for those reasons and more.
These psychedelic fungi are also being looked at as alternative medicine. Research is looking into its possibility for treating mental illness. Research is also helping show that psilocybin may not be as harmful as they’re perceived to be.
People are coming to a better understanding of psilocybin. This is thanks to the studies and research going into this substance. So, there could eventually be a lot of changes in how society in general looks at this substance. But only time will tell.
What Does a Magic Mushroom Typically Look Like?
Magic mushrooms seem like an exciting thing to try. This is with the given reasons why people use it and its possible benefits. It’s these reasons that could help explain why some people go out and look for them.
Unfortunately, many things make foraging for mushrooms difficult. For starters, magic mushrooms are illegal in several places. Consequently, so is foraging for them. So, it’s good to make sure that where you’re doing it is perfectly legal. Also, make sure that you don’t inadvertently trespass on private property. Trouble should be the last thing that you want when you forage.
Aside from this, magic mushrooms also happen to look similar to poisonous mushrooms. This makes it harder to tell them apart. It also runs the risk of potentially poisoning or killing themselves. It is highly recommended not just to eat the first shroom you find. Also, make sure that you err on the side of caution.
That’s why it’s imperative to make sure you know what they look like when you go looking for magic mushrooms.
Shrooms can be identified with their many physical characteristics. But usually, you can locate them by their color, shape, and ability to bruise blue.
When it comes to color, magic mushrooms typically have a golden brown color. However, if the mushroom is still young, they may take on a deeper shade of golden brown. Such is the case with Psilocybe cubensis. On the other hand, older or mature shrooms will take on a lighter shade of golden brown.
Another distinct feature of some magic mushrooms would be their center marking. Psilocybe cubensis is a good example. This shroom would usually have a central marking on the cap that is darker than the rest.
One other characteristic of psilocybin mushrooms would be the presence of bluish bruises. More notable on the stems, this blue bruising is due to the reaction of psilocybin and oxygen. Any damage that the shroom sustains on any part will most likely bruise blue. This is even if the damage is not that major.
Magic mushrooms also have distinctly colored veils. Specifically, shrooms usually have a cover on their gills that’s deep purple. These coverings are thin and typically stay on the gills. This is up until the shroom’s cap has expanded completely. Once it’s reached its full size, the veil will break. This broken veil can then be seen on the magic mushroom’s stems.
How and Where Do These Psilocybin Mushrooms Grow?
Before you get the magic mushroom that you know of, it usually starts underground as mycelium. This mycelium, which is the fungus’ roots, is the main part of the mushroom. What you see above the ground is merely a reproductive component of the organism. This is responsible for spreading its spores.
These fungi grow and nourish themselves mainly through the excretion of enzymes. The mushroom secretes the enzymes to their surroundings. These enzymes then digest whatever is in their surroundings. As to what these shrooms can digest, that depends on their species. Some species’ enzymes can only digest simple compounds. Others can take on more complex substances.
Where they grow can influence the shroom’s ability to break down compounds. Typically, there are three kinds of magic mushrooms, depending on what they can digest. First, some shrooms can grow off wood or plants. Other shrooms can grow from the feces of animals. Then, there are the mushrooms that can grow on decomposed plant material.
The kind of shroom that can grow in a particular place depends on two things. First is with its environment significantly. The next one is on what is available to use for food.
Where Can I Find Psilocybin Mushrooms?
Certain shrooms can grow off only with specific materials. This will all depend on the habitat available. Also, the time and climate affect the shrooms.
In the United States, there are various habitats and different climates all over it. The eastern regions of the US have a wide range of weather varieties. From humid continental to humid subtropical. In places with humid subtropical climates, you can generally find Psilocybe cubensis. These shrooms can grow throughout the year, usually on cow dung.
In the western half of the country, you can find semiarid and arid climate areas. On the west coast of the US, the mushrooms that grow here typically grow off wood and during the fall season. The shrooms you’d usually find here are the Psilocybe cyanescens, allenii, and azurescens. These shrooms thrive on cold nights and moist mornings.
You can also find similar shrooms in the majority of Europe and New Zealand. There are also in southeast Australia. These areas share the same climate as the US west coast.
In general, shrooms can usually be found in woodlands, grasslands, gardens, disturbed areas. You can generally find Psilocybe cubensis and Panaeolus cyanescens growing off of dung. It is also found even in the feces of some animals.
Meanwhile, psilocybe semilanceata can be found growing in pastures, typically from decomposing grass.
Other shrooms can be found around the edges of woodlands and gardens. These shrooms are psilocybe azurescens, subaeruginosa, and cyanescens.
The understanding of magic mushrooms has grown and changed over the years. But the way shrooms are gathered hasn’t changed much. Like the people of before, you still have to forage for your shrooms.
Unfortunately, foraging mushrooms isn’t such a simple task. There is one of the most significant difficulties in foraging shrooms. This is that shrooms and poisonous mushrooms look alike. So, it’s crucial to know what they look like. That way, you avoid the risk of poisoning and death.
Aside from knowing what they look like, it’s also essential to know where mushrooms grow. Also, you should know where the best place to find magic mushrooms is. By knowing these things, you can at least also know what mushrooms to expect to see. So, in a way, it makes foraging easier for you because it narrows down your search.
Magic mushrooms are indeed a fascinating piece of fungus. This surely could pique your interest. Whatever the reason, it might prompt you to go searching for what shrooms are in your locale. But, of course, preparation is essential. It’s crucial you first learn how to find magic mushrooms in the wild. That way, you not only know what you’re looking for, but you’re also doing it right.