Collage of Treasure Coast Mushrooms with Beach Background

Treasure Coast Mushrooms: An Enthusiast’s Guide

The origins of Treasure Coast mushrooms are mostly unknown, and the reports of its effects and potency vary considerably.

DoubleBlind Mag

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Updated July 2, 2024

Treasure Coast is a Psilocybe cubensis mushroom named after a stretch of Atlantic Coast in Florida. The origins of this shroom are mostly unknown, but most assume it was in the location of its namesake, an area famous for shipwrecks where divers still find treasure. The golden caps of this cube have since become an esteemed strain in the online mushroom community and Treasure Coast is a popular cultivar.

Treasure Coast History and Origins

Photo Depicting Psilocybe Cubensis
Psilocybe cubensis collected in Florida, USA. Image Courtesy of Richard Kneal via Mushroom Observer.

The identity of who first collected Treasure Coast is a mystery. Mr. Hawk, a longtime Shroomery moderator and owner of spore supplier, confirmed via email he began carrying Treasure Coast around 1999 or 2000. (At the time of publishing, Mr. Hawk has not specified where he first obtained the spores.) Online rumors puts the original collection in the hands of Mr. G, a notorious Shroomery member credited with creating the legendary B+ strain. However, Mr. G has long been the center of controversy within the online shroom community. Notably, his claims of creating B+ by breeding P. cubensis with P. azurescens are suspect because these are different species and are unable to breed together naturally. Because of this and other outlandish claims, Mr. G’s accounts remain suspect.

READ: Growing Magic Truffles: A Beginner’s Guide

Treasure Coast Characteristics, Features, and Spores

Photo Depicting Psilocybe Cubensis
Psilocybe cubensis collected in Florida, USA. Image Courtesy of Benjamin Dion via Mushroom Observer

Treasure Coast is a common cultivar, and as such, the internet is filled with an abundance of grow diaries focused on the shroom. The majority of accounts we reviewed involved growing Treasure Coast from multispore prints or syringes, marked by considerable genetic variation, from massive foot-long specimens to pins only growing a few inches. A considerable number of growers mentioned aborts (mushrooms that failed to grow to full size) and that Treasure Coast can produce leucistic (mostly white) fruits. Colonization speeds reported were highly variable, likely from different environmental conditions.

“I see these medicines as having terroir. You know, whether that’s bioregional, or whether that’s from the context and the person that’s cultivating them,” says Travis Tyler Fluck, a cultivator and activist who contributed to the decriminalization of mushrooms in Denver. Terroir describes how environmental conditions contribute to the qualities of products like wine, cheese, and coffee. For example, Champagne is not just the name of a sparkling wine, but also a region in France with a specific climate, soils, and other natural conditions making Champagne unique to other wines. Fluck thinks that mushrooms like Treasure Coast are no different, and his ideas are worth a listen as he has secured several top places in the Oakland Hyphae Cup.

Treasure Coast Dose and Potency

Treasure Coast’s effects and potency vary considerably across trip reports. Some mention a mild, mellow ride while others call TC very potent, making it tough to land on anything consistent with the data available online. Tomás Garrett is the Lead Scientist at Hyphea Labs in Oakland, and through its psilocybin testing service, has access to the data of over 1,000 analyses of different psilocybin mushrooms, including Fluck’s cup winners. 

“Some of them are literally 10 times stronger than other ones,” says Garrett of the cubensis samples in the database. “And I think [approximately] 80% of the mushrooms that I’ve tested are less than 10 milligrams per gram.” For context, John Hopkins’s highest doses were 30 mg of pure psilocybin per 70 kg (150-ish pounds), a dose which famously gave participants the top five most spiritually significant experiences of their lives. 

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“The average mushroom does exist between about five and seven milligrams per gram,” says Garrett, but also adds, “I tested a mushroom this week that was three milligrams per gram. I’ve also tested mushrooms that are 30 milligrams per gram. So, you do the math, and it’s crazy. [Imagine if] you expect to take a gram and it’s 10 grams!”

Garrett’s data is for all kinds of cubes, not just Treasure Coast. And while Treasure Coast is regarded as average in the online community, the Hyhpae Labs data speaks to the reality that factors well beyond the name of a mushroom strain are at play, and it can be tough to predict exactly how strong a batch of shrooms will be.

READ: 5 of the Best Mushroom Grow Bags For Beginners

Growing Treasure Coast Mushrooms

Photo Depicting Psilocybe Cubensis
Psilocybe cubensis collected in Florida, USA. Image Courtesy of Richard Kneal via Mushroom Observer.

Most folks growing Treasure Coast follow standard practices for cubensis mushrooms: high humidity, temperature between 70 and 80 degrees, and the usual substrates like brown rice flour and grains.

A few details specific to Treasure Coast did keep popping up, though. Several grow logs mention Treasure Coast’s first flush being lackluster, with second and third flushes producing a higher quantity and more impressive fruits. Others found white fruits in the later flushes as well, but exactly what produces these variations is not (yet) an exact science.

