Magic mushrooms and magic truffles are psychedelic fungi that contain the hallucinogenic compound psilocybin. They’re very similar and can take you on similar psychedelic journeys, but they are far from synonymous with one another and there are some key differences to be aware of.
Magic Mushrooms and Magic Truffles: What Are They?
To understand the difference between magic truffles and magic mushrooms, you first need to understand how mushrooms grow.
When you think of a magic mushroom, you probably picture what’s known as a fruiting body. This is not the entire fungal system, it’s just the part that grows above ground, like the fruits on a tree. And just like some fruits, they can be loaded with macro and micronutrients and can also contain psychoactive compounds.
Magic truffles grow underground and are used by the fungal system to store nutrients. Magic truffles are something known as sclerotia, and they differ from actual truffles (the kind hunted by pigs and used in fancy restaurants), which are a type of reproductive organ.
Magic truffles do have a truffle-like appearance though, so it’s easy to see where the confusion comes from.
Both magic mushrooms and magic truffles contain psilocybin, a psychedelic compound that can produce feelings of euphoria, as well as hallucinations and changes in perception.
Do All Magic Mushrooms Produce Truffles?
Sclerotia aren’t produced by all species of magic mushrooms. Most magic truffles are harvested from Psilocybe tampanensis, a cultivated mushroom so named because it was first discovered in Tampa, Florida.
Magic truffles are also produced from Psilocybe mexicana and Psilocybe semilanceata, the latter of which is better known as the Liberty Cap.
Effects of Psilocybin Mushrooms and Magic Truffles
Magic mushrooms and magic truffles exist as part of the same organism and both of them contain psilocybin.
The effects and potency of magic truffles aren’t as well-known as those of magic mushrooms, but anecdotal reports suggest they deliver a milder effect on a gram-for-gram basis.
In the Netherlands, you can buy 10 to 15-gram bags of dried magic truffles, with average doses set at between 7.5 and 15g. Micro doses are around 0.5 and 2g.
However, the dosage can vary greatly depending on the strain, so keep this in mind and err on the side of caution if you’re an inexperienced user.
Are Magic Mushrooms and Magic Truffles Legal?
In North America and large parts of Europe, laws concerning the use of magic mushrooms and magic truffles are a little ambiguous, to say the least.
In most cases, you can buy spores and even growing kits, but you can’t actually germinate those spores or use those kits. In parts of Canada, mushrooms are openly sold in storefronts, even though they are technically illegal.
The laws are changing all of the time, though, and they also differ from region to region.
Can You Grow Magic Truffles?
Magic mushrooms are treated the same as magic truffles in most countries, but not in the Netherlands. Truffles exist in a grey area here, and so you can find them in many Dutch headshops.
Growing magic mushrooms and truffles is mostly illegal, but laws vary.
Check the legal status of magic mushrooms and truffles in your region before using or growing these fungi.
How are Mushrooms and Magic Truffles Ingested?
Magic truffles and mushrooms are consumed orally. They are typically dried after harvesting, as most of their weight is water and this makes them prone to bacteria and mold.
Truffles have much less water than mushrooms, but they still need to be dried.
The Similarities Between Psilocybin Mushrooms and Psilocybin Truffles
Now that we know what magic truffles are and have a rough idea of how they compare to their more popular siblings, let’s take a look at some similarities:
- They Contain the Exact Same Psychoactive Alkaloids: The compounds responsible for the mushroom “high”, psilocin and psilocybin, are also found in magic truffles.
- They Produce Similar Effects: It’s often said that magic truffles produce milder effects, but this is largely down to the dose. If you increase the dose to accommodate for the reduced concentration of psychedelics, the effects should be very similar.
- They Have a Similar Legal Status: If you start Googling the legal status of magic truffles, you’ll probably stumble across some articles claiming that they exist in a legal loophole and can be used freely. But this mainly applies to the Netherlands and is not currently true in the United States or Canada.
- You Can Have a Bad Experience: If the dose is right and your set/setting isn’t, you can have a bad trip from both magic mushrooms and magic truffles. Treat them both with respect, as they can ruin your night and even your week.
The Differences Between Psilocybin Truffles and Psilocybin Mushrooms
Despite being part of the same organism and sharing a lot of things in common, there are also some big differences between truffles and mushrooms:
- They Grow Differently: Mushrooms are fruit bodies that grow above ground—practically begging to be picked. Truffles are used as a food reserve and grow underground.
- They Have Different Concentrations: Although they have the same compounds, they are not in the same concentration. Magic mushrooms are much more potent.
- They Look Different: Magic truffles resemble culinary truffles more than magic mushrooms. They are small and hardened masses that look like rocks. Magic mushrooms have stems and caps, just like culinary mushrooms.
- They Have a Different Moisture Content: You should always dry your mushrooms and truffles, as it prolongs their shelf life and makes them a little more palatable. This can be a challenge with mushrooms, but it’s much easier with truffles as they have a very low moisture content.
Summary: Magic Mushroom vs Magic Truffle
Magic truffles or “sclerotia” grow underground and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are used by the fungal system as a way to store food reserves for those metaphorical rainy days. They contain the psychedelic compound psilocybin, but in smaller concentrations than you’ll find in magic mushrooms.
Whether you use mushrooms or truffles is entirely your decision, but as they deliver similar effects with vastly different availability and potency, shrooms may be the most sensible option.