There are hundreds of types of psychedelic mushrooms, each with their own level of potency. Potent mushrooms often lead to a more intense trip, and each type of mushrooms can lead to a different kind of trip or experience.
Magic mushrooms have shown huge medical potential in treating a variety of health conditions, but it’s important to know how powerful these substances are before taking them. A little goes a long way, so be sure to start low and go slow—take a little bit and wait an hour or more to see how they’ve affected you before taking more. (For more on how many mushrooms to take, check out our dosing guide to psychedelic mushrooms.)
It’s important to note that psilocybin is currently illegal in all US states except for some counties in Oregon, and soon, Colorado. It is also decriminalized in some cities and states. Below, we’ve put together a list of the strongest types of psychedelic mushrooms.
Why does potency vary between shroom species?
Different species of psychedelic mushrooms have different amounts of psilocybin, and psilocin, the active compound that actually causes psychedelic effects. High levels of psilocybin and psilocin will lead to a more potent mushroom and a strong mushroom trip. Additionally, mushrooms within the same mushroom species can have varying levels of potency depending on the conditions in which they were grown.
Dosage vs. potency: Which has a bigger impact on your magic mushroom trip?
The intensity of a magic mushroom trip is hard to measure. The amount of mushrooms you take and how potent they are both play a role in your psychedelic experience. Taking two grams of mushrooms instead of one gram won’t necessarily “double” how high you feel—your trip could be exponentially stronger.
The same is true with potency—taking a mushroom with twice the amount of psilocybin or psilocin may lead to an exponentially more intense trip.
Other important factors to keep in mind when taking mushrooms are set and setting, meaning your mindset and environment when tripping. Doing mushrooms with close friends out in nature will lead to a much different trip than doing them with strangers at a crowded party, regardless of potency or dosage.
We also encourage positive intentions going into a trip, to prime your mind for the experience and set the tone.
How long do magic mushrooms stay potent for?
Dried mushrooms should be stored in an air-tight container in the dark. We don’t recommend storing them in a freezer. They’ll usually last for several months to a year, and potency will go down after that.
5 of the strongest types of magic mushrooms
There are hundreds of types of shrooms out there, all with different levels of psilocybin and psilocin. Below, is a list of five of the strongest types of psychedelic mushrooms.
It’s important to note that as psilocybin is still largely illegal, it hasn’t been studied extensively. As such, the list that follows is anecdotal, as many studies haven’t been done on psychedelic mushrooms, nor analyses of their psilocybin content, as of late.
Flying Saucers (psilocybe azurescens)
Supposedly named after Azureus,meaning “azure,” or “blue”, the son of famed mycologist Paul Stamets, these potent mushrooms are usually found in the Pacific Northwest, and up into British Columbia. Azzies are identifiable by their pointy tops and hat-like caps and small stature. As the name implies, and like many psychedelic mushrooms, they can turn very blue when they’re bruised or old in age.
Blue Meanies (panaeolus cyanescens)
More potent than your typical cubensis, these mushrooms are named after the antagonists in the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. True to their name, Pan Cyans often turn blue when bruised—cyanescens even means “blue.” They are tall and skinny and usually have small caps. These mushrooms love tropical or subtropical regions and are often found in Hawaii, and are believed to have made their way there from Asia.
P. Subs (psilocybe subaeruginosa)
Found natively in Australia and New Zealand, P. Subs are thought to be one of the most potent of the psilocybes. Recognizable with their wide pointy caps, the mushroom is thought to have become popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s with Australian surfers, and spread around the world through hippie counterculture thereafter.
Penis Envy (psilocybe cubensis)
Easily recognizable from its phallus shape, this popular type of psilocybe cubensis (arguably the most popular species of psychedelic mushrooms), is said to be more potent than regular cubes, or cubenses. Penis Envy is having a moment right now and is incredibly popular, so much so that PE crosses are everywhere, most notably, Albino Penis Envy, or APE.
Liberty Caps (psilocybe semilanceata)
Small, slender, and potent Liberty Caps tend to have tiny, pointy caps. They are widespread and like wet, grassy environments in cold to temperate regions, such as the Pacific Northwest and the British Isles. They also grow in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s thought to be one of the first psychedelic mushrooms in Europe to be identified and analyzed, its use dating back a few hundred years.