Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Amanita muscaria Toxicity/Info

Amanita muscaria poisoning occurs in either young children or people ingesting it to have a hallucinogenic experience. Occasionally, immature button forms have been mistaken for puffballs. Additionally, the white spots can be washed away during heavy rain and it then may seem as the edible A. caesarea.
Amanita muscaria contains a number of biologically active agents, at least one of which, muscimol, is known to be psychoactive. Ibotenic acid, a neurotoxin, serves as a prodrug to muscimol, with approximately 10-20% converting to muscimol upon ingestion. A toxic dose in adults is approximately 6 mg muscimol or 30 to 60 mg ibotenic acid; this is typically about the amount found in one cap of Amanita muscaria. However, the amount and ratio of chemical compounds per mushroom varies widely from region to region and season to season, which further confuses the issue. Spring and summer mushrooms have been reported to contain up to 10 times as much ibotenic acid and muscimol compared to autumn fruitings.
A fatal dose has been calculated at an amount of 15 caps. Deaths from this fungus A. muscaria have been reported in historical journal articles and newspaper reports; however, with modern medical treatment a fatal outcome because of the poison of this mushroom would be extremely rare. Many older books list it as "deadly" but this is a mistake that gives the impression it is far more toxic than it actually is. The North American Mycological Association has stated there are absolutely no reliably documented fatalities in the past century. The vast majority (90% or more) of mushroom poisoning deaths are from having eaten either the greenish to yellowish death cap (A. phalloides) or perhaps even one of the several white Amanita species which are known as destroying angels.
The active constituents of this species are water soluble, and boiling and then discarding the cooking water will at least partly detoxify A. muscaria. However, drying may increase potency as the process facilitates the conversion of ibotenic acid to the more potent muscimol. According to some sources, once detoxified, the mushroom becomes edible.



Muscarine, discovered in 1869, was long thought to be the active hallucinogenic agent in A. muscaria. Muscarine binds with muscarinic acetylcholine receptors leading to the excitation of neurons bearing these receptors. The levels in Amanita muscaria, however, are minute when compared with other poisonous fungi, such as Inocybe erubescens or small white Clitocybe species C. dealbata and C. rivulosa, and are too insignificant to play a role in the symptoms of poisoning.
The major toxins involved in poisoning are muscimol (3-hydroxy-5-aminomethyl-1-isoxazole, an unsaturated cyclic hydroxamic acid) and its prodrug ibotenic acid. Muscimol is the product of the decarboxylation (usually by drying) of ibotenic acid. Muscimol and ibotenic acid were discovered in the mid-20th century. Researchers in England, Japan, and Switzerland showed that the effects produced were due mainly to ibotenic acid and muscimol, not muscarine. These toxins are not distributed uniformly in the mushroom. Most are detected in the cap of the fruit, rather than in the base, with the smallest amount in the stalk. (Lampe, 1978; Tsunoda et al., 1993) A substantial fraction of ingested ibotenic acid is excreted in the urine unmetabolized quite rapidly, between 20 and 90 minutes after ingestion. Virtually no muscimol is excreted when pure ibotenic acid is eaten but muscimol is detectable in the urine after eating A. muscaria, which contains both ibotenic acid and muscimol.
Ibotenic acid and muscimol are structurally related to each other and to two major neurotransmitters of the central nervous system: glutamic acid and GABA respectively. Ibotenic acid and muscimol act like these neurotransmitters, muscimol being a potent GABAA agonist, while ibotenic acid is an agonist of NMDA glutamate receptors and certain metabotropic glutamate receptors which are involved in the control of neuronal activity. It is these interactions which are thought to cause the psychoactive effects found in intoxication. Muscimol is the agent responsible for the majority of the psychoactivity.
Muscazone is another compound more recently isolated from European specimens of the fly agaric. It is a product of the breakdown of ibotenic acid by ultra-violet radiation. Muscazone is of minor pharmacological activity compared with the other agents. Amanita muscaria and related species are known as effective bioaccumulators of vanadium; some species concentrate vanadium to levels of up to 400 times those typically found in plants. Vanadium is present in fruit-bodies as an organometallic compound called amavadine. However, the biological importance of the accumulation process is unknown.


Amanita muscaria was widely used as an entheogen by many of the indigenous peoples of Siberia. Its use was known among almost all of the Uralic-speaking peoples of western Siberia and the Paleosiberian-speaking peoples of the Russian Far East. However, there are only isolated reports of A. muscaria use among the Tungusic and Turkic peoples of central Siberia and it is believed that entheogenic use of A. muscaria was largely not a practice of these peoples. In western Siberia, the use of A. muscaria was restricted to shamans, who used it as an alternate method of achieving a trance state. (Normally, Siberian shamans achieve a trance state by prolonged drumming and dancing.) In eastern Siberia, A. muscaria was used by both shamans and laypeople alike, and was used recreationally as well as religiously. In eastern Siberia, the shaman would consume the mushrooms, and others would drink his urine. This urine, still containing psychoactive elements, may actually be more potent than the A. muscaria mushrooms with fewer negative effects, such as sweating and twitching, suggesting that the initial user may act as a screening filter for other components in the mushroom.
The Koryak of eastern Siberia have a story about the fly agaric (wapaq) which enabled Big Raven to carry a whale to its home. In the story, the deity Vahiyinin ("Existence") spat onto earth, and his spittle became the wapaq, and his saliva becomes the warts. After experiencing the power of the wapaq, Raven was so exhilarated that he told it to grow forever on earth so his children, the people, could learn from it.[87] Among the Koryak, one report held the poor would consume the urine of the wealthy, who could afford to buy the mushrooms.


