Psilocybe Cyanescens: A look into the magical "Wavy Cap" Psychedelic Mushroom.
Mushrooms and fungi are a unique type of living organism on earth.. one in which the complexity of and the symbiosis with all life on earth is just beginning to be uncovered. From their underground stretch of mycelium which, like our underground fiber cables that deliver us internet, stretches their interwoven connections with other plants and organisms as a means of communication and sharing of nutrients. It just so happens this same form of life delivers to us humans a beautiful gift, one that has most certainly changed and altered our perception of the world around us and the purpose of our existence - some may say direct line to communicate with god, or a higher power, or the universal consciousness that we are all part of.
This article is to focus on one specific psychedelic mushroom known as the Psilocybe Cyanescens, sometimes referred to as Wavy Caps or as the Potent Psilocybe.
Psilocybe Cyanescens Compounds and Alkaloids:
This psychedelic mushroom is known to contain the the psychoactive alkaloids and compounds including psilocybin, psilocin, baeocystin and norbaeocystin. Creating what is known as the entourage-effect the Psilocybe Cyanescens contains synergistic terpenoids including geranylacetone, ß-carotene, 4-hydroxy-phenethylamine, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylethylamine, and 4-hydroxytryptamine which enhance the effects and experience through various mechanisms of action (which many are still not fully understood).
Both Psilocybin and Psilocin are tryptamines that is structurally similar to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. This compound is responsible for regulating mood, memory, appetite, and sleep. The effects of psilocybin occur when it crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to serotonin receptors. It has been found that there are numerous areas within the brain that contain large amounts of serotonin receptors. One area in particular that is packed with these receptors is the hippocampus. The hippocampus is responsible for memory formation, organization, and storage. When serotonin binds to these receptors in the hippocampus, it can induce profound psychedelic effects such as visual hallucinations, spiritual experiences, and profoundly altered states of consciousness.
Along with the tryptamines these mushrooms contain compounds from the phenethylamine family, including baeocystin and norbaeocystin which can actually be more potent than psilocybin in terms of its effects. These phenethylamines also have an effect on the neurotransmitters in our brain but do so with dopamine and norepinephrine, which are associated with emotions and feelings of pleasure. These compounds have been found to be especially effective at increasing the intensity of the spiritual and mystical experiences that accompany the use of psychedelic mushrooms.
The final category of compounds contained in the Psilocybe cyanescens are terpenoids, the most commonly known terpenes include ß-carotene and 4-hydroxytryptamine. These compounds interact with our brain in a variety of ways. There are small amounts of these compounds naturally occurring in the human body, which we use to regulate a variety of bodily functions such as the nervous system and the immune system. When these compounds are ingested they can cause an increase in the amount of one or more of these compounds in our body, which can have an effect on our brain and the way that it functions.
In all it is quite clear that each of the compounds contained within this mushroom have both different and complex mechanisms of action in our brain, but all seem to work together symbiotically to produce profound mystical and spiritual experiences. How these compounds interact with the brain in detail is not fully understood, but there is plenty of evidence suggesting the Psilocybe cyanescens has a direct effect on the serotonergic neurotransmitter system.
The Psilocin and psilocybin act on serotonin receptors in the brain causing a large release of serotonin from the presynaptic neuron into the synapse. As a result, more serotonin is then available to bind and activate postsynaptic receptors. This process seems to be similar to that of LSD and other serotonergic psychedelics.
The Psilocybe Cyanescens Experience:
The experience of the Psilocybe Cyanescens and other psychedelic mushrooms can range from a straightforward sensory trip, to a complete spiritual awakening. The user may feel like they are being transported to another dimension or plane of existence completely different than the one they are normally used to inhabiting. The feeling of being in two or more places at once is also commonly experienced. This feeling of being in two places at once is known as "time dilation" and is commonly experienced when using psychedelic mushrooms. The user may also experience a distortion of their body image, which can come in the form of feeling like a part of their body is larger or smaller than it really is, or even feeling like something else is attached to their body such as a tree branch or some other appendage. These alterations in awareness can also cause a person to feel like they have gained enhanced abilities such as being able to levitate or that they have telekinetic powers. These feelings can be extremely profound and powerful, and this can be a very frightening experience for those who aren't prepared for it.
The experience can be typically broken down into 4 phases (keep in mind this is not a true quantifiable state and incredibly subjective and interpersonal)
As in most psychedelic experiences the first phase is one of physiological effects. Typically you can feel the onset within 10-20 minutes, with visual effects occurring soon after. You can expect to begin to feel tingling sensations throughout your body as well as a feeling of heaviness and relaxation of your muscles.
