Beginners Guide: How to Pick the Best Shrooms

informative image on pick best shrooms

Shrooms Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here at MicroZoomers we want to make sure you have a good and effective time with your first, second, or one hundredth mushroom session. Keep on reading below for an in-depth Beginners Guide on how to pick the best shrooms for your needs.

Whether you want to tackle something like depression or anxiety, giggle uncontrollably for a few hours, have a mystical journey, or microdose for the purpose of increasing productivity – there is a mushroom strain for that. And just remember one very important fact: humans have been using psilocybin mushrooms sacramentally for at least seven thousand years.*

Why Setting a Personal Foundation Matters

Before starting on this journey we please ask that you dedicate a few hours to really map out what your goals are. We’ve compiled a quick list of points you should note down.

It is really important to start your journey with clear intentions. Of course, you might discover some pleasant surprises along the way but having clear intentions from Day 1 will provide for a shorter exploratory route to your desired regimen and outcome.

An example of a clear intention: if you’re interested in getting psychedelic high and tripping out for 4 hours then what is the point in testing out a microdose or mini dose? On the flip side, if you want to use psilocybin to optimize your day-to-day productivity then you want to avoid a recreational mega dose and start with a microdose in the 0.05g range.

An example of a pleasant surprise: you might come in to this with the idea of only wanting to microdose but end up taking a bit too much and finding out that a mini dose is better for your needs.Or that a recreational dose is something you want to dabble in to get to that spiritual awakening experience.

Criteria List

  1. What are the effects you desire?
  2. Are you trying to overcome an ailment with the use of shrooms?
  3. Do you have experience taking psychedelics?
  4. Are you overall healthy?

Our tips for you

  • First establish what your goal is! (use the Criteria List above)
  • Set your environment before ingesting
    • Be in a positive state of mind when taking mushrooms
    • Be in a relaxed and trusting environment until you get comfortable with the process and how psilocybin reacts to your body – once you get comfortable you can experiment with your environments too.
    • Prepare your body: take the dose in the morning since the effects can last 4-6 hours
  • Take them on their own. Do not mix substances! No alcohol or drugs

Depending on how much time you have on your hands, it might be a good idea to read the book “Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World” by the legendary burly man, Paul Stamets.

Now we will dive into some information so that you can choose the best shrooms, best product type, and best dosage that suit your specific individual needs. The topics we will touch on are:

  1. Different mushroom strains
  2. Types of trips
  3. Recommended dose for the specific desired effect you are looking for

First, let’s explore 4 different types of shrooms

  1. Psilocybe cubensis (can also be known as “Golden Caps” or “Golden Teachers”) are the most common
  2. Azurescens – STRONGEST 
  3. Psilocybe cyanescens – as common as the cubensis but more psychoactive 
  4. Psilocybe semilanceata – stronger than the cubensis but not as strong as the Azzie

Shrooms (and specifically psilocybin) have a profound and well documented background among the many cultures that have historically used them. Cultures that span the entire globe. Today, the benefits of these powerful little fungi and their active ingredient are being recognized in a big way.

Now let’s dive into how to identify the above mentioned different types of mushrooms

Psilocybe cubensis: The most well-known and widely cultivated of psilocybin mushrooms. Within this category fall a lot of the common street names like Mazatapec, Golden Teachers and the infamous Penis Envy.

Avg psilocybin: 0.63%

Avg psilocin: 0.60%

Avg baeocsytin: 0.025%

*%s reported by Gartz 1994; Stijve and de Meijer 1993

Psilocybe cyanescens: Less well-known compared to psilocybe cubensis, but no less cultivated, smaller, and slightly more psychoactive.

Avg psilocybin: 0.85%

Avg psilocin: 0.36%

Avg baeocsytin: 0.03%

*%s reported by Stijve and Kuyper 1985; Repke et al. 1977

Psilocybe azurescens: Discovered by world renowned mycologist Paul Stamets in the mid-90s, it is likely the most potent psilocybin mushroom in the world. Fun fact: it was named after his son.

