Penis Envy Mushrooms: The Strongest Magic Mushroom with the Funniest Name

Penis Envy Mushrooms: The Strongest Magic Mushroom with the Funniest Name

Psilocybe cubensis are the most common type of psilocybin-containing mushroom. “Cubes,” as the species is referred to, come in various varieties, called “strains.” Some of the more common strains are Golden Teachers, Huatlas, B+, and Cambodians.

Many people who use cubes say it’s hard to tell the difference between different strains. When you eat them, the experience of a Golden Teacher is similar to that of a Cambodian, which is not that different from a B+.

Yet some strains of psilocybin-containing mushrooms are stronger than others–they have more psilocybin in them.

Penis envy mushrooms are a famous type of psilocybin-containing mushroom. They are unique among psilocybe cubensis for their high potency, which attracts many people to them.

Penis envy 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 among people who prefer high doses of mushrooms, penis envy mushrooms are prized. 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

RELATED: What Are Magic Mushroom Spores, And Are They Legal?

What This Type Of Magic Mushroom Looks Like

Image courtesy of Denver7 photojournalist Jacob Curtis

As their name suggests, penis envy mushrooms often have a phallic shape. In many cases, 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.

Sometimes, penis envy are short and fat, like those seen in the picture above. Other times, they are long and thick.

In terms of color, they usually range from a light tan to a darker brown, with variations amongst the different types. Penis Envy has been around a long time, and there are now variations of the original variety. As is typical with psilocybin-containing mushrooms, blue bruising on the stem can be an indication of high psilocybin content. They are also identifiable by their underdeveloped cap and, sometimes, the absence of a 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.

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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 with dark blue. Albino Penis Envy mushrooms 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

Different strains of psilocybin-containing mushrooms sometimes have different potency. Penis envy can be unusually strong.

A man who calls himself Psilly Simon grows some of the most powerful cubensis mushrooms in the world. In the fall of 2022, Psilly Simon’s cubes took first place in the “spiritual” category of the Psilocybin Cup, an event put on by Oakland Hyphae, an educational organization. Oakland Hyphae measured Simon’s cubensis, and found Simon’s mushrooms had a super high percentage of psilocybin. They had 22 mg of psilocybin per gram of dried mushroom weight. That was 30 percent more than the next-highest entrant, and between two and four times as much psilocybin as you’ll find a typical cubensis mushroom.

Simon calls his strain of mushrooms shiva lingams. Simon says that the mushrooms themselves told him to call their strain shiva lingam. (Yes, Simon listens to his mushrooms.) Shiva lingam means “sign of Shiva.” Shiva is the Hindu god of generation or creation. Simon says the mushrooms weren’t stoked on the name penis envy.

Whether you call them shiva lingam or anything else, penis envy mushrooms are sometimes more potent than most other Psilocybe cubensis varieties. Many users find that penis envy mushrooms offer a more intense, visual, and euphoric experience than Psilocybe cubensis varieties.

In the past, it had been theorized that the stronger effect of penis envy mushrooms was due to both a higher concentration of psilocybin and psilocin, and a higher ratio of psilocin to psilocybin. (Psilocybin is the pro-drug of psilocin — psilocybin is converted to psilocin in the body. Psilocin crosses the blood brain barrier and is responsible for the psychedelic effects).

It had been claimed that penis envy mushrooms contained up to 50 percent higher levels of psilocybin/psilocin than Psilocybe cubensis. Yet results from the first few Psilocybin Cups put on by Oakland Hyphae don’t necessarily support that theory. In the fall 2022 competition, strains labeled “penis envy” mushrooms didn’t have noticeably more psilocin in them than other mushroom strains. And penis envy mushrooms didn’t have a higher ratio of psilocin to psilocybin, compared to other strains. Some strains labeled penis envy had no psilocin at all.

Regardless of your shrooms dosage, it is important to have an understanding of how long it takes for shrooms to kick in.

Understanding The Potency Of Magic Mushrooms

Psilocin degrades very quickly, so as dried mushrooms age the amount of psilocin quickly drops; Psilocybin is more stable but it too degrades in time.

In the fall 2022 Psilocybin Cup, there was great variation in psilocybin content, even among strains that were labeled with the same name. Typical cubes, such as Cambodians or Golden Teachers, tended to test at between .5 percent and 1 percent psilocybin.

Cubes labeled penis envy weren’t always more powerful than other types of cubes. Some penis envy mushrooms had only .6 or .9 percent psilocybin. Yet other penis envy mushrooms were more powerful, with 1.2 or 1.5 percent psilocybin.

So if you’re eating one of the more potent penis envy strains, they could be 50 percent more potent than a typical cube. Or up to three times as potent! On the highest end, Psilly Simon’s Shiva Lingam, with 2.2 percent psilocybin, could be two to four times as potent as a typical cubensis mushroom.

Due to their potency, it is recommended to take much less than regular Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms.

A common 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, and up to 75 percent.

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The History Of Penis Envy Mushrooms

Image courtesy of Denver7 photojournalist Jacob Curtis

Because penis envy mushrooms can be so much more powerful than other types of cubes, there has been great interest in their history. Where did penis envy come from? Who first cultivated them?

Legend had it that penis envy mushrooms 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 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

However, this legislation did not prohibit mushroom spores since they do not contain psilocybin or psilocin, the active compounds in magic mushrooms. McKenna took spore prints from the mushroom he found and boarded a flight back to the U.S.

Back home in Colorado, McKenna soon began cultivating mushrooms from the prints he brought back. McKenna also sent prints from the exceptional Amazonian specimen to his ethnomycology colleagues.

From there, the development of the penis envy mushrooms was a mystery.

