Golden Teacher mushroom: hop on the magic school bus

Golden teacher mushroom

Psilocybin, magic mushrooms, Blue Meanies, and the Golden Teacher mushroom—these words all point to the same thing: psychedelic fungi.

Golden Teachers have their own look, feel, and growing methods. They are also highly regarded as one of the most ethereal shrooms, with many psychonauts reporting life lessons learned on their journeys.

Golden Teachers are a cultivar of the Psilocybe cubensis species, one of the most recognized and common psychedelic mushrooms on the scene in the U.S. Especially now, as more states, cities, and territories decriminalize psychedelics.

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Golden teacher mushroom
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Check legality before consuming mushrooms anywhere, and be mindful of sources. Foraging in the wild? Check around grazing cows, their dung is an optimal environment for thriving fungus. Mushroom identification is for experts, a wrong turn may lead to death.

As for Golden Teachers, they’re also called golden halos and gold caps, which refers to their appearance. Let’s learn about this entheogen species from cap to stem, starting with the history.

The history of Golden Teachers

Psilocybe cubensis is indigenous to Central and South America, but the origins of the Golden Teacher mushroom are hazy. Some online mushroom shops say the variety was discovered in the nineties, popping up in Florida or Cuba. This is possible since their ancestors originated in subtropical climates, but it’s probable that Golden Teachers have been around a lot longer than that.

The precise origins of this magic mushroom variety are unknown, but all P. cubensis derive from ancient traditions of Tribes like the Aztecs and Maya. Much of North America first heard of P. cubensis in a 1957 article published in Life. The article shared the story of author Gordon Wasson’s mushroom ceremony with curandera María Sabina.

Though her name was changed in the article, curious Americans found their way to her small village, where she was vilified by her community for the onslaught of visitors. Indigenous peoples called the fruiting bodies “flesh of the gods,” and as such, they should always be respected.

As the name implies, these fungi are meant to teach people about themselves, don’t underestimate their effects.

Identifying the Golden Teacher mushroom

A Golden Teacher mushroom can be identified by its large yellow-orange caps, sturdy white stems, and dark purplish brown spore print. The caps measure one to three millimeters in diameter and grow in a conical shape that flattens out as they age.

The coloring on the cap gets darker as it reaches the apex, where it can appear almost brown. There are often little yellow speckles throughout the caps. Thick, ruddy stems can bruise blue when handled, ripped, or cut. Take a peek underneath the golden cap, and the cultivar will have gray to black gills, depending on the age of the mushroom. When fully mature, the gills are almost always black.

Tell Golden Teachers apart from Penis Envy P. cubensis shrooms by looking at the cap. Penis Envy gets its name from having a tiny cap with almost no gills. A Golden Teacher mushroom cap will branch out much more from the stem.

Those trying to decipher if a P. cubensis mushroom cultivar is B+ or a Golden Teacher are in for a more complicated journey. Many adept psilocybin cultivators have trouble knowing the difference, but there is one surefire way.

B+ has developed a mutation where the caps develop a mycelium fuzz. Fuzz is an immediate sign that a shroom is the B+ cultivar, not a Golden Teacher. Either way, the growing methods and environment should be similar.

Growing Golden Teachers

Golden Teacher mushrooms are native to subtropical climates, but they are an easy variety to grow at home. Growing this variety requires lots of humidity and temperature between 75 to 80°F. Cultivation the fungi at home in a grain-based starter and manure substrate. In their preferred environment, Golden Teachers will be ready for harvest after about one to two months of growing.

Golden Teacher effects and experience

Legend has it that this magic mushroom gets its name from how those who eat it walk away from the experience having learned life lessons. However, this is purely anecdotal, without scientific research to back it up. One thing is for certain: the Golden Teacher mushroom incites a psychedelic experience since they contain psilocybin and psilocin.

The intensity and events of a Golden Teacher trip may vary based on myriad things like dosage, the environment, and how sensitive people are. Those who have eaten this mushroom cultivar report some or all of these experiences:

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Loss or distortion of time
  • Enhanced sensory perception
  • Abstract thinking
  • Euphoria
  • Creativity

Consuming Golden Teacher mushrooms has been known to create a psychedelic journey that inspires introspection along with some other common magic mushroom effects. This cultivar is a popular one, and the effect plays a large role in that.

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Golden teacher mushroom
Photo by Rich Townsend by Getty Images, edited in Canva

Golden Teacher preparation methods

Magic mushrooms can be eaten plain, ground and put into food, or steeped in tea–but should they be dried or fresh? That depends on the psychonaut.

Psilocybin mushrooms are reported as more potent fresh than dry, but storing fresh mushrooms is more complicated. Depending on the species, fresh mushies can be stored for about five to 10 days. Any longer, and the fruiting bodies might decay. To make them last longer, dry them out.

It is reported that fresh mushrooms are far more potent than dry mushrooms. But this may just be a miscalculation while dosing due to water weight lost during drying. Magic mushrooms lose up to 90 percent of their weight when dried.

How to dry magic mushrooms

There are a few methods of drying psilocybin mushrooms, but they all start with disinfecting the workspace and sterilizing all tools. Then it’s time to pre-dry. To pre-dry the shrooms, put on some latex gloves and spread the mushrooms out on a kitchen parchment in a dark, lightly ventilated space. Make sure the mushrooms have space and aren’t touching.

This method naturally removes moisture, some will put a fan on the fungi to speed up the process. Pre-drying is complete when the Golden Teachers or other magic mushroom strains are pre-dry when they start to appear wrinkly and feel a bit rubbery.

The mushrooms can be consumed at this point, but if the mushrooms will be stored for up to years, they’ll need to be fully dehydrated.

There are various methods for dehydrating psilocybin mushrooms. Some use drying agents like Epsom salt, vermiculite, and silica, while others opt for a food dehydrator.

Once the drying is done, store the Golden Teachers in batches rather than in one large jar. Mushrooms will lose some mojo whenever the jar is opened, so consider storing them in a range of small jars to use over time.

Drying Golden Teacher mushrooms and other psilocybin strains is a good step for those growing their own, just be sure to check the local and state laws before partaking. Some states and territories have decriminalized or legalized the fruiting bodies, but not all.

Golden Teacher FAQ

The Golden Teacher mushroom cultivar is well-known and highly sought after. With such popularity, there are lots of questions about them. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Golden Teachers.

Where do Golden Teachers come from?

The history of Golden Teachers isn’t defined, but they are believed to have come from either Florida, Cuba, or Central and South America.

How does the Golden Teacher mushroom feel?

Golden Teachers are said to feel introspective. The name comes from the trip, many learn big lessons from this magic mushroom strain.

However, always note that a trip experience depends on myriad factors, including set and setting. Though cultivar may impact the journey, not everyone will share the same hallucinations and euphoria.

How much light do Golden Teachers need?

It is possible for Golden Teachers to grow in very little light, but some forums suggest that they thrive under intense light with 12 hours on and 12 hours off. The Shroomery community claims that the fungi use light to convert the substrate sugars to ATP. This results in bigger and stronger shrooms.

The final word: Golden Teacher mushroom

With a classic appearance and promise of a journey of introspection, it’s no surprise the Golden Teacher mushroom is coveted. The mushroom variety comes from the equator, but can easily be grown at home worldwide. Identifying Golden Teachers can be a bit complicated since other cultivars look similar, but those that find them might consider taking a journey. Whether fresh or dry, those who find this cultivar may be in for a metaphysical experience.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.