Avg psilocybin: 1.78%

Avg psilocin: 0.38%

Avg baeocsytin: 0.35%

*%s reported by Stamets and Gartz 1995

Psilocybe semilanceata: Commonly known as the “Liberty Cap” and it is most commonly found in Europe

Avg psilocybin: 0.98%

Avg psilocin: 0.02%

Avg baeocsytin: 0.36%

*%s reported by Gartz 1994

Possible outcomes and effects when using the best shrooms for you

Alleviate depression

Quality pre and post treatment fMRI data were collected from 16 of 19 patients. Decreased depressive symptoms were observed in all 19 patients at 1-week post-treatment and 47% met criteria for response at 5 weeks.

There’s the clinical studies but there’s also real life first-hand accounts. Redditors are very passionate mushroom users and they have reported that they decrease anxiety and depression among many other things.

Treating addiction

In a 2015 study, psilocybin, as part of an assisted treatment plan, showed promise in treating alcoholism.Significant reductions in drinking and abstinence from drinking were reported after psilocybin administration as part of a treatment program.

Scholarly Resource: Bogenschutz, M. P., Forcehimes, A. A., Pommy, J. A., Wilcox, C. E., Barbosa, P. C. R., & Strassman, R. J. (2015). Psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol dependence: A proof-of-concept study. Journal of Psychopharmacology29(3), 289–299.

Treating anxiety

Patients in this study had advanced-stage cancer and a clinical diagnosis of stress or anxiety related to their disease. The researchers observed significant improvements after psilocybin treatment on measures of depression and anxiety up to six months after the trial. This study was eventually granted Phase II status by the FDA.

Treating cluster headaches

The authors interviewed 53 cluster headache patients who had used psilocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to treat their condition. Twenty-two of 26 psilocybin users reported that psilocybin aborted attacks; 25 of 48 psilocybin users and 7 of 8 LSD users reported cluster period termination.

Treating cancer

It was found that chief medicinal uses of mushrooms discovered so far are as anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, hypocholesterolemic, anti-tumor, anti-cancer, immunomodulatory, anti-allergic, nephroprotective, and anti-microbial agents.

Personal Growth, Focus, Productivity

In this present study, they developed a codebook of microdosing benefits and challenges (MDBC) based on the qualitative reports of a real-world sample of 278 microdosers. And found beneficial outcomes, such as improved mood (26.6%) and focus (14.8%).

In addition, tech entrepreneurs all over the world are finding psilocybin to be surprisingly effective tools for improving their work.

And as stated by Fadiman in Tom Wolfe’s book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test: “People report an overall increased capacity and productivity.”

Effects by Dose and different types of Dose

A) Microdose (0.05-0.25g)

The kind of dose you can do on a daily basis to enhance your life!

  • Recommended product: pills or a vape pen because they provide an exact dose. No guessing involved as the products are expertly crafted.
  • Recommended type of mushroom: Psilocybe cubensis

Effects:

  • Mood enhancement
  • Decreased stress
  • Stable emotions
  • Mindfulness
  • Internal peace, presence
  • Alleviation of depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, PTSD
  • Motivation, productivity, and focus optimized
  • Increased creativity
  • Overall energy boost
  • NO body high

B) Mini Dose (0.25-0.75g)

The kind of dose you do when looking to increase creativity at home and get your sh*t done!

  • Recommended product: pills or a vape pen because they provide an exact dose. No guessing involved as the products are expertly crafted.
  • Recommended type of mushroom: Psilocybe cubensis

Effects:

  • Mood enhancement
  • Mindfulness
  • Internal peace, presence
  • Alleviation of depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, PTSD
  • Connected thinking
  • Creative spike
  • Easier to relax due to increased awareness of body
  • Able to access energy waves
  • Mild body high

C) Museum Dose (0.5-1.5g)

The kind of dose you do when heading to a party, social gathering, or heading out on an adventure (without driving!)