New evidence came to light in 2021, when journalist Hamilton Morris tracked down a reclusive mycologist named Rich Gee. Morris believes Gee should be credited for fostering and naming the penis envy mushroom.

Gee’s real name is Richard Gutierrez. In a podcast, Gutierrez told Morris the penis envy strain does originate in the Amazon, and does come from Terence McKenna. Gutierrez said he got his spores from a friend of a friend of McKenna. From these spores, Gutierrez grew the mushrooms. With each generation, Gutierrez selected the mushrooms that had the bluest tint, and grew more of them. (A blue tint suggests a high percentage of psilocybin.) Eventually, after many generations, Gutierrez arrived at the mushrooms we know today: a thick, phallic-looking mushroom with a cap that barely opens.

For a long time, Gutierrez called the strain Amazons. Then he showed the mushrooms to some women who said they looked like “donkey dongs.” Gutierrez asked if the women had penis envy. They laughed and the mushrooms have been called that ever since. And will be called penis envy–unless the name Shiva Lingam catches on.

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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.

People report that the effects of penis envy mushrooms are similar to most other Psilocybe cubensis varieties, with added intensity due to their higher potency. You may also find more “wavy” visual hallucinations with this variety.

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 that this variety offers a “clean” mushroom high. This may be because high-potency penis envy mushrooms have more psilocybin per gram of dried weight. So you have to eat less mushroom material to feel the effects. So you might feel less nausea.

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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 states of the U.S., except in 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 be engaging in an illegal act under federal law. When the spores begin to germinate, they form mycelium and then mature mushrooms, which contain the illegal compound psilocybin.

Psilocybin Is Decriminalized In Some U.S. States

It should be noted that psilocybin has been decriminalized in nearly 20 cities, counties and state, including Oakland and Santa Cruz, California; Washington D.C.; and Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts. You won’t face any legal penalties if you are found in possession of any kind of psilocybin mushrooms in these places.

Oregon legalized a regulated-access model when it passed Measure 109 in 2020. And with the passage of Measure 110 that same year, all drugs were decriminalized in Oregon, including mushrooms. Colorado voters legalized the personal use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms with the Natural Medicine Health Act in 2022. The growth, possession, gifting, and use of mushrooms are now legal for people over 21 in Colorado.

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

  • The Bahamas
  • Brazil
  • Jamaica
  • Nepal
  • Samoa

You can legally sell, cultivate, transport, and possess psilocybin mushrooms in these countries. 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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This article has been legally approved by Ruth Chun, JD. She is the founder of Chun Law Professional Corporation – focusing on the emerging plant-based industries. She is also a Director at Entheon BioMedical.

Penis Envy Mushrooms FAQ

Where do penis envy mushrooms grow?

Penis envy mushrooms do not typically grow in the wild. They are a domesticated species and only grow where people cultivate them.

How to grow penis envy mushrooms yourself?

Penis envy mushrooms can grow on any number of substances that range from rye grain (which is the most common and favorite of growers) to even things like coffee and straw. The easiest way to grow these mushrooms is to add some spores to a grow kit, put it in the dark and leave it be. Penis envy mushrooms may grow best on washed cow manure.

How strong are penis envy mushrooms?

Are penis envy mushrooms strong? The potency of penis envy mushrooms is a hot topic of discussion because it can vary widely. Some people claim that penis envy mushrooms are always 2x or 3x more potent than other typical mushrooms, but that’s not always the case. Some strains labeled penis envy are actually less strong than other strains. Unless you test your mushrooms, there’s no way to be sure. A proxy is to bruise fresh mushrooms with your finger. If they show a lot of blue, there’s a high concentration of psilocybin.

How long do penis envy mushrooms last?

A penis envy trip usually lasts an average of four hours. But the length of a trip can depend on multiple factors such as what you’ve eaten that day and the potency of the mushrooms you are consuming. Also, the more psilocybin you eat, the longer a trip lasts.

How to take penis envy mushrooms?

Penis envy mushrooms can be eaten raw. Their taste can be quite bitter, though, so many people brew penis envy mushroom tea and often add a little honey to balance the flavor and make it taste better. To make penis envy mushroom tea is easy. First, break the mushrooms up into small pieces (typically 1.5-3 grams — but can be less), place them in a kettle or bowl with your favorite tea bag, and pour boiling water over them. Let it steep for 20 minutes. Pour it into a mug, and feel free to add milk or honey for flavor. Voila.

Sam Woolfe

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.

This post was approved by mycologist Caine Barlow

Caine is a mycologist and educator who is skilled in mushroom cultivation, cell culture, and biotechnology. He has a Master’s Degree focused in Science (Bioinformatics) from University of Melbourne. He focuses on teaching how to culture and grow gourmet fungi while partnering with other organizations to help promote the discussion and conservation of fungi in the developing field of Conservation Mycology.

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Comments (1)

  • ed czlapinski
    March 11, 2023 at 8:21 pm Reply

    i consumed 10.2 grams of penis envy (i ate the whole thing!) three weeks ago as of yesterday. an inter-esting trip to say the least,although i experienced heavy indigestion and heartburn;considering i had tested positive twice for covid omicron in the preceding two weeks,i’m wondering if my stomach trouble wasn’t due to the virus.(my test was negative six days later,for what that’s worth.) just remember laying there for maybe forty-five minutes thinking that it was really going to be embarassing to have a mushroom take me out when i thought all the weird shit i’d ingested as a kid. it’s ironic that the natives used to re-fer to them as the flesh of god; i’ve definitely got a sense of respect for them. i’ll check them out again;for now,recall the last words of nathan hale before he was hanged: ” will this be a lesson to me!” over and out.

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