Understanding APE begins with understanding P. cubensis. The wild fungus it grew out of—in fact, APE still is P. cubensis. Rather like how the white tigers bred for circuses and zoos are still tigers, not a new species.
P.cubensis[iii] is a small, often long-stemmed mushroom with a bluish ring that is often stained black by falling spores. The stem and cap both bruise blue. Wild-type caps are brownish, but APE caps are almost white. The species eats, and usually fruits from, the dung of large grazing animals. Not from under dung (a habit other species have). The wild type grows freely in well-watered tropical and sub-tropical areas of almost every continent. Several look-alikes do share the same habitat. So it’s unwise for enthusiasts to go foraging on their own unless they have also developed some skill at mushroom identification.
It’s important to remember that noticing certain kinds of details is a learned skill. The brain discards details deemed unimportant, so until a person has studied mushrooms in an ongoing way for some time. (Thus teaching the brain that mushroom details are important) the difference between a useful species and its toxic look-alike might literally be invisible. Expertise is important.
Many users either buy or grow their supply, making identification less of an issue. dmt crystals
P.cubensis is mind-altering, able to cause a range of effects[iv], including hallucinations, mood-changes, new beliefs or ideas (sometimes classifiable as delusion, sometimes not), and anxiety, or even panic. There can also be less psychedelic effects, such as nausea or worse. The results of taking this mushroom can vary dramatically[v], depending on the chemistry of the individual mushroom and on the physical sensitivity, mental state, and surroundings of the user at the time. Over-doses are possible and can be dangerous, but are never deadly[vi]. The risk of addiction is very low; mushroom use does not cause the kind of dependency that, for example, opiates do. While P. cubensis use is not risk-free, risk can be minimized through reasonable caution. ape mushroom theory
While some people talk about all “magic” mushrooms as though they were interchangeable, each species has its own mix of psychoactive and other substances, and thus its own possible effects on the body and brain. Amanita muscaria, for example, probably the most famous hallucinogenic mushroom besides P. cubensis, owes its effects to a completely different group of “active ingredients,” and thus works very differently in the body[vii].
P.cubensis has a long history of both religious and recreational use. It may have medicinal value in treating certain psychiatric conditions (though all use, including for medicinal purposes, is still illegal in most jurisdictions). The species is not difficult to grow, and many cultivated varieties are available.