 In 1968, R. Gordon Wasson proposed that A. muscaria was the Soma talked about in the Rig Veda of India, which received widespread publicity and popular support at the time. He noted that descriptions of Soma omitted description of roots, stems or seeds, which suggested a mushroom, and used the adjective hári "dazzling" or "flaming" which the author interprets as red. One line described men urinating Soma; this recalled the practice of recycling urine in Siberia. Soma is mentioned as coming "from the mountains", which Wasson interpreted as being brought with the Aryan invaders from the north. However, Indian scholars Santosh Kumar Dash and Sachinanda Padhy noted that both the eating of mushrooms and drinking of urine were proscribed, using as a source the Manusmṛti. In 1971, Vedic scholar John Brough from Cambridge University rejected Wasson's theory; he noted that the language was too vague to determine a description of Soma. In his 1976 survey, Hallucinogens and Culture, anthropologist Peter T. Furst evaluated the evidence for and against the identification of the fly agaric mushroom as Vedic Soma, concluding cautiously in its favor.


A single source for the notion that Vikings used A. muscaria to produce their berserker rages was first suggested by the Swedish professor Samuel Ödmann in 1784. Ödmann based his theories on reports about the use of fly agaric among Siberian shamans. The notion has become widespread since the 19th century, but no contemporary sources mention this use or anything similar in their description of berserkers. Today, it is generally considered an urban legend or at best speculation that cannot be proven. Muscimol is generally a mild relaxant, but could create a range of reactions within a range of people. It is possible that it could make a person incredibly angry, as well as make them "very jolly or sad, jump about, dance, sing or give way to great fright".


Biblical scholar John Marco Allegro controversially proposed that the Roman Theology was derived from a sex and psychedelic mushroom cult in his 1970 book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, although his theory has found little support by scholars outside the field of ethnomycology. The book was roundly discredited by academics and theologians, including Sir Godfrey Driver, Emeritus Professor of Semitic Philology at Oxford University, and Henry Chadwick, the Dean of Christ Church College, Oxford. Christian author John C. King wrote a detailed rebuttal of Allegro's theory in the 1970 book A Christian View of the Mushroom Myth; he notes neither fly agarics nor their host trees are found in the middle east even though cedars and pines are found there, and highlights the tenuous nature of the links between biblical and Sumerian names coined by Allegro. He concludes that if the theory was true, the use of the mushroom must have been "the best kept secret in the world" as it was so well concealed for all this time.
In Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy (formerly called Strange Fruit), Clark Heinrich interprets A. muscaria usage by Adam and Eve, Moses, Elijah and Elisha, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jonah, Jesus and his disciples, and John of Patmos. In the book Apples of Apollo the mushroom is identified in a wide range of mythological tales such as those involving Perseus, Prometheus, Heracles, Jason and the Argonauts, Jesus and the Holy Grail.

Christmas decorations and Santa Claus

Fly agarics appear on Christmas cards and New Year cards from around the world as a symbol of good luck. The ethnobotanist Jonathan Ott has suggested that the idea of Santa Claus and tradition of hanging stockings over the fireplace is based centrally upon the fly agaric mushroom itself. With its generally red and white color scheme, he argues that Santa Claus's suit is related to the mushroom. He also draws parallels with flying reindeer: reindeer had been reported to consume the mushroom and prance around in an intoxicated manner afterwards. American ethnopharmacologist Scott Hajicek-Dobberstein, researching possible links between religious myths and the red mushroom, notes, "If Santa Claus had but one eye [like Odin], or if magic urine had been a part of his legend, his connection to the Amanita muscaria would be much easier to believe.".
The connection was reported to a much wider audience with an article in the magazine of The Sunday Times in 1980, and New Scientist in 1986. Historian Ronald Hutton has since disputed the connection; he noted reindeer spirits did not appear in Siberian mythology, shamans did not travel by sleigh, nor did they wear red and white, or climb out of smoke holes in yurt roofs. Finally, American awareness of Siberian shamanism postdated the appearance of much of the folklore around Santa.



Psilocybe tampanensis

Psilocybe tampanensis is a very rare psychedelic mushroom in the Strophariaceae family. Originally collected in the wild in a sandy meadow near Tampa, Florida in 1977, the fungus has never again been reported in Florida, but was later collected in Mississippi. The original Florida specimen was cloned, and descendents remain in wide circulation. The fruit bodies (mushrooms) produced by the fungus are yellowish-brown in color with convex to conic caps up to 2.4 cm (0.9 in) in diameter atop a thin stem up to 6 cm (2.4 in) long. Psilocybe tampanensis forms psychoactive truffle-like sclerotia that are known and sold under the nickname "philosopher's stones". The fruit bodies and sclerotia are consumed by some for recreational or entheogenic purposes. In nature, sclerotia are produced by the fungus as a form of protection from wildfires and other natural disasters.


The species was described scientifically by Steven H. Pollock and Mexican mycologist and Psilocybe authority Gastón Guzmán in a 1978 Mycotaxon publication. According to Paul Stamets, Pollock skipped a "boring taxonomic conference" near Tampa, Florida to go mushroom hunting, and found a single specimen growing in a sand dune, which he did not recognize. Pollock later cloned the specimen and produced a pure culture, which remains widely distributed today. The type specimen is kept at the herbarium of the Instituto Politécnico Nacional in Mexico. Guzmán classified P. tampanensis in his section Mexicanae, a grouping of related Psilocybe species characterized primarily by having spores with lengths greater than 8 micrometers.


The cap ranges in shape from convex or conic with a slight umbo, expanding in age to become flattened or with a slight central depression; it reaches diameters of 1–2.4 cm (0.4–0.9 in). The surface is smooth, not striate (grooved), ochraceous brown to straw brown, buff to yellowish-grey when dry, with slight bluish tones at the margin, hygrophanous, and somewhat sticky when wet. The gills are more or less adnate (broadly attached to the stem slightly above the bottom of the gill, with most of the gill fused to the stem) and brown to dark purple brown in color with lighter edges. The stem is 2–6 cm (0.8–2.4 in) long, 1–2 mm (0.04–0.08 in) thick, and equal in width throughout to slightly enlarged near the base. There are fibrils near the top of the stem. The partial veil is cortinate (cobweb-like, similar to the partial veil of Cortinarius species), and soon disappears. The flesh is whitish to yellowish, and bruises blue when injured. The taste and odor are slightly farinaceous (similar to freshly ground flour).

