Why do Magic Mushrooms Turn Blue?


MARCH, 2023

Magic mushrooms turning blue isn’t just some kind of bizarre, psychedelic magic trick. It’s actually true. 

Magic mushrooms do tend to turn blue, and for the longest period of time, nobody knew why. For years, scientists and chemists have been scratching their heads, trying to figure out this mysterious phenomenon. They spent countless hours in the lab, conducting experiments and analyzing data, all in the hopes of solving this mysterious riddle. And finally, after what felt like an eternity, they cracked the code. But to really understand why this crazy phenomenon happens, we will need to brush the dust off some basics.

X-ray of mushroom spores

Magic mushrooms — What’s magical about them?

Magic mushrooms, or Psilocybes, are a type of mushroom that contains a chemical called psilocybin. When you eat them, psilocybin, the chemical found in magic mushroom spores, can cause you to have a kind of altered state of consciousness, where you might see or feel things differently than you normally would. Some people use magic mushrooms for recreational purposes, while others use them for spiritual or therapeutic reasons. They’re also sometimes called “shrooms.”

Magic mushrooms can cause a wide range of effects, including altered thinking, hallucinations, and changes in emotional and spiritual experiences. The specific effects can vary widely from person to person and depend on the dose and the individual’s state of mind.


Magic mushrooms or blue mushrooms?

They’re these funky little fungi that produce some pretty wild chemicals called psilocybin and psilocin. And get this, they have this amazing ability to turn blue when you cut or bruise them. It’s like some kind of magical transformation right before your eyes.

Blue mushrooms sound like something out of a fairy tale. There are several species of magic mushrooms that have this bizarre “blue-ing” effect. It’s like they’re secretly hiding their true, psychedelic nature until the moment they’re ready to reveal it to the world.

It all started back in 1958 when a Swiss chemist named Albert Hoffman isolated psilocybin and psilocin from the P. Mexicana mushroom. Ever since then, mycologists (that’s scientists who study mushrooms) have been trying to figure out why some mushroom species turn blue when they’re cut or bruised.

Numerous studies have been conducted over the years, but unfortunately, no one has been able to figure out exactly why this happens. It’s like this weird, psychedelic mystery that we’re just never going to solve.

Despite all the efforts of scientists, the blue pigmentation in magic mushrooms remained a bit of a mystery.

And scientists being scientists, they got on the case. One of these was Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology’s Dirk Hoffmeister.

You can look at the blue color as a sign that the mushroom has been damaged and the psilocin has been released.

Unraveling the mystery behind the “blue”

Using a battery of chemical analyses, German researchers led by Dr. Hoffmeister published their findings in a 2019 study titled Injury Triggered Blueing Reactions of Psilocybe “Magic” Mushrooms.

Dr. Hoffmeister and his team grew mushrooms in their labs. Things got a lot more interesting when they started cutting and bruising their mushrooms. You see, every time they did this, the mushrooms would suddenly turn blue. It was like some kind of magic trick right before their eyes. The team was completely mystified by this bizarre reaction, and they spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was going on.

They performed a series of chemistry tests to try to understand why psilocybe mushrooms turn blue when they’re cut or bruised. Imagine spending your days surrounded by weird, trippy mushrooms that turn blue on a whim. It’s like something out of a sci-fi movie.

The researchers started off by trying to extract the blue compound from the mushrooms, just like scientists have done in previous studies. But unfortunately, they weren’t able to do it. Undeterred, they decided to try a different approach.

They wanted to get to the bottom of this mysterious phenomenon, so they decided to pull out all the stops and use every analytical tool at their disposal. Researchers monitored the compounds formed by blue magic mushrooms using a variety of analytical techniques, including liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, time-resolved nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and time-resolved nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Basically, they used a bunch of really fancy scientific instruments to try and understand what’s going on at the molecular level when magic mushrooms turn blue. It’s kind of like a detective story, where the researchers are trying to solve a mystery by collecting as many clues as possible.

