The Three Factors That Determine P. Cubensis Strains (A Brief Overview)

When it comes to cultivated P. Cubensis, we’re in the middle of seeing an explosion in market availability and variety from experimental cross-breeding.

New strains are being bred all the time, and many others once only found in the wild in various parts of the world are now being grown and sold on the market all over North America. 

But are there major differences between them all? Which ones should you get?

Well, it’s a bit complicated. Yes, there are some differences between many of the cultivated species, at least as far as can be observed by the naked eye, but these “differences” might be misleading in terms of what they mean.

To help clear things up, here are some key factors to consider between different strains of P. Cubensis.


The biggest difference in P. Cubensis strains are those of the appearance of the different magic mushrooms. 

Some mushrooms are big, some are small, some have wide flat caps, some have pointed dome shaped caps. Some are white, some brown, some tall, and some are short.

Those are just the most basic examples of differences between appearance in strains that most people tend to notice, but there are others too – how bruised the stems are, the thickness of the base of the stems, the gill pattern, and the spore colour (blue/black/purple).

With all these visual variances between stains, does that mean they’re all different in other aspects too?

Well, in some ways yes, but not for the most part. The best way would be to compare mushroom strains to dog breeds, just to make it less abstracted.

All dog breeds vary in size and appearance. A shitzu can easily be told apart from a greyhound, and we could make a list of how different they may seem from each other – until we look at everything that makes them almost identical to one another.

They both have four legs, highly sensitive noses and ears, they both bark, they both eat the same food, and most importantly they share 99%+ of the same DNA which makes them capable of breeding and reproducing with one another.

P. Cubensis are exactly the same. They don’t have the same features as dogs, but the same principles all apply.

Range of Effect

The second most common talking point about P. Cubensis mushroom strains are their range of effects.

For example, the Penis Envy strain is said to produce certain effects like an intense mental trip with lots of visuals, while the Golden Teacher stain is said to be a more calm and spiritual high that is mainly used for introspective work.

Is there any truth to that?

Honestly, it’s complicated. So much so we can’t address all the potential talking points, so we’ll address the most important one – the placebo effect.

Let’s use alcoholic drinks as an example. We could all agree that different alcohols have different widely accepted “known effects”. Vodka makes people temperamental, beer makes people more social, whiskey makes people more relaxed and less social, and so on. 

There may be some truths behind some of the listed beliefs, but if we look at this through the lens of placebo effect, we could also claim that whatever someone believes about something, is the effects it produces as a result of that belief. 

At the end of the day, alcohol is alcohol, and psychedelic mushrooms are psychedelic mushrooms.

A reason beer is considered to make people more social could be directly related to the context in which most people consume it – socially, either at a small gathering with friends or at a family bbq. Rarely is it consumed en masse in isolation, unless someone has a known abuse issue with it.

The same is true for a strain of mushrooms. Whoever uses a certain strain in a context that is most replicated becomes the established effect of that strain based on the experiences of individuals taking the substance within that single context over and over again. And because of names used, additional assumptions are made, further reinforcing the established beliefs about effects.

Psychoactive Content

This is perhaps the most important aspect that people generally want to know about when selecting what mushrooms they want to get.

Generally speaking, there isn’t much difference in the psychoactive content from strain to strain within the P. Cubensis species. The variance tends to be somewhere between 0.40% to 0.90% psilocybin/psilocin content per one gram of dried weight. These differences are minute, so much so as to be called negligible – but because of how potent these substances are in such small amounts, that variance can be huge in terms of potency depending on individual tolerance.

Tolerance also varies in frequency of use, as well as the baseline tolerance of individuals. If mushrooms are eaten at a moderate dose for three days, then the body builds up a tolerance to that amount – meaning you’ll need to take more for the same effects as you experienced on the first day.

With those factors accounted for, it makes it even harder to pinpoint absolute truths about how much a certain dose should affect someone and in which ways.

Largely, any experience on a P. Cubensis mushroom, no matter the strain, will be largely subjective to the individual themselves – aligning with a stereotype is likely a matter of either coincidence, or believing so much a certain thing will happen that your mind creates it under the influence of the drug – confirming that belief. 


Out of the factors of appearance, range of effect, and potency, do you feel we left out any key points?

Have any additional questions?

Let us know in the comments, we’d love a chance  to connect with you! 

Don’t forget to check out our selection of P. Cubensis we grow in-house!