 The spore print is purple-brown. When viewed with a microscope, the spores of P. tampanensis are somewhat rhombic in face view and roughly elliptical in side view; they have dimensions of 8.8–9.9 by 8–8.8 by 5.5–6.6 μm. Spores appear brownish-yellow when mounted in a solution of potassium hydroxide, and have a thick, smooth wall, a distinct germ pore, and a short appendage. The basidia (spore-bearing cells) are four-spored, hyaline (translucent), and measure 14–22 by 8–10 µm. The cheilocystidia (cystidia on the gill face) measure 16–22 by 4–9 µm, and are lageniform (flask-shaped) with flexous thin necks that are 2.2–3 µm thick, and infrequently have irregular branches. There are no pleurocystidia (cystidia on the gill face). Clamp connections are present in the hyphae.

Similar species

Guzmán considers Psilocybe tampanensis to be intermediate in form between P. mexicana and P. caerulescens. Psilocybe mexicana has a more Mycena-like fruit body shape, and longer basidia measuring 22–24 by 7.7–11 μm. It is known only from Mexico and Guatemala. Psilocybe caerulescens, found in the USA and Venezuela, is also somewhat similar, but has a collybioid habit (small to medium-sized mushrooms with a convex cap), with spores measuring 6.7–8 by 5.2–6.5 by 3.3–5.2 μm, and cheilocystidia that are 15–22 by 4.4–5.5 μm.

Habitat and distribution

For almost two decades after its discovery, Psilocybe tampanensis was known only from the type locality, southeast of Brandon, Florida. In 1996, Guzmán reported finding it in a meadow with sandy soil in a deciduous forest in Pearl River County, Mississippi, a habitat similar to that of the type location. Due to its scarcity, however, its habitat preferences are not known with certainty. Like all Psilocybe species, it is saprobic.
Like some other psychoactive grassland species such as Psilocybe semilanceata, Conocybe cyanopus, P. tampanensis can form sclerotia–a hardened mass of mycelia that is more resistant to adverse environmental conditions than normal mycelia. This truffle-like form gives the fungus some protection from wildfires and other natural disasters. Other Psilocybe species known to produce sclerotia include Psilocybe mexicana and Psilocybe caerulescens. Sclerotia are also produced when the species is grown in culture.

Recreational use

Psilocybe tampanensis contains the psychedelic compounds psilocin and psilocybin, and is consumed for recreational and entheogenic purposes. The species was found to be one of the most popular psychoactive mushrooms confiscated by German authorities in a 2000 report, behind Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe semilanceata, and Panaeolus cyanescens. The alkaloid content in the confiscated samples ranged from not detectable to 0.19% psilocybin, and 0.01 to 0.03% psilocin. According to mycologist Michael Beug, dried fruit bodies can contain up to 1% psilocybin and psilocin; in terms of psychoactive potency, Stamets considers the mushroom "moderately to highly active".
The psychoactive compounds are also present in the sclerotia: in one analysis, the levels of psilocybin obtained from sclerotia ranged from 0.31% to 0.68% by dry weight, and were dependent upon the composition of the growth medium. Sclerotia are sold under the nickname "philosopher's stones". They have been described as "resembling congealed muesli", and having a somewhat bitter taste similar to walnut. Strains existing as commercial cultivation kits sold originally in countercultural drug magazines are derived from the original fruit body found by Pollock in Florida. Methods were originally developed by Pollock, and later extended by Stamets in the 1980s to cultivate the sclerotia on a substrate of rye grass (Lolium), and on straw. Sclerotia prepared in this way take from 3 to 12 weeks to develop. Pollock was granted a US patent in 1981 for his method of producing sclerotia.

Legal status

 Psilocin and psilocybin are scheduled drugs in many countries, and mushrooms containing them are prohibited by extension. In the United States, Federal law was passed in 1971 that put the psychoactive components into the most restricted schedule I category. For about three decades following this, several European countries remained relatively tolerant of mushroom use and possession. In the 2000s (decade), in response to increases in prevalence and availability, all European countries banned possession or sale of psychedelic mushrooms; the Netherlands was the last country to enact such laws in 2008. However, they did not include psilocybin-containing sclerotia in the 2008 law, and thus, as of 2011, psilocybin-containing fungal compounds are available commercially in the Netherlands. In parallel legal developments in Asia, P. tampanensis was one of 13 psychoactive mushrooms specifically prohibited by law in Japan in 2002.

Magic mushrooms & Reindeer - Weird Nature - BBC animals

The Origin of the Santa Claus Legend?
The hallucinogenic fly agaric mushroom is one of the favorite foods of the arctic circle reindeer (domesticated caribou) in Scandinavia.

Reindeer are central to the lives of the indigenous Saami peoples who herd them. The shamanic traditions of the Saami include eating the mushrooms and contacting the "Great Reindeer Spirit."

Ingesting fly agaric mushrooms can produce a sensation of flying. It is thought that the 19th century myth of Santa Claus may have its roots in older Saami traditions.


