What Are Penis Envy Mushrooms, And Are They Legal?

What Are Penis Envy Mushrooms, And Are They Legal?

Penis envy mushrooms are a famous type of psilocybin-containing mushroom. They are a variety of the commonly used Psilocybe cubensis mushroom. They can be rare to find due to the difficulty in cultivating them. You won’t encounter them as often as other kinds of magic mushrooms, but they are certainly worth knowing about. They are unique, for example, for their high potency, which attracts many people to them. In this article, we will describe the various aspects of penis envy mushrooms, including the following

  • Appearance (so you can identify them)
  • Potency
  • History
  • Effects
  • Legal status

What This Type Of Magic Mushroom Looks Like

As their name suggests, penis envy mushrooms have a phallic shape. They look very much like a penis. They have a thick and wrinkly stem and are larger than many other types of psilocybin mushrooms. Penis envy mushrooms have a bulbous cap that only sometimes opens up and separates from the very dense stem.

In terms of color, they usually range from a light tan to a darker brown, with variations amongst the different varieties. Blue bruising on the stem can be an indication of high psilocybin content. They are also identifiable by their underdeveloped cap and the absence of a velum (veil) separating the cap and stem.

Penis envy mushrooms are one of the densest types of magic mushrooms. They may be shorter in height and smaller overall than some other species, but they are still relatively heavy mushrooms, owing to their density.

Varieties of Penis Envy Mushrooms

There are different varieties of these mushrooms, and they have distinctive physical characteristics.

  • The Albino Penis Envy variety has a milky white coloration and its caps are sometimes tinged dark blue. Albino Penis Envy mushrooms also tend to be smaller than penis envy mushrooms on average.
  • Penis Envy Uncut mushrooms are distinctive in that their caps do not open at all, not even during the later stages of the mushroom’s maturation.
  • Trans Envy mushrooms look similar to a Transkei magic mushroom, with medium-thickness yellow-white stems (these are thicker than Transkei mushrooms but not as thick as penis envy mushrooms). They have the distinctive pallid cap coloration that penis envy mushrooms are known to possess.

The Potency Of Penis Envy Mushrooms

Penis envy mushrooms are consistently more potent than all other Psilocybe cubensis varieties. Many users find that penis envy mushrooms offer a more intense, visual, and euphoric experience than Psilocybe cubensis varieties.

It’s theorized that their stronger effect is due to both a higher concentration of psilocybin and psilocin, as well as a higher ratio of psilocin to psilocybin (psilocybin converts to psilocin in the body, the latter being responsible for the psychedelic effects).

However, there are no easily accessible test results to confirm the precise potency of these mushrooms. It has been claimed that penis envy mushrooms contain up to 50 percent higher levels of psilocybin/psilocin than Psilocybe cubensis. Regardless of your shrooms dosage, it’s important to get an understanding of how long it takes for shrooms to kick in.

Understanding The Potency Of Magic Mushrooms

Let’s take a look at the psilocybin/psilocin content of different species of magic mushrooms to get a sense of how relatively potent penis envy mushrooms are.

  • Psilocybe Azurescens (considered the most potent type of psychedelic mushroom, it contains an average of 1.78 percent psilocybin and 0.38 percent psilocin)
  • Bohemica (1.34 percent psilocybin and 0.11 percent psilocin)
  • Semilanceata (0.98 percent psilocybin and 0.02 percent psilocin)
  • Baeocystis (0.85 percent psilocybin and 0.59 percent psilocin)
  • Cyanescens (0.85 percent psilocybin and 0.36 percent psilocin)
  • Tampanensis (0.68 percent psilocybin and 0.32 percent psilocin)
  • Cubensis (0.63 percent psilocybin and 0.60 percent psilocin)
  • Weilii (0.61 percent psilocibn and 0.27 percent psilocin)
  • Hoogshagenii (0.60 percent psilocybin and 0.10 percent psilocin)
  • Stuntzii (0.36 percent psilocybin and 0.12 percent psilocin)
  • Cyanofibrillosa (0.21 percent psilocybin and 0.04 percent psilocin)

If we assume for the sake of argument that penis envy mushrooms contain 50 percent more psilocybin and psilocin than Psilocybe cubensis, then they would contain nearly 1 percent psilocybin and 0.90 percent psilocin. Psilocybe azurescens would have a higher level of psilocybin than penis envy but not more psilocin.

It is hard to say if penis envy mushrooms are the most potent type of magic mushroom. Psilocybe azurescens is famed to have this title. Nonetheless, we can say that these are one of the most potent types of psilocybin mushrooms you can find. Due to their potency, it’s recommended to take much less compared to if you were taking normal Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms. The recommended dose for most Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms is between 1.0 and 1.5 grams per 100 pounds of body weight. If taking penis envy mushrooms, reduce this dose by at least 30 percent.

