Wondering How To Grow Psilocybin Mushrooms?
Wondering how to grow psilocybin mushrooms but had no idea where to start? Look no further than Spores Lab! Spores Lab is a Canadian team of mycology experts with over 10 years of experience who want to provide to you not only the Genetics, Supplies, and Equipment necessary for cultivation but also guidance in the process. Fungi, and even specifically magic (psilocybin) mushrooms, have been used for millennia in medicinal and ritualistic settings. Today, many are finding out about the benefits that mushrooms, psychoactive or not, can have, leading them to seek out information on how to cultivate them. Frshminds asked Jeffrey Lebowe, director and mycologist at Spores Lab, about mycology and some of the basics for cultivating mushrooms. Read on to find out what he had to say.
What is mycology and why is this field of study increasing in popularity?
Mycology is defined as the study of fungi. There are over 4 million identified species of fungi, and although the Fungi branch of the tree of life was only classified in 1969, they are some of the oldest organisms on the planet. They play a crucial role in the earth’s ecosystems as they are the primary decomposers of both plant and animal tissue, and further to this some fungi have an extraordinary capacity to decompose petroleum, chemicals, and even toxic waste. I’d say interest is increasing because people are finding out about the many benefits – both physical and mental – that mushrooms can have, and naturally, some people want to grow their own mushrooms, for food, for medicinal purposes, or for “research” purposes.
How did you find yourself interested in mycology, and motivated to start a resource for mushroom growkits?
That’s a good question, I’ve been interested in mushrooms in general for quite a while, but my interest did start with the psychedelic varieties. After having my first psychedelic experience with mushrooms I was really intrigued as to why a mushroom had evolved to produce a compound that so drastically alters human consciousness, and was determined to grow my own. This project quickly led to a fascination with fungi as a whole and eventually turned into an occupation. As for why Spores Lab was founded, the answer is easy. It’s evident in Canada and has been for several years that there are many people who want or need access to psilocybin mushrooms, but are hesitant to purchase them due to legality. Spores and Growkits offer an excellent alternative because they are legal at the time of purchase. Seeing that market void, I partnered with 4 other expert cultivators, and in August 2020 launched Spores Lab.
What are “teks” and what ones would you recommend to someone who is just becoming interested in cultivating mushrooms?
“Teks” is short for techniques, and it’s a term relatively specific to growing psilocybe mushrooms. People all over the world have developed their own methods for cultivating mushrooms, and many are posted online as “Teks”. Some of the most common would be Monotub/Spawn + Bulk Substrate, PF Tek, and Uncle Bens Tek. For a beginner looking for the best chance at success, and the shortest amount of time before they actually see mushrooms I would recommend purchasing pre-colonized spawn and mixing with a substrate (this is the spawn + bulk substrate tek). You can check out our Teks page for more info on the abovementioned teks.
Can you explain to us briefly what mycelium is?
Mycelium can be described as the vegetative state of a fungus, where all energy is being put towards growth, as opposed to fruiting where energy is going towards reproduction. Mycelium is composed of many small threadlike tendrils, each one cell thick, called Hyphae. These Hyphae fan out in all directions from the initial point of germination/inoculation and form a network through which information and nutrients can be transmitted from any point, and for this reason, mycelium has been referred to as “nature’s internet” by many. Although it’s largely unseen, mycelium is absolutely crucial to a forest ecosystem, biomass of soil in forested areas can be up to 90%.
Other than psychoactive (psilocybin) mushrooms, what are some others you recommend for cognitive, cardiovascular, and mental health? Well, there is no doubt that the psilocybe genus is most effective for mental health, however, there are numerous other species that can provide a variety of benefits, like Reishi which can aid sleep and combat anxiety/depression, or Lions Mane which can boost cognition, memory, and concentration. Cordyceps which can increase energy and expedite muscular recovery, or Shiitake which can lower cholesterol and blood pressure! Fungi are pretty amazing organisms!Can you explain the difference between using a mushroom spore syringe vs. an agar medium?
What are the pros and cons to both? The biggest difference between a spore syringe and an agar culture (or liquid culture) is that spores are inert, while the agar/liquid culture is an alive and growing mycelial colony growing on an agar medium (or in a nutrient broth for a Liquid Culture). The pros to a live culture are that it will usually colonize whatever medium you are spawning in faster, and additionally with agar you have the ability to isolate and propagate the best performing sectors and transfer them to a new dish, then use that new dish to inoculate a spawn medium. Most reputable Liquid Culture vendors will make Liquid Culture syringes using isolated agar dishes, so if you order LC online you will generally get better results than from a spore syringe. The advantages to a spore syringe are lifespan and resilience, a spore syringe can remain viable for several years, and is quite resilient to temperature swings, whereas a liquid culture is susceptible to temperature fluctuation and has a lifespan of ~3 months at room temp.
Any additional tips for first-time mushroom growers?
As for additional tips, it’s a bit of a shameless plug, but reading the entire Sporeslab website would be an excellent place to start, as this would provide you with a lot of knowledge on; the mushroom life cycle, the supplies you will need, growing medium recipes, different growing teks, different mushroom species, as well as a written overview of the growing process from start-to-finish!
Find everything you need to know about mushroom cultivation at Spores Lab. And if you’re interested in consuming psychedelic mushrooms, it’s advised to consult a psychedelic integration therapist beforehand. You can find one in your area from our listing on Frshminds.