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What are magic truffles containing psilocybin?
Magic truffles contain psilocybin, the same (psycho)active compound in magic mushrooms. While mushrooms are the above-ground fruiting bodies, ‘truffle’ is another word for the sclerotia of psilocybin mushrooms; a dense mass of mycelium that grows underground and serves as a food reserve.
Sclerotia is a different stage of fungal development that only occurs in some species of mushrooms; not in all.
Just like magic mushrooms, the truffles contain the psychoactive compounds psilocybin and psilocin. Therefore, consuming magic truffles and microdosing magic mushrooms for microdosing comes down to nearly the same experience. The main difference between them lies in their potency and, therefore, the dosage needed for microdosing.
The use of magic truffles is limited to a handful of European countries; primarily the Netherlands, where they are grown and sold commercially. In this country, the popularity of magic truffles started to rise in 2007, when the Dutch government put a ban on magic mushrooms.
📖 History of magic truffles
The use of psilocybin goes back thousands of years and occurs in many indigenous cultures throughout the world. These cultures would use psilocybin in the form of mushrooms to induce alter states of consciousness in ceremonies and ritual. In our Magic Mushrooms Guide, we outline the history of magic mushrooms and the re-emergence in western culture since the 1950s.
To learn more about the ancestral use of psilocybin (mushrooms) in modern times, listen to our podcast (YouTube / Spotify) with Xochitl Ashe, 5th generation Mazatec medicine woman, facilitator and microdosing educator on our programs.
Magic truffles specifically seem to have a much shorter history that started in 1977, when a mycologist named Steven H. Pollock collected an unidentified mushroom in Tampa, New Mexico and started cultivating it in his lab. After several weeks, he discovered something strange on his specimen; a formation of small lumps was growing on the mycelium, that normally looks like a very thin web. With eager curiosity, he began investigating the strange lumps. What he found were the sclerotia of the psychoactive mushrooms Psilocybe tampanensis. Together with his colleague, Gary Lincoff, they gave their finding several nicknames, one of which has stuck with the underground psychedelic culture over time; The Philosopher’s Stone.
Pollock continued to discover more psychoactive mushrooms, and together with another colleague, Michael Forbes, he wanted to open the first legal medical mushroom research laboratory. He was granted a patent for his method of producing Psilocybe sclerotia but Steven’s work came to an abrupt end in 1981, when he was murdered during a robbery of his home and laboratory.
In the Netherlands, the popularity of magic truffles came to a rise at the moment the Dutch government put a ban on magic mushrooms in 2007. Nearly all governments in the EU followed suit. In fact, the new Dutch law banned all psychoactive mushroom species. But, sclerotia, or truffles, are not technically a mushroom species and are therefore exempted from this ban. This resulted in the Netherlands being one of the very few countries in the world where you can legally obtain (natural) psilocybin.
Magic truffles are also used in the Netherlands in retreats, guided trips, ceremonies and microdosing. Therapeutic trajectories are not yet regulated by the health care authorities, but are expected to emerge as the research efforts advance and EMA approved treatment protocols are being developed.
The effects of magic truffles — in high doses
Magic truffles are known to provide altered states of consciousness, also known as a trip or a psychedelic journey. The psychoactive effects are similar to those of psilocybin mushrooms and LSD, although psilocybin is 200x less potent. The effects last shorter than those of LSD.
When journeying, the effects take 20 to 40 minutes to set on and can last from three to six hours. Several factors influence the intensity and nature of the effects, including: dosage (substance), body type, personality, emotional state (set), surroundings (setting), neurodivergency and psychological condition.
