With the help of scientific research and anecdotes from different types of users, society has slowly changed its perspective on the use of psilocybin mushrooms. And as such, interest in growing psilocybin mushrooms has steadily risen over the past few years.
But what does it take to start mushroom cultivation at home? Is it feasible or are you better off buying magic mushrooms from your trusted seller?
In this blog post, you will learn how to grow psilocybin mushrooms, plus a few helpful tips that will allow you to avoid a few common stumbling blocks mushroom growers often face.
Is It Legal to Grow Psilocybin Mushrooms at Home?
Before delving deep into the topic of magic mushroom cultivation, there is one important question that needs to be answered: is it legal?
In the United States and various parts of the globe, magic mushrooms are still classified as illegal substances. However, there are a handful of states that have decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms. These states include Oregon, California, Denver, and Colorado.
In Oregon, possession of drugs that are for personal use is decriminalized. Essentially, this means that you won't be imprisoned if you are caught with substances like shrooms. However, you might have to pay a fine or undergo court-mandated therapy sessions. Decriminalization of substances like psilocybin mushrooms and cannabis means that these infractions aren't prioritized by law enforcement units.
This begs the question of whether you can grow magic mushrooms at home or not. Growing mushrooms land in a gray area. On one hand, possession of psilocybin mushrooms has been decriminalized. And on the other hand, these mushrooms are readily found in the wild.
Another important thing to consider is how many magic mushrooms are you allowed to possess. This will depend again on where you live. In states like Oregon and California, you may only possess shrooms in a therapeutic setting. In Colorado, possession of over four grams of magic mushrooms can lead to imprisonment for between six and 12 months.
While laws on the possession and cultivation of magic mushrooms are slowly changing, it is best to do your due diligence and check on these before you grow psilocybin mushrooms in your home.
Benefits of Magic Mushroom Cultivation
Why should you even bother growing your own mushrooms when you can easily buy them online or forage them if you are lucky enough to live in an area where they grow in the wild?
Here are a few reasons why you should strongly consider growing psilocybin mushrooms.
Depending on where you live, magic mushrooms can set you back anywhere between $10 to $35 or more per gram if you buy from a dispensary. There are areas where you can get magic mushrooms in microdoses but the costs can run significantly higher.
Now compare that to an initial investment for mushroom spores which can cost between $15 to $20. Add a few more dollars for equipment and tools. The upfront cost may be higher than the price of buying psilocybin mushrooms from your local dispensary. But when you add things up, you can end up saving hundreds of dollars over the following years.
Quality and safety
If you live in a place where getting access to psilocybin mushrooms is practically impossible, you can either buy your shrooms from a dealer or just grow your own psilocybin mushrooms.
Although there are plenty of resources available online regarding what to look for when buying magic mushrooms, there is a considerable risk that you can end up with bad ones.
For one, your dealer might be pushing you shrooms that are well beyond their usability. Preparation matters too, even with magic mushrooms.
By growing psilocybin mushrooms in your home, you can control various facets of cultivation, ensuring that you get access to great quality shrooms any time you want to.
But what about foraging? In North America alone, there are roughly 70 species of hallucinogenic mushrooms. But even if you live in an area where any of these shrooms can be naturally found, it takes serious knowledge, experience, and skills to locate and identify psilocybin mushrooms. Additionally, you need to find the right balance between meeting your needs and taking care of the environment where you forage.
In terms of convenience and safety, growing psilocybin mushrooms is the better option compared to foraging, especially if you have limited experience in this field.
When you grow psilocybin mushrooms on your own, you will need to invest a sizeable amount of time and effort. But all your investment will be rewarded with the idea that you grew your own mushrooms.
Like other hobbies and DIY projects, growing your own psilocybin mushrooms carries with itself a certain sense of pride.
Essential Supplies for Growing Your Own Psilocybin Mushrooms
There are various ways to cultivate magic shrooms. But if you are just starting out, it is better to start with a growing technique that requires minimal investment. You can always upgrade your equipment and tools later on as you become more familiar with the various steps that you need to undertake.
