The magic of magic mushrooms comes from the psilocybin that lies within them. “Psilocybin is a molecule… produced by over 100 mushroom species, likely to fend off various insects and/or microorganisms,” explained Marshall Tyler, Director of Research at Field Trip Health. “When these mushrooms are consumed by humans, the liver converts psilocybin into the psychoactive molecule psilocin.”
There are different varieties of psychedelic mushrooms scattered across the globe. Psilocybe cubensis, also affectionately referred to as the “Golden Teacher,” is the most common. Other popular magic mushrooms include “Liberty caps” (Psilocybe semilanceata), “Wavy caps” (Psilocybe cyanescens), and “Flying Saucers” (Psilocybe azurescens). Most psilocybin mushrooms tend to have light-brown to gold-colored caps with slender stems.
Shroom hunters can pick out magic mushrooms by their trademark feature of blue bruising: Stems turn a blue shade when picked, a giveaway that psychoactive molecules lie within.