There is a strange tendency that many people have, often academics, to reduce or simplify the workings of plants to one of it's major constituents, while ignoring the role that other constituents play. You will find such discussion on many psychoactive plants. Yohimbe and St. Johnswort are good examples of this.
But when a plant is looked at more deeper (mostly when a plant is very interesting and widely used) it often turns out that effects are caused by a less simplistic cause: a wide array of major and minor constituents.
Because many strong psychoactive kratom alkaloids have become commercially available and because of research; we now know that there are many active compounds, not just mitragynine. Even with cannabis, most people are still in the illusion that cannabis has one active alkaloid: THC. The coca wiki shows how wide such a spectrum often is. Often research into other actives shows us real treasures.
Psilocin and psilocybin are thought to be completely responsible for the effects of psilocybe mushrooms. And because psilocybin easily oxidizes to form psilocin, it is often thought that psilocin is the only active in psilocybe mushrooms.
There has been a lot of research on psilocybe mushrooms and since they have been and are commercially legally available in various countries, many people have been able to distinguish a clear difference in effects between the species of psilocybe mushrooms.
While variations of specific species will not differ much in effect, there is a lot of difference between psilocybe mushroom species and also between magic mushroom genus. When comparing the experiences of many people with the available research on constituents per specie, then it becomes easy to draw some conclusions.
There are a lot of different tryptamines and constituents in magic mushrooms. The effect of a specie is is defined by the quantity if each active, in relation to the total mix.
Some widely used psilocybe mushrooms:
So all psilocybe mushrooms, but with very distinguishable effects. A quick stroll of available data brings us to Jochen Gartz his work, analysing psilocin, psilocybin and baeocystin content of several psilocybe mushroom species. Other constituents, like various indoles, including serotonine, and even phenethylamine are left out of this research. Still it paints a pretty clear picture of the relation between the actives in psilocybe mushrooms and their effects:
- Psilocybe cubensis: 5 hours of various effects which come and disappear. Visuals are of medium intensity.
- Psilocybe semilanceata: 4-5 hours of mystical and happy feelins. Often accompanied with a lot of laughter. Visuals are of medium intensity.
- Psilocybe tampanensis: 3 hours of mystical and happy feelings. Often accompanied with a lot of laughter. Mild visuals.
- Paneaolus cyanescens: 6 hours of serious mindset with intense visuals. Due to the intensity and serious character of the effects, this mushroom can easily cause bad trips. Contains mainly psilocin and relatively little other constituents.
Contains mostly Psilocybin(0.40% - 0.63%), with a small amount of Psilocin(0.11 - 0.25%). Barely contains Baeocystin(0 - 0.02%).
Contains mostly Psilocybin(0.80 - 0.98%), with a minor amount of Psilocin(0 - 0.15%) and a relatively high amount of Baeocystin(0.11 - 0.34%).
Contains mostly Psilocin(0.51 - 0.61%), with a medium amount of Psilocybin(0.20 - 0.32%). Barely contains Baeocystin(0 - 0.02%).
At the time of writing this, I do not have my books at hand, but several books, like Paul Stamets 'psilocybe mushrooms of the world' have comparison charts and tables that show that mushrooms that have similar effects to one of the above, have similar amounts of actives present. For example: if my memory serves me right then psilocybe tampanensis has a relatively high amount of Baeocystin and serotonin present, which is similar to Psilocybe semilanceata and could explain for the effects of laughter and feelings of joy associated with these mushrooms.
Therefore to get the complete picture of the effects of a plant, it is important to take a good look at the known constituents that a plant(or mushroom) has. Consider the dose and effects of each active. Also consider that combined effects may be at play. Especially in relation to MAOI, enzymes like Cytochrome P450 and most importantly different effects of actives on the same receptor.(agonists, reuptake inhibitors, etc)
Let me know if you have any questions, remarks or criticism.
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