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WHY ARE MAGIC MUSHROOM SPORES LEGAL? BY THE MUSHROOM SPORE STORE
Mature Psilocybe Cubensis Mushrooms are Illegal in the United States, Because They Contain cubensis, a Schedule I Substance. The Immature Spores of These Mushrooms Do Not Contain cubensis, and are Therefore Legal in Most of The Country!
Amateur microscopy beginners are always delighted when they discover the world of mushroom spores—these beautiful organisms (or pre-organisms, if you prefer) offer a unique look at the beauty and variety of microstructures. There’s really nothing like it. Beginners are further surprised to learn that spores of the Psilocybe cubensis variety are legal to purchase, own, and study in most areas of the United States. Note that we say most areas, not all areas. For more information about the location-specific legalities of cubensis mushroom spores, please check our page Are Magic Mushroom Spores Legal in My State? where you’ll learn more about why cubensis mushroom spores are illegal in California, Georgia, and Idaho. You’ll also learn about decriminalization efforts, including in certain municipalities within states that otherwise prohibit cubensis mushrooms and/or spores. As you likely already know, cubensis mushrooms—the mushrooms, not the spores—are illegal in the United States and many other countries. This is because they contain cubensis, which is classified as a Schedule I substance. cubensis mushroom spores do not contain cubensis, and therefore are legal. It is, however, illegal to cultivate cubensis mushrooms from the spores. That’s why the Mushroom Spore Store only provides spores to researchers taxonomists, and microscopists who intend to use the spores for research and identification purposes only. We cannot and will not provide any information regarding cubensis mushroom cultivation, and any buyer who mentions their intent to use spores for such a purpose will be denied the opportunity to purchase our products. In this article, we’ll be discussing why magic mushroom spores are legal in more depth, what to expect when you get a spore syringe, how to store your spores, and more.
THE BEST ADVICE ANYONE WILL GIVE YOU: DO YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE
While the author of this article fully intends to provide readers like you with accurate information (but not legal advice), we all would likely agree that the legal system is monolithic and subject to change, sometimes quite rapidly—remember that the best advice anyone can ever give you is to “do your own due diligence.” In the context of cubensis mushroom spores, you should always do your own research. If necessary, confirm with your local authorities that your spore research and possession is legal. Nobody cares about your responsibility to legal compliance more than you do! If you plan on transporting or otherwise traveling with your spore syringes, make sure you research the laws of where you’re going ahead of time. What’s legal in one place might not be somewhere else. The United States isn’t the only country with laws prohibiting cubensis in one form or another. Of course, this might change—but it hasn’t yet. cubensis mushrooms are also illegal in, for example, Canada, Japan, and Italy, but like the U.S., cubensis spores are not. But in Jamaica, cubensis mushrooms and spores are perfectly legal. Everywhere has different laws, so plan ahead—or better yet, don’t travel with your spores.
FACTS GOOD TO KNOW!
It’s also very important to understand the difference between the terms “legal” and “decriminalized.” While people tend to use these terms interchangeably, they’re quite different. Read our article Are Magic Mushroom Spores Legal in My State? to learn the definition of both words and why it matters.
With that said, let’s move on with our discussion about why magic mushroom spores are, generally, legal in most of the United States. It all begins with having a strong understanding of the different stages of mushroom development.
UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF MUSHROOM DEVELOPMENT PERTAINING TO cubensis LEGALITY
Mushrooms have a fascinating life cycle. To the uninitiated, they probably seem to just “pop up” seemingly out of nowhere—it’s not unheard of for mushrooms to push through the soil and become visible in just a few hours, usually overnight. In fact, this is where we get the term “mushroomed,” (as in, “the popularity of the internet mushroomed in the late 90s”) which means to increase very quickly. To really understand why Psilocybe cubensis spores contain no cubensis and are thus legal, you must first understand the different stages of mushroom development. But before you can do that, you need to know the different parts of a mushroom. From top to bottom, a mushroom has the following parts of a Cap, Gills (sometimes called lamellae), Stem, Ring, Volva and Mycelium & Hyphae. Let’s take a closer look at each.
THE CAP – The cap of a mushroom is probably its most recognizable part: it’s the convex bit at the top that looks like a little hat, or cap. If you’ve ever wondered what the purpose of that little hat is, mycologists believe that its primary function is to protect the gills of the mushroom.
THE GILLS – The gills, located just underneath the cap, are thin, vertical little structures that are sometimes described as looking like protruding lines or ribs. The gills are responsible for producing the mushroom’s spores—the fun part that we’re learning about now. We’ll touch on why and how a mushroom produces spores in just a moment. Let’s finish talking about the rest of the body of a mushroom. The underside of a mushroom showing its gills, where magic mushroom spores are harvested. Beneath the cap and gills comes the next part you’re likely to recognize: the stem.
