At one time, it was a real mystery why magic mushrooms turn blue. Back in the day, everyone had a favorite theory on what this color change meant.
Growers knew that the blue color appeared during harvest or cutting. Sometimes though, this bluing would spontaneously occur during storage.
However, trippers usually had the wildest ideas of all. The color change could mean that the mushrooms were super potent or unique in some way.
The blue coloration could even worry some beginners who thought it was dangerous.
Yet, now we know that magic mushrooms turn blue thanks to psilocybin—the main hallucinogen in magic mushrooms. The thing is, there’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye.
To find out why magic mushrooms are blue and the puzzling story behind the phenomenon, then continue reading below.
Magic Mushroom Bruising
As many growers and mushroom hunters know, bluing is a part of a process called bruising. This natural process happens when the mushrooms are harvested or damaged even a little.
Think of a banana—when you lightly squeeze one or drop it on the floor, the bright yellow peel can turn dark brown or even black.
With magic mushrooms, the process is similar. Think of a time you pulled magic mushrooms out of a cow pie, cut them from a fruiting chamber, or mishandled them.
Usually, the blue coloration follows the areas where the mushroom was handled or picked from.
However, bruising can also happen even when the mushrooms are stored away and left untouched.
This mystery leads people to believe that magic mushrooms happened due to oxidation. That is, something in the mushrooms was reacting with the air.
It turns out they were right because bruising does occur when psilocybin gets oxidized.
Why Are Magic Mushrooms Blue?
It turns out psilocybin, the compound responsible for tripping, turns magic mushrooms blue—case closed. Or is it?
The thing is, scientists discovered that bluing was caused by oxidized psilocybin since at least the 1960s. Yet, the mystery deepened when scientists tried to extract this blue compound.
What happened was that each chemist failed to purify the blue coloration. Now, after so many decades, the mystery has finally been solved.
A team from the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology in Germany made the discovery. They found that the blue pigment is not just a single compound but a complex mixture of psilocybin oxidation products.
The team identified six different compounds that were responsible for the blue color. The process first starts with psilocybin, which is converted to psilocin—the active hallucinogenic compound.
Without getting too technical, the psilocin would then convert to the six compounds responsible for the blue coloration.
Even more interesting is that these compounds are similar to the compound indigo. Indigo is a blue pigment used naturally for thousands of years as a dye.
In fact, synthetic indigo is still produced in vast quantities to dye denim clothes blue. However, the blue pigment in magic mushrooms is different from indigo on a chemical level.
What’s the Purpose of the Blue Pigment?
Besides looking spectacular, what is the purpose of this blue pigment? Since the mystery of these compounds has just been solved, it’s unknown what they do precisely.
Yet, the team who discovered the blue compounds has a hypothesis. It could be a defense against insects that are vulnerable to the reactive process that produces these compounds.
The exciting part is that this may only be the beginning of a more fascinating and essential part of psilocybin mushrooms.
Are Blue Magic Mushrooms Less Potent?
Now that we know why magic mushrooms are blue, does that lead to less potent magic mushrooms? If we consider how this bruising process works, it makes sense that heavily bruised mushrooms are weaker.
After all, the process takes psilocybin and degrades it into a blue pigment. Less psilocybin means less psilocin, which means less hallucinogenic compound overall.
Yet, it seems that bruising does not affect the potency of magic mushrooms. Countless posts on Reddit and other forums yield evidence that bruising doesn’t affect strength.
Studies have also shown that oxidation doesn’t affect all of the psilocybin within a magic mushroom. That means that even if your mushroom is completely oxidized, it should still contain a good portion of psilocybin.
However, there are some extremes to this, and we recommend that you don’t consume magic mushrooms that are completely destroyed, frozen, or haven’t been dried properly.
Do Only Psilocybin Mushrooms Turn Blue?
So far, over 180 species of mushrooms containing psilocybin have been discovered. That means that technically all of these mushrooms can turn blue.
The most popular of which is the species Psilocybin cubensis. This is the species of magic mushrooms that most of us know and love.
Yet, there are many others, such as Panaeolus cyanescens, also known as blue meanies. These mushrooms can turn a deep blue when picked, which looks nearly black.
Now before you go out on a hunt for blue mushrooms, be aware that bluing shrooms aren’t always hallucinogenic. Some mushrooms, such as the bluing bolete, turn blue once picked or damaged, like psilocybin mushrooms.
Luckily, these boletes are edible, but they have an entirely different mechanism that turns them blue, which doesn’t involve psilocybin.
Have No Fear of Blue Magic Mushrooms
If you’ve ever wondered why magic mushrooms are blue, now you know. This information is especially useful for beginners who often worry about strange colors on their otherwise perfect shrooms.
Blue bruising is completely natural and sometimes unavoidable when picking or buying magic mushrooms online. If you’re in Canada, using an online magic mushroom dispensary may be your only way to access safe psilocybin mushrooms.
That’s why we recommend heading over to Get Magic Mushrooms. At GMM, all psilocybin mushrooms are grown and cared for by experts—every step of the way.
From certified growers to careful packaging, GMM makes sure your magic mushrooms arrive in excellent condition at your door. So don’t worry if you see a little blue because now you know why and how it happens.