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The John Allen Strain also commonly called the John W Allen magic mushroom, the Allen Psilocybe cubensis or the John Allen cubensis, is a famous magic mushroom from Thailand named after ethno-mycologist John W. Allen. Allen Mushroom Strain: Paying Respects to the Infamous (Mushroom) John AllenWith an average potency and decent fruiting capability, the Allen strain is a great option for beginner growers and experts alike. The effects are considered about “average” to what you might expect from other magic mushrooms.Dan SimmsLast Updated: August 19, 2022PrintThe Allen strain is believed to be an offshoot of the popular Thai strain that was first collected in a sample of elephant dung several decades ago. Today, this strain is revered for its rapid colonization times and bulbous caps that flatten out so fast you can almost see it — letting you know when they’re ready to harvest. In this in-depth guide, we’ll be discussing the origin of the Allen strain, the effects you can expect when taking this strain, where to buy Allen shroom spores, tips for growing these shrooms, and much more.What Are Allen Shrooms?Allen shrooms are a specific strain of psilocybin mushrooms belonging to the scientific classification of Psilocybe cubensis. These shrooms, along with all others belonging to that species, contain varying levels of psilocybin and psilocin (the active hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms). Allen shrooms are named after “Mushroom” John Allen, who is an ethnomycologist credited with discovering some of the most popular shroom strains in the world — including Ban Hua Thanon, Burma, Cambodian, Corumba, Hanoi, Kathmandu, Malaysian, Thai, and numerous others. Mushroom John discovered and collected these samples in the 90s during an excursion through Southeast Asia (primarily Thailand) in search of magical mushrooms. At the time, the concept of individual “strains” of magic mushrooms wasn’t a thing, so John Allen would simply name the samples after the regions he collected them — and the names stuck. Today the continuation of stock John Allen collected persists on the market today. Vendors buy spores from other sources, cultivate them, and continue the cycle of spore distribution to keep these lineages going indefinitely.The sample was allegedly collected from a paddy field near Ban Hua Thanon near the Gulf of Thailand. It now remains one of the more popular shrooms strains available.Most users find that the experience of taking Allen shrooms is highly creative. This is a popular strain for microdosing for the purposes of tapping into new creative avenues. Allen Shroom Strain Specs:Potency AverageCultivation BeginnerSpecies Psilocybe cubensisSubstrate Recommendation Rye Grain or Brown Rice Flour and VermiculiteCost $Sold By Ralphsters Spores, Free Spores, Lil Shop of Spores, High Desert SporesHistory of Allen ShroomsThe Allen strain is one that quite a lot is known about, unlike some other strains that have more nebulous origins. This strain was initially found by Mushroom John, who is an ethnomycologist known for discovering several species of psilocybin mushrooms. Mushroom John took an excursion through parts of Southeast Asia, during which he discovered several shroom strains.The Allen strain was discovered in a paddy field near Ban Hua Thanon in Thailand. It was one of the first shroom strains discovered in Thailand, making it a significant discovery. It’s believed to be closely related to several strains that originated in Mexico.There is some debate as to which shroom strain is the Allen strain, as Mushroom John Allen discovered several unique strains throughout his research. Most people attribute the name to the strain discovered in Thailand, but some argue that his famous California-origin strain or the strain he discovered in Cambodia should be named after him.The Allen shroom — from Thailand — is one that is popular among growers for its rapid colonization time. It has an average potency but tends to elicit a somewhat powerful experience, which is likely one of the reasons this strain has remained as popular as it has.Allen Strain Potency & Psilocybin ContentMost users and growers want to know the potency of a strain — which is to say, the psilocybin content by weight — before they begin to grow it or use it to trip. Unfortunately, the concentration of psilocybin in a specific strain can vary wildly between samples. The growing conditions will affect the levels of psilocybin, often more than the specific strain, so you could find that some Allen shrooms have half the potency of others of the same strain.With that being said, there are some averages available online that can offer some indication of the potency you can expect from the Allen strain. One source in particular states that some samples have an average potency of between 0.25% and 0.75% psilocybin by weight. That same source notes that some samples of the Allen strain can contain between 0.75% and 2.0% psilocybin, which is considered very potent.The Allen strain was not represented in the 2021 Psilocybin Cup presented by Oakland Hyphae. This is unfortunate, as readings from this competition can often indicate average psilocybin levels. It’s unclear why this relatively popular cultivar wasn’t entered into the competition.Allen Strain Variations & Genetic RelativesIn some cases, shroom strains are compared to and grouped with genetic relatives either because their effects or growing habits are similar to one another. In the case of Allen shrooms, the most similar strains come from Thailand.1. Thai Elephant Dung StrainThis shroom strain belongs to the classification Psilocybe cubensis, just like the Allen strain. It hails from Thailand, so it grows in similar conditions, and it is also known as a rapid colonizer. This strain is distinctly different in appearance, so most people classify it as a different strain.However, some mycologists believe this is the same strain as the Allen strain that grows on a different medium and in slightly different conditions, which could account for the