Psilocybe mexicana (Teonanacatl, Pajaritos)
Psilocybe Mexicana has a rich history. It’s believed that this is the species of mushroom that the Nahuatl or Aztec people used ceremoniously and called “Teonanacatl,” meaning “flesh of the Gods,” before Spanish colonization. P. Mexicana is also the species that French botanist Roger Heim sent to Albert Hoffman in 1958. Hoffman, the chemist who discovered LSD, used that sample to cultivate more magic mushrooms and isolate psilocybin and psilocin for the first time in a lab.
Psilocybe Mexicana still grows to this day in Mexico during the rainy season, especially in the states of Oaxaca, Michoacán, Puebla, and others. The species is common at altitudes between 1000 and 1800 meters (3280 to 5900 feet) and prefers to live in moss, meadows, deciduous forests, and soils rich in manure, as well as alongside roads and trails—but never directly on dung.
In Mexico today they’re often called “Pajaritos” meaning “little birds” for packing such a potent experience into such a small, fragile mushroom. Because they somewhat look like Liberty Caps and live in similar environments, Paul Stamets has taken to calling them “Mexicana Liberty Caps.” They can also grow truffles or sclerotia, which contain both psilocybin and psilocin. (Although, their fruiting bodies generally contain more psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin according to Psillow.)
Psilocybe Mexicana Potency
Despite the Dutch Ministry of Health stating that sclerotia are weaker than mushrooms, the truth in this claim depends on what you’re actually comparing. Sclerotia in general contain less water than mushrooms; around 75 percent compared to around 90 percent. On a fresh weight basis sclerotia may be actually more potent than many common psychedelic mushroom species, but this relationship switches once both the mushrooms and sclerotia have been properly dried due to the difference in moisture content.
Although we don’t have direct measurements of potency for P. Mexicana sclerotia, mushrooms themselves have been reported to contain a maximum of 0.25 percent psilocybin and 0.25 percent psilocin. On paper, this makes P. Mexicana weaker in comparison to the more commonly grown P. cubensis, which are reported to contain a maximum of 1.3 percent psilocybin and 0.35 percent psilocin. However, those who have tried both have reported P. Mexicana mushrooms to have similar, or greater potency than P. cubensis depending on who you ask. In addition, sclerotia of P. Mexicana are anecdotally considered to be of roughly equal potency to P. cubensis mushrooms.