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Why do different species and strains of mushrooms have different highs?

All active Psilocybe mushrooms contain the same main substances which are psilocybin, psilocin and to a lesser degree baeocystin and norbaeocystin.



All active Psilocybe mushrooms contain the same main substances which are psilocybin, psilocin and to a lesser degree baeocystin and norbaeocystin. The amounts and proportions of those 4 key components varies among different species and strains. Alongside with those 4 main components there are many other substances, which by them self don't have a described psychoactive effect, but might very well have a slight modifying effect on the psychoactive properties of the key components.

Another likely cause for the different effect of different mushrooms is the influence of the effect of stomach contents and set and setting on the psychedelic experience.
The use of any hallucinogen involves "set," i.e. mind-set, mood, emotional state and "setting," the environment and/or people with whom one is tripping at the time. The combination of set and setting in conjunction with the effects of the drug produce the kind of trip one has, good or bad. People do experience psychotic breaks from reality in a bad trip and this can be extremely traumatic with long-term and lingering after effects. A good trip can be very euphoric and transcendent in comparison. Which you’ll get is again, dependent on set, setting, the drug and certain amount of luck and randomness.

Sources:
Miscellaneous Drug responses
Psilocybe Mushroom FAQ

Marijuana Demystified
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