The subjective effects of high doses of magic truffles (psilocybin) include:
- Visuals (both with eyes open and closed)
- Time distortions
- Increased introspection
- Conceptual thinking
- Ego loss
- Synesthesia (cross over between the senses, fi. “see” music as colors)
Pharmacology of magic truffles
The main active compounds in these truffles are psilocybin and psilocin. Both are substances isolated by scientist and inventor of LSD, Albert Hofmann, in 1958, in the species Psilocybe mexicana. While in the fruiting body of the mushroom, psilocin is unstable and breaks down when the mushroom is dried, while psilocybin can last much longer (a 115-year-old mushroom was once found that still contained some). Psilocybin is not responsible for the psychedelic effects, actually. It is metabolized in the body, by the liver, into psilocin. Psilocin then acts on the serotonin receptors to produce the typical psychedelic effects.
Other compounds in magic mushrooms have been discovered over time, including baeocystin, norbaeocystin, and aeruginascin. Thanks to growing interest in the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics, mycologists are investigating magic mushrooms at a fundamental level, identifying the amounts, functions and role of the other active compounds, as well as the synergy amongst them.
Species and strains of psilocybin truffles
The largest genus of psilocybin mushrooms, by far, is the Psilocybe species. The following types of psilocybe mushrooms produce sclerotia (truffles):
- Psilocybe Mexicana
- Psilocybe Pajaritos
- Psilocybe Tampanensis
- Psilocybe Atlantis
Therapeutic applications of psilocybin — in high doses
Psilocybin-assisted therapy is globally viewed as a potentially groundbreaking solution for people with depression, PTSD, addiction and anxiety or existential fear. In these areas, clinical research is taking place. Over the coming years, we can expect more trials to take place and more results to be published. The American FDA has granted breakthrough status for a series of psilocybin for depression clinical trials, meaning these studies will be prioritized in order to obtain their clinical outcomes and treatment protocols as early as possible. In 2020, Health Canada granted 20 cancer patients exemptions for psilocybin therapy to treat their end-of-life distress.
It’s important to note that the first clinical trials have been done on a small scale, and although the therapeutic results of psilocybin in high doses seem promising, the psilocybin sessions alone are not a magic bullet. The outcome in patients and the sustainability of positive outcomes, depends heavily on the amount of therapeutic support from skilled therapists the person receives – during and post treatment.
The most-cited study on psilocybin is the randomized, placebo-controlled trial that compares two treatments for major depressive disorder: two psilocybin sessions + therapy and antidepressant Escitalopram daily + therapy. Although the second analysis of the results favored the psilocybin approach, these outcomes need to be solidified and followed up. Some people fall back into their depression if there is no follow-up treatment available for them. The researchers emphasize that more research is needed to learn how long the results last and what it takes to achieve sustainable positive results in people.
Despite the potential, the therapeutic applications of psilocybin in microdoses has yet to be studied clinically. Clinical microdosing research in patients for medical and mental health is a growing field of scientific interest, yet at this time it’s still in its infancy, with only a handful of these studies underway. Current barriers for clinical research, such as illegality, funding for research, research methodology, and ethical limitations make this a relatively slow process. However, there is no doubt that the amount of research into the medical and therapeutical applications of microdosing with psilocybin will expand in the coming years.
Read more about microdosing research in this blog article: Microdosing and The Placebo Effect—What Do We Really Know?
Effects of psilocybin truffles — when microdosing
The effects of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms, as reported in clinical studies and/or scientific surveys include:
- Improved focus
- Increased creativity
- Improved mood
- Improved focus
- Emotional balance
- Better cognitive functioning
- More energy
- Can help with addiction
Microdosing magic truffles offers nearly the same experience as microdosing magic mushrooms. The main differences lie in the legal status of magic truffles compared to magic mushrooms, and the potency. Magic mushrooms are comprised of up to 92% water, whereas magic truffles consist for around 5 to 15% of moisture (water). Therefore, the ideal dosages for both macrodosing and microdosing differ between the two.
To learn more details about the differences between magic truffles and magic mushrooms, we recommend reading this article about a study conducted by Dr. Gartz.
