Psilocybe atlantis is a very rare specie naturally, only being described to science in 2003 and having an extremely small range limited to the state of Georgia in the USA. Despite this, P. atlantis is one of the most commonly cultivated and consumed species around the world, primarily due to a loop-hole in European law. As such, this specie is found commercial, especially in the Netherlands and their “magic” city: Amsterdam.
Amsterdam was long known as a city to experiment and explore, currently one of the few cities that tolerates the sale and consumption of cannabis. Beside the active nightlife and the renowned red-light district, “smart shops” dot the landscape offering “herbal” extracts, capsules and products. For some, a vacation to Amsterdam might have been, and still can be, a convenient place for a first, or at least legal, Psilocybe experience.
A cornucopia of Psilocybe species were available in mushroom form, before a 2008 ban specifically on mushrooms (By contrast, the USA bans the active compounds Psilocybin and Psilocin). Along with P. mexicana and P. tampenensis, sclerotia and mycelium of P. atlantis have taken over as the dominant, legal cultivation method. Known as “philosopher’s stones” or “magic truffles”, sclerotia are a dense form of mycelium naturally formed by certain species to survive wildfires.
These truffles are readily available in certain Dutch cities, usually taking centre stage in the “smart shops” of Amsterdam. A vast selection of species can be found online, with P. atlantis usually boasting the highest potency among them. Depending on jurisdiction and local laws, these may be shipped directly and promptly to your door in fresh, vacuum-packed form. Aside from the sclerotia themselves, the spores are another option for cultivation or consumption that may be bound by separate laws concerning controlled substances. While forcing P. atlantis to form sclerotia may be difficult at home, the mycelium is easy to maintain and produces fruiting bodies similar to P. mexicana.
Having an arguably pleasant but intense flavour and aroma, the density of truffles is amenable to chopping and grinding for incorporation into sauces, sweets and even chocolate. Caution is advised when adding sclerotia, or any Psilocybe mushrooms, to food or drink. The potency, latency and duration can be affected; acidic substances such as lemon juice are suggested to intensify and accelerate the experience.
For those acquainted with dried fruiting bodies, fresh sclerotia may be a new and different experience, solely on taste alone. They may also be eaten as is, with no washing required; water and humidity may promote mould growth, so truffles should be kept dry and refrigerated. While some commercial outfits will brand their products with proprietary names, the specie can often be found within the fine-print or by directly asking the provider. While P. atlantis is the most common and considered potent, P. mexicana and P. tampenensis are also frequently available.
Sclerotia are generally more potent by dry weight compared to fruiting bodies. In the case of P. atlantis, the activity entirely comes from Psilocybin as there was no Psilocin detected in at least one study. Truffles are often sold in a fresh form, as they are prone to oxidation and may not dry completely due to their density. Because of this, and their variety in size, P. atlantis sclerotia should be weighed rather than counted, with 10-15 grams of fresh truffles considered a large dose. A variation in colour is expected, however significant blue or black tones may suggest oxidation of the active compounds.
As with the fruiting bodies produced by the same and similar species, toxicity is rare. While legal in some places, they should be considered as having equal or higher potency compared to dried or fresh “magic mushrooms”. While being incredibly rare in a very small distribution, P. atlantis is quickly becoming the most commonly consumed Psilocybe specie in Europe and the world.