Pearly Gates is[i], perhaps, an intimidating name for a mushroom, but this strain is no more likely (which is to say, not likely at all) than any other cube to send you to the actual pearly gates. Most likely, the name is a reference to the pearly color of the caps. Perhaps you’ll feel heavenly as well? We haven’t been able to track down the origin of the name.
Pearly Gates is a cross between True Albino Teacher and Melmac, and is reputed to be unusually potent, just like its two parents. Testing has shown it to have much more psilocybin than the average Psilocybe cubensis strain, so the rumors may well be true.
Identification & Description
Pearly Gates is usually described as all-white, but in fact the caps are usually a very pretty gray. The pale color is the legacy of the True Albino Teacher heritage, but the shape is clearly a throw-back to Penis Envy—Melmac is a variant of Penis Envy, after all. Frankly, these things are embarrassing to look at in mixed company. The thick stems and narrow, sometimes bulbous caps look so very…mammalian.
Under the right circumstances, these mushrooms can also get quite large.
(No, that wasn’t a joke, they can)
Generally speaking, a cube is a cube. While some strains are said to be more visual or more spiritual and so forth, the reality is that even if the mushroom’s biochemistry does have an effect on the direction of your trip, there are no many other factors in play (your mindset, the setting, your own biochemistry, the dosage) that mushroom strain is really only a small piece of the puzzle at most.
That being said, strains do vary in potency, and with a high-potency strain, you are likely to get more psilocybin in your system than you are used to, even if you didn’t intend anything out of the ordinary. That may be why Pearly Gates is said to come up with unusual speed, perhaps as little as half an hour.
Potency and Dosage
Choosing the right dose is a very important part of planning your trip to the up-and-out because so many of psilocybin’s effects are dose-dependent. Extremely low doses, for example, are mood-altering but not hallucinogenic. The trick is to pick the dose that will give you the kind of effects you’re looking for. Unexpectedly intense trips are usually a bad idea. Unwanted side-effects also get more likely at higher doses, to the point that taking the right does is an important safety consideration. But potency can vary even within a strain, so dose calculators are not entirely reliable. They can get you in the desired ballpark, but the only way to fine-tune the process is through some careful trial and error. Start low, go slow, take more if you want.
Pearly Gates is a high-potency cube, at least most of the time, so your ballpark will be a bit smaller than you might be used to.
Pearly Gates is considered something of an advanced-grower’s strain, in part because it is often slow-growing. It’s also a challenge to collect spores from this strain, for although spore production is higher than in Penis Envy, that’s really not saying much. The narrow cap just doesn’t release its spores easily, either. Don’t expect to get a spore-print. If you want to collect spores, a swab is a better bet.
Buying vs. Growing
But do you want to grow at all? Growing your own mushrooms has a lot of advantages, including the fact that it’s a fascinating hobby. Growing is discrete, especially if you live in an area where spores are legal to buy and possess, you’ll have control over quality, and on a per-dose basis, you’ll definitely save money.
But do you want a large number of doses? Perhaps you’re a beginner and you’re not sure you’re going to like shrooms all that much. Or maybe you want to try a different strain every time? Or maybe the legal risk doesn’t really appeal—after all, possession of psilocybin is seriously illegal in most jurisdictions, and while the chance of getting caught is lower when you grow your own than when you buy, the penalties you would face for “manufacturing” an illegal drug or possessing a large supply are much worse.
It comes down to what kind of supply you want, what the law in your area is, and which risks you are comfortable with.
[i] (n.d.). Pearly Gates Mushroom. MushLove Genetics