RELATED: What Is The Christmas Mushroom, And Is It Legal?

The History Of Penis Envy Mushrooms

There is no clear evidence on where the penis envy mushroom comes from exactly. But legend has it that this strain originated from a very large and healthy Psilocybe cubensis mushroom found in the Amazon rainforest by the psychonaut and lecturer Terence McKenna.

When McKenna was in the Amazon in the early 1970s, magic mushrooms were illegal in most countries, due to the 1971 UN Psychotropic Substances Act. However, this legislation did not prohibit mushroom spores since they do not contain psilocybin or psilocin, the active compounds in magic mushrooms. So McKenna took spore prints from the mushroom he found and boarded a flight back to the U.S. with him.

Back home in Colorado, he soon began cultivating mushrooms from these prints. McKenna sent also prints from the exceptional Amazonian specimen to his ethnomycology colleagues. One such colleague was Steven Pollock, a medical doctor who was passionate about the healing potential of psychedelic mushrooms.

Pollock set about propagating and refining the culture, strengthening the genetic profile of it, until one day a mutation occurred. The result of the mutation was the penis envy mushroom, with its noticeable physical characteristics outlined above.

Pollock, along with mushroom enthusiast Michael Forbes, set up a company called Hidden Creek, which sold live cultures and mushroom growing kits. They also sold rare strains of mushrooms, allowing it to travel all over the world.

The Side Effects Of Penis Envy Mushrooms

As with any other type of psychedelic mushroom, penis envy mushrooms can produce a range of physical, perceptual, emotional, psychological, and spiritual effects. These effects include the below.

  • Enhancement of colors
  • Morphing of objects
  • Auditory distortions
  • Intense feelings of euphoria and joy
  • Deep introspection
  • Philosophical thoughts
  • Distortion of space and time
  • Synesthesia (i.e. “hearing colors”, “seeing sounds”)
  • Mystical states like feeling connected to the universe

Nonetheless, users will report that these mushrooms have some unique psychoactive effects as well.

People report that the effects of penis envy mushrooms are similar to most other Psilocybe cubensis varieties, with added intensity, of course, due to their higher potency. With this variety, you may also find more “wavy” visual hallucinations. This contrasts with strains like Mazatepec or Hualta, which can have visual hallucinations that are more geometric in nature.

The higher ratio of psilocin to psilocybin will also serve to make the onset of the experience occur sooner and more intensely. This is because psilocin is already psychoactive. The body does not have to metabolize as much psilocybin into psilocin.

People also commonly report that their experience involves less “body load” and makes it more likely for you to feel light, euphoric, and energetic. You may find, then, that this variety offers a “clean” mushroom high.

Penis envy mushrooms, like all other psilocybin-containing mushrooms, are illegal in most countries. In the U.S., they are a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Under the eyes of the law, this means they have no recognized medical value and a high potential for abuse. Of course, research into psilocybin and a wealth of anecdotal reports seem to suggest otherwise.

However, magic mushroom spores are legal to possess in most of the U.S., except in the states of California, Idaho, and Georgia. Therefore, if you are a U.S. citizen and don’t live in these three states, you can legally buy and own penis envy mushroom spores.

But as soon as you cultivate these mushrooms, you will then be engaging in an illegal act, under federal law. This is because when the spores begin to germinate, they can form mycelium and then mature mushrooms, which contain the illegal compound psilocybin.

Here it should be noted that psilocybin has been decriminalized (but not legalized) in Denver, Colorado; Oakland and Santa Cruz, California; Washington D.C.; and Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts. This means that if you possess any kind of psilocybin mushrooms in these states, you won’t face any legal penalties.

Magic mushrooms like the penis envy variety are fully legal in the following countries.

  • The Bahamas
  • Brazil
  • Jamaica
  • Nepal
  • Samoa

In these countries, you can legally sell, cultivate, transport, and possess psilocybin mushrooms. In the Netherlands, “magic truffles”, which contain psilocybin, are legal. But you cannot find the penis envy variety in the form of truffles.

The legal landscape surrounding psilocybin is continually changing in North America. Soon, it may be possible to legally buy, cultivate, and possess all kinds of magic mushrooms, including the much-desired penis envy variety.

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Sam Woolfe

View all posts by Sam Woolfe

Sam Woolfe is a freelance writer based in London. His main areas of interest include mental health, mystical experiences, the history of psychedelics, and the philosophy of psychedelics. He first became fascinated by psychedelics after reading Aldous Huxley's description of the mescaline experience in The Doors of Perception. Since then, he has researched and written about psychedelics for various publications, covering the legality of psychedelics, drug policy reform, and psychedelic science.

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