This phase of the experience is characterized by strong euphoric feelings that are accompanied by relaxation and mental euphoria. You may begin to notice an increase in sensitivity to all types of stimuli, including sound and light. This increased sensitivity is very common and can be quite intense for some people. Some people describe the feeling as having a similar sensation to having an itch on your skin, when you just want to move around and scratch it. This is most likely due to the fact that our brain is so accustomed to being bombarded with constant stimuli that once it receives a decrease in stimulus it interprets that as something that needs to be dealt with quickly. Now keep in mind that this isn't a negative thing at all, in fact it is quite the opposite. The feeling is more or less just an indicator of how much you are actually trying to take in during this experience. Often times throughout this phase you will find yourself deep in thought about your current life situation and how you have gotten here. It can also be described as a heightened sense of awareness and understanding. Many people report that they feel like they've gotten a glimpse into their own consciousness, which leads them to have deeper insights into their current situation.
As you come out of the peak phase of the trip you will begin to notice the more cognitive effects of this magical mushroom. You will begin to think more abstractly about life and the universe as well as gain better insights into your own personal thoughts, feelings, and emotions. These effects are best described as a profound sense of clarity and understanding on all levels of consciousness. This sense of understanding does not last forever but can last for hours or even days depending on the intensity of the dose and quality of the mushroom itself.
The final phase typically lasts anywhere from 6-10 hours although sometimes can last for days after ingestion depending on the person. Once again you will experience euphoric feelings but typically at a much lower level than during Phase 2. You may also experience some mild visual effects during this phase but they will be much less pronounced than during Phase 2. What you will notice most during this phase is a sense of contentment and happiness from having had such an enlightening experience. You will also notice that if you are in any negative mindset prior to ingesting this mushroom it will quickly change into positive mindset once you come out of peak phase as it often does with psychedelics.
Psilocybe Cyanescens History of Use:
This particular species of psychedelic mushroom has a history of medicinal and ceremonial use dating back thousands of years into ancient Chinese cultures. In China this mushroom was revered as an elixir for immortality and was used by many emperors throughout their reigns throughout history as well as many other members of the royal court. In ancient China this mushroom was known by various names including "The Mushroom of Immortality", "The Mushroom of Spiritual Potency", "The God's Mushroom", "The Divine Mushroom", "The Red Mushroom", "The Precious Mushroom", "The Sacred Mushroom".
The Chinese would even bury their dead with this sacred mushroom to prevent them from being reborn as an inferior form of life and would use it as a tool to attain enlightenment or become closer with their ancestors or gods. The Chinese believed that this mushroom could cleanse one's soul and purify their body while cleansing their spirit which allowed them to achieve enlightenment in life or even after death. It was believed that when consumed by someone who was ill or dying it would cure them from their disease, rejuvenate their bodies and allow them to transcend into a higher state of consciousness. This elixir for immortality was fabled as what allowed ancient emperors such as Shi Huangdi and Qin Shi Huangdi to conquer all of China by 300 BC while living 3 times longer than any other rulers before them.
Hippocrates is another historical figure who documented the use of Psilocybe cyanescens among his patients as an effective treatment for anxiety, depression, asthma and indigestion. Throughout history this sacred mushroom has been used as a tool for many cultures across South America as well as Australia within religious ceremonies where members would consume large amounts of this mushroom during journeys for visions or insight on life or death situations.
The Aztecs had a very strict system of magic, which they used for healing and divination. The purpose of this magic was to understand one’s own self, their place in the universe as well as to understand the universe itself and how it works. The Aztecs used the psilocybe cyanescens for divination. Divination is a ritual that is used to predict future events and to guide one through their life. The Aztecs used the Psilocybe cyanescens to see into the future and to see what would happen in the future. The Mexican Indians have been using the Psilocybe cyanescens for hundreds of years because of its ability to communicate with the spirits of nature and higher realms.
Native Americans in Mexico would ingest these mushrooms during rituals around their temples where members would dance until they were filled with energy through music provided by trumpets made out of giant mushrooms. This ceremony was said to be done for healing purposes among native tribes within both Mexico and South America where community members would gather around giant desert rocks
Where does Psilocybe Cyanescens grow and how does it look?
The Psilocybe Cyanescens is a very unique species in the genus Psilocybe due to its differences in colors, its ability to grow outdoors year round, and its high potency and purity. This species has been identified all over the world which is quite rare for psychedelic mushrooms.
