R+R: Your Ultimate Guide to Golden Teacher Mushrooms
Disclaimer: Psilocybin is still technically illegal in Canada. Please use at your own risk.
Written by Edan Armas.
Since the 1980s, Golden Teachers have been a staple of the psychedelic movement.
These skinny, gilded-capped fungi are one of the most popular, if not the most popular, strain of magic mushroom used by amateurs and experts alike. If psilocybin could have a billboard on every major highway, its face would be that of a Golden Teacher mushroom.
In this article, we’ll go over the popularity of Golden Teacher, its effects, and where you can access it.
What We Cover
What are Golden Teacher Mushrooms?
Golden Teachers are a strain of Psilocybe cubensis, or “cubes,” the most popular species of psilocybin mushrooms. They very closely resemble cubes in the wild, with a golden and rust colored cap; a hollow, skinny stem; and purplish brown gills. If you’ve tried shrooms before, they were very likely Golden Teachers.
So, Golden Teachers are a strain within a species. Actually, in most cases, they are a cultivar within a species. To separate yourself from your friends as a mushroom connoisseur, pay attention to the following information.
Species are genetic lineages that can’t be crossed, or interbred, to create new lineages. Panaeolus cyanescens (Blue Meanies), for example, is another species of psilocybin mushrooms that is abundant in Central Europe. If you tried interbreeding them with Psilocybe cubensis, you’d get a sad bag of rice and sawdust.
Strains are a genetic variant of a species, and strains can be interbred with each other. Within the Psilocybe cubensis species, there is Penis Envy, B+, Amazonian, and over 50 other strains. The most potent cubensis strain on record is one called Tidalwave, which is a cross between Penis Envy and B+.
In the world of mushroom cultivation, a strain is only a strain if it is cloned—if an exact genetic copy is made that produces consistent characteristics across multiple generations. However, most growers don’t do this. Instead, they cultivate from spores, the fungal equivalent of seeds. Like seeds, there is a lot of genetic variance within spores. One batch may look, smell, and feel different than another. When grown this way, the mushrooms are called cultivars, or “cultivated varieties.”
Why does this matter? Mushrooms with catchy names are everywhere, claiming to be exotic or potent strains. But unless they have been cloned, they are not a true strain. More likely, they are a cultivar with a few variant features, and the vendor is either undereducated or, in some cases, trying to trick you.
The effects of Golden Teacher Mushrooms
Golden Teachers produce the quintessential psychedelic experience. With a macrodose, this might look like mild to moderate hallucinogenic visuals, euphoria, an expanded consciousness, and bodily sensations. With microdoses, you might experience enhanced creativity, reduced social anxiety, and an overall feeling of lightness. There are little to no side effects.
Some say that, per their name, Golden Teachers provide a more instructional experience. There is a noticeable sense that they guide you towards something, like enhanced awareness or a deeper empathy for your inner child. Similar to ayahuasca, people claim you can feel the spirit of these mushrooms.
But the jury is still out as to whether or not different strains of psilocybin mushrooms produce unique effects.
On message boards like Reddit, there are hundreds of people who claim that they have completely different journeys on different strains. In addition to their personal experiences, they cite the fact that shrooms contain more than just psilocybin and psilocin. Compounds like baeocystin, norpsilocin, and aeruginascin, when combined in unique ways, could affect the overall experience in an “entourage effect” similar to cannabis.
But there are several confounding factors. For one, unless you grow it yourself, it can be hard to confirm exactly what kind of strain you are taking. In addition, the growing conditions could have an effect. And then there is the nature of psychedelics. More than that of any other substance, the psychedelic experience maybe heavily influenced by your setting, your emotional state, and your biology.
More mushroom science will have to confirm to what extent different strains or cultivars actually impact the journey. For now, it’s safe to say that in most cases Golden Teachers will gift you the classic psilocybin experience.
Why are Golden Teachers so Popular?