We won't dazzle you with all kinds of chemical combinations and formulas; if you want to know more about it, you'll find the necessary references in the bibliography at the end of the book. We did however select some pieces of information.
Magic mushrooms contain the active substances psilocine and psilocybine with hallucinogenic qualities. About 75 kinds of mushrooms are known which contain psilocybine and/or psilocine. Psilocybine and psilocine belong to the so-called tryptamine family and their effect resembles the natural neurotransmitter serotonine, also known as the `happiness hormone'. The names come from the Greek `psilos' (bald) and `kube' (head) and this is of course related to the outward appearance of the mushroom. Psilocybine and psilocine are so-called alkaloids (nitrogenous substances which appear in nature). Apart from these two, we deal with a whole series of other substances which are less active or almost inactive, bacocystine and norbaeocystine are the best known. The Amanita contains totally different active substances like isoxazal and ibotenic acid, but because of possible errors and the danger of poisoning it is better to keep away from the Fly-Agaric. The amounts of psilocybine and psilocine vary. The main difference is that psilocine is unstable and breaks down when the mushroom is dried or cooked, while psilocybine is much more resistant. Both substances are psychoactive, but because the molecular weight of psilocine is less, it is relatively stronger; about 1,4 times.
Dimethyltriptamine (DMT) is the active substance on a somewhat deeper chemical level. Both psilocine and psilocybine contain DMT, in psilocybine the 4-phosphpryloxy N, N-dimethyltriptamine. DMT appears in many hallucinogenic plants and compounds, like in Ayahuasca, but it comes also be in a pure form as a powder. On its own, ingested DMT doesn't do a thing for you (smoking does), because your body renders it ineffective via the MAO (mono-amine-oxydase) mechanism. If you take a MAO-inhibitor first then you do feel the effect. There is a lesson here. Do not to take any substances acting as MAO-inhibitor (some herbs like Passiflower, Peganum harmala, Johimbe and some medical drugs) in combination with magic mushrooms if you don't want to be in for a surprise.

How Do Hallucinogens Work?

Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, who discovered the hallucinogenic drug LSD, died April 29, 2008. But the LSD trip is far from over as scientists bring lucidity to how hallucinogens work.
Also called psychedelics, hallucinogens alter a person's perception, mood and a slew of other mental processes. Hallucinogen history goes back centuries as people worldwide have taken the drugs to induce altered states for religious and spiritual purposes.
While LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), mescaline and other psychedelics were studied in the past, research largely came to a halt after recreational abuse of the drugs in the 1960s, with some work resuming in the 1990s. Many studies now rely on animal models such as mice.
One human study published in the journal Psychopharmacology revealed the active ingredient in hippie mushrooms, called psilocybin, elicited "mystical experiences" for participants that reportedly led to behavior changes lasting for weeks. However, nearly one-third of the participants had a bad trip, reporting that they found the drug experience frightening.

Research has suggested hallucinogens primarily do their magic in the brain's cortex, where the drugs activate specific receptors called 5-HT2A receptors (2ARs) that are normally triggered by serotonin.
"In order to function, [the cortex is] integrating different signals, for example glutamate signals and serotonin signals," said neuroscientist Stuart Sealfon of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, "and what hallucinogens must be doing is they are disrupting this process so that sensory perception is altered by them."
However, not all compounds that activate these receptors lead to mind-bending trips. "What was it that made hallucinogens have their unique properties?" Sealfon said.
Scientists once thought of receptors in terms of "locks and keys," in which certain drugs fit into a specific receptor as a key fits into a lock. That receptor would then turn on and signal to other molecules in the cell.
But that's not the case for hallucinogens. Research by Sealfon and his colleagues published last year in the journal Neuron revealed the serotonin-2A receptor has more than one "on" position.
"When a non-hallucinogen activates the receptor, it causes one pattern of signaling of the cells in the brain that is not hallucinogenic," Sealfon told LiveScience. "When a hallucinogen turns on this receptor, the receptor we infer must go into a different position and that leads to a different pattern in responses in the cell and is what makes the hallucinogen have its unique effect."
Brains are mysterious, whether on drugs or not. Sealfon's and others' research has continued to reveal how brain receptors are involved in hallucinogenic effects; study results are also providing insights into the nature of a mystical or hallucinogenic experience. And so while studies are shedding light on "the brain on hallucinogens," many questions remain. For instance, what causes a "bad trip?"

Thursday, 13 December 2012

New age: Details about 'Psychedelic Mushroom'

Psychedelic mushrooms are fungi which have psychedelic properties when ingested. They are commonly referred to colloquially as magic mushrooms or just shrooms.
Psychedelic mushrooms can be roughly divided into two groups: the psilocybin/psilocin-containing mushrooms found mainly in the genus Psilocybe, although there are also psilocybin containing species belonging to the genera Conocybe, Copelandia, Gymnopilus, Inocybe and Panaeolus, and the muscimol-containing mushroom Amanita muscaria. Both groups belong to the Agaricaceae family of fungi. A third group of ergoline alkaloid-containing psychoactive fungi like ergot, which is a precursor to LSD, could be defined in connection with the Kykeon.
The active principles in the psilocybin mushrooms are the psychoactive tryptamines psilocybin and psilocin, substances similar in chemical structure to serotonin, dimethyltryptamine, and LSD. Several psilocybe species also contain the alkaloids baeocystin and norbaeocystin, which are also suspected to be psychoactive. The fly-agaric or Amanita muscaria contains the active principle muscimol which is both chemically and symptomatically unrelated to psilocybin and psilocin.
Examples of common psilocybin containing "magic mushroom" species are Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe cyanescens, and Psilocybe semilanceata.


