Aptly named for its phallic shape—and boasting a peculiar backstory to boot—Penis Envy (PE) has gained a wide-reaching reputation for its extraordinary potency.
Various reports and spore retailers claim that PE packs two to three times the punch of a standard mushroom. Its potency deviates so much from other strains, according to the journalist and scientist Hamilton Morris, that it’s “almost treated like a different species entirely.”
As a result, PE has become one of the most sought-after strains of psilocybe cubensis, the most common species of psychedelic mushroom. According to the spore retailer Mushly, PE is the second-most searched variety in its catalog. And Morris, for one, attests that “many spore retailers” report that it’s their best-selling variety, period.
Penis Envy’s popularity and reputation, however, invite many questions on the subject of mushroom potency: How exactly do we determine the strength of a particular mushroom, and how much weight should we put in those numbers? In other words, does high potency necessarily translate to a more intense experience?