How to Grow & Prepare Magic Mushrooms for Microdosing
Psychoactive mushrooms are probably the most appreciated plant medicine known in the Western world. Traditional use among indigenous cultures, as a messenger of Mother Earth, dates back thousands of years. In these original traditions plant medicine would never be separated from the ritual, which gives a much deeper meaning to the whole experience.
In 1960’ Timothy Leary, an American psychologist and a big advocate for psychedelics, came up with the term “set and setting” which relates to two very important parameters that shape your response to a psychedelic drug. Set (“mindset”) is the mental state from which you approach the psychedelic experience. Your thoughts, needs, desires and general mood, as well as the state of your body at the given moment. Setting refers to the external factors, your surroundings: people you are with, place, music etc. Both set and setting can significantly affect your experience, thus we’d like to encourage you to take these into consideration when planning an encounter with psychedelics.
Magic mushrooms (in dried form) were once available in various smartshops in both the Netherlands and the UK. Unfortunately, selling them in any form is no longer permitted. It’s worth mentioning that both psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms) and truffles (magic truffles) are suitable for microdosing – psilocybin is the active ingredient. Except for the fact that magic mushrooms are significantly stronger, these two don’t differ much from each other.
If you want to microdose magic mushrooms, an option for you could be to grow them by yourself. In Europe, so called ‘ready-to-grow-kits’ can be purchased, making this process very easy. This process will demonstrate how to use these kits.
Why Choose to Grow Magic Mushrooms?
Easy Way: Grow Kit
To grow magic mushrooms, you can buy a special grow kit (available through our partner shop for customers in the European Union). In that case you won’t need any previous experience and in a short period of time you will be able to prepare a large amount of microdoses.
Why Would You Choose a Ready to Grow Kit?
Steps to Grow Your Own Magic Mushrooms with a Mycelium Grow Kit
Before starting your microdosing adventure, it is useful to first purchase all the necessary supplies:
Nice to haves:
2. Get Started
Tip 1: When the preparations are finished, you can place the grow tray on a heating mat. It is recommended to keep a constant (minimum) temperature between 22 and 25°C / 72 and 77 °F. With the right temperature, the first mushrooms will start to grow from the mycelium after about two weeks. When the temperature is lower, the mushrooms grow slower and harvest time might be after four or even five weeks.
Tip 2: For the first two days place the grow kit on top of 2 pencils on the heating mat. This way the heat will be distributed more evenly, which will prevent mycelium from boiling dry. After two days, turn the heating mat off or lower the temperature to cause a shock to the mycelium.
Tip 3: The ideal temperature is 22ºC / 72 °F. When the pinheads emerge, place the grow kit in a colder place for a night, for example in the shed or basement. The drop of temperature gives mushrooms the idea that autumn is approaching. This causes them to form extra mushrooms resulting in a faster harvest and higher yield.
3. Time of Harvest
Mushrooms come up in flushes, which are called flights. On average, you can get about three flights from one grow kit. The number of flights depends on how hygienically you work. Usually not all the mushrooms from one flight are ready to pick at the same time.
You can also only pick the mushrooms that are ripe and leave the smallest ones for a longer while. But the more often you put your hands in the bag, the higher the chance of bacteria getting into the grow kit, thus higher risk of contamination. That’s why picking in one go is preferred.
If you leave mushrooms in the grow kit for too long, they will drop their spores from the bottom of the cap and everything in the grow box will get covered in spores. You don’t have to remove or wash them off as they are not harmful.
4. Hygienic Harvesting
Tip: It might happen that some mushrooms will grow in between the transparent container and the cultivation medium. Leave them where they are. If you try to remove them, you can easily damage the mycelium. To reduce the chance of this ‘erroneous’ growing, wrap the outsides of the plastic grow tray with tin foil. This prevents light from reaching the sides and fewer mushrooms will grow there.
5. Next Flight
6. Drying your Mushrooms
Tip 1: Avoid using heat sources such as heaters or microwaves for the drying process. The temperature might get too hot and destroy psilocybin – the active substance. The melting point of psilocybin is around 220-228°C / 428-442 °F.
Tip 2: You can use an oven to dry the mushrooms. In that case, you should set the temperature up to max. 45°C / 113°F and leave the oven on for +/- 48 hours. This is a solution, but in our opinion it’s a waste of energy, so we encourage you to use other methods.
7. Dry the Pre-dried Mushrooms Further
Tip: Make sure all your mushrooms are bone dry, to prevent them from molding. When you break them and they snap, it means they are bone dry.
8. Grinding your Mushrooms
Preferably wait until the last flight of shrooms has been dried and grind all the mushrooms together into a fine powder, using a coffee grinder. It is an important step to grind and mix all the mushrooms together. Mushrooms, even different parts of them, can differ in potency. By mixing them all together, you will be sure that you get a constant potency for your microdoses.
9. Encapsule and Test a Few Doses
Using the scales, prepare 3 capsules of different quantities: 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 gram. Do this manually.
Remember to remove the weight of an empty capsule from the total weight. With most scales you do it by placing an empty capsule on the scale and pressing “Tare”. The scale will then not count the weight of the capsule. It is essential to always carefully weigh the dose.
When your test capsules are ready, find out which dose is your “sweet spot”, in other words: try and check which amount fits you best. Start with the smallest one. If you feel that this dose is too low, take a higher dose the next microdosing day to feel the difference. Before you begin, read more about starting with microdosing.
Once you have determined what is your sweet spot you want to experiment with further, prepare a larger amount of capsules. If you don’t feel like tinkering with it for a long time, you can use a capsule machine.
Are you not based in Europe, or otherwise unable to get hold of a ready-to-grow mushroom kit?
Would you like to grow your own mushrooms from scratch (allowing you to grow an incredibly large amount of mushrooms at a small investment)?
Our friends at DoubleBlind Magazine run a comprehensible Mushroom Growing Course. Read more.