Various cultures throughout the ages have used psychedelic fungi for shamanistic and other purposes. Mesoamerican mushroom stones of the pre-classic Mayans representing deified mushrooms date back to approximately 500 BC, while rock paintings in the Sahara of mushroom effigies date back to 7000 BC. Some scholars believe that Soma, the drink mentioned in Vedic literature, was derived from psychedelic mushrooms (R. Gordon Wasson suggests that this was amanita muscaria), while Albert Hofmann and Carl Ruck contend that the Eleusinian Mysteries made use of the psychedelic fungus ergot in the Kykeon. Amanita muscaria is known to have been used in Siberian shamanism.
The notion that Nordic Vikings used fly-agaric (Amanita muscaria) to produce their berserker rages was first suggested by the Swedish professor Samual Ödman in 1784. Ödman based his theory on reports about the use of fly-agaric among Siberian shamans. The notion has become widespread since the 19th century, but no contemporary sources mention this use or anything similar in their description of berserkers. Today, it is generally considered an urban legend or at best speculation that cannot be proven.
Psilocybin mushrooms were a revered tradition in native Central American cultures at the time of the European invasion and have been in continuous use up to the present. Named teonanacatl in Nahuatl, ("flesh of the gods"), they may have been employed for healing, divination and for intercession with spirits. Since the beginning of the Latin American colonial era, their use has been hidden due to persecution by the Christian church, which branded all native religious practices and especially those employing entheogenic sacraments as "Devil worship".
According to the BBC, the first documented use of psychedelic mushrooms was in the Medical and Physical Journal: in 1799, a man who had been picking mushrooms for breakfast in London's Green Park included them in his harvest, accidentally sending his entire family on a trip. The doctor who treated them later described how the youngest child "was attacked with fits of immoderate laughter, nor could the threats of his father or mother refrain him".
In 1957,amateur mycologist R. Gordon Wasson published an article for Life magazine describing his experiences with psilocybin mushrooms while a guest in the rituals of the Mazatec shaman Maria Sabina in a mountain village in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. His account triggered a wave of experimentation with these mushrooms which resulted in their eventual classification in the United States as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
The introduction of westerners into the previously secret rites was later rued by Maria Sabina, who declared that "From the moment the foreigners arrived, the 'holy children' lost their purity. They lost their force, they ruined them. Henceforth they will no longer work. There is no remedy for it."


Psychedelic mushrooms can elicit a wide range of bodily and mental effects.


The effects of Psilocybin/Psilocin containing mushrooms may include:
  • Physical
    • Torpor
    • Chills
    • Pupil dilation
    • Nausea
    • Stomach pains
  • Sensory
    • Ability to feel everything at the same time - the clothes on your body, the saliva in your mouth, etc.
    • Closed-eye visuals
    • Open-eye visuals
    • Auditory effects
  • Emotional
    • Euphoric states
    • Beatific states (perception of God, the universe, or some 'higher power')
    • Paranoia and/or anxiety, even panic
  • Intellectual
    • Looped or confused thinking
    • Introspective thinking
    • Extreme mental lucidity


The effects of muscimol containing mushrooms (Amanita muscaria) may include:
  • Physical
    • Lightheadedness
    • Numbness of the mouth
    • Torpor
    • Chills
    • Increased body temprature
    • Nausea
    • Stomach pain
    • Excessive production of tears/mucus
    • Drowsiness
  • Sensory
    • Relaxation
    • Sense of heaviness or lightness
    • Closed Eye Visuals
    • Open Eye Visuals
    • Blurred vision
    • Dream like state
  • Emotional
    • Anxiety
    • Euphoria/Hilarity

As with many psychoactive substances, the effects of any mushrooms consumed are subjective, unpredictable and strongly dependent upon set and setting. Generally speaking, the experience of psilocybin containing mushrooms lasts four to six hours or more, is inwardly oriented and there can be strong visual and auditory components. Visions and revelations may be experienced and the effect can range from exhilarating to terrifying. There can be also a total absence of effects, even when under the influence of large doses.
Non-western native practice suggests that the effects are also affected by the user's preparation. The Mazatecs purify themselves before a velada (or 'vision quest'), abstaining from meat, eggs, alcohol and sex for four days prior to a velada. The veladas are always done in the dark, in a protected and sealed space which no one may enter or leave until all have regained their composure. Modern psychonauts often speak of "packing" for the "trip," by which is meant a loading of information into the brain prior to "departure," for example, by reading a philosophical writing or watching natural history or science documentaries in the days immediately prior to a planned experience. Regular or experienced users find that there are ways of adjusting their environment to enhance their trip.
In addition, there have been calls for the medical investigation of psychedelic mushrooms in regards to the treatment of chronic cluster headaches following numerous anecdotal reports of benefits.

Legal status

The fly-agaric is not a controlled substance in most countries. Access to ergot and ergoline alkaloids is usually restricted since these substances are precursors to LSD. In most countries, possession of psilocybin mushrooms is not illegal, as they grow in the wild. In the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and most other EU countries, fresh mushrooms can be obtained in "smart shops" which specialise in ethnobotanicals. Dried mushrooms, however, are considered a "preparation" and thus remain illegal in all countries, even the Netherlands. Nonetheless, there is an active international trade both in mushrooms and in spores, which can be grown in sterile medium (see Drug policy of the Netherlands).
However, in many countries, psilocybin-containing mushrooms are illegal.


Before 2002, psilocybin mushrooms were widely available in Japan, often sold in "smart shops" similar to those of the United Kingdom. As of June 2002, psilocybin mushrooms have been outlawed.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, psilocybin mushrooms are not illegal, but extracting psilocybin from the mushrooms by means of crushing or boiling is illegal.

Republic of Ireland

Until 31 January unprepared psilocybin mushrooms were legal in the Republic of Ireland. On that date they were made illegal by a ministerial order. This decision was partly based on the death of one man who mixed an unknown amount of psychedelic mushrooms with alcohol.

United Kingdom

As of 18 July 2005, both dried and 'prepared' (e.g. made into a tea) psilocybin mushrooms were made illegal in the United Kingdom. Prior to this date, fresh mushrooms were widely available, but Clause 21 of the Drugs Bill 2005 made fresh psychedelic mushrooms, ('fungi containing psilocin'), a Class A drug. However, mushrooms spores are not illegal due to the fact they do not carry psilocin until they are cultivated. This has lead many to grow their own mushrooms using spore-syringes and mushroom growing kits such as myco-farm. Psychedelic mushrooms are usually sold on the black market dried, but are sometimes incorporated into chocolate or baked into brownies, cakes or muffins.

United States of America

In the United States, possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms is illegal because they contain the Schedule I drugs psilocin and psilocybin. Spores, however, are only explicity illegal in California, Idaho, and Georgia. This may be because spores do not contain the psychoactive chemicals psilocin or psilocybin. In all states, except possibly New Mexico, growing psilocybin-containing mushrooms from spores is considered manufacture of a controlled substance.
In the state of Florida, fresh or unprepared psilocybin mushrooms that grow wild are legal to possess; however, those caught would be hard-pressed not to be hassled by authorities for possession.
In New Mexico, growing mushrooms from spores may be legal. On June 15, 2005, the New Mexico appeals court ruled that growing psilocybin mushrooms for personal use is not manufacture of a controlled substance.