Just like psilocybin mushrooms, the effects of microdosing magic truffles are influenced by several factors besides the dosage, including our mindset, environment and body weight.
Ready to shop for microdosing truffles? 👇
Potential risks of microdosing magic truffles
As mentioned elsewhere, magic truffles are not addictive nor physiologically toxic in high doses. The minimal risk for negative side effects is further reduced when microdosing. Therefore, until now, microdosing magic mushrooms is classified as safe for everyone, with a few exceptions:
- People who are allergic to fungi
- People with a history of psychiatric condition: psychosis, schizophrenia or other dissociative conditions/states
- People with a history of heart valve problems*
- People dealing with active trauma or grief
- Women during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- People taking lithium or tramadol
Some possible negative side effects may include:
- Tinnitus (it may or may not increase)
An article from 2022 by Dr. Kelan Thomas, PharmD, MS, BCPS, BCPP, asserts that when it comes to LSD and psilocybin “there is compelling theoretical evidence to suggest prolonged and repeated microdosing may cause valvular heart disease (VHD)”. Understandably, this has led to concerns around safety in the microdosing community.
Theoretically arguing, psychedelics can be compared to pharmaceutical medications with strong serotonin 2B receptor (5HT2B) binding affinity, which are known to, in high doses and with prolonged dosing, show a possible link to cardiac disease (original study, performed on laboratory mice). This would not apply when occasionally taking a psychedelic. This led to the theoretical extrapolation: “These psychedelics could potentially cause VHD when ‘microdosed’ for many months to years.”
It’s important to bear in mind that Dr. Thomas’s claims are based on “theoretical evidence” and not observable data. No microdosers have ever contracted VHD. If someone were intent on microdosing, Dr. Thomas suggests “proceeding with caution and, at the very least, taking some weeks off between 4-week microdosing intervals.”
Importantly, these recommendations correspond with the scientifically developed protocols of researchers like Dr. James Fadiman and Paul Stamets. All of these microdosing protocols include “off days” while microdosing, along with scheduled breaks between two microdosing cycles.
Microdosing with psilocybin truffles — How much is a microdose?
If it’s your first time microdosing, it’s essential to determine your ideal dose or personal sweet spot; which is the amount that is right for you. If you have experience with psychedelics and know your sensitivity to them, you should take this into account. We advise using our Microdosing Guide to learn more in-depth about the dosing and calibration process.
Microdosing magic truffles entails taking between 1/20 and 1/10 of a “normal dose”. From a microdosing you should only experience very subtle effects that have a therapeutic value and/or a positive impact on your day-to-day life.
The microdosing dosages for fresh magic truffles are:
- Low microdose: 0.25 – 0.5 gram
- Medium microdose: 0.5 – 1 gram
- High microdose: 1 – 2 gram
The dosages for microdosing dry magic truffles are:
- Low microdose: 0.1 gram
- Medium microdose: 0.3 gram
- High microdose: 0.6 gram
Microdosing with psilocybin truffles — How to consume them
As mentioned, the legal use of magic truffles is limited to a handful of European countries; primarily the Netherlands where they are grown and sold commercially. Truffles are not commercially available outside of the European Union. Read more on the legality of truffles containing psilocybin.
If you have access to magic truffles, the most convenient option for microdosing are the Microdosing XP Truffles. This product consists of fresh truffles, sealed in airtight pockets of 1 gram.
If you have purchased a larger amount of truffles, use a precision scale that can measure with a precision of 0.1grams to determine your dose and read below how you can best store them for a longer period of time.
Most people eat magic truffles raw at the same time as their breakfast, which makes it easy to mix them with some breakfast cereal, honey or peanut butter. Many people describe the taste as unappealing, but that is highly subjective.
To chew or not to chew?
Most microdosers eat and chew the truffles. Some people prefer to swallow the truffle crumbs with water, just as you would do with a pill, and no chewing. This slows down the onset of the effects* with 1 – 4 hours depending on your metabolism.