And after all their hard work, these researchers were able to figure out that the pigment that makes magic mushrooms turn blue is actually a mixture of different compounds, all of which are related to psilocybin. Some of these pigments are called quinoid psilocyl oligomers, and they have a similar structure to a natural blue pigment called indigo, which is found in some plants and is used to dye jeans.

It’s a pretty cool discovery, and it helps us understand a little bit more about this strange and mysterious process.

Mushroom spores for depression
mushrooms for depression

So, why do Magic Mushrooms actually turn blue?

When magic mushrooms get cut or bruised, they activate a pigment called psilocin oxidase. This pigment is activated when the mushroom tissue is damaged and reacts with the oxygen in the air to produce a blue color. The oxidized psilocin then excretes from the ruptured cells and diffuses into the surrounding area.

You can look at the blue color as a sign that the mushroom has been damaged and the psilocin has been released.

It’s important to note that not all magic mushrooms turn blue when they are cut or bruised. Some species of magic mushrooms do not contain psilocin oxidase and may not show any color change when damaged. The blue color may also not be visible if the mushrooms are dried or cooked, as the heat can destroy the pigment.

Mushroom spores to help quit smoking

What does it mean when Magic Mushrooms turn blue?

When magic mushrooms turn blue, it typically means that the mushroom has been bruised or damaged in some way. The psilocybin in damaged mushroom spores comes into contact with oxygen and begins to oxidize, turning the mushroom blue.

One type of magic mushroom that is known to turn blue when damaged is Psilocybe cubensis, also known as the “Cubensis” mushroom. This is a type of mushroom that is found in many parts of the world and is known for its psychoactive properties. While the blue color of magic mushrooms may not affect their psychoactive properties, it is generally considered an indicator that the mushroom is no longer fresh and may not be as potent as it was when it was first picked.


Is it safe to eat Magic Mushrooms that have turned blue?

Well, let’s see. On the one hand, you have a bunch of mushrooms that have been damaged in some way and are now turning blue. On the other hand, you have a raging desire to trip balls and see pink elephants flying through the air. It’s a tough call, but we all know which one is going to win out in the end.

So, is it safe to eat magic mushrooms that have turned blue? Totally. But is it the same as regular mushrooms? Eh, probably not. I mean, sure, the blue color might add a certain je ne sais quoi to your mushroom-munching experience, but it’s probably not as potent and trippy as the “un-blue” ones. After all, those mushrooms have been through a lot. They’ve been bruised, battered, and oxidized. They’re basically the bruised bananas of the mushroom world.


How to prevent Magic Mushrooms from turning blue?

Magic mushrooms turn blue when they are cut, nicked, or bruised. So, the best way to prevent your precious shrooms from turning blue is to handle them gently. That means no squeezing and no grinding. Some people like to keep their mushrooms in the refrigerator for a little bit, which is fine. But don’t keep them in the fridge for too long, or you may end up with a bunch of blue, bruisey mushrooms.

And here’s a pro tip: if you see magic mushrooms that are any shade of blue, just walk away.


Are mushroom spore samples from blue Magic Mushrooms still good?

Magic mushrooms that have turned blue are typically considered to be no longer fresh and may not be as potent as they were when they were first picked. Even the mushroom spores may not be as strong or viable as fresh mushroom spores.

It’s possible that magic mushrooms that have turned blue have been harmed in some way, which could have an impact on the spores’ quality. If the mushroom has been cut, nicked, or bruised, the spores may have been exposed to oxygen or other contaminants, which could potentially affect their viability.

In general, it is preferable to use spores from fresh, undamaged magic mushrooms as opposed to mushrooms that have turned blue for these reasons. It is always a good idea to obtain magic mushroom spores from a reputable source and follow proper handling and sterilization procedures to ensure the best chances of success.

*Our mushroom spores are sold for microscopic use only. Anyone purchasing our spores with the intention of using them in an illegal manner will be denied future purchasing privileges.

Psilocybin spores are legal in most States. It is your responsibility to follow the laws within your state, country, region.

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