Ready to start growing psilocybin mushrooms? Here are a few essential things that you need to know.
Choosing a species
If you are growing shrooms for the first time, you can never go wrong with Psilocybe cubensis. This mushroom species is perfect for both beginners and seasoned mushroom cultivators for a variety of reasons.
For one, it is fairly easy to get their mushroom spores. Among the different magic mushroom species, cubensis is easy to cultivate. And to round things up, this species of magic mushroom is potent.
Among the different subspecies you can choose from are Penis Envy, Golden Teacher, and Yeti.
Essential supplies and tools
You don't need to spend a small fortune to begin growing psilocybin mushrooms. Some of the supplies you will need are readily available in your home.
Take note that you will need a different set of supplies for the two mushroom cultivation phases.
- Spore syringe
- Brown rice flour
- Micropore tape
- Plastic storage box
- Nitrile gloves
- Spray bottles
- N95 mask
- Rubbing alcohol
- Air disinfectant
- Painter's bucket with lid
- Distilled water
- Coco coir
Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Mushrooms
Although techniques to grow psilocybin mushrooms vary, they do share a few similarities. Here is a step-by-step breakdown that will help you cultivate your own psilocybin mushrooms.
Work area cleanup and sanitation
Start by gathering your supplies in a sanitized area in your home. Make sure that you completely sanitize your work area or else, your shroom growing venture will fail even before you start.
An ideal work area should be free from moving air. As such, avoid working near windows and air vents. If you have no other option but to work in a location with air vents, you can cover these up with tape and a sheet of plastic. Additionally, turn off the air conditioner before you begin.
As much as possible avoid working in a carpeted room. Carpets can trap contaminants that can ruin your work.
Make sure that all surfaces, including walls and the table you are going to work on, have been wiped clean. For the walls, floors, and other surfaces, you can use a vacuum before mopping or wiping them. Sanitize your work table with rubbing alcohol.
Once you are done with the cleanup, use a disinfectant spray around the room. It is also a good idea to take a shower and change your clothes before proceeding with the next step.
Start by bringing your supplies, including the micropore tape, spore syringe, brown rice flour, paper towels, and gloves to your work table. Wipe them with rubbing alcohol.
Next, shake the spore syringe to break off the spores that may have clumped. Afterward, use the torch to heat the syringe's needle. Stop when you see that the needle is red hot. Allow the needle to cool down.
Once the needle has cooled down, use it to puncture the middle of the plastic packaging of the brown rice flour. Then, inject anywhere between 0.5 to one cc of the spore solution. Do not go beyond this recommendation, otherwise, the rice flour will get excessively moist. And when that happens, it becomes vulnerable to bacterial infection.
After you are done with the inoculation, you will need to create additional holes in the packaging. These holes will help facilitate air exchange. Each additional hole should be roughly a fourth of an inch away from the first hole that you created. Once you are done, cover the holes with your micropore tape.
If you are using more than one cup of brown rice flour, you will need to repeat the previous steps, making sure that you sterilize the needle before starting over.
To begin the colonization phase, put your inoculated brown rice flour inside your plastic boxes, making sure that you close the lids tightly.
If you followed the steps involved in the inoculation phase properly, the spores will do the rest. However, there are a few things that you can do to ensure faster colonization of the spores.
For starters, keep your plastic boxes in an area with a temperature between 18 to 23 C. Any temperature higher than that and you risk activating the contaminants that lie dormant.
Agitate the rice cups once a week using a swirling motion. Avoid sharing them in an upward and downward motion. Doing so risks spreading the contaminants in the rice flour.
The colonization phase can last from two to eight weeks. You will know that this phase is complete when the rice flour has become solid and the bottom portion of the cup is heavier than when you started.
To confirm if the colonization is complete, shake the cup. If you hear little to zero grains rattling, then you can proceed with the next step.
Making a substrate for your shroom colony
After the full colonization of the rice cups, you can transfer the colony to a substrate. You can begin transferring the colony between two weeks to two months. But before you begin the transfer, you need to prep your substrate. Ideally, the substrate should be ready about a day before you start.