In hopes of understanding the mysteries of the mushroom a bit more, I asked Fluck for his secrets to growing powerful cubes. He was happy to share, but he didn’t give the boilerplate answers related to humidity and sterilization that one might expect.

“When I first started growing, I tried to pimp the mushroom as much as I could, like, ‘how much can I get you to produce?’” remembers Fluck. But after an experience where a gardener taught him about working with weeds, rather than wrestling with nature, he began a new approach in which he allowed things to develop more organically. “I turned around to my mushrooms and I was like, ‘Okay, this whole time I’ve been trying to shape you into my image. What do you want to be?’”

“You start hanging out with the mushroom, and the mushroom knows what it likes; it’s very adaptable,” says Fluck, who describes working with a single strain for over 40 generations and observing it closely. The mushrooms would grow in new shapes Fluck had never seen before (such as upside-down) and he began to have a better idea of which mushrooms to select.

“The mushroom affects the language centers,” Fluck says. “So, in my subjective experience, the mushroom was communicating to me in a morphological language, creating appendages that got my attention. So I didn’t have to second guess. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s the one.’”

Treasure Coast Effects

One feature that stood out when sifting through Treasure Coast trip reports were stories of the mushroom being “almost orgasmic.” One tripper’s hot tub turned into a spaceship and he then had sex with the mushroom via a friend with benefits, also on shrooms. “For some reason, I thought I was having sex with a mushroom and this was probably one of the weirdest but best experiences I’ve had,” the Redditor recalls.

We can’t promise you the above experience. Effects of psilocybin mushrooms like Treasure Coast will vary immensely from person to person and trip to trip. A common saying in online magic mushroom circles is a “cube is a cube,” implying there are no different effects between strains like Treasure Coast and Penis Envy. But not everyone agrees.

Are Mushroom Strains Legit?

“Obviously, there are experiential differences between these genetic variations and mutations,” says Garrett. “I’m a scientist, and I believe in data. I think of myself as a scientist because I’m not beholden to the dogmas, particularly of things that haven’t been well established.”

For example, the idea that Treasure Coast will be “orgasmic” for everyone is not an established fact. As it stands, it’s just not something we can predict — but that doesn’t have to mean strain-specific effects aren’t a thing.

“I had this experience where 10 grams of those Cambodians produced visual distortions just like Angkor Wat. Like I could totally see where Angkor Wat got its blueprint,” says Fluck. When I ask him if an existing association between Cambodia and Angor Wat could have influenced his visions, he quotes Terence McKenna, saying “You’re not taking enough.”

“There are doses that only let you into the foyer of the experience. To really see the mushroom express itself, you know, 10 grams, you’re definitely going to see how these things are different,” says Fluck.

The concept of taking different strains for unique effects is enticing, but Garrett also is cautious, warning we could be putting the cart before the horse and that capitalism could “fuck up this industry.”

“My goal as the scientist is to ask questions,” Garrett says. “[It’s important] that we can run experiments so that we can get the data so that we can answer those questions, not look for a specific answer, and then re-maneuver all of these questions and experiments to get to that answer … Capitalist drivers in biopharmaceutical companies do the same thing. [They’re] like, ‘We need this outcome. What can we do to maneuver around to get to this outcome,’ rather than [looking at] what is actually happening.”

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Treasure Coast Legality

Treasure Coast grows quite happily in Florida, but with psilocybin being a Schedule I Substance, these shrooms are illegal to harvest or consume in the United States — and most countries around the world. A few states have exceptions, such as Oregon’s licensed facilities, Colorado’s decriminalization and future legal framework, and more recently, Utah’s medical program.

It is possible to access legal psilocybin in other countries, though. Jamaica currently has no laws concerning psilocybin and a number of mushroom retreats operate on the island. The Netherlands remains an international destination for psilocybin retreats, too, where psilocybin-containing truffles can be legally consumed. 

Treasure Coast Safety

“It’s important for people to find their strain through working with the mushroom instead of taking someone else’s  sommelier assessment,” says Fluck, who found his strain through working with the mushrooms. 

“After we decriminalized, I grew a whole bunch of cubensis, thinking that I was going to be prescriptive in the sense that like, ‘This one’s good for grief and his one’s good for decision making,'” Fluck says. “All the strains kept saying to me, ‘You’re hanging out with us, and that’s cool. But that Penis Envy over there, that’s your medicine.'”

Treasure Coast has a reputation as a pretty fun and light strain, but when taking psilocybin mushrooms of any kind, one needs to be ready to face challenges as well. Mushrooms have a way of turning up the volume of life. Giggles and visual distortions are part of the program, but so are good, bad, and complicated emotional aspects of our lives we may be avoiding. The mushroom experience can come with physical sensations too, like changes to heart rate, nausea, shaking, sweating, chills, and in some cases, vomiting. While research suggests psilocybin can produce health benefits, not everyone can safely take shrooms and folks with serious cardiac or psychiatric conditions should consult with a medical professional before taking shrooms. 

“Make sure that you have a supportive community to receive you after your whole paradigm gets shattered,” Fluck warns anyone going the high-dose route. “It can be very difficult, so I would say, get supported before you do that.”

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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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