The popularity of Golden Teacher magic mushrooms can be boiled down to three things: they’re easy to grow, they produce abundant flushes, and they are moderately potent.
If you ever wanted to grow your own mushrooms, it’s recommended that you start with Golden Teachers. Mushrooms are notoriously sensitive to even the slightest bit of contamination, and for first-time growers, this can pose a serious problem. However, Golden Teachers resist contamination fairly well, increasing a newbie’s chance of success.
Golden Teachers also produce large flushes. A flush is when the fruiting body of the mycelium—the vast network of underground tissue that makes up the majority of the mushroom—pops up above the ground. If you’re a commercial grower, you want the biggest bang for your buck, and these gilded-capped shrooms deliver.
Finally, Golden Teachers are moderately potent. You won’t get any uncomfortably intense surprises with this strain. As long as you follow the recommended dosages (see below), then you’re guaranteed a predictably mind-manifesting experience.
How do Golden Teacher compare to other popular mushroom strains?
Where do Golden Teachers stand in the world of mushrooms? We’ll compare these archetypal fungi to three strains of Psilocybe cubensis that you will often see in dispensaries around Canada.
Golden Teachers vs. Penis Envy
Remember how Golden Teachers are exceptionally easy to grow? Penis Envy requires much more work. The caps of Penis Envy mushrooms don’t open very wide, making it hard to collect a spore sprint and, consequently, less spores. The decreased spore count can make it trickier for a beginner grower—who will be prone to mistakes—to cultivate a large flush.
However, the promise of Penis Envy’s potency is an enormous motivation. Compared to Golden Teachers, which are of average potency at 0.63 percent psilocybin/0.60 percent psilocin, Penis Envy can be 50 to 100 percent stronger. This means you need much less of this super shroom to have a powerful trip.
People will often swear that Penis Envy elicits a more powerful, intense trip. Every psychedelic mushroom explorer gets humbled at some point in the journey, and for many, that moment occurs with Penis Envy. But this could simply be because of this strain’s higher psilocybin and psilocin content—if you consume the same dose of Penis Envy as Golden Teachers, you will have a more intense experience.
Golden Teacher vs. B+
Golden Teachers and B+ are like two best friends at recess.
They are both excellent choices for beginner growers, producing large flushes in substrates of woodchips, manure, or grains. They are both fairly resistant to contamination, and in terms of appearance, sometimes they look so alike even experienced growers can’t tell them apart.
B+ is reported to be stronger than Golden Teachers. However, compared to Penis Envy, which can feel more like a kick to the soul, B+ comes on more slowly, letting you ease into the experience. Some also say B+ mushrooms are more visual and less introspective.
Golden Teacher vs. Amazon Cubensis
If Golden Teachers and B+ are best friends, then Amazonian cubensis is a very close cousin.
Amazonian cubes are also very easy to grow, resistant to contamination, and produce desirable flushes. They have hollow stems and burnt-marshmallow caps, and were first cultivated from the lush undergrowth of the Amazon.
In 2021, a group of citizen scientists at Oakland Hyphae in California compared around 60 different P. cubensis strains for potency. Golden Teacher mushrooms were rated sixth and Amazonian was third.
Like B+, Amazonian cubensis is said to be more visual.
How to choose the correct Golden Teacher Dosage
Start low and go slow.
With any magic mushroom strain, you want to make sure you start on the safe side. Some people are more sensitive than others, and you don’t know how you’re going to respond until you take the mushrooms. Although Golden Teachers are of average potency, it’s better to have a disappointingly mellow first experience than 4-6 hours of world-shattering chaos.
It’s also helpful to get really clear on your intention. Clarifying your “why” with some level of precision allows you to make a more conscious choice about dosage. For example, you may have the general intention to “make a hike with my friends more fun.” But there are some important follow-up questions to help you determine the correct dose. How strenuous is the hike? If it’s very technical, you probably want to stay in the microdose territory of .1-.2 grams. Here’s a more specific intention: “Connecting the love I have for my friends with the love I have for nature while still being able to talk on an easy hike.” That intention likely calls for a dosage in the 1-2 gram range.
