Mushrooms are the ultimate decomposers, they literally eat death to build the soil to make way for the growth of new life forms. It takes a skilled forager to discern the difference between one that is poisonous and one that could bestow a spiritual, psychedelic experience. Foragers often romanticize their walks through the forest as they tune in with the land, searching for clues that will lead them to mushrooms. It’s only fitting that a community of do-it-yourself (DIY) mycologists would come forward. Many of whom have had experiences with psychedelic mushrooms, sparking an overall desire to learn and practice cultivating a variety of fungi.
DIY mycologists are toiling away at clusters of magic mushrooms in their own closets. A quick Google search will lead you to a plethora of YouTube tutorials, Reddit AMAs, and online courses led by hobbyists, foodies, and permaculture enthusiasts on how to grow your own artisanal and/or psychedelic mushrooms. If you know what to look for, psychedelic mushrooms can be found on a walk with your dog, or while on a picnic at a state park. Spores that grow psychedelic mushrooms can be bought online because they do not contain the illegal psychedelic substance of psilocybin until the moment they germinate. The reality is that while growing psychedelic mushrooms is currently illegal, it has the potential to serve as a solution to fair access.
Clinical trials only use synthetic psilocybin in pill form. It’s a means of complying to FDA regulations and control variables. Understandably so, as dosage with purified compounds, like synthetic psilocybin, is more accurate and easier to measure in a pharmaceutical setting. Investors already have their eyes set on a patent to produce synthetic psilocybin in pill form. Once that happens, it will be marketed as the gold standard. The psychedelic market is poised to mirror cannabis with issues of affordability and access. One of the ways workarounds is allowing people to grow their own marijuana plants, and in the case of psychedelics, their own mushrooms.
DIY mycologists found a way to cut out the middle-man. Growing mushrooms in your closet is just one of the methods shared among permaculture enthusiasts and DIY mycologist communities with an open source philosophy. One of which is the PF TEK method, developed by Robert McPherson. It won’t yield the most bounty, it’s relatively affordable at around $120 with supplies you can find at your local grocery or hardware store.
We’ve already seen with cannabis that a lack of access that is affordable encourages people to seek products through illegal means. The push behind synthetic psilocybin promotes the idea that specific medical uses are the only justifiable reasons to use them. Such a limited scope can only encourage people to find mushrooms through other avenues, out of curiosity or to heal other ailments. Rather than prohibit home growers, it would be more productive to leverage it. Farmers can host cultivation workshops, and grow kits can be sold. It’s an opportunity to foster a culture around psychedelics that is sustainable and ecologically responsible, dice up the equity pie, and allows more people to experience the health benefits of psychedelics.