Psychedelic mushroom strains have been around for ages, with many stories circulating about their origins, potency, and effects. One such strain that has garnered a lot of attention in recent times is the Stargazer mushroom. This variety of Psilocybe cubensis is known for its ease of cultivation and potency, but what else do we know about it? In this article, we will delve into the history of the Stargazer mushroom strain, its potency, effects and characteristics, dosage, growing process, and legality.
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Stargazer Mushroom History: Separating Fact from Fiction
The Stargazer mushroom strain is believed to have been found in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, particularly around the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu. However, the claim that this strain was among the earliest naturally occurring psilocybin mushroom strains to be cultivated by modern mycologists is debatable. According to Paul Stamets and J.S. Chilton in their book, The Mushroom Cultivator, several strains of cubensis were in circulation at the time, although they were named after their place of origin. Stamets and Chilton do not mention the Incan Stargazer strain, which raises doubts about its authenticity.
Creating new strains of mushrooms is possible, but it is a tricky process that requires testing the compatibility of the mycelia of different pre-existing strains. Stamets and Chilton describe a “strain” as a group “of individuals in a species [of fungi] sharing a common genetic heritage but differing in some observable features of no taxonomic significance.” So, while Stargazer is a variety of Psilocybe cubensis, it is difficult to discern exactly what makes it distinct without contacting the breeder from whom your spores came.
Stargazer Mushroom Potency: What We Know So Far
Due to prohibition, the potency of various psilocybin mushroom strains hasn’t been well-studied or well-documented over time. However, as more regions decriminalize, endeavors like Oakland Hyphae’s Psilocybin Cup are seeking to fill the research gap. Potency tests have revealed that strains like Penis Envy and Golden Teacher consistently appear to be the strongest. Stargazer samples have yet to rank as highly, but that doesn’t mean they won’t in the future.
The potency of Psilocybe cubensis strains, including Stargazer, depends largely on environmental and growth conditions. As such, Stargazer samples can be quite potent, and it doesn’t take much psilocybin to produce a strong and meaningful trip. Thus, it’s advisable for first-time users to start low and go slow.
Stargazer Mushroom Effects and Characteristics: What to Expect
Stargazer mushrooms have many similar characteristics to other Psilocybe cubensis varieties. For instance, they tend to be small in size, have convex-shaped caps that change color as the mushroom matures, and produce gray gills that darken with time. The spores are a mix of dark purple and brown, and the mushrooms tend to grow in large flushes or clusters.
The effects associated with consuming Stargazer mushrooms are the result of psilocybin, which can produce interconnectedness, euphoria, transcending time, visual hallucinations, synesthesia, ego death, and altered auditory perception in large doses. In smaller amounts, Stargazers can provide mood elevation and visual tracers. However, it’s important to remember that the effects of psilocybin are subjective and can vary depending on the user’s body chemistry, set, and setting.
Stargazer Mushroom Dosage: Finding the Right Amount
As with any psilocybin mushroom, it’s essential to determine the right dosage for your body before consuming Stargazer mushrooms. Most psilonauts divide dosage amounts into four primary groups: a microdose, low dose, moderate dose, and heroic dose. A microdose of Stargazer would be between 0.1 and 0.5 grams of dried mushrooms. Doses between 0.5 and two grams are considered low, and mild to noticeable visuals can be experienced with this dosage.
A moderate to large dose would sit between two and 3.5 grams, giving the consumer access to all of the hallucinatory effects associated with the mushroom. The effects of a large dose can last up to 8 hours. Some brave souls choose to venture beyond 3.5 grams to a heroic dosage, but such a dosage can provide a much more intense experience and comes with greater risks. Ultimately, every person’s sensitivity and experience of Stargazer will be unique, so beginners should start with a low amount before trying larger quantities.
Growing Stargazer Mushrooms: Tips and Tricks
Stargazer mushrooms are relatively easy to grow, as are many cubensis varieties. The spawning stage requires rye grain, which is the preferred medium for getting a healthy mycelium network going. Other grains and flours like oats, wheat grain, birdseed, popcorn, and brown rice can be used, but they can’t retain as much water as rye grain.
During the fruiting stage, Stargazer mushrooms prefer a substrate that includes a mixture of materials like coco coir, vermiculite, and gypsum as the base. Cultivators often add horse manure to give extra nutrients to the substrate. Several trustworthy sources offer pre-mixed substrate for easy cultivation. Like many humans, Stargazers prefer a temperature that sits somewhere in the mid-70°F (24°C). With the right growing conditions, they have an average grow time and are rumored to produce a bountiful yield.
Legality of Stargazer Mushrooms: What You Need to Know
Cultivating and possessing psilocybin mushrooms are decriminalized in over a dozen cities and counties in the United States, making it among the lowest law enforcement priorities. However, it is only federally legal to purchase spores for microscope purposes. It’s essential to check laws in your region before cultivating because psilocybin is the active ingredient in Stargazers that can get you in trouble with authorities. As such, review the laws in your area before continuing.
In conclusion, the Stargazer mushroom strain may have a mysterious history, but it’s gaining more attention for its potency and ease of cultivation. Although it’s challenging to find reliable information about the strain, doing your research and contacting reputable breeders and spore traders can help. Remember to start with a low dose, grow in the right conditions, and follow the laws in your area. With these tips, you can have a successful and meaningful experience with Stargazer mushrooms.
- “Stargazer Mushroom Strain: Cultivation, Effects, & More” by Matt Stangel, Leafly, published on March 17, 2021.
- “The Mushroom Cultivator: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home” by Paul Stamets and J.S. Chilton, published in 1983.