If you are among the many receiving powerful therapeutic benefits and lifestyle improvements from microdosing psilocybin, you may be wondering how to get magic mushrooms when they are generally illegal throughout the world.
While we do not advise or condone breaking the law, we do support the right of each individual to spiritual liberty, healing, and growth. For this reason, we have created this rundown of the most realistic options to get magic mushrooms wherever you may be in the world.
Disclaimer: This guide should be used as a representation of the various alternatives to obtain magic mushrooms, and for harm reduction purposes if pursuing any of the described alternatives. The options presented below come in at different degrees of convenience, difficulty, and legality. We leave it up to our readers to absorb the information critically and make informed decisions in accordance with their local laws.
Read our guide on Magic Mushroom Legality Around the World.
Option #1: Foraging
Magic mushrooms grow in tropical, subtropical, and continental climates throughout the world. So, if you live in a warm, humid environment, chances are you may be able to find some in your immediate surroundings.
Mushroom hunting can be an interesting and rewarding way to naturally source magic mushrooms. Depending on where you live, it can also be quite convenient to make that field trip happen.
However, due to specific conditions needed for their growth, magic mushrooms cannot always be found in the wild. Usually, each species will have an annual growing season, when the mushroom fruiting is triggered by environmental factors. Still, if you’re lucky, at this time you may be able to harvest enough mushrooms to last throughout the year!
There are two main things to consider when going mushroom hunting:
1) Conditions for Magic Mushroom Hunting
The nutrients magic mushrooms need to grow can be found in:
- Decomposing and rotting wood, tree bark, or fallen leaves
- Mulch, compost, or decomposed plant matter which is almost soil
- Animal dung (especially cow)
Most fungi need high humidity to grow. Dry air and wind can easily kill them. They don’t necessarily need darkness, but the absence of light does help the air retain its moisture.
All considered, some hotspots and seasons for picking magic mushrooms include:
- Cattle pastures, decomposing grass, and rotting wood during humid summer days, ideally right after a few days of rainfall;
- Grass fields and forest edges during cool, humid autumn days;
- Temperate and tropical cloud forests, much of the time.
2) How to Recognize Magic Mushrooms in the Wild
Some species of magic mushrooms are easy to distinguish from others, while most others look quite alike any other Little Brown Mushroom (LBM) species. It goes without saying that some mushrooms can be toxic, so successful identification is key.
Psilocybin-containing mushrooms can be identified based on four criteria. They should:
- Have gills
- Leave purplish brown to black spore prints
- Bruise bluish
- Have a semi-gelatinous separable pellicle (membrane) covering their cap.
Aside from checking for these features, we advise using resources such as the Shroomery.org mushroom identification forum, Mushroom Observer, iNaturalist, and GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) in your research and identification attempts.
Option #2: Grow Your Own Magic Mushrooms
Although not much can beat the feeling of harvesting your own psychedelic fungi straight from nature, going on road trips and waiting for the proper season and weather conditions can be inconvenient and yield an inconsistent supply.
Why Grow Magic Mushrooms?
Without a doubt, growing magic mushrooms presents the best way to source your supply for microdosing. This is because:
- Magic mushrooms are quite easy to grow, as long as you order spores or grow kits from a reputable vendor and take the necessary precautions not to contaminate your batches;
- You can ensure a consistent supply, which doesn’t depend on any conditions outside of your control;
- You can try a vast variety of species available and find your perfect strain;
- Depending on the volume of the substrate in the grow kit, you can get anywhere between 0.5 and 4 dried ounces per kit, meaning that your investment pays itself over numerous times;
- Ordering uninoculated grow kits and spore syringes is mostly legal because they don’t contain psilocybin or psilocin (illegal in CA, GA, and ID in the US);
- It’s a fun and rewarding project to take on!
How to Grow Magic Mushrooms
Growing magic mushrooms is done by inoculating a specific substrate (composition will depend on the species of mushrooms) with mushroom spores, which normally come in sterile syringes. After inoculation, all it takes is maintaining an adequate temperature and humidity while the colonization takes place, then keeping the substrate in a well-lit, humid environment until the harvest.
Fruiting mushrooms from pre-colonized grow kits is extremely easy; all it requires is adding some water and setting the preparation up in a filter bag. However, even though neither the spores nor the substrate contain psychoactive compounds, once the mycelium is developed, many Western countries will consider these preparations illegal.
