Psilocybe azurescens, or P. azurescens, are a type of Psilocybin mushroom that is found in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Psilocybin mushrooms are naturally occurring fungi that contain psilocin and/or psilocybin as their main psychoactive compounds. But what effects do they have and how do they differ from Psilocybe cubensis magic mushrooms? Continue reading to find out these answers and much more!
What are Psilocybe asurescnens mushrooms?
Psilocybe azurescens, also called Flying Saucers, Blue Runners, Blue Angels, and Azzies, are a species of mushroom of the genus Psilocybe. Psilocybin mushrooms have been used in religion and healing ceremonies for thousands of years by indigenous people in Mesoamerica. Psilocin is a psychoactive alkaloid found inside psilocybin mushrooms and what psilocybin gets converted to once ingested. Psilocybe azurescens are known to have the highest concentration of psilocybin out of all psilocybe species, which is why they are often used for recreational and spiritual purposes.
How were Flying Saucer mushrooms discovered?
There is a lot of myths around this species of mushrooms, just like some of the other strains or species, and it is most likely due to magic mushrooms’ long-time illegal status and the emergence of myth and legend. According to the myth, a Boy Scout troop discovered this species of mushrooms in Oregon sometime in 1979. This is certainly possible but it is undocumented or anecdotal so the truth is uncertain. What is certain, is that Paul Stamets, a famed mycologist, first published a paper on this species in 1996 identifying them.
Where is the natural habitat of Flying Saucer mushrooms?
This species is found only in a specific part of the Pacific Northwest from Depoe Bay Oregon up to Gray’s Harbor County, Washington, and is said to grow as far south as the extreme northern part of California. It is almost always found along or near the coast and is very prevalent around the Columbia River Delta region. They prefer sandy soils, which explains why they are found near the coast, with lots of woody debris, and can most often be found in coastal dunes. These mushrooms are renowned for their heartiness as they can withstand temperatures from 60°F -75°F.
What do Psilocybe azurescens look like?
P. azurescens mushrooms have a smooth, conical cap, or pileus, that flattens out with age and has an umbo or a raised nipple-like portion in the center of the cap. The color of the cap is roughly 1-3 inches in diameter and usually brown to light brown and is often a caramel-colored brown mushroom cap. The stem is usually white or a dirty light brown or even gray and gets thicker towards the base and ranges from 3.5-8 inches tall. The gills will often bruise purple, black, or purplish-black if they are injured while the spore prints will typically be purplish-brown to purplish-black. These psychedelic mushrooms have a very bitter flavor and will be either odorless or smell starchy. Due to the flattened shape with the umbo in the middle, they are said to resemble flying saucers.
How do Flying Saucer mushrooms compare to Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms?
The main difference between these two magic mushroom varieties is that Flying Saucer mushrooms are one of the strongest wild magic mushrooms known to us today. It is said that they are up to three times stronger than your average Psilocybe cubensis, also called cubes or gold caps, mushrooms. In dry weight, Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms average 0.14–0.42% and 0.37–1.30% of psilocybin and psilocin. The Flying Saucer mushroom, on the other hand, averages 1.1% psilocybin and 0.15% psilocin in dry weight. As you can see, the psilocybin content is far higher in the Flying Saucer shrooms. An average dose of Flying Saucer mushrooms is 1 gram, which can cause an intense experience, while the average dose for Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms is 3.5 grams, which is an eighth.
What are the effects of Flying Saucer mushrooms?
Flying Saucer mushrooms are known to have very strong psychoactive properties. As demonstrated above, they contain a much higher dose of psilocybin, which is more stable than psilocin and more likely to last in storage, than your average shroom. You are more likely to have an out-of-body experience with these mushrooms which can be terrifying to some people, especially beginners. It is recommended that you titrate, which means you take a little at first and then take more as needed to avoid any negative side effects.
Besides the strength, the effects are similar to other magic mushrooms with auditory and visual hallucinations being common. Flying Saucer mushrooms are known to have a strong body component, which is often likened to Psilocybe cyanescens, also known as P. cyanescens. This species of magic mushrooms can be very cerebral with visuals that can be described as kaleidoscopic or looking at the world through waxed paper. The effects come on quickly, usually 15 minutes to an hour after consumption, and peak around an hour or two before slowly tapering off and lasting around 6 hours. Many people report euphoria, laughing, and a sense of well-being. There are also reports of increased creativity and spiritual insights. There are chances for negative experiences, also known as a bad trip, so it is important that you are comfortable with the people and environment around you while you are tripping.
Are there any risks associated with taking Psilocybe azurescens?
As with any psychedelic mushrooms, it is recommended that you do your research before ingesting them. Psilocybe azurescens have been reported to cause nausea, vomiting, fear, panic, paranoia, and diarrhea in some people which are the same negative experiences you can have with other psychedelic drugs. P. azurescens can be psychologically habit-forming for those who use them frequently. This simply means that people do them in certain situations because they feel compelled due to past experiences. Mushrooms are not physically addicting though, so most people who want to stop taking them simply stop using them.
Is Psilocybe azurescens legal?
In most countries where Psilocybe mushrooms are illegal. Psilocybe azurescens are not as commonly found as Psilocybe cubensis and, because of this, they have not been specifically named in any drug laws yet but would typically fall under the same restrictions. It should be noted that there are some places locally in the United States, like Denver, Washington, D.C., Santa Cruz, CA, and Oakland, CA, where psilocybin has been decriminalized and it is legal to take them in these localities as long as you follow the laws of possession, although it still remains federally illegal. Oregon voters also passed a ballot measure that makes using magic mushrooms legal in their state buy only for therapeutic purposes and while supervised.
Psilocybe azurescens are a potent and intense type of magic mushroom found in the Pacific Northwest that contains high levels of the psychedelic compound psilocybin. They have similar effects to other magic mushrooms, with auditory and visual hallucinations, euphoria, and a general sense of well-being consisting of the common effects experienced by most people. Due to their strength, it is recommended to take Flying Saucer mushrooms at far lower doses than gold caps and for inexperienced users to start with an even smaller dose and take more if necessary. In the USA, these magic mushrooms along with other psilocybin-containing mushrooms are still federally illegal although they are decriminalized in several cities and there is a national movement to change their legal status and make them legal. Thank you for reading our article, should you have any other questions please see our articles relating to Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, liberty caps, and golden teacher mushroom effects.
References, Research and Sources:
- Category:Psilocybe azurescens – Wikimedia Commons
- File:Psilocybe azurescens 123016.jpg – Wikimedia Commons
- Effects and safety of Psilocybe cubensis and Panaeolus cyanescens magic mushroom extracts on endothelin-1-induced hypertrophy and cell injury in cardiomyocytes – Scientific Reports
Fact Checked and Editorial Process
The Magical Mushroom is devoted to producing expert and accurate articles and information for our readers by tapping into psychedelic users, experts, journalists, and growing community. We encourage you to read more about our content, editing, and fact checking methods here. This was fact checked by Chris Riley.
Owner, entrepreneur, enthusiast of natural medicine