Drug trade

Mushrooms are most commonly grown in large batches and distributed and sold in methods and weights similar to the cannabis trade. Amateur growing kits with a range of success rates are available legally in the United States at a much lower cost than buying from black market distributors.

Psychoactive Mushroom Species

There are several species of psychoactive mushrooms, including:
  • Psilocybe cubensis
  • Psilocybe azurescens
  • Psilocybe cyanescens
  • Psilocybe mexicana
  • Psilocybe subcubensis
  • Panaeolus cyanescens (= Copelandia cyanescens)
  • Amanita muscaria
Psilocybe cubensis is the most commonly cultivated species.


Cultivation of mushrooms is extremely easy, due in part to the legal status of spores and mycelium (varies by country and state). One can purchase kits through the mail or Internet that include everything one needs for personal growing. These grow kits are often used by amateur growers, with varying rates of success and yields; contamination of the supplies is a common problem.
Most of the supplies needed for mushroom cultivation (mason jars, petri dishes, scalpels, rye) can be easily obtained from many stores. Amateurs who actually take the time to research mushroom cultivation would not need to start off with a grow kit and can easily make their own grow space.


Because mushrooms can be grown indoors, they are generally grown within the same national borders as they are sold.
While mushrooms may be moved by organized crime, more often they are moved by informal affiliations of acquaintances and fellow users, and do not often travel long distances.
There have not been any high profile cases of mushroom traffickers being caught or prosecuted. In fact some state courts, such as in New Mexico, have ruled that growing mushrooms does not constitute "manufacturing" as defined by the drug trade statutes.
Mushrooms are generally distributed among acquaintances or by street dealers. They are sold in plastic bags containing either whole dried fungi or crushed/powdered fungi, and are generally sold by weight. The potency of mushrooms can vary greatly depending on the growing conditions, and users run the risk of ingesting a poisonous, mis-identified species or being cheated by substitutions or cutting of the mushrooms with other, non-psychedelic varieties.


The word psychedelic is a neologism coined from the Greek words for "mind," ψυχη (psyche), and "manifest," δηλειν (delein) and is usually the preferred nomenclature because of its relative neutrality. The word hallucinogenic, though common parlance, is somewhat of a misnomer in the sense that psychedelic mushrooms do not primarily cause true hallucinations and is often avoided because of negative connotations. See the article on psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants for further discussion of classes and terminology of psychoactive substances.
Below is a list of colloquial terms for psychedelic mushrooms:
  • Magic Mushrooms
  • Shrooms
  • Liberty Caps

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Psilocybin mushroom (magic mushroom) myths and misunderstandings

Are fly agaric mushrooms (Amanita muscaria) psilocybin mushrooms?

No. Fly agaric mushrooms (the fairytale toadstools with white spots on red) belong to a different family and should not be confused with psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Rather than psilocybin, the key chemicals associated with the psychoactive effects include ibotenic acid and muscimol. Effects can include twitching, drooling, sweating, dizziness, vomiting and delirium, very unlike the fairly mild physical effects of psilocybin mushrooms. Fly agaric mushrooms do not appear to be a popular recreational drug. In the UK, when the sale of fresh psilocybin mushrooms became controlled, some shops started selling dried fly agaric mushrooms as a non-controlled alternative. However, there is a risk that these type of products might contain a range of added substances, especially when powdered samples are involved. The fly agaric and commercially available products of that nature should not be considered a legal alternative to psilocybin mushrooms as their effects and risks are very different.

Psilocybin Study Hints at Rebirth of Hallucinogen Research

The positive psychological effects of psilocybin — the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms — last for more than a year, say scientists.
Fourteen months after taking psilocybin pills administered by Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Roland Griffiths, more than half of 36 volunteers said the experience was among the most significant of their lives.
The results, published today in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, demonstrate the persistence of effects first reported by Griffiths in a landmark 2006 experiment. That study, published in Psychopharmacology, was the first in 40 years to test a hallucinogen on people in a clinical setting in the United States.
Formerly the focus of academic and government inquiry, hallucinogens were abandoned by researchers in the aftermath of the Sixties, when rampant recreational abuse frightened authorities and the drugs became culturally intertwined with chemical excess. But with a small but growing number of researchers now studying hallucinogens, the once-promising field is alive again.
"These drugs are no longer being confined to rats in test tubes," said David Nichols, a Purdue University pharmacologist who was not involved in the study. "What we’re looking at is a largely unexplored technology for brain science — it was discovered in the 1940s, set the psychiatry world ablaze in the 1950s, and was aborted by widespread recreational abuse, the reaction of the media and its confluence with the Vietnam war."

