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Golden Teacher Vs. Penis Envy Mushroom

Golden Teacher Vs. Penis Envy Mushroom

What is Golden Teacher?

Golden Teacher is the most notorious mushroom in the Psilocybe Cubensis family. This mushroom is known for its distinct gold and yellowish coloration in the cap region. It has gained much notoriety for its mild and conducive high users experience. Potency testing usually correlates Golden Teacher to around 0.6% active, which is on the mild side of alkaloids compared to Penis Envy (greater than 1.0% on average).

Golden Teacher Mushrooms Growing out of a container 
photographed by san diego product photographer Nesli

Where was Golden Teacher thought to be found?

First off, all the “strain stories” we read should be taken with a grain of salt. Unless you meet someone responsible for the genetics variety you’re exploring, it’s best not to believe everything you read. The story of Golden Teacher dates back to the early 1970s when a professor named “Hutchinsons” at Holyoke Community College discovered it.

Golden Teacher was first found in a bird sanctuary in Guyana, South America, where it got its name “Golden Teacher.” Cultivator Steven Woodbury from South Hadley, Massachusetts, claims to be the primary originator of this specific mushroom variety. Steven studied horticulture at Holyoke Community College, which led to his interest in mycology. On a recent expedition, Professor Hutchinsons traveled to Guyana and stumbled upon the Golden Teacher mushroom growing in a shaded region of the bird enclosure. These spore prints were brought back to his community college. Steven was gifted a spore print of the original Golden Teacher mushroom, which he grew on agar and cultivated in North America. Like most stories about magic mushroom strains, the true origins are like folklore, although the back history of this specific mushroom checks out in historical dates.

Golden Teacher was first advertised in High Times in the 1991 July issue in a classified ad. This variety had been circulated by spore vendors ever since its release in the early ’90s. Many of the biggest legends in the mycology community remain in the shadows, while mainstream enthusiasts exploit these discoveries.

What are Penis Envy Mushrooms?

Penis Envy mushrooms are known for their unique visual characteristics, including a thicker-than-usual stem, often greater than 2 inches wide, sometimes even 4 inches or more. The name “Penis Envy” seems appropriate given its phallic resemblance. Terrance McKenna is credited with bringing this strain to the mainstream after acquiring the spores from South America and growing them in his mycology lab. Terrance was a counter-culture legend in the mushroom and psychedelic community and a pioneer for new Psilocybe varieties being discovered at the time.

thrasher PE mushrooms growing from substrate

Why are Penis Envy Mushrooms so Valued?

There are numerous valuable traits about Penis Envy mushrooms that make them an excellent cultivar for mushroom growers. The two main reasons why Penis Envy mushrooms are so sought after are their generous yields and potency. The key to any commercial strain is its medicinal value accompanied by large yields, also referred to as a “bumper crop.” Penis Envy mushrooms can measure more than 4 inches thick in large-scale operations, with fruits that weigh over 1 ounce in dry weight (approximately 2 kg wet fruit).

The average potency of Penis Envy mushrooms can range from 1% pure psilocybin to 2%, even 3% active alkaloid content, which is almost five times the potency of any Golden Teacher isolation. Penis Envy mushrooms have been genetically modified in vitro lab settings to produce select phenotypic expressions like larger, thicker fruiting bodies or smaller, more stunted mushroom pins called “aborts,” known to be the most potent form of Psilocybe mushrooms. Some microdose brands specifically source aborts, also referred to as “pins,” which contain all the active compounds of a full-grown mushroom but in a smaller form with no “water weight.” My theory is that aborts contain the same active ingredient as a full-grown Penis Envy mushroom without the inflated fruit when the cap opens up and begins to drop mushroom spores.

Where are Penis Envy Mushrooms from?

“Mushroom John” was interviewed by Hamilton Morris back in 2022, providing the latest history lesson about Penis Envy. Richard Gutierrez is another key player in the unfolding story of Penis Envy, with his last interview in May 1998, according to Hamilton. Since then, Dr. Morris claims Mr. G is a ghost and does not talk to anyone, remaining in the shadows. Pollack and McKenna were involved in this amazing story of Penis Envy. Mushroom John recalls a Seattle newspaper called “Voltage” that wrote a story about Penis Envy by Linton Robinson under the pseudonym “Rob Poole.”

Richard experienced an accidental gunshot wound to his head by his older brother and uncle at age 10. The injury eventually led to his psychic abilities. During the first half of his life, he also experienced a case of lactic acidosis so severe that he blames it for his brain damage. The 16 years of pain led him to believe he was dead and had gained the ability to telekinesis and psychic abilities. Richard, or Mr. Gee, later earned his degree from the University of Washington, studying yeast replication with Leland Hartwell, who eventually won a Nobel Prize for the research discovering mechanisms of cell division.

psychedelic world

Richard Gutierrez, the shadow of the Penis Envy story, would not be found, and if he was, he would not talk to anyone. In August 2015, Hamilton knew he sold mushroom grow kits at Pike Place Market. Hamilton happened to leave a note with someone working at the counter about Penis Envy mushroom stories. He authored two books, one in 1976 on how to identify and grow psilocybin mushrooms and another in 1995 on Cubensis aquarium gardening. The second front cover could very well have been the Penis Envy mushroom’s original source.