Most mushroom cultivators use coco coir as their primary substrate material, adding other types of substrates like gypsum and vermiculite. However, the other substrates are optional.
Start by hydrating the coco coir using hot water. Afterward, let the substrate cool for around eight hours. Your goal is to create an optimal environment for your psychedelic mushrooms. To achieve that, you need to hydrate the substrate just enough that only a few drops of water remain in the coco coir.
After prepping the substrate, you should use it within a 24-hour period. Longer than that, the risk of contamination runs higher.
Making magic mushroom cakes
Before you begin the birthing phase, you will need to sanitize your work area. Be sure to wear a mask and a pair of gloves.
Start by opening a rice cup with a sanitized spoon. Once the seal is broken, break up the rice that has consolidated. Next, take a small amount of the substrate you prepared previously and mix it into the rice.
After that, compress the mixture you created before adding an extra layer of the substrate. This will create a seal between the environment and the mixture.
Mushrooms, including psychedelic mushrooms, need an environment that can provide them with both fresh air and humidity. To provide your shrooms with those, you will need a plastic box with a six-quart capacity.
Start by disinfecting the box with rubbing alcohol. After disinfecting the box, spray water inside the plastic box before putting your rice cups inside. Place the lid on top of the box but leave a small gap to facilitate air circulation.
Next, set up a lighting system for your psilocybin mushrooms. You do not need to buy anything specialized. LEDs and fluorescent lights will do. As for the light cycle, most growers use a 12/12 cycle. To make things easier for you, consider investing in a timer. You may also use grow lamps used by cultivators who grow marijuana for cannabis flowers.
Next, you will need to provide your shrooms with the right amount of humidity. To achieve that goal, mist the inside of the box.
Once you have taken care of these requirements, you can leave your mushrooms and they will do the rest. In fact, avoid constantly checking on your psilocybin mushrooms. The only thing that you should do at this point is to mist the inside of the box if the moisture has evaporated.
Harvesting your magic mushrooms
Your psilocybin mushrooms are ready for harvest when the mushroom cap's veil breaks from the stem. Harvesting shrooms is straightforward. All you have to do is twist and pull away each shroom from the substrate. Some growers prefer cutting the mushrooms using a knife or any sharp tool.
After harvesting your psilocybin mushrooms, clean them and remove any remaining bits of the substrate.
Ideally, you should consume or dry your magic shrooms after harvesting them. If you are unable to eat your shrooms after harvest, you should dry them.
The best way to do that is to air dry them. Or if you have a food dehydrator, set it to about 48 C. It will take a day to dry your shroom harvest. You will know that your mushrooms are dry when they crack easily like crackers.
Once dry, store your shrooms in a jar along with a pack or two of desiccant. Ideally, you should store the jar at room temperature in a dark place.
Additional Tips for Success
To ensure that you get healthy mushrooms and avoid contamination, here are a few helpful tips that you can follow.
Keep the cultivation area sterile
It is fairly easy to contaminate your psilocybin mushroom throughout the various growth stages, starting with the inoculation process down to the fruiting phase.
As such, make sure that you sterilize your mushroom's growing environment. It is also a good idea to take a quick shower and change your clothes before entering the room where your crops are growing.
And oh, if you have pets, do not allow them to go near the area where you are cultivating your shrooms.
Mushroom cultivation takes a lot of hard work and time. Do not take cleanliness for granted or all your efforts will go down the drain.
Use filtered water
Whatever cultivation technique you may end up using, be sure to use filtered water instead of tap water.
Remember, your mushrooms will store the water you provide them. If you aren't comfortable drinking straight from the tap, don't use it for your crops.
Consider making a playlist for your crops
Although not scientifically proven, there are some anecdotes that say that mushrooms can grow as faster by as much as 30% when music is played in the cultivation area.
Start Growing Mushrooms at Home
Growing mushrooms at home is by no means an easy task. But if you invest your time and effort, home cultivation can be a completely rewarding experience, especially if you consume mushrooms regularly.