For the 2006 study, Griffiths recruited 36 people who hadn’t previously taken the drug. Six were given a ritalin placebo, while the rest received 30 milligrams of pure psilocybin — a dose roughly equivalent to five grams of dried psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, though mushroom potency varies widely. Psilocybin works by activating serotonin receptors in the brain, though the precise neurological cascades have not yet been identified.
Volunteers took the dose under the guidance of two trained mentors, with the traditional laboratory setting scrapped in favor of a living room appointed with a comfortable couch, headphones and other spiritual journey aids.
At the time, the volunteers reported mystical experiences — typically described as a "sense of unity" — in which the confusion of the world and of competing value systems came together in a coherent whole. These were not described in recreational terms, but as profoundly meaningful spiritual events. Fourteen months later, over half reported substantial increases in life satisfaction and positive behavior, while no long-term negative effects were reported.
"These appear to be life-altering experiences that have much in common with classical mystical experiences described throughout the ages,"
Griffiths said. "The persistence and salience of the effects didn’t diminish by 14 months, and that is noteworthy. It’s one thing to have a meaningful experience, but 14 months later, you might be hard-pressed to remember it. But in this case, you have an eight-hour session in a lab, and 14 months later you have 60 percent of them saying it’s among the five most personally meaningful experiences of their lives."
Griffiths noted that psilocybin isn’t for everyone: though physiologically non-toxic and non-addictive, users may experience short-term stress and panic — i.e., bad trips — or trigger pre-existing psychoses. Prospective volunteers with personal or family histories of psychotic disorders were disqualified from the experiment.
An accompanying Journal of Psychopharmacology article, co-authored by
Griffiths and Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Matt Johnson, gives guidelines for testing hallucinogens in a clinical setting: screening volunteers, preparing them, training monitors, conducting the session and providing support afterward.
"It’s a blueprint for a clinical researcher interested in undertaking a trial like this," said Griffiths. "In some ways it may be a more important paper."
Such guidelines, said Griffiths, are needed to taking hallucinogen research out of the wilderness in which it’s resided since the 1960′s, when research was abandoned.
"As a culture, we experienced such trauma because of what happened in the 1960′s — not just here, but worldwide. All major clinical research with classical hallucinogens was eliminated, and that was largely the case for 40 years," said Griffiths. "It’s really quite unprecedented to have a situation in which a unique and very interesting compound is simply not studied for a long period of time."
Griffiths said that his lab has now run more than 100 psilocybin sessions, and since his 2006 paper several other U.S. laboratories have received approval for their own hallucinogen trials.
"I think we’re seeing a sea change, and it’s now become acceptable to conduct these trials under very careful conditions," said Griffiths.
"It’s very exciting from a scientific point of view. There’s so many things that can be addressed: investigating the consequences of these kinds of experiences from a neurophysiological perspective, where in the brain and how in the brain it happens. More broadly, the consequences of these experiences — how they unfold and manifest in people’s lives. And, finally, the therapeutic targets."
Nichols said that hallucinogens may be useful in treating pain and anxiety as well as eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder, the latter of which are poorly handled by current pharmaceuticals.
Griffiths is studying the therapeutic application of psilocybin to people distressed by cancer diagnoses. He also hopes to study the possibilities of psilocybin in reducing drug and alcohol dependence.
"Those are the main therapeutic targets," he said. "But what the mystical experience means, how it can be harnessed and where we can go from here — that’s wide-open for science to explore."

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

How the 'Mayan Apocalypse' came from a New Age magic mushroom trip

The 'prophecy' does not stem from the Mayans at all. Instead, the beliefs come from two New Age books in the Seventies and Eighties, says a British academic.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Pileus (mycology)

The pileus is the technical name for the cap, or cap-like part, of a basidiocarp or ascocarp (fungal fruiting body) that supports a spore-bearing surface, the hymenium. The hymenium (hymenophore) may consist of lamellae, tubes, or teeth, on the underside of the pileus. A pileus is characteristic of agarics, boletes, some polypores, tooth fungi, and some ascomycetes.


Pilei can be of various shapes, and the shape can change over the course of the developmental cycle of a fungus. The most familiar pileus shape is hemispherical or convex. Convex pilei often continue to expand as they mature until they become flat. Many well-known species have a convex pileus, including the button mushroom, various Amanita species and boletes.
Some, such as the parasol mushroom, have distinct bosses or umbos and are described as umbonate. An umbo is a knobby protrusion at the center of the cap. Some fungi, such as chanterelles have a funnel- or trumpet-shaped appearance. In these cases the pileus is termed infundibuliform.

Friday, 7 December 2012

R. Gordon Wasson

Robert Gordon Wasson (September 22, 1898 – December 23, 1986) was an American author, ethnomycologist, and a vice president of J.P. Morgan & Co. In the course of independent research, he made contributions to the fields of ethnobotany, botany, and anthropology. Several of his books were self-published in illustrated, limited editions that have never been reprinted.


Wasson's studies in ethnomycology began during his 1927 honeymoon trip to the Catskill Mountains when his bride, Valentina Pavlovna Guercken (1901–1958), a paediatrician, chanced upon some edible wild mushrooms. Fascinated by the marked difference in cultural attitudes towards the fungus in Russia compared to the United States, the couple began field research that led to the publication of Mushrooms, Russia and History in 1957. In the course of their investigations they mounted expeditions to Mexico to study the religious use of mushrooms by the native population, and claimed to have been the first Westerners to participate in a Mazatec mushroom ritual. It was the curandera María Sabina who allowed Wasson to participate in the ritual, and who taught him about the uses and effects of the mushroom. Sabina let him take her picture on the condition that he keep it private, but Wasson nonetheless published the photo along with Sabina's name and the name of the community where she lived.[4]
In May 1957 they published a Life magazine article titled Seeking the Magic Mushroom, which brought knowledge of the existence of psychoactive mushrooms to a wide audience for the first time. The article sparked immense interest in the Mazatec ritual practice among beatniks and hippies, an interest that proved disastrous for the Mazatec community and for María Sabina in particular. As the community was besieged by Westerners wanting to experience the mushroom induced hallucinations, Sabina attracted attention by the Mexican police who thought that she sold drugs to the foreigners. The unwanted attention completely altered the social dynamics of the Mazatec community and threatened to terminate the Mazatec custom. The community blamed Sabina, and she was ostracized in the community and had her house burned down. Sabina later regretted having introduced Wasson to the practice, but Wasson contended that his only intention was to contribute to the sum of human knowledge.
Together, Wasson and botanist Roger Heim collected and identified various species of family Strophariaceae and genus Psilocybe, while Albert Hofmann, using material grown by Heim from specimens collected by the Wassons, identified the chemical structure of the active compounds, psilocybin and psilocin. Hofmann and Wasson were also among the first Westerners to collect specimens of the Mazatec hallucinogen Salvia divinorum, though these specimens were later deemed not suitable for rigorous scientific study or taxonomic classification.[8] Two species of mushroom, Psilocybe wassonii heim and Psilocybe wassonorum guzman, were named in honor of Wasson along with Heim and Gastón Guzmán, the latter of whom Wasson met during an expedition to Huautla de Jiménez in 1957.
Wasson's next major contribution was a study of the ancient Vedic intoxicant soma, which he proposed was based on the psychoactive fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) mushroom. This hypothesis was published in 1967 under the title Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality. His attention then turned to the Eleusinian Mysteries, the initiation ceremony of the ancient Greek cult of Demeter and Persephone. In The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries (1978), co-authored with Albert Hofmann and Carl A. P. Ruck, it was proposed that the special potion "kykeon", a pivotal component of the ceremony, contained psychoactive ergoline alkaloids from the fungus Ergot (Claviceps spp.).
His last completed work, The Wondrous Mushroom, will be republished by City Lights Publishers in March 2013.


