acadian coast mushrooms growing on substrate

An Enthusiast’s Guide to Acadian Coast Mushrooms

Are Acadian Coast mushrooms just cubes—or do they represent a unique genetic strain? We talked to the mycologists doing the research.

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Louisiana isn’t the most psychedelic place in America, with laws banning more psychoactive substances than anywhere else in America. However, the state is also home to Acadian Coast, a variety of Psilocybe cubensis, a psilocybin-containing mushroom.

The Acadian Coast strain is a rarity—it’s not winning competitions or going viral due to its mesmerizing effects or unique morphology. It resembles many other cubensis varieties, with classic cream-colored stems and warm caramel caps. These same features, however, make it difficult to tell different cubensis strains apart. To be honest, the only true way to tell whether or not one cubensis strain is different from another, we’d need genetic testing—but more on that later.

Acadian Coast Origins and History

It’s unclear who first collected Acadian Coast, although internet rumors put it beside the muddy waters of the Mississippi River. We do know that posts about the shroom first popped up over twenty years ago on Shroomery. Shroomery is an online mushroom-growing community which has been around since the dial-up days of the internet. 

“In the early days, people would name strains typically wherever they collected them,” says Marc, a longtime Shroomery moderator and mushroom cultivator. We chatted over WhatsApp. Marc has been cultivating mushrooms for over 50 years since accidentally colonizing his compost in the 1970s. “So if you were along the coast of Florida near the Kennedy Space Center, somebody named that with the Space Coast.”

map of Acadian Coast Louisiana
Since the 1700s, Acadian Coast has referred to a stretch along the Mississippi where Acadian immigrants settled | Map via Acadie

Since the 1700s, the Acadian Coast has referred to a stretch along the Mississippi where Acadian immigrants settled. However, the Acadian Coast is sometimes called the Gulf Coast, stretching from Newfoundland in Canada into the Southern States. So, the original collection could be from a sizable area.

To dive deeper into this strain’s history, I reached out to Alistair McTaggart, an Australian mycologist studying psilocybin mushroom genetics. Over Zoom, he, explains that Acadian Coast is a “provenance name” that helps mycologists categorize cubensis types. However, neither of the mycologists could confirm the specific origins of Acadian Coast. Even the trusty Internet Archive Wayback Machine couldn’t locate the first posts crediting anyone with collecting or distributing the shroom.

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Acadian Coast Genetics and the Mushroom Entourage Effect

A common saying in mycology is “a cube is a cube,” which assumes a cubensis strain like Acadian Coast is the same as other cubensis. But McTaggart isn’t convinced. “So a strain is technically a genotype,” he says. A genotype is the genetic makeup of an organism. His recent research sheds light on the existence of distinct cubensis genotypes.

McTaggart uses genotyping to track different cubensis varieties in his research and breeding programs. After collecting genetic information, he uses it to breed new, genetically-distinct fungi.

He enthusiastically shares his data with me, the cluster graphs colonizing my computer screen like mycelium. Groups of many well-known cubensis strains cluster together, showing they have very similar genotypes— which might be an example of “just selling a name,” but not unique effects. McTaggart’s data also shows several distinct groups of genotypes, where some cubensis stand apart from others genetically. These clusters form different groups, which might produce different effects, even though they are all cubes, according to McTaggart.

He also suspects that if someone systematically consumed genotypes from every separate cluster, each one would produce distinctive subject effects. McTaggart tells me researchers aren’t currently allowed to sample their mushrooms, but his talk of finding a specific genotype that sends one “into the DMT realm,” does pique curiosity for further experimentation.

McTaggart explains that specific genes are involved in the production of psilocybin. So, it’s plausible that certain genetic combinations in a strain like Acadian Coast could uniquely metabolize psilocybin and related compounds downstream. Other researchers postulate that other compounds found in psilocybin mushrooms—like baeocystin, norbaeocystin, and norpsilocin—could alter psilocybin’s effects. If so, this might change the experience of your trip. For McTaggart, the future of breeding psilocybin mushrooms is a focus on genetics, rather than if a mushroom looks like a penis or is albino.

While Mctaggart’s latest publication doesn’t include Acadian Coast, the takeaway is that with careful cultivation through cloning, not spore prints, it’s possible to maintain specific characteristics of cubensis. Acadian Coast appears to be a somewhat unpredictable strain in terms of cultivation. So, cloning is an indispensable tool if a specific flush has desirable characteristics one wants to continue producing.

Characteristics and Features of Acadian Coast

So, what do we know about Acadian Coast mushrooms? Acadian Coast caps (or pilus, if you want to get mycological) range from pale gold to rich caramel, growing lighter at the edges as they mature, perhaps having a few white specks on top. Caps can grow as big as four or five inches across, with stems (or stipes) being medium-thickness and white to cream-colored.

This mushroom is—by all intents and purposes—a classic cubensis. Acadian Coast is tough to distinguish from other cubes with a casual glance. Reports across the internet suggest size, shape, time to fruit, and potency can vary significantly. This can be from different growing conditions and genetic variations.