John Allen happened to have the only copy of the book “Cubensis Aquarium Gardening.” In the 1976 book, he describes an Amazon Cubensis strain he obtained from Terrance and Dennis McKenna.

The story of the McKenna brothers discovering Penis Envy mushrooms in South America at its most basic level is fascinating. Hamilton Morris eventually landed an interview with Mr. Gee, thanks to a Patreon member with a family connection.

The story of Penis Envy mushrooms began in a dense jungle in the Amazon. The South American region has always produced the most aggressive magic mushrooms in history.

Is Richard Gutierrez aka Mr. Gee the Penis Envy Creator or Mushroom John?

In a live interview with Mr. Gee, Hamilton Morris simply listens to Richard G and his take on who Mushroom John is all about. They were both writing their own mushroom books, although Robert had started his book first. Robert eventually heard about how Mushroom John was also writing a book about mushrooms while John was in Hawaii.

Richard Gutierrez couldn’t get rid of Mushroom John, and John complained to Richard that he couldn’t stop talking to whomever he encountered. Mushroom John eventually got banned from the Shroomery and even called the FBI on the Shroomery. Richard was also exposed to the FBI because Richard refused to continue speaking with him. Mushroom John threatened Richard about calling the FBI, telling them he wholesaled drugs, and Richard no longer wanted anything to do with him. They both traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, and Amsterdam together, but that was it.

Mushroom John regurgitated information from other people, but as a scientist, he didn’t understand most of what he was doing. The whole Penis Envy confusion began when the McKennas brought back an Amazon strain of mushrooms.

Richard G never personally met Terrence McKenna, but one day his neighbor picked up the Amazon strain from his hairstylist-type friend (not named for obvious reasons). The dry Amazon mushroom was handed to Richard from a California grower noted to be Terrence McKenna. He never got a spore print, just a little dry mushroom thought to be grown by Terrence McKenna.

hyper-realistic image featuring lab mycologists resembling Terrence McKenna and Richard Gutierrez, researching mushrooms in a lush, psychedelic jungle lab set in an Amazonian environment

At this time, Richard had 10 years of genetic work under his belt when he received an Amazon mushroom dried sample. He plated out the spores and grew them in rye berries in multiple terrariums. Out of three strains, one had some abort-looking funky blue mushrooms that looked exceptionally more potent.

Most of Richard’s science was done under a microscope, finding the edge of a pipette to micro-manipulate the aborted spores under the microscope. The reason why Penis Envy had so many aborts was because of bad genetics. The next level was to plate out one of the aborted mushrooms, but the same problem occurred. After five times of doing this, the mushrooms started to look normal, but since the genetics were bad, the spores dropped very little, and most of the spores were not viable. To keep the Penis Envy mushroom strain going, he had to go back to spore and bring it back from the dead to start a new strain. The genetic defect is thought to make them more potent, but their genetics are weaker (more prone to mutation and aborts).

This back-and-forth process of bringing Penis Envy back from spore over the past 40 years is how this strain has survived so long. Richard G would constantly go back and forth to spore and the original cuts until 2020, his last time re-growing the prints.

Why do they call Penis Envy Melmac?

Penis Envy has many names, including “Melmac,” relating to the animated cartoon character with a crinkled nose called “Alf.” ALF was from the planet Melmac, and this cartoon was created during the mid-1980s. Most people become confused when they hear alternative names for Penis Envy and automatically assume the varieties are not related. Melmac, Penis Envy, Choda, DC Mak, Makilla Gorilla, Penis Envy 6, Penis Envy 7, Thrasher Isolation, APE, Melmac Revert are just the tip of the iceberg for the countless Penis Envy varieties. The main problem is most mushroom genetics being sold are renamed and confused with other mycological established varieties.

Thrasher Penis Envy Mushroom

Spore vendors are crossing and isolating Penis Envy spores to find creative mutations or appearances to stand out in the market. The good news is genetic sequencing can show us the real story; unfortunately, this can become quite costly, as testing each Penis Envy strain would cost thousands of dollars. Most growers and spore vendors prefer to tissue culture their phenotypic unique isolations, which will continuously cause visual differences and eventually lead to unique mutations. The best way to maintain Penis Envy genetics is to start from spore after each isolation, thus progressing to the next generation (G1 from spore after each clone is taken). For example, if you clone a Penis Envy mushroom and then take the spores from the gills to transfer to a new agar plate, you will be making the second generation of that isolation. Isolations must be back-checked with a spore swab to confirm the selected phenotype is confirmed.