Prior to his work on soma, theologians had interpreted the Vedic and Magian practices to have been based on alcoholic beverages that produced inebriation. Wasson was the first researcher to propose that the actual form of Vedic intoxication was entheogenic.

Further reading

  • Forte, Robert. Entheogens and the Future of Religion. San Francisco: Council on Spiritual Practices, 1997.
  • Furst, Peter T. Flesh of the Gods: The Ritual Use of Hallucinogens. 1972.
  • Riedlinger, Thomas J. The Sacred Mushroom Seeker: Essays for R. Gordon Wasson. Portland: Dioscorides Press, 1990.
  • Wasson, R. Gordon, Stella Kramrisch, Jonathan Ott, and Carl A. P. Ruck. Persephone's Quest: Entheogens and the Origins of Religion. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986.
  • Wasson, R. Gordon. The Last Meal of the Buddha. Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 102, No. 4. (Oct. - Dec., 1982). p 591-603.
  • Wasson, R. Gordon. The Wondrous Mushroom: Mycolatry in Mesoamerica. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980. (Reprint by City Lights, 2012.)
  • Wasson, R. Gordon, et al. The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries. New York: Harcourt, 1978.
  • Wasson, R. Gordon. Maria Sabina and Her Mazatec Mushroom Velada. New York: Harcourt, 1976.
  • Wasson, R. Gordon. A Review of Carlos Castaneda's "Tales of Power." Economic Botany. vol. 28(3):245-246, 1974.
  • Wasson, R. Gordon. A Review of Carlos Castaneda's "Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan." Economic Botany. vol. 27(1):151-152, 1973.
  • Wasson, R. Gordon. A Review of Carlos Castaneda's "A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan." Economic Botany. vol. 26(1):98-99. 1972.
  • Wasson, R. Gordon. A Review of Carlos Castaneda's "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge." Economic Botany. vol. 23(2):197. 1969.
  • Wasson, R. Gordon. Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality. 1968.
  • Wasson, Valentina Pavlovna, and R. Gordon Wasson. Mushrooms, Russia and History. 1957.
  • Wasson, R. Gordon. Seeking the Magic Mushroom Life magazine, May 13, 1957

Barney's Farm - Tangerine Dream


Cannabis Seeds Information

* Winner 23rd High Times Cannabis Cup 2010
The exceptional crossing of G13 with Neville's A5 Haze - with the resulting plant again crossed with G13 - Tangerine Dream is sativa-dominant strain offering tangy, intense sweet citrus aromas and flavours as well as effects that are at once cerebral and relaxing. The best of both worlds for smokers and growers. Considering its attributes, Tangerine Dream's 70-day flowering time is remarkably short, and the one-meter high plants, with their strong and numerous side branches, yield an impressive minimum of 500 grams per square meter. Colas grow large and tight, especially for a sativa-dominant strain, and are flecked with red and orange hairs and frosted with a shimmering layer of fine THC crystals. A taste sensation offering clean and long lasting effects.
Tangerine Dream evokes a citrus fruit fantasy and, somehow, an even more enchanting reality. How one strain can offer some many seemingly contrasting attributes is a shining example of how Barney's Farm is a leading force in advancing genetics and husbandry.
This innovative, Sativa-dominant strain starts with the legendary G13 plant, known for it's intense flavors and strong effects, which is crossed with the unusually refined and exotic Neville's A-5 Haze. The resulting plant is again crossed with G13.
The aesthetic total, however, far exceeds the sum of its genetic parts, as Tangerine Dream offers the visceral sensations of tearing into fresh citrus: a spray of essential oils from the peel with its complex and pleasant bitterness; deep, pungent aromas fill the air, and then, the concentrated, tangy sweet flavor of fruit and juice on the tongue. An experience both refreshing and intense.
The large, tight colas - unusually firm and substantial for a sativa-dominant strain - are flecked with orange and red hairs, and frosted with a shimmering layer of THC crystals. A focused, fruit scent, accented with a whisper of earthy, herbal notes, is obvious even before Tangerine Dream is lit. The smoke offers an even more concentrated citrus fragrance, and zippy sweet flavoirs that linger on the tongue. These sensations are an excellent introduction to the high that follows: the happy, cerebral energy of sativa layering over just the right amount of indica relaxation.
Growers, too, benefit from a joyful paradox: the flowering time of 70 days is very brief for a sativa-dominant plant, and the yields, of at least 500 grams per square meter, are exceptionally high. Plants grow to a height of about one meter, with strong and substantial side branches able to support their big, dense flowers. With minimum THC levels of 25% and CBD at 1.8%, Tangerine Dream truly lives up to its name, and Barney's Farm has made it real.
Type: Sativa x Indica
Genetics: G13 x Neville's A5 Haze
Yield: 500gr/m2
Height: medium
Flowering time: 70 days
Harvest time: end of October
THC: 25%
CBD: 1.8%

  £6.89 €8.53 (FEMINIZED)
 £68.90 €85.31 (*10 FEMINIZED)