P.cubensis may be the most popular hallucinogenic mushroom in the world. It’s what’s usually meant by phrases like “magic mushrooms” and “shrooms,” and its pale brown caps and webby partial veil grace much trip-inspired art. There are other active mushrooms—dozens of other Psilocybes, plus some Amanitas (these contain moscimol, rather than psilocybin, and therefore produce very different effects)–but P. cubensis grows wild almost world-wide and has been developed into many cultivated strains.
One of these strains is Cambodian[i], which is, indeed, from Cambodia. Reportedly it was a natural variation discovered growing wild near the famous Angkor Wat, collected, and then cultivated. It is known for its rapid colonization and growth as well as its energetic, creative high.
Whether this or any other P. cubensis strain actually produces a high distinct from all the other strains. Certainly potency varies, but at an equivalent dose, would the effects really be different? The short answer is yes, because the biochemistry and current mental state of the user also play a role. But can a user choose their trip by selecting the right strain? Some users say of course not; a cube is a cube is a cube. Others say strain choice makes a difference—and many of them say their favorite strain is Cambodian.
Psilocybe mushrooms in general are relatively safe but not totally risk-free. The most common side-effect is nausea. Anxiety can be a problem, and is part of the reason it’s a good idea to have a sober friend on hand to provide reassurance if needed (the other reason is that a sober friend can handle any practical issues that may some up during the trip). More serious side effects are rare but possible.
Of course, the most serious risk may be legal, since psilocybin, or anything containing psilocybin, is illegal in most jurisdiction. Would-be users should make themselves aware of current law in their area. Going to prison is a bad trip.
Cambodian[ii] is often spoken of as a very potent strain, but its high is relatively mellow, with only slight visuals and not much body buzz—it does have a lot of energy (users may find themselves suddenly inspired to clean the whole house, in addition to more creative forms of inspiration) and the effects last a very long time.
It’s possible to calculate a rough estimate[iii] for P. cubensis dosage from the user’s weight, the condition of the mushroom (fresh or dried), and the kind of experience the user is looking for (intense, mild, microdose, and so forth). Since Cambodian is reported to be on the more potent side, its doses would be slightly smaller than the calculated estimate. But the result is still just a starting point. Even with a strain, potency can vary, and not everybody has the same biochemical sensitivity to psilocybin, either. Some degree of trial-and-error is a good idea, especially with microdosing, where small differences could have important results.
Growing Cambodian Cubensis
Cambodian[iv] is one of the fastest-growing strains available. Colonization time can be as short as seven days. Total time from inoculation to harvest can be as little as 25 days.
Like most (not all) strains, Cambodian does well on all the common substrate types, in all common growing methods—PF Tek, Monotub, Shotgun, or whatever else. Dung as a substrates do produce larger mushrooms, while grain produces smaller but more numerous fruits. The unusual feature is that Cambodian likes heat, doing well, and perhaps even preferring, temperatures higher than most other P. cubensis strains will tolerate.
Buying vs. Growing Cambodian Cubensis
So, should someone want to acquire some Cambodian-strain cubensis, the big question is whether to buy a supply or grow it. The answer depends largely on the person’s circumstances, since there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Growing magic mushrooms produces many doses cheaply[v]. A syringe of spores may be enough to start several batches, common substrate materials and equipment are easily available and inexpensive, and the grower can always collect spores (like a farmer saving seed from plants) with which to start the next batch. The procedure is simple: while most growers harvest before the veil tears, in order to prevent spores getting everywhere and making a mess, just let a few mushrooms mature. After spore release begins, take a spore print, then use the spores in the print to make up a new inoculation syringe. Keep the strain going forever without ever having to buy more spores.
But just because growing P. cubensis is easy does not mean everyone has the time or the interest to do it. And not everyone wants a large and continuous supply of a single strain, either.
Buying a few doses is a good option for a beginner who doesn’t know yet if they’ll like using mushrooms, for an occasional user who doesn’t have have much free time, or for someone interested in trying many different strains. For them, the convenience might be worth the much greater per-dose expense.
That the legal status of psilocybin varies[vi] complicates the entire picture.
For one thing, there is the issue of quality[vii]. There are very few places where psilocybin in simply legal. For everyone else, indulging involves one degree or another of law-breaking, meaning that someone who buys a few doses online and gets poor-quality or fraudulent product has no recourse—it’s not possible to sue a fellow law-breaker. There are trustworthy sellers, but one advantage of growing is that the user knows exactly what kind of product they’ve got.
[v] TipsyCzar (2019). How Much More Economic Is Growing Your Own VS. Buying Online.