Cubensis Mushrooms

Latin:  Psilocybe cubensis

Family:  Hymenogastraceae

Parts Used:  Stems and caps

Taste/Energetics:  Bitter, acrid, cooling

Properties: Entheogenic

Actions:  The psilocybe genus has a number of hallucinogenic mushroom species including P. semilanaceta (Liberty cap), P. azurescens (potent NW native) and P. cyanescens.  They all have the similar quality of causing strong temporal, cognitive and visual alterations and distortions that can become quite overwhelming and profound.  Cubensis mushrooms are the most easily grown and a whole industry of underground “psychonauts” have taken to growing and experimenting with varieties of this mushroom.  There is increasing research into the potential for cubensis helping people who experience depression, anxiety, PTSD and for end of life care for terminal patients.

At small doses, cubensis alters one’s environment enough to cause visual distortions and often induces a sort of giggly, drunk pleasurable heightened experience.  When taken in large enough dose, cubensis mushrooms can profoundly alter one’s sense of self and provide deep insights into the nature and meaning of one’s life, one’s relationships to the people, animals and natural world around one.   There becomes a gnostic attunement to the world around one for both good or ill depending on circumstances.  A cat is more than just a cat.  A plant becomes a Plant.  Sounds and shapes are augmented, rounded and come imbued with meaning.  On strong doses, there is a profound sense of the mystical and spiritual interconnectedness of all being.  At times this utter disorientation from consensual reality can be scary and harrowing, but most often in done in good circumstances (natural environment, friendly people, no responsibilities) mushrooms can deepen one’s essential appreciation and understanding of one’s place in the world.

Traditionally, mushrooms have been used in Mayan culture for religious and recreational purposes.  There has been no North American indigenous experience of mushroom use until they were reintroduced in the 1960’s via the popularization of entheogens.

On a traditional level, they have a strong effect on the heart, the liver and the kidneys.  They are strongly stimulant and can cause heart disturbance, weaken our protective power and cause mental breakdowns if used disrespectfully.   I would say that like many entheogens they can “swiss cheese our aura” and open us up to unseen others and “entities” that are not welcome if not used well.  But used on occasion and with respect they can be profoundly useful tools for developing profound insights and deepening our soul.

Dosage:  A small dose of a gram will make one giggly and gently euphoric.  Two grams is a standard dose for a fairly strong “trip” of 6 hours or so.  A full 1/8th of an ounce- or about 3.5 grams, would induce a very strong and overpowering experience.  And for some crazy folk, there is a desire to take 5 grams (Thank you Terrence McKenna) or even a full 1/4 ounce or 7 grams of dried mushrooms.  Where these people go on those dosages I would not know or understand.  Beware.   How to take?  Chew em up if you can handle the strongly bitter sticks in your teeth quality of them.  Also-  in tea, chocolates, fudge, etc.

Contraindications:  Jeez. Yeah.  Lots of people shouldn’t take mushrooms if they are prone to psychosis, panic states, feel feeble and confused, are ill and weak.  Mushrooms should be treated with a great deal of respect because they can cause destabilization, panic and confusion if not used carefully or are used excessively.


Further Reading:

How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death  Lauren Slater, NY Times

Psilocybin Mushrooms articles  from Reset Me