Nearly every food and drug lose potency over time. Magic mushrooms are no different. But, sadly, while other compounds become less potent, aged shrooms can also become contaminated. So the storage method you choose is one of the biggest factors in maintaining mushroom safety, potency, and quality. The main idea is to preserve your shrooms’ optimal state for as long as possible.
Here we’ll explore topics like how to tell if your shrooms have gone bad, what you can do to preserve their integrity, and how to store mushrooms for the longest-lasting results.
Why Do Shrooms Expire?
Like all organic matter, magic mushrooms rot and grow bacteria if you keep them beyond their shelf life. Sliminess and dark spots are two signs that mushrooms may not be safe to ingest. Overly dried and shriveled mushrooms are another potential indicator. However, the most significant risks result from excessive moisture, leading to mold contamination and airborne soil particles that carry bacteria.
Another shelf-life issue is potency loss. Over time mushrooms’ psychoactive component, psilocybin, will degrade, changing the overall effects. Psilocybin degradation doesn’t affect safety, but it sure defeats the purpose of the psychedelic experience.
How Long Do Dry Shrooms Last?
Unfortunately, no hard and fast rule applies to all shrooms. Shelf life varies based on the mushroom variety you choose as well as the form it takes. For example:
- Fresh mushrooms — short shelf-life of 3-10 days.
- Dried mushrooms — average shelf-life of 6-12 months.
- Microdose capsules — average shelf-life of 12-18 months.
- Mushroom chocolates — average shelf-life of 12-18 months.
- Mushroom honey — long shelf-life of 2-3 years.
Fresh mushrooms are much more prone to rotting and mold growth. So, if you’re going the au natural route, you don’t have long before the shrooms become potentially unsafe. However, storing fresh mushrooms in the fridge in a paper bag can extend the shelf up to ten days.
On the other hand, dried mushrooms almost always stay intact longer under the proper storage conditions. For example, keeping your dried magic shrooms away from light and minimizing heat and oxygen exposure can retain potency for up to two years.
How Long Do Magic Mushrooms Stay Potent?
Fresh shrooms typically retain psilocybin potency for about a week. However, their longevity depends on how you handle them from harvest to doorstep. Healthy, freshly-picked shrooms can retain optimum potency for up to ten days if stored properly.
If you’re going to eat shrooms within that ten-day window, fresh fungi may be the best method for your journey. Why? Natural, raw mushrooms contain the highest concentration of active compounds compared to dried mushrooms, which are less potent. On the other hand, dried shrooms and shroom edibles benefit from lasting much longer. So, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of both options.
Depending on storage conditions, dried shrooms easily maintain potency for around six months. Dried shrooms can even remain active and contaminant-free for a year, despite losing some potency along the way. However, you’ll want to work with edibles like mushroom chocolates or mushroom honey for the most longevity. The chocolate and honey in these ingestible products shield your shrooms from environmental degradation caused by heat, oxygen, and light. Chocolates can possess maximum potency for a year and honey for two years under the proper conditions.
What is the Best Way to Store Magic Mushrooms?
The best way to preserve magic shrooms is to protect them from oxygen, UV light, heat, and moisture. Preventing environmental exposure will preserve psilocybin potency and help stave off bacterial and fungal spore contamination.
Before handling fresh mushrooms, make sure your environment and hands are as clean and sanitized as possible. This step is critical to prevent mold, contamination, and degradation. Then grab a few household supplies to preserve your shrooms’ optimal freshness.
- Before touching the raw shrooms, grab disposable gloves or wash your hands thoroughly with sanitizing soap.
- Grab a small brush to remove dirt from the fresh shrooms.
- Place the shrooms on a paper towel inside of a paper bag.
- Roll the paper bag closed firmly to prevent decay
- Place the bag in the refrigerator and eat them within ten days for the best results.
**Pro-tip. Regardless of how meticulously you packed the shrooms, they could still become contaminated. So make sure to inspect your shrooms before consuming to confirm they’re free of mold and bacteria.
When it comes to dried shrooms, we recommend packing them in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, vacuum-sealed bag, or a ziplock bag with a food-safe silica gel packet. This method can preserve dried mushrooms for at least a year if you store them in a dark, dry, cool place, like a cupboard. Most experts recommend the jar and cupboard method over common practices like storing shrooms in the freezer. Alternatively, you may consider grinding the dried shrooms and infusing them into recipes for long-lasting mushroom edibles.
Mushroom edibles, in chocolate or honey form, are the easiest shrooms to store.
After sourcing or creating your own mushroom honey, store the mixture in a sealable container. Then place the container in a cool dark place. If properly dried, your sweet shrooms can last for years.
When it comes to mushroom chocolates, store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. For best results, line the container with a waxy baking paper to prevent chocolates from sticking together. Keeping chocolate cold is the best method to slow decay and avoid melting.
How Can You Tell if You Have Spoiled Shrooms?
Regardless of the mushroom form or storage method, you’ll want to know how to spot contamination before ingestion. Looking for signs of spoiled shrooms is essential to prevent health problems like allergic reactions, respiratory infections, nausea, and bad trips.
Visible Signs of Mold
If you see mold spores forming, your mushrooms are no longer fit for consumption. Mold could appear as a fuzzy, rough, or velvety growth. The growth can be white, black, yellow, blue, or even green. Mold can be hazardous and is simply not worth the risk.
A “Strange” Oder
Mushrooms already have a bit of a unique scent. They are earthy and a bit musky. However, if your shrooms develop a pungent, sweet, or funky odor, they may have a bacteria or yeast infection. Any strange orders should trigger you to ditch the entire stash, as bacterial infections can be life-threatening.
Soft Spots on Surface
Soft spots developing on the surface of your shrooms is another sign that they have gone bad. The soft spots are likely producing bacterial colonies or mold spores. You cannot save dried mushrooms that have gone mushy due to bacteria or mold. Throw them out right away.
Lastly, if you find that your magic shrooms change color, you should immediately get rid of them. Discoloration can result from bacteria, mold, or yeast. The exception here is a blue discoloration, which is perfectly normal. The blueing reaction is one of the critical methods used to determine that a sample of mushrooms contains psilocybin.
The Come Down: Do Shrooms Go Bad?
All mushrooms will go bad over time. The best you can do is choose the form that aligns with your goals and meticulously store them based on best practices. Then, always inspect, sniff, and touch shrooms before eating them. If you notice the mushrooms have a sweet or strange order, spots, discoloration, or fuzzy growths, discard them immediately. Sickly shrooms translate into nothing but risks you don’t want to take.