spore syringe and spore print

Psilocybin Spores: Where to Buy Mushroom Spores

Psilocybin spores are technically legal, but in most places, germinating them is not.

DoubleBlind Mag

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Updated December 20, 2023

Surprise, surprise. We have some good news for you: Buying psilocybin mushroom spores is legal in many places. Ready for the downer? You may not be able to germinate them—legally, anyway. Online shops often sell mushroom spores “for microscope purposes” or “research purposes” only. A postman can deliver magic mushroom spores to your mailbox, but once you start growing them, you’re breaking the law. This is sad news for many mycophiles out there, but here’s the bright side: Times are changing. Cities around the United States are deprioritizing magic mushrooms, one by one. The state of Colorado has legalized personal mushroom cultivation; you can’t sell the fungi.

We said it up top, and we’ll say it again: You may be surprised to learn that, in many places, buying psilocybin spores is legal. How? Mushroom spores don’t contain psilocybin! Psilocybin is a Schedule I controlled substance; those found in possession of psilocybin can be subject to the maximum drug penalties, although sentencing varies from state to state. Spores, however, are psilocybin-free. Since spores do not contain scheduled compounds, they can legally be bought and sold in 47 of 50 US states. US law penalizes possessing, selling, and transporting psilocybin—but not mushroom spores. 

Yet, not all states have been so lax in their legal rhetoric about spores. California has written laws that specifically ban the sale, transport, and gifting of spores with the intent to germinate. However, bonafide researchers and research institutions can legally possess and acquire viable spores. In Georgia and Idaho, selling, transporting, and possessing psilocybin spores is banned outright.

Still, for everywhere else in the United States, buying spores comes with its own risks. Ophelia Chong, a resident facilitator for DoubleBlind, explains: “Buyers should be aware that buying spores is only for research or education purposes; growing psilocybin is illegal.” Chong is the founder of Mogu.Care, a retailer of adaptogenic plants, and an advisor to DoubleBlind’s course on how to grow mushrooms

But you don’t have to be a scientist to buy spores. By “research or educational purposes,” Chong refers to buying spores intending to study, research, identify, or other non-germination purposes. People in most US states can legally buy spores so long as the spores do not germinate. Many traders articulate that they are selling spores for “educational purposes” or for “research and identification purposes” to clarify that the spores are not intended for mushroom cultivation. Instead, they are supposed to remain spores. 

When Magic Mushroom Spores Become Illegal 

While you may be in your legal right to buy spores, germinating them is still prohibited in most regions. Both mycelium and fruiting mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is federally illegal. As soon as spores begin to germinate into mycelium, law enforcement can legally charge you with cultivation or possession of a controlled substance. The same goes for the possession or sale of fresh and dried psilocybin mushrooms. (Cultivating mushrooms is even illegal in Oregon, which decriminalized the possession of under 12 grams of magic mushrooms but did not decriminalize cultivation.)

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It’s important to keep in mind that although some regions have deprioritized at the local level, magic mushrooms remain federally illegal.

Beginning in 2019, some cities in the United States have de-prioritized the non-commercial cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms, including Seattle, Detroit, and several other places. As such, it’s important to research your local laws before cultivating. It’s also important to keep in mind that although some regions have decriminalized at the local level, magic mushrooms remain federally illegal.

Psilocybin laws vary wildly across the globe. In Indonesia, for example, getting caught with psychedelic mushrooms or their spores is punishable by the death penalty. Meanwhile, in Jamaica, Brazil, Samoa, and the British Virgin Islands, mushrooms and their spores are legal to cultivate and possess. 

Buying Spore Syringes Versus Spore Prints 

Spores are often sold in two preparations: spore syringes and spore prints. Spore syringes are oral syringes filled with spores and water. The water suspends the spores in solution without destroying them, and good spore purveyors will often use purified water. Spore prints are more like a stamp. Spores are stamped onto a sheet of paper by laying a fresh mushroom cap face-down overnight. 

Types of Magic Mushroom Spore Strains 

There are over 180 different species of psilocybin-containing mushrooms. But, to make matters more confusing, years of unground cultivation have created an economy of varying new mushroom “strains.” Theoretically, strains are types of mushrooms that feature distinct physical traits and growth patterns. These different strains are not necessarily abundant in the wild. Instead, have been selectively cultivated and stabilized over a specific period of time. Mushrooms of a specific strain are often cloned to prevent further genetic mutation of the variety, which would thus change its phenotypical (physical) characteristics.

Most of today’s strains come from one mushroom species: Psilocybe cubensis. Cubensis is the most popular magic mushroom variety, and it’s perhaps cultivated more often than it is found in the wild. Here are some of the most popular Psilocybe cubensis spore strains available today: 

Golden Teacher

Golden Teacher spores are commonly advertised on mushroom spore sites. This strain belongs to the Psilocybe cubensis species. It typically features a light golden top and is often marketed as a strain that produces an introspective or wisdom-inspiring experience. However, it’s important to note that there’s no guarantee that any specific strain will produce any specific experience. All psilocybin mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is the compound that produces a psychotropic experience when the human body metabolizes it. 