Another option is to make a truffle infusion / tea. Let the truffles steep for at least 15 minutes in hot tea water, with your preferred tea or herbs added. If you add lemon (or squeeze in some lemon juice), you can be sure all the psilocybin gets extracted into the water and the onset of your effects* will be even quicker.
*Whenever we mention ‘effects’, we do not mean psychedelic effect but the effects of the microdose, which should be subtle.
Buy magic truffles — where and which variety?
Magic truffles are commercially grown in the Netherlands under controlled circumstances by three growing facilities. Read more on the legality and availability of truffles containing psilocybin outside the Netherlands.
It’s important to know there’s only one cultivation method, and only one original sclerotia species from which all Dutch truffles are grown. This means that all Dutch truffles are of identical quality and whether you use them for a high-dose journey or for microdosing, you don’t have to worry about getting the ‘right’ kind of truffles.
Types of psilocybin mushrooms that produce sclerotia:
- Psilocybe Mexicana (this is the strain sold as Microdosing XP Truffles)
- Psilocybe Pajaritos
- Psilocybe Tampanensis
- Psilocybe Atlantis
Additionally, there are some crossings:
The difference between these different varieties lies mainly in their size and their potency, which depends on how long they were left to grow. As for any natural product, it’s possible that one batch (harvest) turned out slightly less potent than the other. Potency will also slightly differ when the growers expose the truffles to air before packaging them, which causes their outer layer to dry slightly. Thus, they become more potent per gram as they contain less water.
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🔍 The truth behind the marketing of microdosing truffles
When you shop for magic truffles (in the Netherlands), you may notice quite a few varieties of truffles on the market with ‘trippy’ sounding names like Dragon Slayer, High Hawaiians, Space Shuttles, or Dolphins Delight. These names are given for marketing purposes and have nothing to do with the specific properties of the truffles. Usually, what you get are the same truffles in different packaging and/or quantity. The only difference is their potency — and even that doesn’t vary all that much.
Microdosing truffles and pricing
Another clever business trick is marketing the same “standard” truffles as if they are specifically intended for microdosing, with names as ‘Natural Psilocybin’, sometimes priced significantly higher. Don’t get fooled by the marketing of microdosing magic truffles. A journey dose of magic truffles shouldn’t cost more than €15 to € 25 and a fair price for a pack of microdosing (Microdosing XP Truffles, 6 x 1 gram) is between €5 to €10 per strip – enough for one to two weeks of microdosing.
How to store your fresh magic truffles
To guarantee the truffles stay fresh for about a month after opening, the number one rule is to always store them in the fridge. Microdosing XP Truffles are pre-packaged in microdose quantities, which helps preserve freshness, and they do not require a scale for measuring your doses. Unopened, XP Truffles remain safe for consumption for about 6-8 weeks.
One of the primary environmental factors in which mold thrives is moisture. If you store your truffles incorrectly and white mold appears, you will have to throw them all away! Truffles look brown/yellow/green and may have a thin cast of green/blue around them. This is not mold.
Mold can appear in the form of white dots or a white cast. If you have truffles in a packaging that is no longer vacuum sealed, place these truffles on unbleached tissue paper / kitchen paper to absorb moisture and store them in the fridge. This will prevent the truffles from coming into contact with too much humidity, which can cause them to mold.
Never freeze fresh magic truffles. This will destroy their internal cell membrane structure, greatly diminishing potency and when you defrost them, it will have turned into a slimy mass.
How to prepare magic truffles for microdosing: A step-by-step guide
Another possibility is to dry your magic truffles. The main advantage of drying your truffles is preservation – they will remain safe for use much longer (up to a year if correctly stored) than fresh magic truffles. Once the truffles are dried, you will follow with measuring the exact doses based on your personal sweet spot.
Follow these steps to prepare your dose for microdosing magic truffles.
