Can you buy psilocybin spores online? Should you buy spore syringes, or spore prints? Are mushroom spores illegal? Read on to answer all these questions, and for a list of five recommended spore vendors.
Getting hold of psilocybin mushroom spores is the first step to growing your own magic mushrooms. Spores are the raw material from which magic mushrooms grow—they’re essentially like seeds, but whereas seeds are made up of multiple cells, fungal spores are made up of a single cell. This means, unlike seeds they don’t contain the nutrients needed to grow, so require a little more care and attention.
Are Magic Mushroom Spores Legal?
Despite the fact that both fresh and dried magic mushrooms are illegal in most places in the United States (with a few notable exceptions) and most countries around the world, magic mushroom spores are not. How does that work?
Well, this loophole exists largely because the spores themselves don’t contain any psilocybin: the psychoactive ingredient which makes mushrooms ‘magic’, or trippy. Psilocybin only develops after the spores germinate.
As soon as psychedelic mushroom spores reach the mycelium stage, they contain psilocybin, but until that point, in 47 out of 50 US States, and in most foreign countries, they’re entirely legal to buy, sell, and send in the mail. The exceptions are California, Idaho and Georgia.
In California the law has been written carefully, so that unless you can prove you’re a researcher working for a bonafide research institution (like a university, for example), it’s illegal to sell, give away, and transport spores. In Georgia and Idaho, there’s just a blanket ban.
As noted in Terra’s guide to growing your own magic mushrooms, however, some cities and states have decriminalized the act of cultivating mushrooms. You can buy and sell spores without facing legal penalties and grow them in Seattle, Washington; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Denver, Colorado; Santa Cruz, California; Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts; the entire states of Oregon, and Washington D.C. In late 2022, Colorado voters also voted in favor of a ballot initiative to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms for people over the age of 21, and to create state-regulated “healing centers” where participants can experience the drug under supervision.
There are a few foreign countries where mushrooms are completely legal—including the possession, sale and consumption of dried magic mushrooms, the picking and possession of fresh mushrooms, and the cultivation of mushrooms explicitly for human consumption. These include Brazil, Austria and Caribbean countries including the Bahamas, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands.
How are Magic Mushroom Spores Sold?
Psilocybin mushroom spores are usually sold one of two ways: either as spore prints, or as mushroom spore syringes. Spore prints are made by leaving a fresh mushroom cap face down on a piece of paper overnight, during which time it will deposit spores. Spore syringes are, as the name suggests, syringes filled with a pre-mixed solution of psilocybin mushroom spores and water.
Each has its advantages: Spore prints, with dried spores, can usually be stored for longer than spore syringes, which should be used within a month of receiving them. Psilocybin mushroom spores printed onto paper are also easier to ship, and less conspicuous than spore syringes.
However, spore syringes are easier to handle, easier to use and harder to contaminate. Given that contamination is one of the main stumbling blocks for many first time growers of magic mushrooms, we’d usually recommend buying pre-mixed spore syringes if you’re trying to grow psilocybin mushrooms for the first time.
Which Magic Mushroom Spores Should I Buy?
There are many different species of psilocybin containing mushrooms, and many sub ‘strains’ within each species. Each of those of which will have a slightly different psychoactive effect on the human brain, giving you a slightly different trip.
Obviously, your choice of mushroom spores will dictate which mushrooms you’ll be harvesting, so it’s worth thinking about the kind of trip you want to achieve when you buy your spores. But it’s also worth thinking about your growing process, and experience levels—some strains of mushroom tend to be easier to grow than others.
Psilocybe cubensis is the most common species of magic mushrooms among home growers, not least because they’re relatively easy to cultivate. But over the years, people have bred the species into many different strains, which can have pretty varied effects. Common strains that you’ll find for sale in the US are Penis Envy (so called because of its phallic appearance), Golden Teacher, and Blue Meanie.
But Psilocybe cubensis spore syringes are available for other strains too. For a full list of the different types of psilocybin mushrooms, and a rundown on their psychoactive properties, check out our complete guide to magic mushroom species and strains.
Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores
It’s important to make sure you buy psilocybin spores from a reputable source. Because of the legal status of psilocybin mushroom spores after they germinate, there are lots of unscrupulous vendors operating in this space who’ll try to convince you that a cloak and dagger approach, perhaps involving the dark web, or crypto only payments. This is not true!
Remember: Unless you’re buying from a vendor in California, Idaho or Georgia, psilocybin spores are perfectly legal to purchase. Organizations selling mushroom spore syringes will usually refuse to answer any questions about how to grow magic mushrooms, because (as explained earlier) once the psilocybin spores reach the mycelium stage, they become illegal in most jurisdictions. They may even refuse to sell you mushroom spore syringes if you indicate your intention to grow them outside the confines of an academic institution or a lab.
Aside from questions about growing the mushrooms, however, a reputable seller of spore syringes should be contactable, and willing to answer questions about the sterilization process of their spore prints or spore syringes.
The following sellers of psilocybin spores fit the bill, but it’s always worth reading reviews, doing your own research and comparing a few different sites before you buy psychedelic mushroom spores online.
Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores Online in the US
Offering a wide range of mushroom spore syringes, for strains including the Golden Teacher, B+ Cubensis, Malabar and Blue Meanie, Fungushead’s easy to navigate website and good reputation make it a good place to start. Like all the shops listed on these pages, they won’t accept orders from California, Idaho, or Georgia—the states where magic mushrooms are all but completely banned.
Based in Illinois, Premium Spores pride themselves on their customer service. They offer a “buy two, get one free” deal on their premium mushroom spore syringes, and promise “fast, discreet shipping”.
Shaman Mushroom Spores
Shaman mushroom spores are based in Denver, Colorado, and sell a wide variety of psilocybin mushrooms including Golden Teachers, Blue Meanies, and the excellently-named Jedi Mind Fuck.
Their website might look dated, but Sporeworks has a pretty solid reputation stretching back to when it was first founded in 1998. They sell plenty of Psilocybe cubensis spore syringes including Penis Envy, as well as spore syringes for various other, less common, species of psilocybin mushrooms.
Stocking spore syringes for a wide range of magic mushroom strains, including Blue Meanies, Golden Teachers and Penis Envy mushrooms, Sporevision is a reputable vendor.