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Traits and Potency

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#1 ElvenMagick



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Posted 12 June 2020 - 11:35 PM

I am sorry if this is a topic that has been dealt with and I am unable to find the answer to my questions. I have found some post, but I still don't feel like anyone discuses it clearly. 


My questions are essentially about potency selection of the strain with highest potency. So besides just growing and trying them via a "bioassay" what other ways are there to determine if a "strain" will be potent? 


For instance rhizomorphic growth is clearly a desirable trait, but does this translate to potency? I was looking I suppose for more than just grow until you find one you like type advice.


How about anyones experience with multi-spore grows? Are these even more variable in terms of potency due to the above traits I am asking about? 


I ask as a FOF grew two different strains, both started using mutli-spore syringe injections into rye berries jars, then fruited on manure/verm/gypsum mixture in a mono tub.


By multi-spore I just mean grow using spores so not one strain was selected for my friend.


However both of these grows, one being PESA, the other Palenque, were well rather weak for the first flush. Even 2.0g of dried material had barely noticeable effects. The bluing effect was odd as well and became more black very soon after. I saw one post about this coloration and all comments attributed this to picking the fruits after they had been covered by spores from another. This is NOT the case in this situation. Any advice, comments?


One last thought they were all harvested prior to the veil breaking as well if that is in question. 

#2 Mycol



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Posted 13 June 2020 - 11:20 AM

Potency can vary from a lot of things; strain, but also substrate and temperature as well as how you dehydrated them can affect potency .

How were they grown ? Cakes or tubs ? Did they have any co posted manure in the substrate ?

Edited by Mycol, 13 June 2020 - 11:21 AM.

#3 ElrikEriksson



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Posted 13 June 2020 - 03:16 PM

The basics first:

Its considered best to harvest the mushrooms just when the veil is breaking. Extremes in temperature when growing could have an effect, as could extremes in temperature or duration of drying.


That said, it's well known that different clonal isolates ['strain' in the technical sense] of a given variety [like Palenque, PESA, B+, etc] can have different potencies.

Skilled for-profit growers and dedicated home growers will often isolate a potent and vigorous strain of each variety they wish to grow to keep as a pet for their grows.

Some people go so far as to argue that varieties have no individual potency propensities and its just random chance with strain isolate potencies. I do not believe this. I can sometimes see general tendencies toward more or less potency in a given variety. Most are near the same but there are outliers. You can visualize it like this:


Each dot represents the potency of a strain isolate of the given variety. You could find a potent strain of either, but one might average higher than the other.

In my experience with the Palenque bloodline I adopted in college, Palenque seems to average a little bit below standard cubensis potency. I need to take a little more on any grow. This does not mean Palenque is a bad variety, I absolutely adore it, it's gentle, it's not very mind fucking, I can get more sleep after tripping with it, and if I really take a big dose the euphoria is just out of this world. It rivals Transkei euphoria but without that long lasting very strong stimulation of Transkei.

Potency isn't everything.


As for substrate, I have not seen it effect potency or character when using any typical non-commercial spawn rate. This last winter I compared 3 different substrates, one pure coir and two taboo violating manure based mixes, using a Palenque grain spawn. There was a slight difference in yield but after thoroughly testing them in bioassays my journal came to this conclusion:

"Challenged, I would not be able to tell these three apart by apperance, smell, taste, character, or potency."


I'd recommend you use what substrate is convenient and routinely successful for you.

If you add gypsum there is no need to go beyond 1%. 10% Gypsum being 'required' is a myth that was debunked by the very guy who started it.

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#4 ElvenMagick



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Posted 13 June 2020 - 05:01 PM

Thanks for the replying both Elrik (Love this books!) and Mycol. So basically it sounds like what I generally am doing. I suppose, what I was more generally hoping to get information on is are there physical characteristics that would allow one to perhaps gauge the genetics of a particular strain in terms of its potency much like rhizomorphic growth is generally selected for in the process. 