What you’ll need:
- Magic truffles
- Electric scale (choose a precision scale that can weigh from 0.01g)
- Empty capsules
- Airtight storage container
- Fan / ventilator
- Coffee grinder
- Capsule machine
Step 1: Drying the magic truffles
- Cut the magic truffles into slices with a knife (thin slices dry faster and prevent mold)
- Use a fan to speed up the drying process (avoid using heat sources such as heaters or microwaves for the drying process. High temperatures destroy the psilocybin!)
- Dry the truffles for approximately three days. Wait until the pieces of truffles are bone dry (hard like small stones or a chip of truffles snaps when bent; then all moisture has gone, and there’s no chance of molding.
Another option – for the impatient or those short on time – is to dry the magic truffles in the oven. Set the temperature to max 113 °F (45 °C) and leave the oven on for +/- 48 hours. Because this is rather wasteful (considering the amount of energy used), we encourage the fan method!
Step 2: Grinding your magic truffles
Grind all dried truffles into a fine powder. This works best using a coffee grinder. Because the different parts of the truffles can differ in potency, it’s important to mix everything well to ensure a constant potency when microdosing your magic truffles.
Step 3: Finding your sweet spot when microdosing
If it’s your first time microdosing magic truffles, and you have not found your sweet spot yet, you can prepare several microdoses with different quantities. Prepare some capsules with different quantities, for example; a dose of 0.1 gram, a dose of 0.2 gram, and one of 0.3 gram. To find out which dose is your sweet spot, start with the lowest dose. If, by the end of your day, you haven’t noticed anything different about your day, take a higher dose on the next microdosing day.
As a general guideline, the dosages for microdosing dry magic truffles are:
- Low dose: 0.1 gram
- Medium dose: 0.3 gram
- High dose: 0.6 gram
Please note that your personal sweet spot might be above or below these averages. Take caution as you calibrate your doses: a dose of 0.7 gram of dried magic truffles (1.5 grams fresh) may already result in a slightly psychedelic effect for some people!
Read more in-depth on how to find your sweet spot in our guide How to microdose.
Step 4: Encapsulating the dried truffles
To make your microdosing practice as effortless as possible, and to make your truffles last longer, we advise encapsulating them. Before you make any amount of capsules, make sure that you have found your ideal dose, or sweet spot, and use this exact quantity to fill the capsules.
NOTE: Remember to deduct the weight of an empty capsule from the total weight. With most scales, you do it by placing an empty capsule on the and pressing the “tare” button.
Legality of psilocybin truffles
In most countries worldwide, magic truffles are illegal to possess, grow, sell, and consume.
Magic truffles (sclerotia) are cultivated in the Netherlands, where they can be purchased legally in smartshops and online shops. For residents of the Netherlands, the easiest and the most legal way to microdose is with magic truffles.
Truffles can be ordered online to some other countries within the European Union, however they may not be legal in those countries.
In Europe, Austria, Spain, and Portugal have decriminalized psilocybin containing mushrooms, meaning you can likely possess small amounts of truffles too, without facing legal consequences.
Always inform yourself of the legal consequences in your area, or the area you travel to, before deciding to source, grow, purchase, accept, or distribute mushrooms. Get your information from up-to-date, local resources — Microdosing Institute cannot be held responsible or legally liable for the accuracy of the legal information on our website.
According to our knowledge, magic truffles are not legally and/or commercially available outside Europe.
- Tylš, F., Páleníček, T., & Horáček, J. (2014). Psilocybin–summary of knowledge and new perspectives. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 24(3), 342-356.
- Psilocybin Investigator’s Brochure | MAPS
- The Tragic Story Of Magic Truffles: The Elusive Wild Psilocybe
- Research: Truffles or magic mushrooms for microdosing – what’s the difference?
- Magic Mushrooms Around the World: A Scientific Journey Across Cultures and Time — Jochen Gartz
- The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide — James Fadiman
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