There are over 180 types of magic mushrooms all with different potency levels (some 12x more than others) in different habitats throughout the world.
They all have different levels of active ingredients which include psilocybin, psilocin and baeocystin. It is important to understand the levels in the mushroom that you choose to consume because some mushrooms can be 12x more potent than others.
Psilocin is the psychoactive metabolite of psilocybin and baeocystin is a psilocybin derivative or analog. When psilocybin is eaten it is converted to psilocin which is what causes the psychedelic effect. Baeocystin acts similar to psilocin.
Basically we need to consider all 3 because when you add them all up that will give you the total psychedelic potency level of that mushroom.
There are more than 180 species of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the world with new species being discovered all the time. One of the biggest telling points of whether a mushroom contains psilcoybin or not is if it bruises a bluish color caused by psilocin activity within it.
If it bruises blue to almost black in color and has a spore print that is between a purple-brown to rusty-brown color then you can be almost certain that you have found a psilocybin mushroom.
Please understand that the potency levels listed below are based on the measurement of one specific mushroom and that every mushroom will vary in potency up or down by 1% or more. This chart and potency levels are to give you an idea in general about where that mushroom should generally be in regards to potency compared to other mushrooms.
While the Psilocybe Cubensis tends to be the most popular, below is a break down of top 10 Psilocybe mushrooms ranked by potency:
Top 10 Types of Magic Mushrooms
– All data below is based on dry weight of the mushrooms –
1) Flying Saucer Mushroom (Psilocybe Azurescens)
The most potent Psilocybe mushroom of all and can be found growing in wood chips and sandy soils with a strong affection to dune grass. It has been reported to be found in the United States (Oregon, California, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Vermont and Ohio) and Germany (Leipzig).
It is brown to a caramel color. The cap is 3 – 10 cm (up to 4 inches) wide and 3 – 6 mm thick in the center. It is a conic shape and is covered by a thin gelatinous skin that is separable from the rest of the cap. Because it is the highest in levels of psiloybin it turns extremely dark blue to almost black when bruised.
The stem is usually 90 – 200 mm (3.5 to 8 inches) long by 3 – 6 mm thick. The spore print is dark purplish brown to purplish black.
Total Potency: 2.51%
Potency per 1 gram: 25 mg
2) Knobby Tops (Psilocybe Baeocystis)
This mushroom can be found growing in mulch, wood chips or the lawn with a strong affection towards the bark of Douglas firs. It was first reported in Oregon but is common among the Pacific northwest.
The cap is 1.5 – 5.5 cm (up to 2 inches) broad and conic in shape. It is dark olive brown to buff brown and occasionally steel blue but becomes copper brown in the center when drying. Surface looks gelatin like with a gelatinous pellicle that is usually separable.
The stem is usually 50-70 mm (about 2 to 3 inches) long by 2-3 mm thick. The spore print is purplish brown.
Total Potency: 1.54%
Potency per 1 gram: 15 mg
3) The Bohemian Psilocybe (Psilocybe Bohemica)
Can be found in the autumn in central Europe and will be found growing on woody debris with a strong affection towards Betula, Carpinus, Alnus and Piceae trees.
The cap is 1 – 4 cm (up to 1.5 inches) wide and conic in shape but as it ages will be plane to convex in shape. It is clay brown to dingy orange brown in color and gets lighter towards the outside. It does not have a separable gelatinous pellicle.
It’s spore print is grayish purple brown. It’s stem is 20 – 60 mm (1 to 2 inches) long by 2 – 5 mm thick.
Total Potency: 1.47%
Potency per 1 gram: 15 mg
4) Liberty Cap (Psilocybe Semilanceata)
Typically found in the fall in pastures, fields, lawns or grassy areas especially areas grazed by sheep and cows. It has been reported to be found on the west coast of the United States. I has also been spotted in New York, Europe (France, Holland, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland), South Africa, Chile, Northern India, Australia, and Tasmania.
It’s cap is .5 – 2.5 cm (up to an inch) wide and conic in shape. It is usually a dark chestnut brown color when moist and a light tan to yellow when dry and can have an olive tint. It does have a separable gelatinous pellicle.
The spore print is dark purplish brown. The stem is 40 – 100 mm (1.5 to 4 inches) long by .75 – 2 mm thick.
Total Potency: 1.36%
Potency per 1 gram: 14 mg
5) Golden Caps (Psilocybe Cubensis)
Due to it being the most popular mushroom for people to buy online I decided to give the cubensis it’s whole own article with the top 10 different strains to buy:
It is the most popular magic mushroom and you will find this one in the spring, summer and fall (in the southern United States while May and June are the best time to pick them but can be found up to January) growing mostly out of the poop of cattle, horses or elephants or in grounds that are rich in this manure.