Even if they aren’t considered illegal, the customs may make a problem out of it, so make sure to carefully consult with your vendor about your specific shipping location if you plan on ordering one of these pre-colonized grow kits.
The more viable options for most locations are:
- Purchasing a pre-made substrate and spore syringe combo (beginner mode)
- Purchasing a spore syringe and creating and sterilizing your own substrate (pro mode)
- Creating your own spore syringe and substrate (expert mode).
Check out our Full Guide to Growing Magic Mushrooms for step-by-step instructions.
Option #3: Buy Magic Mushrooms Where They Are Legal(ish)
If foraging and growing mushrooms is a bit too much hassle, and you’d rather just buy the final product, you may be wondering if it’s possible to legally buy magic mushrooms somewhere.
The good news is—yes, it is!
The not-so-good news is—it may still require effort on your part, or, at the very least, (inter)national travel.
There are many places where magic mushrooms or truffles are legal, decriminalized, or unregulated. Below is a brief rundown.
In the US, where the Decriminalize Nature movement is gaining steam, five cities have decriminalized magic mushrooms:
- Denver, CO
- Oakland, CA
- Santa Cruz, CA
- Ann Arbor, MI
- Washington, DC
And the state of Oregon decriminalized the possession of all drugs during the 2020 US elections.
In Canada, a veteran cannabis activist is shipping microdoses of magic mushrooms nationally, and the government doesn’t seem to care very much, even though psilocybin is a scheduled substance.
The Netherlands is a well-known bastion for magic truffles, which are legal and can be bought in shops all over Amsterdam.
A few other countries, such as Portugal, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Spain (some jurisdictions) have also decriminalized possession and personal use of magic mushrooms.
In Mexico, and especially in the mountainous region of the Sierra Mazatec (in the northern part of Oaxaca), mushroom rituals involving indigenous healers are disregarded by the authorities. Magic mushrooms are, however, officially illegal in this country.
In the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Samoa, Puerto Rico, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Panama, magic mushrooms are either legal or unregulated, or the regulations unenforced.
In Brazil, the psilocybin mushroom species are in a legal loophole and not regulated by the government, although psilocybin and psilocin are illegal.
In Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, where ayahuasca is legal, magic mushrooms grow in abundance and are not expressly regulated.
A few coastline or island destinations in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia serve up magic mushroom shakes, omelettes, pizzas, and other gastronomic preparations.
Psychoactive tourism has been functioning in Asia for decades, and it seems to be based on a special arrangement between the vendors and the local authorities. Magic mushrooms are, however, officially illegal in these countries.
Read the full story on Where You Can (Legally) Buy Magic Mushrooms.
Option #4: Network… But Be Careful
Last, but not least, the good ol’ fashioned way of acquiring illicit substances involves reaching out to your friends and acquaintances or online, on the regular or dark web.
Needless to say, this kind of networking is not only illegal and, therefore, ill advised, but it can also yield scams and loss of money.
Should you choose this route, be very careful who you trust. Try to vet the supplier as much as possible or, better yet, only consider recommendations from trustworthy contacts.
Getting Magic Mushrooms on the Dark Web
If you can’t find a trustworthy supplier by regular means, you may consider browsing the dark web, the part of the internet which is not indexed by search engines.
Keep in mind that transactions on the dark web are done mainly in cryptocurrency, so you will need to buy some bitcoin and set up an online crypto wallet if you haven’t yet.
The e-commerce landscape of the dark web is not entirely wild; most suppliers offer a service that keeps customer funds on hold until the product has been delivered. However, in the case of a dispute, no third party will step in; it will be up to the customer and the vendor to sort it out.
Finally, even if you can find a trustworthy vendor, keep in mind that it’s not all up to them—if they are shipping from another country, the package will need to cross international borders and will potentially be inspected by customs, which may put the receiver at legal risk.
Choose Wisely and Safely
Magic mushrooms and the spiritual growth they bring are incredibly valuable, to the extent that they can be the difference between life and death for some people whose immense suffering they alleviate.
However, it’s a fact that the Western society at large has a long history of demonizing and outlawing psychedelic use, their harmlessness or even therapeutic benefits notwithstanding.
So, although you may be in need of obtaining mushrooms, remember that they carry serious legal risks in many countries. For this reason, we strongly urge you to always choose the safest alternative for you and act in accordance with your local laws as much as possible.
In our opinion, growing your own magic mushrooms is the best option in that it is low effort, low risk, high privacy, high yield, and independent of environmental factors.