THE STEM – Interestingly, not all mushroom types have stems, but cubensis do. The stem of the mushroom is a spongy branch that serves to elevate and support the cap and gills.
THE RING – Some mushrooms will have a little “thing” attached to the stem, called a ring, which is a covering of organic matter. This is simply a remnant of a membrane that used to be on the gills, which breaks off as the cap grows and separates from the stem.
THE VOLVA – Similarly, the next part of the mushroom, the volva, is also a remnant of a covering that was originally there to protect the mushroom as it was maturing.
THE MYCELIUM & HYPHAE – Finally, we get to the very bottom of the mushroom, where the mycelium and hyphae are found. This part of the mushroom usually lives underground, and is in fact much larger than the mushroom in most cases (sometimes spanning hundreds of feet and, in some cases, even miles). Mycelium is considered the vegetative portion of a fungus like a mushroom. It is the part of the organism which produces the visible, fruiting bodies that we call mushrooms. The hyphae are tiny filaments that draw in or “suck up” nutrients for the fungus to survive and grow, which includes water and organic matter made up from plants and even animals. Notably, the hyphae aren’t typically visible to the naked eye, but can be observed under a microscope.
In the wild, spores can undergo a process called germination, which—if given proper nutrients, temperature, and light—will result in the growth of mycelium, which can then go on to grow and, possibly, produce mature mushrooms. From a legal standpoint, this is a key process to understand. Psilocybe cubensis doesn’t contain cubensis until the spores germinate and produce mycelium or mushrooms. In other words, spores do not contain cubensis, the Schedule I substance which is illegal in the United States. With this understanding, now you know why researchers must take care to ensure that their spores do not germinate, or otherwise they may be in violation of the law. While this is unlikely to happen accidentally, it is worth discussing, so we’ll talk a bit more about it in a moment. First, let’s talk about how and why cubensis spores are stored in a syringe, what you get when you order from the Mushroom Spore Store.
CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES HAVE DECRIMINALIZED cubensis!
Once again, readers should be careful to note the difference between decriminalization and legalization, which we discussed earlier in this article (it’s important, so if you skimmed that bit, scroll back up and read it!). The three municipalities in the Untied States which have decriminalized cubensis are as follows!
- DENVER, COLORADO
- OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA
- SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA
CAN MUSHROOM SPORES START GROWING ON THEIR OWN, AND IS THERE ANY LEGAL RISK TO OWNING cubensis SPORE SYRINGES?
In a word, no. While a guide to cultivating cubensis mushrooms wouldn’t be a terribly complex one, a person has to take several distinct steps in order to grow cubensis mushrooms. Mycologists studying mushrooms—Psilocybe cubensis or otherwise—typically do so under a specific set of circumstances with specialized equipment, growing mediums, materials, and other tools. Even then, the possibility of failure is present. In other words, while it’s technically possible, it’s very unlikely that your spores would just happen to grow into adult mushrooms accidentally. It would only be possible if the spores germinated—and that’s when you would have a potential problem. As we learned above, mycelium can contain cubensis (and is thus illegal). However, it is worth noting that even in the wild, mycelium has a relatively low chance of producing a mushroom, since the conditions have to be just right. Furthermore, since mushroom spores are stored safely in a syringe, suspended in a liquid solution (usually distilled water) without any nutrients, the likelihood of germination is infinitesimally low. This is especially true if the spore syringes are properly stored, which we’ll examine in more detail later on. To be completely safe, many amateur microscopists will completely dispose of or otherwise destroy cubensis spores after studying them.
WHAT’S THE PROPER WAY TO STORE MY PSILOCYBE CYBENSIS MUSHROOM SPORE SYRINGES?
We Recommend Studying Your Spores Within a Period of No Longer Than 12 Months!
The mushroom spore syringes from the Mushroom Spore Store are quite robust, however, you may wish to follow a few best practices for storage to get the best results. When your spore syringes arrive, you don’t have to do anything special—if desired, you can start studying them under your microscope right away. However, if you need to store them, the best way to do so is in a cool, dark place.
Put them in a small container (or a brown paper bag if you wish), and make sure that they’re kept at a temperature above freezing but below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Some amateur microscopists recommend keeping your spores syringes in a refrigerator. This won’t hurt your spores, but you may wish to refrain from freezing them—the water in the syringe can expand and break or crack the barrel, which carries the very real risk of contaminating your spores. If refrigerated, make sure that the temperature is somewhere between 35 – 45 degrees Fahrenheit.