B+ Cubensis Mushroom
B+ is a strain of Psilocybe cubensis, a well-known hallucinogenic mushroom species[i]. The B+ strain is popular with growers because it is easy to work with, accepting a very wide range of growing conditions and substrates and producing large, thick caps. Though not the fastest-grower among P. cubensis strains, B+ is not the slowest, either. Color can vary a little, depending on growing conditions; enthusiasts describe the large golden to caramel-color caps as “beautiful.”
About Psilocybe cubensis
It can be difficult to learn much about P. cubensis[ii] besides its use as a “magic” mushroom, since many writers focus on that one point to the exclusion of all else. Yet even if a person’s primary interest is the “magic,” learning about the mushroom provides necessary context.
P.cubensis is one of a number of closely-related psychoactive species, though it is the most well-known (there are also other psychoactive mushrooms that are not closely related to P. cubensis and have somewhat different effects). The substances responsible for the psychoactive effects are psilocybin, psilocin, baeocystin, and norbaeocystin. The concentration of these substances can vary significantly from one individual mushroom to another.
Although P. cubensis is not generally considered toxic (but see note under Cautions!) it closely resembles a number of other species, including the aptly-named Deadly Galerina. Growing “magic mushrooms” at home is substantially safer than harvesting them wild, and multiple cultivated varieties, including B+, exist, often with creative, funny names.
Cap: Curved to flat on top, usually smooth. Variable in color, but generally light brown with a dark center. The interior flesh is white but bruises blue.
Gills: Initially gray, darkening to purple and then black, but usually with pale edges. Very young specimens still have a veil covering the gills.
Stem: Often very long. Whitish, but bruises blue. After the veil rips as the cap expands, veil remnants remain in a ring of tissue around the stem, like a skirt. Though the ring is actually white, once the purple spores are released some of them land on the ring and turn it purple.
Spore Color: Purple.
Habitat: In the wild, P. cubensis feeds on and fruits from cattle dung. It is distributed over much of the world, in part because it follows cattle; cattle egrets, birds that specialize in hunting insects near cattle, carry the spores to new pastures.
Growing B+ Mushrooms
There are several different ways to grow B+ mushrooms. The simplest, especially for beginners, is to use a commercially available, already-inoculated grow kit[iii]. More advanced growers have plenty of other options, though. There are grow kits that are not yet inoculated with mycelium (bottles of liquid culture come with the kit or can be ordered separately). Or it’s possible to start from scratch, mixing and sterilizing the substrate at home and inoculating it with culture grown from spores[iv]. Starting from scratch does require a bit more know-how, but it yields more consistent results.
Please note, however, that in many jurisdictions growing psychoactive mushrooms is illegal, though possessing the spores or liquid culture usually isn’t. That means suppliers are not breaking the law to sell spores or culture or un-inoculated substrate or other supplies—but putting these items together and growing mushrooms may be a very serious crime. Again, it’s important for new, would-be growers to learn about current law in their area, to avoid breaking the law by accident. Regardless of the law, this doesn’t stop people from microdosing mushrooms.