Almost 80 years after Albert Hofmann took his first intentional LSD trip, the world is going through a psychedelic renaissance.
Hofmann’s studies on psychedelics and the popularization of psychedelics through famed psychonauts such as Timothy Leary and Terrence McKenna were essential to the rise of the psychedelic “hippy counterculture”.
Years after Hofmannn’s discoveries and acknowledgment of the use of psilocybin and other psychedelic plants in indigenous cultures of South America and China as a medicine, many scientific organizations are advocating for the medicinal use of psychedelics.
One such organization is MAPS - the Multi-Disciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Their studies into psychoactive compounds concerning psychotherapy have championed the discussion for viable alternatives to Western treatments.
From the medicinal use of marijuana for chronic pain to MDMA-assisted therapy, psychedelics and plant medicines seem to hold the key to unlocking a solution to physical, mental psycho-spiritual ailments. This includes treatment and management of chronic pain, PTSD, alcoholism, treatment-resistant depression, anxiety and more.
Micro-dosing magic mushrooms as a mood-enhancer and to feel more focused and creative has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. It has shown a lot of merit in boosting work performance and improving mental health. Micro-dosing involves ingesting 1/20-1/10 of the amount taken for a more intense or heightened experie. It is sub-perceptual , allowing for uninterrupted focus.
Unfortunately, the infamous “War on Drugs”, part of Richard Nixon’s legacy, persists today. It focuses on the criminalization of psychedelic drugs, hindering any progress made for their medicinal application. The criminalization of substances has been proven to be ineffective in harm reduction. Additionally, the targeted mass incarceration of people of color has led to widespread criticism. Many people and organizations are calling for a reform on drug policies.
The incredible push for an examination of the current state of mental health care, increased interest in plant medicine exploration and decriminalization of certain substances has led to the current renaissance. People are looking to psychedelics as a medicine rather than for recreational use. And with this, bring on the rise in home growers of plant medicine.
So how do you grow magic mushrooms at home? Let’s take a look.
Why Grow Mushrooms at Home?
Aside from the joy of growing magic mushrooms, the cultivation process can be a fun, satisfying, and rewarding hobby. As more and more people join the movement of home cultivation for psilocybin mushrooms, the internet has no shortage of references and guides on how to grow them.
If it seems like an intimidating project to take on, don’t worry - once you understand the basics, it’s a lot easier than it seems!
With the wealth of information out there, as well as the availability of shroom grow kits, cultivating your own shrooms is incredibly beginner-friendly. You will be on your journey to be an amateur mycologist in no time.
Another aspect to consider is that purchasing your magic mushrooms from a dealer could have unethical implications, from illicit drug trading to slavery. Growing your own mushrooms allows you to reap the medicinal benefits guilt-free and at a fraction of the cost.
Many people also enjoy foraging for their psilocybin mushrooms. Be cautious though, there is the danger of amateur foragers misidentifying mushrooms, and the result could be fatal. Additionally, there is an environmental and societal impact to consider. Over-foraging could lead to a decline of psilocybin mushrooms naturally occurring. Also, potentially depriving indigenous communities of access to mushrooms that have played a part in their religious and spiritual practices for centuries.
Where to Start?
Before making any purchase, it is worthwhile arming yourself with information to make an educated choice on the direction in which you would like to go.
Every grower in recent times worth their salt has most likely read Dr K. Mandrake’s “The Psilocybin Bible: The Definitive Guide to Growing & Using Magic Mushrooms”. Dr Mandrake (who holds a PhD in mycology) offers a comprehensive guide to growing shrooms at home.
A predecessor to this was the McKenna brothers’ (written under pseudonyms) “Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide.”
We can also highly recommend Double Blind’s course on growing shrooms. The course is a 7-part course for the beginner mycologist, covering all aspects of the process.
Magic Mushrooms to Grow At Home
When selecting which strain of shrooms to cultivate, it is worth exploring what you are hoping to achieve from them. Often when someone refers to “shrooms”, they refer to the wide range of psilocybe cubensis strains. These are often cited as the easiest to cultivate and offer a range of different effects.
Golden Teacher, one of the more famous strains, is known for its mental and bodily effects. It serves as a softer introduction to taking shrooms. The equally well-known Penis Envy produces 50% more psilocybin than other strains. It is perhaps more suited to the veteran psychonaut on account of its potency.
Psilopedia has put together a complete guide to over 60 different psilocybe cubensis strains. It is a fantastic resource that will help you find a strain suited to you, as well as the effects and benefits.
The availability of strains may depend on your area.
Why Use Grow Kits?
Many purists will attest to building your own home growing set up, but for the beginner grower, this can be a daunting approach. If you are just starting out, then the best way forward is to make use of psilocybin grow kits.
Growing magic mushrooms from spores (the “seeds” of mushrooms), which is actually a regulatory loophole in many locations, is potentially cheaper than buying grow kits, but the process is not as beginner-friendly. Advanced cultivation involves starting the process without already growing mycelium, but the process of starting from scratch may be too complex for novice growers. It also takes up to four weeks before the fruiting process begins and is, thus, more time-intensive.
In the case of some grow kits, the kit contains spore inoculated substrate (what they grow in) with already almost fully grown mycelium, that have had their growth cycle slowed. When you buy them, you are jumping in right before the fruiting process. This allows the grower to skip the more complicated steps, and they will likely see their first harvest after two weeks of cultivation if the growing environment is suitable.
Other grow kits will provide you with everything you need for your setup, making the process as simple as possible.
Which Are the Best Mushroom Growing Kits?
There are numerous mushroom grow kits available, and each comes with its own set of instructions. What is included in each kit also varies from one supplier to another.
Midwest Grow Kits are situated in Woodstock, Illinois. Their Ultimate Mushroom Growing & Incubator Kit is completely automated, making this the perfect setup for beginners or veteran growers who wish to save time. Depending on your budget, they also have a larger Mega Mushroom Growing & Incubator Kit ($134) or the more basic Simple Mushroom Grow Kit ($55)
- Compact size that takes up minimal space
- Includes a glossy full-color growing guide with photos. They have also included their growing tips and secrets
- Access to their online library of guides
- Like many psychedelic mushrooms grow kits in the US, it does not include spores. Although their site does include links to reputable spore suppliers in the US
Grow bags are great for anyone who wants to try growing shrooms for the first time without having to buy any complicated equipment. The Rye Berries mixed grain provides a nutrient-rich substrate.
- Great for beginners who want to try it out
- Provides a self-contained environment that is only opened upon harvest
- Its small volume and nutrient-rich substrate ensures fast growth times
- Each bag only requires 2cc of injected spores; therefore, one syringe (12cc) will be enough to cover all 5 bags
- Spores are not included and will have to be sourced elsewhere
- Not likely to be a long term grow solution for avid growers
FreshMushrooms Grow Kits (€42.00)
Based in the Netherlands, FreshMushrooms grow kits are fully colonized and are sold just before the fruiting process, eliminating a lot of the hassle. It is mostly maintenance-free, and harvest can be expected within 2 weeks.
- Low-risk and easy for beginners
- High Potency
- No soaking or misting until after the first flush
- Yields up to 4 flushes
- Only available in Europe (check the legality of growing magic mushrooms in your country)
How technical or hands-on you want to be is manageable with the availability of different grow kits. Whether you have little time on your hands or limited space, grow kits make growing your own magic mushrooms accessible. And that’s for anyone who wants to pick up this very interesting and rewarding project.
To read more about how to grow magic mushrooms at home, with methods beyond using a kit, check out this article.