If you choose to journey with higher doses in the 3.5+ range, it goes without saying that you must ensure your safety. While bad trips are not necessarily dangerous, you want to be prepared to navigate them if they arise. Make sure you’re with a sober guide, you’re in a calm environment, and you have something to ground you in case the journey becomes too intense.
If you didn’t know already, psychedelic mushrooms contain different potency levels depending on whether they’re dried or wet. This is because when you dry mushrooms, they lose all the water weight to evaporation. The psilocybin and psilocin become more concentrated, which means you take less (much less) than wet mushrooms.
As mentioned before, the potency of Golden Teachers resembles that of native Psilocybe cubensis, at 0.63 percent psilocybin/0.60 percent psilocin. Here’s a quick breakdown of dosages and their psychedelic effects:
- 0.1-0.5 g is a standard microdose. It could elevate your mood, enhanced creativity, and greater empathy.
- 0.6-2 g is a minidose. Could start to have increased laughter, light visuals, body load, insights. Also known as a “festival dose,” as it pairs well with dancing and music.
- 2.0-4.5 g is a macrodose. This could feel like consciousness expansion, possibly undergo trauma healing, and multidimensional travel.
- 5+ g is a hero’s dose and the terrain of experienced psychonauts. At levels like these, some experience Ego death, reality fracturing, and complete loss of time.
If you buy mushrooms at a dispensary or get them from a friend, they are typically dried mushrooms. But if you ever have a chance to grow your own, you can eat them straight from the flush. These are referred to as “wet” mushrooms.
Wet mushrooms retain all the water from the growing process, so you have to increase your dosage to account for the weight. Generally, you multiply the dry dosage by 10.
Here’s what each dosage tier looks like for wet mushrooms:
- 1-5 g is a microdose.
- 6-20 g is a minidose.
- 20-45 g is a macrodose.
- 50+ g is a hero’s dose.
The Benefits of Golden Teachers and How to Integrate Them
Psilocybin mushrooms, particularly Golden Teacher mushrooms, have long been used for their psychological and spiritual benefits. At this point, thanks to an ever-growing amount of double blind studies and clinical trials, the world is beginning to view mushrooms as an undeniable asset to healthcare. They are allies in the collective fight against mental and spiritual decline.
Psychologically, psilocybin mushrooms can promote a feeling of well-being, increased creativity, and improved problem-solving skills. They have also been used to help reduce anxiety and depression. On a spiritual level, many users report feeling a profound sense of connectedness to the universe and a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all things. This can lead to feelings of awe, joy, and peace.
But none of this matters if there is no integration. Integration is the process by which you interweave all that you learn throughout your psychedelic exploration into your daily life.
If you decide to journey with Golden Teachers, then you need a couple of key integration tools:
- A journal. A journal allows you to record new insights and changes in belief systems, so that you can identify and refine patterns as time goes on.
- Some kind of grounding activity. This can be yoga, meditation, dance, walking in nature, or even cold showers. Something to root the extra-dimensional into the physical.
- A community. It would be antithetical to the mushrooms themselves to do all psychedelic journeying alone. To mirror their interconnected mycelium, find groups of people in your area, a therapist, or a psychedelic integration specialist to ensure that your transformation benefits not just you, but others as well.
Where to buy Golden Teacher mushrooms
If you’re ready to start your psychedelic journey, you can buy Golden Teacher mushrooms directly from our site.
But you might want a more personal connection to the mushroom, or the ability to calculate your own dosages to put in food, smoothies, or microdose capsules. Our Golden Teacher dried fruit is organic and comes in 14 and 28 gram bags. For a night of healing and connection with your friends, the 28 gram bag is perfect for all the way up to 7-8 people. If you want to microdose, a 14 gram bag will set you up for a year.
Questions? Reach out to us—we offer dosage recommendations and help you decide what product supports your intention.
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