This one can be found in the United States, Mexico, Cuba, Central America, northern South America, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Australia.
The cap is 1.5 – 8 cm (up to 3 inches) wide and is conic to bell like in shape while young and eventually being convex to flat with age. It is usually a reddish cinnamon brown color while young and then becoming more golden brown to pale yellow or nearly white with age with the center region (umbo) being more darker cinnamon brown.
It’s spore print is dark purplish brown and it’s stem is 40 – 150 mm (up to 6 inches) long by 5 – 15 mm thick.
Total Potency: 1.26%
Potency per 1 gram: 13 mg
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6) Wavy Caps (Psilocybe Cyanescens)
This mushroom is found in fields rich with rotting wood, wood chips and sawdust. You will likely see it on the edge of lawns, paths or heavily mulched rose gardens in the fall to early winter. It has been seen in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States (from San Francisco to southern Alaska).
The cap is 2 – 4 cm (up to 1.5 inches) wide and is wavy. It is a chestnut brown while young and becomes more caramel with age while turning to a dark yellowish brown when dying. It sometimes has a separable gelatinous pellicle.
The spore print is dark purplish brown and the stem is 20 – 80 mm (up to 3 inches) long by 2.5 – 5 mm thick.
Total Potency: 1.24%
Potency per 1 gram: 12 mg
7) Psilocybe Tampanensis
Reported to be seen in Florida and Mississippi in the fall and has only been captured in the wild a handful of times.
The cap is 1 – 2.4 cm (up to 1 inch) wide and is convex when young and then turning to plane with age. It is brown to straw brown and will fade to a light straw or yellowish grey.
The spore print is purplish brown and the stem is 20 – 60 mm (up to 2.5 inches) long by 1 – 2 mm thick.
Total Potency: 1.00%
Potency per 1 gram: 10 mg
8) Psilocybe Weilii
Available from September through November in Georgia, you can find it in red-clay soil with a thin layer of pine needles on top.
The cap is 2 – 6 mm wide and is conic with an inrolled end when young then it will be incurved and expanding to almost plane with age. It is a dark chestnut brown to oliveaceous brown with blackish brown zones around the ends and will fade to light brown when dying. It’s flesh is 3 – 4 mm thick.
It’s spore print is dark violet grayish black and it’s stem is 25 – 70 mm (up to 2.7 inches) long by 4 – 8 mm thick.
Total Potency: 0.93%
Potency per 1 gram: 9 mg
9) Little Birds of the Woods (Psilocybe Hoogshagenii)
This magic mushroom likes to live in muddy clay soils on coffee plantations and is found from June to July in Mexico and in February in Argentina. It has also been seen in Brazil and Columbia.
The cap is 1 – 2.5 cm (up to 1 inch) wide and is conic in shape with an acute, extended papilla (up to 4 mm long) in the center and is reddish brown to orangish brown to yellowish while fading to straw colored with age.
The spore print is dark purplish brown and the stem is 50 – 90 mm (up to 3.5 inches) long by 1 – 3 mm thick.
Total Potency: 0.70%
Potency per 1 gram: 7 mg
10) Blue Ringers (Psilocybe Stuntzii)
You can find this one growing in clusters on wood chips, soil rich in woody debri, newly placed lawns and fields, along roads/paths and in gardens. Typically found in early winter and in the spring and has been spotted in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
The cap is 1.5 – 5 cm wide and conic at first and expand convex and almost plane with age and is a dark chestnut brown and lighter toward the edges which appears as olive greenish but will fade to a more yellowish brown to pale yellow with age.
The spore print is dark purplish grayish brown and the stem is 30 – 60 mm (up to 2.3 inches) long by 2 – 4 mm thick.
Total Potency: 0.50%
Potency per 1 gram: 5 mg
We only scratched the surface on the different types of magic mushrooms that you could run into in the wild. If you want a more extensive guide on all the different types of mushrooms that contain psilocybin then check out Paul Stamets book called Psilocybin Mushroom of the World (most of the material in this article came from his book):
In that book he also talks about the two deadly look-a-likes called the ‘Singer’ (Pholiotina filaris) and the ‘Smith and Singer’ (Galerina autumnalis).
That book really is a must have if you are interested in hunting for wild magic mushrooms.
