Comparing Amanita Muscaria and Psilocybin Mushroom Potency and Dosing

Comparing Amanita Muscaria and Psilocybin Mushroom Potency and Dosing

Amanita muscaria (A. muscaria) and psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms) occupy distinct places in the psychedelic landscape, each with a unique chemical blueprint and psychoactive effects. A. muscaria contains the psychoactive compounds muscimol and ibotenic acid. These alkaloids diverge significantly from psilocin and psilocybin, magic mushroom’s primary psychedelic agents. At high doses, Amanita’s alkaloids offer a more sedative, dream-like state compared to psilocybin’s introspective and hallucinogenic journey. 

Understanding A. muscaria and psilocybin mushroom potency through accurate mushroom testing and precise dosing is crucial for safe and effective use. This article reviews Amanita muscaria vs psilocybin mushroom potency and dosing, covering their chemical differences, alkaloid concentrations, and dose-dependent effects. 

Key Differences Between A. muscaria and Magic Mushrooms

Amanita muscaria mushrooms typically feature a bright red cap with white spots or warts scattered across the surface. This iconic look has made A. muscaria one of the most recognizable mushrooms in popular culture and folklore.

Depending on the dose, A. muscaria’s effects range from pain relief and mild euphoria to altered perception and intense delirium. When consumed raw, Amanita can also cause extreme disorientation and discomfort. These potential adverse effects are why most people ingest dried or processed Amanita muscaria. Drying the mushrooms allows much of the ibotenic acid, a stimulant, to transform into the more desirable, potent, and sedative psychoactive compound, muscimol

Magic mushrooms, on the other hand, typically feature a golden-brown cap and contain psilocybin and psilocin, which can lead to effects that include enhanced colors, visual distortions, profound introspection, and spiritual experiences. Psilocin and psilocybin occur in various magic mushroom species. However, this article highlights Psilocybe cubensis, the most popular and widely cultivated psychedelic breed.

Comparing Alkaloid Potency in Dried Mushrooms

Studies indicate that dried Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms typically contain higher alkaloid concentrations than Amanita muscaria. But potency and psychedelic strength don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand when comparing these unique psychoactive species. 

Amanita muscaria dried mushrooms potency 

A National Research Institute of Police Science study out of Japan tested dried A. muscaria caps from smoke shops, finding significant variations in ibotenic acid and muscimol concentration between individual mushrooms.  

  • Ibotenic Acid (IBO) ranged from 0.001% to 0.2845%.
  • Muscimol (MUS) ranged from 0.0046% to 0.1052%.

All A. muscaria caps contained high enough levels of ibotenic acid and muscimol to cause central nervous system effects, such as altered perception, mood changes, euphoria, or confusion. The study further revealed that Amanita’s psychoactive components were more concentrated in the flesh of the caps than the cuticle, with significantly less in the stems. 

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Psilocybe cubensis (P. cubensis) dried mushrooms potency 

In February 2024, University of Texas researchers developed a method for determining psilocybin and psilocin in Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms. Using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), they tested five strains: Blue Meanie, Creeper, B-Plus, Texas Yellow, and Thai Cubensis. The total psilocybin and psilocin concentration varied between 0.85% and 1.45% by weight among the different strains. 

The Creeper strain was the most potent, followed by Blue Meanie, B+, Texas Yellow, and Thai Cubensis. 

  • Creeper contained 1.36% psilocybin and psilocin.
  • Blue Meanie contained 1.221% psilocybin and psilocin
  •  B+ contained 1.134% psilocybin and psilocin
  • Texas Yellow contained 1.103% psilocybin and psilocin
  • Thai Cubensis contained 0.879%  psilocybin and psilocin

Like the Amanita analysis, the Psilocybe cubensis researchers discovered that potency can vary significantly between different strains and individual mushrooms of the same strain.

Amanita muscaria vs Psilocybe cubensis Dried Mushroom Dosing

The University of Texas and National Research Institute of Police Science study findings indicate that dried Amanita muscaria mushrooms are technically less potent than Psilocybe cubensis. However, A. muscaria’s ibotenic acid and muscimol content produce powerful nervous system effects, so dosing Amanita vs. mushrooms is not so straightforward. 

Let’s do our best to compare using data aggregated from ICEERS.org, Science Direct, and Amanitaexplorer.com

*Microdose calculated as about 1/10th of a full dose.

Muscimol vs. Psilocybin Extract Dosing

Variable potency amongst Amanita muscaira and Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms makes dosing challenging in their dried form. Extracts offer a more predictable way to experience the effects because they isolate and quantify the mushroom’s active ingredients.

Properly dried Amanita muscaria mushrooms are typically well tolerated. However, extract processing converts even more ibotenic acid into muscimol, enhancing psychoactive potency and reducing potential adverse side effects.

Dried psilocybin mushrooms are also generally safe to consume at appropriate doses. However, their cell walls contain an indigestible compound, chitin, that can irritate the stomach and cause discomfort. Extracts typically isolate psilocybin and psilocin from the mushroom’s fibrous material, facilitating a cleaner experience and precise dosing. 

Data aggregated from Science Direct, JAMA, PubMed, ICEERS suggest the following A. muscaria and psilocybin extract dose ranges for targeted effects ranging from unnoticeable to mood-enhancing, mildly psychoactive, and intensely mind-altering:

*Microdose calculated as about 1/10th of a full dose.

Why Precise Dosing Relies on Mushroom Potency Testing 

Mushroom potency testing is crucial for identifying A. muscaria and psilocybin mushrooms’ psychoactive alkaloid content and concentration. This knowledge eliminates uncertainty surrounding their effects, allowing brands to offer precise dosing instructions and empowering consumers to make informed decisions. Lab testing also gives consumers confidence in products by assuring them that the extract truly contains the active ingredients it purports to have. 

Unfortunately, not every mushroom product is made to the highest standards, and consumers can’t always rely on label claims. For instance,  the National Research Institute of Police Science researchers found that most of the A. muscaria extract they purchased showed undetectable ibotenic acid and muscimol levels or amounts below the calibration curve's lower limit. Instead, these products contained non-advertised hallucinogenic compounds. This discrepancy highlights the need for accurate mushroom testing and transparent Certificates of Analysis to safeguard consumer safety.

The Bottom Line

Brands and consumers who understand Amanita muscaria and psilocybin mushroom dosing are better equipped to tailor their experiences. This knowledge allows people to achieve their desired effects, whether for therapeutic purposes, creative enhancement, or personal growth. 

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