“A lot of people will have a relatively unimpressive grow and blame it on the strain, or they’ll have a really, really massive grow and credit the strain, and both are really somewhat distorted,” explains Marc, because “mushrooms have such wild, bizarre genetics.”

Growing Acadian Coast Mushrooms: Temperature, Humidity, and Pins

Growing Acadian Coast is a bit of a novelty, making any systemic approach to cultivation non-existent. However, Roadkill, a longtime Shroomery moderator and veteran mushroom grower, posted some details in the forum. Notably, he suggested Acadian Coast can undergo heavy third and fourth flushes with increasingly large fruits, with an unimpressive first flush.

Growers cultivate Acadian Coast like any other cubensis: PF-tek and monotubs are solid choices. According to Roadkill, with temperatures around 84°F and 98 percent humidity, colonization can be very quick, occurring in three or four days. Using PF-tek, he had pins six days following colonization, with pictures detailing dense, pure white cakes.

Acadian Coast Spores

Acadian Coast spores are bought and sold online—but there is little way to tell what warrants a “true” Acadian Coast online. A person may call something Acadian Coast when it’s a Golden Teacher, a Stargazer, or another variety. However, both Marc and McTaggart cautioned that anyone looking to grow Acadian Coast from a spore print should be aware there will be genetic variations. Marc calls out “all these different strains of the same species—its hype and its marketing.”

Individual mushrooms can breed with themselves (and each other; shrooms are neat), meaning that the billions of spores in a single spore print from a single mushroom are intermingling, creating new genetic characteristics and expressions. Some strains, like Penis Envy, are more stable genetically and are more likely to produce something similar each flush. But others have genetic makeups that will result in more variability, with the resulting fruits different from what was advertised.

“It’s hard to take these spore prints and really call it a strain in edible mushrooms. We stabilize the strain, we isolate down to the exact genetics, and then by cloning that, we can grow that mushroom for a long time,” says Marc. “The only real way to save that is through cloning, and you put that on a petri dish and save it.”

Acadian Coast Legality

Because fully grown magic mushrooms contain psilocybin, a Schedule I Substance, Acadian Coast remains federally illegal in the US—and in most parts of the world. But, there are limited exceptions. In the United States, only the state of Colorado has decriminalized psilocybin mushroom cultivation and is currently ironing out legislation for a future legal market, likely with licensed manufacturers. In Oregon, licensed manufacturers are able to grow and sell psilocybin mushrooms to service centers. Jamaica and the Netherlands have legal psychedelic mushroom options, although magic truffles are the only legal psilocybe in the latter. 

Sales of Acadian Coast and any other psilocybin-containing mushroom remain illegal. Spores are a different story, though. Most websites stress that their spores are sold strictly for “research purposes,” which is perfectly legal because the spores contain no psilocybin—but not in the states like California. So, it’s important to always check the laws in your region before buying and germinating spores. And remember: Once spores turn into mushrooms containing psilocybin, they’re illegal.

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Acadian Coast Strength, Dose, and Effects

Acadian Coast is generally regarded as average to high strength, but reports vary. There is no publicly available lab analysis of this strain’s tryptamine content. The current standard for measuring mushroom strength is data from the Oakland Hyphae Cup, but Acadian Coast has not yet graced their ranks.

A psychedelic dose of Acadian Coast is around one to three grams. But if it is your first time or you are testing a new flush from a spore print, start low and see what happens. You can always take more, but never take less. Acadian Coast mushrooms ought to kick in around the thirty or forty-five-minute mark and last four to six hours. Sometimes, this takes longer, so always wait at least two hours before taking a booster dose.

Trip reports with Acadian Coast found online vary from, a “light body buzz, perfect for the rave” to other descriptions of strain being pretty intense and ‘very visual.’ Several reports mention a body load and comment on the visuals.

From the information we have, it seems the usual psilocybin effects can be expected, like heightened emotions, personal reflection, and insights into the nature of reality alongside visual and auditory hallucinations. Folks often feel new body sensations, get hot, cold, or shake. But as psychonaut and philosopher Terrence McKenna would say about the psychedelic experience, it’s hard to “English it,” and the best practice is to be ready for anything.

Magic mushrooms can be a bumpy ride, too. We should be prepared for confusion, anxiety, fear, loss of control, nausea, and vomiting. Mushrooms are teachers, and learning lessons in this life isn’t always easy. Setting and setting, which are a person’s mindset going into a trip and the environment the experience takes place within, demand contemplation and serious preparation. And a trusted trip sitter never hurts.

DoubleBlind Magazine does not encourage or condone any illegal activities, including but not limited to the use of illegal substances. We do not provide mental health, clinical, or medical services. We are not a substitute for medical, psychological, or psychiatric diagnosis, treatment, or advice. If you are in a crisis or if you or any other person may be in danger or experiencing a mental health emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency resources. If you are considering suicide, please call 988 to connect with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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