Psilocybe cyanescens mushroom is native to subtropical and tropical regions of central and south America. It has been found in many different countries including the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Jamaica. In the USA Psilocybe Cyanescens grows in cool temperate grassy areas from May through October. It flourishes in temperatures between 60 - 85 degrees Fahrenheit (15 - 29 degrees Celsius) and tends to grow in areas where there is a lot of moisture present but isn't likely to be flooded out. The mushroom grows from manure rich soil or sod fields which contain high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen. Psilocybe Cyanescens can be found growing gregariously or solitarily depending on the substrate it is growing on. They have small white spores that are around 2 - 4 micrometers long which allows them to be carried away by even small drops of rain.
The cap color ranges from olive-brownish gray to dark brownish gray with an umbo (a raised central area) present on many specimens. The cap edge tends to be slightly turned under and can range from smooth to wavy or even scalloped with age. The cap surface becomes covered with shallow scales or remnants of the partial veil when they are mature and can range from smooth to minutely papillate (small bumpy scales). The gills are white when young but become brown when they are older and begin to run down the stem lengthwise creating an almost bicolored look at maturity.
The Psilocybe Cyanescens often grows directly on wood logs and trees that has been exposed to the elements. This species is unique because it is one of only a handful that are able to grow outside during all seasons of the year.
The wavy cap can be found growing both indoors and outdoors on composted mulch or rich soil that is either moist or very well drained. It is a mycorrhizal mushroom that grows in a symbiotic relationship with its host plant. It shares nutrients with the host plant in exchange for carbon from the plants roots. The mushrooms grow to a height of about 2 to 6 inches, with caps that are wavy and brown in color.
They have white spore prints and they are smooth or slightly scaly in texture. It has been known to grow with other mycorrhizal species including "Macrocystidia cucumis", "Agrocybe praecox", "Paxillus involutus", "Inocybe geophylla", "Suillus granulatus", "Suillus luteus", and "Suillus variegatus”.
The Psilocybe cyanescens is often referred to as "wavy caps" or "potent psilocybine" due to the fact that it contains such high concentrations of psilocybin. The potency of this mushroom is measured by the levels of psilocybin and psilocin within its fruiting body. This species of mushroom contains psilocybin and psilocin concentrations that range from 0.21% to 1.33%. This makes it one of the most potent mushrooms that contain psilocin. This species contains 0.31% to 0.80% psilocybin alkaloids, which accounts for 30 to 80% of its total alkaloid content.
The remaining portion of the mushroom’s alkaloid content is made up by baeocystin and norbaeocystin. These two compounds are also psychoactive and have been shown to bind at serotonin receptors in human brains and to act as agonists at the 5-HT receptor. The 5-HT receptor is responsible for the regulation of mood and emotion, as well as being involved in the regulation of food intake and appetite.
The psilocybin is thought to be responsible for the psychedelic effects that users of this mushroom experience. This species contains a number of other psychoactive compounds, including tryptophan and serotonin.
It can yield incredibly high concentrations of alkaloids including psilocybin, psilocin, baeocystin, and norbaeocystin, which contribute to its high potency and purity. Its alkaloid concentrations are so potent that many mycologists have been unable to accurately measure them due to their tendency to interfere with most analytical instruments. This mushroom has been found to contain up to .9% psilocybin, .4% psilocin, .3% baeocystin, and .3% norbaeocystin. Most other species of Psilocybe mushrooms can only be maximally effective when ingested in high dosages; however, the Psilocybe cyanescens has the ability to be very affective even in micro dosages.
There is no other group of organisms on this planet that can offer us the profound insights and experiences as much as can be learned from these wonderful fungi. The Psilocybe Cyanescens or Wavy Cap Psychedelic Mushroom in particular has a very unique effect on the mind, body, and soul, which is why it is so cherished by its users.
Through a very profound spiritual experience, the Psilocybe Cyanescens allows us to see the world differently than we normally would have seen it before. It shows us that everything we are taught to believe to be real isn't really real at all, that there is a much larger picture and narrative out there just awaiting to be uncovered. We are given the opportunity to understand ourselves in a whole new way, and to see the world as one big interconnected organism of which we are just a small part of. This experience of interconnectedness is by far one of the most eye opening experiences that can be had and is what I believe makes psychedelics so special.
Psychedelics allows us to have a completely new perspective on our lives, our purpose in life, and the universe around us. It helps us to understand what true freedom is and how important it is for each of us to find that freedom in our own lives. It allows us to understand how truly connected we all are, and how interconnected each of our lives are with one another.
We are all one.
As always, it's imperative to learn about and educate yourself on the psychedelic before you embark on any journeys with them.
"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."
Thank you for reading.