I suppose I was just a bit surprised as two different strain, the PESA and Palenque were much weaker than almost any sample I have ever encountered in the past. I do not suspect the timing of harvest as I timed it fairly well, just before the veils began to tear. I am glad to hear Elrik that the Palenque has treated you kindly. It sounds like the most reliable method is to grow numerous lines and just select the one you like best after the bioassay :) 


The grow as I said initially was started from spores injected into rye berry jars, then the bulk substrate was cow manure/verm/gypsum mixture. * Thanks for the advice on the Gypsum Elrik* There were a few very warm days during the mono tub period where the temps were in the high 90s for a day or two but other than that temps were fairly constant in the low 80s/ high 70s range. I do not have temperature control at this time. Drying was done using a dehydrator at 160F. Well below the melting point of psilocybin. However I do suspect drying as an issue as fresh samples were nearly identical to the dried samples. Both had nearly zero effect. Well perhaps I should rephrase that. The Palenque at 2.0g was relaxing. At times with focus and calm one could feel the effects. 


I am curious though if there is any other method of selection for this trait? Thanks all for helping out! I have been thinking if there was a way to generate a colormetric assay to do a rough analysis of the fruits? Ferric Chloride test perhaps would at least indicate presence of phenol's. I wonder if perhaps there is not a method to determine concentrations via a method similar ?

#5 Mycol



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Posted 13 June 2020 - 08:43 PM

Were you the only one studying these ?

#6 ElrikEriksson



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Posted 13 June 2020 - 11:42 PM

Yeah, I wish there were a shortcut to gauge potency.

Rhizomorphic character is more about finding a strain that will run through bulk subs fast, its no indication of potency.

Bluing is too complex to be a judge of potency, even if we want it to be. Its strongly effected by enzymes, minerals, and other things.

I wish a simple ferric chloride test would do it, that would be epic, but the things that would interfere with the test would be in a higher concentration than psilocybin and psilocin.

A more technical assay could be devised, a semi-quantitative ninhydrin assay for cacti was developed. Ninhydrin wouldn't work here but another alkaloid test reagent might, perhaps involving a colorimeter made from a webcam. But when all of the sample prep, testing, etc. was put together it would be a very substantial investment of lab time.

I'd like to be able to assay 40 strains in a week but in the end I'm sure I'll be stuck with my standard method testing one per week with a dark room, an mp3 player, and a pear.


Oh, you are taking tolerance into account right?

I'm lucky, I can trip every saturday without building up tolerance but some people have to go 2 weeks between trips or else the trips are distinctly reduced in strength.

Go 2-3 weeks without, get 4+ doses, mix them up well, and take them in series each time with a shorter rest period between to see when the trips start getting weak.

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#7 ElvenMagick



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Posted 14 June 2020 - 01:39 PM

I was more just off the cuff thinking there might be a colorimetric assay. I didn't think the FeCl3 had the specificity to detect only psilocybin in the matrix of the remaining organic compounds, but more the idea. I was not familiar with the ninhydrin, I will look into that just out of interest. 


I think for my friends fruit, I would say yes they were pretty weak, tolerance has been taken into account. We compared it to some other fruits from a separate grower. Can I ask what normal variation in potency do you notice in same the same strain when trying to select a suitable candidate to keep as a personal companion? :) 


Thanks again. Any significance for the pear ? :)

#8 ElrikEriksson



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Posted 14 June 2020 - 03:06 PM

I have not done much work hunting super-strains myself, at best I do 3 to 8 semi-isolate or limited multispore grows of a variety at one time before moving on so I have time to try a wider range of varieties, those who have done more extensive hunts tell me that with well domesticated varieties most strains are around the same potency with a few outliers in either direction and a rare gem that's remarkably potent here and there.

Any significance for the pear ? :)

:laugh: In my standard mushroom protocol I dose at sun down, lay down in my dark bedroom when it kicks in, and squirm in delight until after the peak, then I take a psychedelic shower and return to my room with a pear.

I spend the next hour in the dark getting pear juice everywhere and by the time I'm down enough to actually finish eating it I know I could probably handle getting up and doing something else.

