Which Shrooms should I Grow first?

With all the variety of magic mushrooms, it might be hard for a newcomer to decide which to grow for the first time.  Golden Teacher, Nepal, Amazon, Mexican, Pink Buffalo, B+, Albino Penis Envy (!)… the list of magic mushroom strains is almost endless. Which should you choose? Is there a difference between them? Are some harder to grow, or more potent? 

In this post we will shine a light on the very general term “Shrooms” and untangle this confused term. Then, armed with this new understanding, we will help you narrow down your choices for your first few grows.

Dry cubensis scaled e1630977066486

Table of Contents - Which Shrooms Should I Grow First?

50 Shades of Shrooms

Genera Psilocybe, Paneolus, Gymnopilus, oh my.

So, let’s get some terminology right. “Magic Mushrooms” are a blanket term for mushrooms which contain Psilocybin. There are magic mushrooms across various “families of species” or genera. These include  the families of Conocybe, Galerina, Gymnopilus, Inocybe, Panaeolus, Pholiotina, Pluteus and most notorious of them all, the Psilocybe genus. The Psilocybe genus alone has over 120 different species – one of which is “Psilocybe Cubensis”, which is the most well known species of all “magic mushrooms” and also the specific species we cultivate in our magic mushroom cultivation course.

Psilocybe Cubensis or Cubes.

Over the years, more and more different sub-species or strains of Psilocybe Cubensis were discovered and made available to spore collectors. As home cultivation becomes more common, new strains are developed in labs and genetically isolated to exhibit certain desirable features. More commercialized Cubensis sub species names started to appear, such as “Golden Teacher”, “Mazapatek”, “Jedi Mind Fuck”, “B+”, “Penis Envy” and so on. Some strains are so far out there (like the elusive “enigma” mutation strain), where they no longer even resemble the physical form of a mushroom, and don’t naturally sporulate. 

Enigma cubensis
Enigma Cubensis

All Cubes are Equal, but some are more Equal than others.

It is generally accepted between magic mushroom cultivators that there isn’t a significant difference in poteny between these Cubensis sub-species. “A cube is a cube” is what you will often hear from them. Potency and size are much more likely to be influenced by the nutrients and growing conditions, than by  the strain of the sub-species. While this is mostly true for the naturally occurring species of Psilocybe Cubensis around the world, once you get to the lab grown mutations, there are some exceptions that need to be considered. For example, mutations such as “Albino Penis Envy” tend to have a higher concentration of Psilocybin in them, but they also tend to be more susceptible to contamination, and have a slower rate of growth. They are also very picky about their growing conditions, and may abort more easily if those conditions are not met.

Cubensis cup winners 2021
Cubensis Cup Winners 2021

Experimentation only after Success.

One of the best pieces of advice I got during my first cultivation cycle was: “Experimentation should come only after success”. The gist of this advice was to follow the exact cultivation instructions given with the single aim of completing the grow cycle successfully. Once you have a couple of successful grows under your belt, you can start changing parameters, experimenting and optimizing your process.  Taking this advice and applying it to the now more precise question : “Which strain of Psilocybe Cubensis should I Grow first?” would lead to the simple answer : “The strain which is most likely to grow successfully”. While this might sound like an obtuse answer, we can break it down a bit more for.

Experiment only after success
Must Investigate!

So which Strain should I Choose?

First, to be clear, you want to start with a Psilocybe Cubensis strain specifically, as this species is relatively resilient and easily cultivated. Compared to other mushrooms, it is very forgiving in its cultivation and has a relatively high tolerance for non-ideal conditions. 

From this species, you should choose a well known strain or sub-species which doesn’t have any special characteristics (such as albinos, blobs, mutations, etc). Stick to well known strains if you can – these have a history of reliable and proven genetics.  

A short list of these would be:

Spore prints
Which should I choose?

If you manage to get a spore print or spore syringe of one of these strains, you’re good to go! If not, do some research to check that whatever strain you’re getting isn’t overly exotic and doesn’t require a special cultivation process. 

Now you can say “Magic Mushrooms” with much more scientific confidence! What’s more, you know which strains you should choose and which to avoid, for your first grows. Once you have your spores, head on to our Magic Mushroom Cultivation course and try it out.