Additionally, if you would like to learn more about how to take a proper dosage based on the potency, then I recommend this article:
Also here is an article on the health benefits of magic mushrooms:
And here is an article on the short term and long term side effects of magic mushrooms:
The biggest thing to get from this article is that there are a many different types of magic mushrooms out there and they all have different potency levels. So be sure you understand that based on the dosage that you will be taking because 5 grams of one could be 12x more potent than another.
What are magic mushrooms?
Psilocybin or magic mushrooms are naturally occurring and are consumed for their hallucinogenic effects. They belong to a group of drugs known as psychedelics, which trigger changes in perception, mood and thought.
The key ingredient in magic mushrooms is psilocybin. When psilocybin is taken, it’s converted in the body to psilocin, which is the chemical with the psychoactive properties.1
What do they look like?
Magic mushrooms look much like ordinary mushrooms.
There are many different types of magic mushrooms. The most common ones in Australia are called golden tops, blue meanies and liberty caps.2 Magic mushrooms look similar to poisonous mushrooms that can cause a person to become very sick and can result in death.
They can also come as dried material in capsules. Synthetic psilocybin appears as a white crystalline powder that can be processed into tablets or capsules or dissolved in water.3
How are they used?
Magic mushrooms are eaten fresh, cooked or brewed into a tea. The dried version is sometimes smoked, mixed with cannabis or tobacco.
Shrooms, mushies, blue meanies, golden tops, liberty caps.
Other types of psychedelics
Effects of magic mushrooms
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug.
Magic mushrooms can affect everyone differently, based on:
- size, weight and health
- whether the person is used to taking it
- whether other drugs are taken around the same time
- the amount taken
- the strength of the mushroom (varies depending on the type of mushroom)
The effects of magic mushrooms usually begin in 30 minutes when eaten, or within 5–10 minutes when taken as a soup or tea and can last approximately four to six hours.2
During this time, the person may experience:
- euphoria and wellbeing
- change in consciousness, mood, thought and perception (commonly called a trip)
- dilation of pupils
- perceptual changes, such as visual and auditory hallucinations.
- stomach discomfort and nausea
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- increased body temperature
- breathing quickly
- facial flushes, sweating and chills1,2
The use of magic mushrooms rarely results in any life-threatening symptoms. If a large amount or a strong batch of mushrooms is consumed, the person may experience:
- muscle weakness
- panic or paranoia
Sometimes a person may experience the negative effects of magic mushrooms and have what is called a bad trip involving the following:
- unpleasant or intense hallucinations
- panic or fear1,3
After taking magic mushrooms, delayed headaches can happen which usually do not last longer than a day.5 A person who has consumed mushrooms may experience feelings of:
Some people who regularly use magic mushrooms may experience flashbacks involving a previous magic mushroom experience. They are usually visual distortions that involve perceptual or emotional changes. Flashbacks can occur weeks, months or even years after the drug was last taken. This can be disturbing, especially if a frightening experience or hallucination is recalled. Flashbacks can be brought on by using other drugs, stress, tiredness or exercise and usually last a minute or two.2,3
Using mushrooms with other drugs
The effects of taking magic mushrooms with other drugs − including over-the-counter or prescribed medications − can be unpredictable and dangerous, and could cause:
Magic mushrooms + ice, speed or ecstasy: Can increase the chances of a bad trip and can also lead to panic.4
Magic mushrooms + some psychiatric medications: Mushrooms should not be taken by people on psychiatric medications as a relapse or worsening of the condition could occur.1
‘Polydrug use’ is a term for the use of more than one drug or type of drug at the same time or one after another. Polydrug use can involve both illicit drugs and legal substances, such as alcohol and medications. Find out more about polydrug use.
Tolerance and dependence
Tolerance develops rapidly with continued use, resulting in the drug having little to no effect over time. Discontinuing use for a week or so will return people to their normal tolerance level.2
Health and safety
The main risk of taking magic mushrooms is that some look very similar to certain types of poisonous mushrooms. So, it’s important to know what you’re taking – if in doubt, do not take them.2
If you believe you or someone else may have eaten a poisonous mushroom, do not wait for symptoms to occur. Contact the Victorian Poisons Information Centre (Tel 13 11 26).
If the person has collapsed, stopped breathing, is having a fit or is suffering an anaphylactic reaction, immediately ring triple zero (000) for an ambulance.Ambulance officers don’t need to involve the police.
For more information on poisonous fungi, including their identification and symptoms please visit the Better Health Channel.
Taking mushrooms regularly does not appear to result in physical dependence, and therefore it’s unlikely a person will experience difficulty in stopping use.3 There are not many known withdrawal effects, however someone withdrawing from magic mushrooms may experience some psychological effects or fatigue.2
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