When envisioning the scenario it helps to know my standard dose is 7-9 grams :wink:

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#9 ElvenMagick



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Posted 19 June 2020 - 09:48 PM

Well looks like I will have to do some weekly work as well :) Yes sounds like a good ritual you have worked out for you. I always enjoy hearing what setting and such people enjoy. Thanks again for all the input. 

#10 rockyfungus



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Posted 31 July 2020 - 08:27 PM

Most of the cubes I have grown seem pretty similar at the classic 3.5g dose up to about 7g. Then all hell breaks loose.

Only obvious difference I've noticed is a variation in how closed off the cap is and how long it takes to colonize.

Isolating is the way to go, they need some work from multi-spore to a prize winning isolate.

#11 coAsTal



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Posted 08 August 2020 - 07:51 PM

I'd like to offer another suggestion to the OP--


I spent a couple years growing cubes (PE, Cambodians, Golden Teacher, KSS) back in the mid 2000's.

Took a very long break due to job transfers and life circumstances making it impossible to grow or use anything.


I came back to mushrooms just this past year, and was asking the same question as you are: what is the optimum potency available to me-- the "Biggest Bang Per Gram" (BBPG)? I think I have arrived at my solution, and maybe it will help you too.


Within the cubensis section, as others kindly mentioned earlier, you are dealing with any number from hundreds to even thousands of "children" of the mother mushroom in any multispore grow, all working together inside any given monotub grow.

Every mushroom grow can be comprised of different combinations of spore "parents".  You're looking at dozens or even hundreds of that patent's "children" in every grow.

With that analogy applied to people, how could you predict the smartest or fastest one of 12 children would be in-vitro? You just couldn't.


Sure, casual agar users (like myself) may well be able to narrow a colony/crowd of mycelial spore combinations down through transfers... but the question of potency is simply not visible on an agar plate-- you can only narrow at that stage by selecting for healthy behavior/uniformity and speed/resilience in colonization.


Just like the smartest child analogy above, you just can't tell how it'll turn out until after they grow up and prove themselves superior.


So here's the answer "I" chose to solve my question-- and perhaps yours, too?


Instead of spinning the potency roulette wheel every cube grow, consider graduating to a stronger type of mushroom altogether!


You have so many seriously potent alternatives to cubes!

While each may have their own spectrum of "Meh, rather weaker" on up to to "[email protected] $#!T strong"...  their types "weak" is often at least as strong as the average cubensis is prone to be-- and "strong" might only require a single gram to launch you into a VERY strong trip.


Which types am I talking about?

  • Ps. Mexicana (Jalisco, others) (makes stones/sclerotia)
  • Ps. Tampanensis (Galindoi, Atl#7) (these are the northern cousins of Mexicana) (makes BIG stones/sclerotia)
  • Ps. Hoogshagenii var. Convexa (AKA: Semperviva!)
  • Panaeolus (Cyans and Cambo's)

From my (extensive) reading on this topic over the past several months, Pan Cyans can be nearly 4x as strong as cubes by weight-- Pan Cambo's, Tamps, Mex, and Semperviva around ~2x as strong or more as average cubes.


The stones that the Mex/Tamps generate are also worth you time to research, as "truffles" are active just like fruits-- and they form without having to even grow fruit! Hell, you don't even need to take them out of the spawn jar and they'll grown in there!


AND, every type of shroom fruit above has far less fungal matter per alk dose-- they're way less likely to contribute to the stomach gas that makes so many people feel crummy during digestion, making tripping physically uncomfortable.


Anyway-- because of my research, I presently have Tamps (var. Atl#7 and Galindoi) and Semperviva on grain.


GAL100percent.jpg ATL70percent.jpg SEMP50percent.jpg


I have seen enough reviews to know that these will all provide very solid experiences in smaller, easier to store fruits (with free stones as a bonus for the two Tamps!) with the same number of trips per quart of spawn (and sometimes more) by weight as cubes in less space. They are NOT all that much different from cubes to grow-- I've seen many people here and elsewhere do a stellar job with the same basic skills used on cubes. Just pay attention and go for it-- that's what I'm doing :)




I also have some Panaeolus Cambo prints that I will go after once I get these strains on lock. They are being shown recently as producing some of the highest Biological Efficiency (% mushroom grams per spawn/sub weight) of any active species by a long measure. User Blue Helix measured 170% BE when scaled to the method measuring cubes-- that's a spectacular gram return per unit of spawn and sub.

