Science

Do different psilocybe mushrooms produce different effects…

…the idea that certain mushroom species/strains/cultivars might elicit distinct types of experience isn’t entirely unreasonable, since a handful of different potentially psychoactive tryptophan-derived tryptamines have been detected in Psilocybe and related mushroom genera… given that different species possess different alkaloid fingerprints, is it plausible that different mushrooms might reliably produce distinct psychedelic effects…

Variations in precursors and activity of the key biosynthetic enzymes can certainly lead to variations in both the overall level of alkaloids in the harvested mushroom, as well as the representation of specific alkaloids. A new analysis published… analysed the concentration of the five major tryptamine alkaloids found in Psilocybe mushrooms – aeruginascin, norbaeocystin, baeocystin, psilocin, and psilocybin – in 30 species from seven genera, including the usual suspects, as well as a handful of lesser known mushroom types. What’s immediately striking about the analysed tryptamine concentrations is not just the dramatic variation between species but also between samples of the same species. Psilocybin levels in P. cubensis, for example, varied from as low as 0.65mg/g dried weight up to 3.5mg/g. This is somewhat lower than reported elsewhere: a recent analysis of dried cubensis showed levels at 10-20mg/g. It’s known that alkaloids, even in dried mushrooms, degrade slowly over time, so this might account for the relatively low levels in these sample. Decades old dried specimens will sometimes show no traces of psychedelic alkaloids whatsoever.

Original Articles (International Journal of Molecular Sciences & Alien Insect & Applied and Environmental Microbiology):
Extensive collection of psychotropic mushrooms with determination of their tryptamine alkaloids & Do different psilocybe mushrooms produce different effects? – Part 1 & DNA authentication and chemical analysis of Psilocybe mushrooms reveal widespread misdeterminations in fungaria and inconsistencies in metabolites
Artwork Fair Use: Paul van de Velde

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