Treasure Coast

The Treasure Coast strain originated in Florida and is rumored to produce large flushes of mushrooms when cultivated. Although, keep in mind that cultivation is only decriminalized in select regions of the United States. This strain belongs to the Psilocybe cubensis species, which may feature a potency range of at least as wide as 0.14 to 1.86 percent psilocybin by dry weight, not considering individual strains. It’s important to note, however, that a wide variety of factors contribute to the psilocybin concentration in any given mushroom. Species, strain, and cultivation conditions all can influence the amount of psilocybin a particular flush will produce on average; we still have a lot to learn about the relationship between different strains and their potency. This particular variety is sometimes considered a good choice for novice cultivators. 

Blue Meanie  

The nickname “Blue Meanie” can be a bit confusing in the world of psilocybin mushrooms. “Blue Meanies” refers to both a specific species of psilocybin mushroom, called Panaeolus cyanescens, as well as a specific strain of Psilocybe cubensis. The latter is perhaps more common on websites that sell psilocybin mushroom spores. As such, it’s important to inquire about the particular species before purchasing Blue Meanie spores. The two different species require different growing conditions. Although, keep in mind that mushroom cultivation is illegal, and only certain regions have decriminalized growing. 

Thai Pink Buffalo 

The Thai Pink Buffalo spore strain is named after its place of origin—Thailand. This strain is another member of the Psilocybe cubensis family, which means that it likely falls within the same potency spectrum as other varieties on this list. Thai Pink Buffalo features a characteristic dark golden cap. It’s also rumored to colonize quickly and produces sizable flushes. Of course, the virility of the mushroom and its mycelium will depend largely on its growing conditions. 

Albino A+

Albino A+ is a unique strain of Psilocybe cubensis. Unlike the other mushrooms on this list, Albino A+ features a snowy white cap, although a trace amount of golden pigment sometimes remains. This coloration pattern makes this mushroom leucistic, a term indicating that the strain features only a partial loss of pigment. Albino A+ is rumored to produce large fruits with ample spores, which may make it appealing to cultivators. It’s sometimes called “AA”.  

Where to Buy Psilocybin Mushroom Spores in Canada

Canada is a smidge more relaxed about psilocybin than its southern neighbors—but just barely. Psilocybin spores, grow kits, and mycelium are legally cultivated in Canada. Dried and fresh mushrooms, however, are not. So, purchasing spores with the intent to cultivate is not legal, but buying spores for research and collection purposes is a-okay. Most mushroom spores in Canada are sold over the internet in spore syringes and spore prints.

Where to Buy Psilocybin Cubensis Spores in Amsterdam

The Netherlands, a country long-known for its progressive drug laws, criminalized the cultivation and possession of dried magic mushrooms in 2005 and fresh mushrooms in 2008. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get your psilocybin on. Possession of up to 0.5 grams of dried magic truffles, which are young magic mushrooms, is decriminalized. The amount designated for personal use bumps up to five grams of fresh truffles. 

Spores and truffles can be purchased from artsy psychedelic shops (or “smart shops”) in some Netherland cities. The majority of shops, of course, are found in Amsterdam. Smart shops often sell other “soft drugs,” like peyote and salvia. Although, “hard drugs” like LSD, heroin, and cocaine are still illegal under federal law. 

Where to Buy Psilocybin Spores in South Africa

Psilocybin is illegal in South Africa, which means that possession of fresh or dried mushrooms is a criminal offense. But, the same cannot be said for spores, which appear to fall into a legal gray area. Spore prints, syringes, and other kits are frequently sold online in South Africa. But, just as in the United States and other parts of the world, germinating these spores into mushrooms is illegal. 

Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores in Australia

Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal to cultivate, purchase, or possess in Australia. While psilocybe spores grow naturally across the continent—over 30 different types of psychoactive mushrooms grow in Australia—fines and sentences for mushroom possession can be steep. For example, possession of 25 grams of psilocybe mushrooms can result in a 25-year-long prison sentence

Australian authorities have also historically seized spores imported from other countries, although the spores themselves contain no hallucinogenic compounds and thus sit in a gray area of the law. Nevertheless, there is a rich underground community of Australian spore and mushroom traders. Most spores are traded the old-fashioned way: connecting with someone who knows someone. Although, online forum traders and some websites continue to sell spores in Australia, which is riskier than in other countries. Bottom line: When buying psilocybe spores in Australia, do so at your own risk. 

Where to Buy Shroom Spores in the United States

Several US cities have decriminalized a handful But, for the latter two cities, decriminalization doesn’t mean that buying and selling mushrooms spores is legal. (Remember: the State of California criminalizes the sale of psilocybin mushroom spores). 