  • Recommended product: pill, extract, chocolate, dried shroom. You can play around with edibles and dried mushrooms for this.
  • Recommended type of mushroom: Golden Teacher or Amazonian… Penis Envy is a good option too.

Effects:

  • Enhanced mood producing euphoria and excitement
  • Mild visual experience
  • Introspection
  • Optimized senses
  • Optimized appreciation for creativity, music, art, conversation
  • Moderate body high
  • Clearly high – come up, peak, come down
  • Altered perception of sound
  • Difficulty socializing

D) Moderate Dose (2-3.5g)

The kind of dose you do when you’re looking for a mystical experience

  • Recommended product: extract, chocolate, dried mushroom
  • Recommended type of mushroom: Azurescens, Semilanceata

Effects:

  • Enhanced mood producing euphoria and excitement
  • Mild visual experience
  • Introspection
  • Optimized senses
  • Optimized appreciation for creativity, music, art, conversation
  • STRONG body high
  • Clearly high – come up, peak, come down
  • Altered perception of sound
  • Altered vision when eyes open and closed
  • Difficulty socializing
  • Sedation
  • Time dilation or contraction

E) Super Fun Dose (5g or more)

The kind of dose where you only do it while exploring nature on foot or hanging out at home

  • Recommended product: extract, chocolate, dried mushroom
  • Recommended type of mushroom: Azurescens, Semilanceata

Effects:

  • Enhanced mood producing euphoria and excitement
  • Mild visual experience
  • Introspection
  • Optimized senses
  • Optimized appreciation for creativity, music, art, conversation
  • VERY STRONG body high
  • Clearly high – come up, peak, come down
  • Altered perception of sound
  • Altered vision when eyes open and closed
  • Difficulty socializing
  • Sedation
  • Time dilation or contraction
  • Compromised motor functions

Just look at the organization funding and conducting research:

MAPS

MAPS is making evidence-based treatments for mental health conditions. Using psychedelics.

Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

The Beckley Foundation

Since its creation by Amanda Feilding in 1998, the Beckley Foundation has been at the forefront of global drug policy reform and scientific research into psychoactive substances. They collaborate with leading scientific and political institutions worldwide to design and develop ground-breaking research and global policy initiatives.

Johns Hopkins Center

In 2000 the research group at Johns Hopkins was the first to obtain regulatory approval in the United States to reinitiate research with psychedelics in healthy volunteers.

“Johns Hopkins is deeply committed to exploring innovative treatments for our patients. Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential.”  – Paul B. Rothman, M.D., Dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. 

Concluding thoughts on Picking the Best Shrooms:

A wise man by the name of William Blake once said “the true method of knowledge is experiment”.

Mazatec Indians from the Southern region of Mexico have been using this beautiful mushrooms as mediums for healing and divination since before the Spanish conquest. They’re known as “the flesh of Gods” in those regions of the world and that is the main reason why there was such hate towards them. What happens when you challenge the Catholic church? You get ousted.

How is it that little brown mushrooms with the power to change the consciousness of the animal that eats it are seen as “drugs”? These remarkable mushrooms produce. in addition to spores for the purpose of reproduction, meanings in human minds. That is absolutely outstanding.

Lastly: let the experts pick the mushrooms from the wild. As there are many mushrooms that look like magic shrooms that could in fact lead to negative effects. If you do want to get into identifying psilocybin mushrooms in the wild Paul Stamets has 1 rule: “If a gilled mushrooms has purplish brown to black spores, and the flesh bruises bluish, the mushroom in question is very likely a psilocybin-producing species”**

Now onto the fun part. After reading our Best Shrooms guide you now have the tools necessary to embark on this incredible journey.

Resources:

*Michael Pollan, How to Change your Mind (pp.93)

**Michael Pollan, How to Change your Mind (pp.95)