Pans do seem to need more attention, but I will get them going too-- I have the community to help me along, as do you.



Best wishes--






#12 Arathu



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Posted 22 August 2020 - 11:45 AM

Grow a couple of species of woodlovers (P. cyan, P. ovoid, P. azure, and etc. etc... or pans and you'll not waste any further energy on the subject)


A well balanced diet and, I feel, some type of dung in the fruiting substrate (for cubes and other dung lovers) just makes sense....but cubes I've seen vary in potency.....


As stated above I have yet to see a woodlover disappoint (the exception being friends that take various anti-depressant and other psyche meds)....


In fact GREAT respect and caution should be practiced.....IMHO



Edited by Arathu, 22 August 2020 - 11:46 AM.

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#13 Akari


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Posted 22 August 2020 - 12:37 PM

Yeah. As far as cubes, I'd isolate for density of fruits. You can't predict potency, but you can always take more.


My goal is to grow PE, as they're the only cube known to be especially potent, then I'm graduating my way up to the strains above.


If you're nervous about dipping your toes into the pan universe, Penis Envy is a good bridge. I'm ready for the next level guys!!!

#14 FunG


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Posted 25 August 2020 - 08:29 AM

The strength of psilocybin per a dried gram as mentioned above is only notable in species themselves.

The ones I'm familiar with are
Psilocybe scelortia
Pan cyans
And azures

Although there are more psilocybe containing species then just those listed they are the most commonly cultivated indoor psilocybes with the exception of azures that require spawning to outdoor beds. I listed them in the order from weakest to strongest and didnt include amita muscaria since they are not a psilocybe.

With p.cubensis everyone says mutants are stronger per a dried gram then regular mushrooms this is why pe and ape are so popular, they're mutants. Aborts are also repeatedly told to be more potent per a dried gram then a fully grown mushroom. I say it's TRUE....3g of aborts sends me off to never never land for a hour or so and sometime I forget who I am and where I am lol

Edited by FunG, 25 August 2020 - 08:33 AM.

#15 coAsTal



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Posted 25 August 2020 - 08:46 AM

FWIW, I've always mused that perhaps the reason PE and variants are so powerful has more to do with the fact that they are simply very dense, meaty cubes-- when I grew them back in 2006/7 they were so dense that it seemed there was almost twice the flesh per inch as a more conventional cube (like the GT's, Cambo's I grew back then).

#16 ElrikEriksson



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Posted 25 August 2020 - 12:13 PM

You cant tell which ones will be potent by appearance. Sure, some mutants kick ass, but not all of them do.

My best example was with Cubans. I heard good things about Cuban so I got a print, put to agar, nabbed some verified monokaryons before making liquid inocula and growing out. The grows gave very dense, very solid, slow growing mutant fruits. Everything that 'should' just scream potency!

The night came, I had my dried mutant mushrooms. How brave was I? Should I halve the dose, quarter it? Screw it, I'm a soulflyer, lets try and shatter the universe! I took my standard 7 gram dose.

And... it felt like 3 grams, what the fuck, rawr!

By this point I had used the most vigorous monokaryon to breed two hybrids. I crossed to an Ecuador bloodline that's consistently good potency with a kind of strange trippy headspace, 7 grams of that F1 felt like 3 grams. I also made a cross with Transkei, this time boosting dose to 12 grams. That, thankfully, at least felt like 9 grams.

Not all mutants are awesome. But Transkei, it seems, is awesome even in breeding :cool:

#17 coAsTal



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Posted 25 August 2020 - 12:24 PM

Did someone say Transkei?



Edited by coAsTal, 25 August 2020 - 12:25 PM.

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