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Nonetheless, finding spores for sale can be tricky. Remember, spores are still taboo, and the mushrooms themselves are illegal to cultivate. These days, most spores are purchased over the internet. As Chong suggests, “the best place to find educational vendors is Reddit on the group ‘SporeTraders’.” An “educational vendor” is a vendor who sells spores for the sole purpose of research, identification, and education. A good spore trader, like Mushroom Prints, will clearly identify that the spores should not be germinated into mycelium or fruiting mushrooms, which is illegal and will not answer questions via email about the cultivation of their psilocybin syringes.

How to Get Magic Mushroom Spores in Colorado

The city of Denver decriminalized magic mushrooms in May of 2019. The state of Colorado legalized personal cultivation and gifting of magic mushrooms in 2022. This means that within the state limits, possessing psilocybe mushrooms is no longer something local law enforcement will spend resources on to go after or prosecute. Dealing mushrooms for cash, however, is another story. Cultivating mushrooms for sale is still illegal in Colorado, unless you’re a licensed manufacturer selling to licensed psilocybin centers. Facilitators, coaches, sitters, guides, and other psychedelic companions can legally charge for their services in the state but not for psilocybin products directly. Law enforcement can still prosecute for selling psilocybin.

What to Know About Buying Psilocybin Spores Online 

Buying online is always tricky; how do you know you’re really getting what you expect? But, buying unregulated and quasi-legal products like psilocybin spores can be even trickier. While the spores themselves are often not illegal, the manner in which the vendor procured them might be. So, it’s a riskier endeavor than your average internet shopping trip. 

Wondering how to play it safe? Here are a few basic tips and tricks. 

Shop from Verified Sites for Psychedelic Mushroom Spores

One of the most difficult things about shopping for spores online is knowing whether or not you’re buying from a legitimate source. If possible, look for websites that have standard marks of web legitimacy, including about pages, contact pages, reviews, FAQs, and recognizable payment platforms. Legitimate spore traders will also be savvy about the law. So, look for websites that sell their products for research, identification, and educational purposes only. 

Ask Around 

Psychedelic culture, while thriving, is still mostly underground. Before ordering from a promising website, consider posting in a Reddit or Shroomery thread to see if anyone else is familiar with the supplier.

Read Reviews 

Does the website publish consumer reviews? Read them! Reading reviews posted on the website, as well as looking up additional online reviews, can help you determine the quality and legitimacy of a vendor. The greater number of reviews available and the longer the review history, the better.

Reach Out to the Shop

When in doubt, reach out to customer service! Shoot an email to the shop or give them a call if a phone number is listed. Making connections before you buy can help you determine the legitimacy of the vendor. But, be warned: Many online spore shops will not sell to you if you disclose that you will be germinating the spores to produce psilocybin mushrooms. 

How to Get Psilocybin Spores from Foraged Mushrooms

Buying magic mushroom spores online might not be your fancy—we get it. It can feel sketchy. But, realistically, you can also save your own spores from foraged mushrooms. (If you live in an area where possession of magic mushrooms is legal, decriminalized, or deprioritized, of course. Otherwise, you can end up in jail for picking them.) Mycophiles with an adventurous spirit and a trustworthy identification group can make their own spore prints from wild-foraged mushrooms.

Learn How to Make Your Own Spore Prints

“If you are new to foraging,” writes mycologist Caine Barlow, “it is a good practice to do spore prints to aid in identifying the shrooms you have collected.” Caine walks you through how to make a spore print here. 

Spore prints are helpful whether you’re looking for magic mushrooms or another kind of edible morsel; spore prints can help identify the mushrooms you’ve harvested. In some cases, taking a spore print may be a helpful way to tell whether you have a psilocybe mushroom, perhaps without knowing it. Spores belonging to Psilocybe mushrooms tend to be purplish-black in color. In contrast, deadly look-alikes may produce brown spores.

Wild foraging, however, is a practice that must be performed with the utmost care. Misidentifying mushrooms can be deadly. It’s also important to follow good foraging ethics: never take too much, never take what’s not yours, and respect the land and the environment. To stay safe, many forages follow the adage: “If in doubt, throw it out.” Connecting with a local group with experienced guides can help you identify the correct mushrooms. Learn the basics of identifying magic mushrooms here.

Can You Get Mushroom Spores from Dried Mushrooms?

It’s technically possible to get mushroom spores out of dried mushrooms, but it’s not a source that tends to yield much success. Germinating spores off of dried mushrooms can be tricky—for those who have the privilege of cultivating without consequence, anyway. They may be more exposed to contamination. For DIY spore prints, fresh mushrooms are recommended.

Disclaimer

DoubleBlind does not encourage illicit activity. Always familiarize yourself with the laws in your area before engaging with psilocybin mushrooms. Psilocybin mushrooms are a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States. In many places, mushroom possession and cultivation can carry significant legal risks.

About the Author

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DoubleBlind is a trusted resource for news, evidence-based education, and reporting on psychedelics. We work with leading medical professionals, scientific researchers, journalists, mycologists, indigenous stewards, and cultural pioneers. Read about our editorial policy and fact-checking process here.

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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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