physical appearance.2. Blue MeaniesSome people believe that Panaeolus Cyanescens, more commonly known as “Blue Meanies,” is also closely related to the Allen strain. Both can grow in parts of Thailand and have similar colonization habits.Where to Buy Allen Shroom Strain SporesThere are several places you can buy spores from the Allen shroom strain, whether you’re interested in collecting them or cultivating them.If you live in the United States, Ralphsters Spores is one of the best options for picking up syringes or prints of the Allen strain spores. You can also check out Free Spores, Lil Shop of Spores, and High Desert Spores.If you live in Canada, you can turn to Shroom Bros. Spore Door, and Sporeslab might also carry this strain, although it was not offered at the time of writing.If you live in Europe, your best bets are likely The Magic Mushrooms Shop or Viking Spore. However, the strain was unavailable at the time of writing.Related: How & Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores (Legally).How to Grow Allen ShroomsThe Allen strain is considered a decent strain for beginner cultivators to grow, especially because of the rapid colonization time and the general resistance to mold and disease. Most growers find that this strain colonizes around 10 to 20% more rapidly than other strains, and the first flush is rather abundant.The process for growing Allen shrooms is similar to what you’d expect with other strains. We’ll detail the process briefly below, but you can check out our in-depth shroom growing guide for more information and tips to get started.Step 1: Get Your Substrate ReadyYour first step will be to mix your substrate for sterilization. Most growers prefer a mixture of 2 parts brown rice flour or rye grain, 2 parts vermiculite, and 1 part water. Mix this together and fill a mason jar up to about three-quarters of an inch from the top. Fill the remaining space with dry vermiculite.Step 2: Sterilize Your SubstrateNext, cover your mason jar with tin foil and put it in a pressure cooker to sterilize it. You’ll want to keep it over 121 degrees F for at least a half-hour.Step 3: InoculationThe inoculation process involves sterilizing a room in your home and then introducing the spores to your sterilized substrate. This step is where most contaminations occur, so be careful here.Step 4: Incubation & ColonizationSeal your jar and keep it in an incubation chamber set between 70 and 80 degrees F and above 85% humidity. Keep light to a minimum, and continue checking on your shrooms. Once you see the entire substrate covered in white mycelium, you can move on to the next step.Step 5: Move to a Fruiting ChamberIntroduce your substrate and mycelium to a fruiting chamber with moist vermiculite. Keep the chamber at 85% humidity or higher, but drop the temperature to between 50 and 65 degrees F. You’ll notice your shrooms fruit within a few days.Step 6: HarvestYou’ll know your shrooms are ready to harvest when the veil on the bottom breaks. You can harvest and then wait for your second and third flushes, although the first is often the most prolific with the Allen strain. Discard everything if you notice mold or odd discoloration at any point.Most growers note that the Allen strain doesn’t get stuck between flushes. If yours does, you can dunk the shrooms in ice water for around 20 minutes and then put them back into your fruiting chamber. This can move the shrooms into the next flush more rapidly.Similar Strains Try InsteadMany growers adore the Allen shroom strain because it’s somewhat resistant to disease and mold, and users seek out this strain for its somewhat mild high and its ability to increase focus and creativity. While the strain is far from being rare or hard to find, it’s worth mentioning some other options that share similar qualities as the infamous Allen strain. 1. Thai strainThere’s some debate as to whether Allen is a unique strain at all or if it’s just the Thai strain grown on elephant dung. In any case, Allen and the Thai strain are quite similar in their rapid colonization time and their ability to bring on creativity and divergent thinking.2. Blue MeaniesThis is another strain that is said to be closely related to the Allen strain. Blue Meanies are often described as highly energetic, much like Allen shrooms, and they’re known to increase creativity as well. The colonization time for this strain is also quite short.3. Mazatapec ShroomsMazatapec shrooms come from — you guessed it — Mazatec, an area located in Mexico. Several Mexican shroom strains are said to be closely related to those in Thailand — including the Allen strain — and this is one of the closest comparisons. Mazatapec shrooms are known to be a highly creative strain that brings energy and introspection.4. Transkei MushroomsTranskei shrooms come from Durban, an area near the coast of South Africa. This strain is known to stimulate creativity in users and is a relatively fast colonizer.Strains vs. Species: What’s The Difference?There is a lot of confusion in the world of psychedelic mushrooms about the differences between strains and species.The term strain is used to describe an isolated genetic variant of a biological species. All strains of the same species have identical genetic makeup but possess distinct epigenetic responses to their environment. They produce varying levels of active ingredients and sometimes produce unique growth traits (such as albinoism or alterations in stem or cap size). When we talk about magic mushroom strains, we’re largely referring to samples of Psilocybe cubensis. The term species refers to a group of genetically-related fungi that can reproduce together to produce viable offspring. Mycelium from separate species of mushrooms cannot reproduce together. Final Thoughts: Allen ShroomsThe Allen strain is a relatively popular one that hails from Thailand. It was discovered by “Mushroom John” John W. Allen, a somewhat famous mycologist who has discovered several strains around the world. It’s one of the first magic mushroom strains to have been discovered in Thailand, making it a popular one.Allen shrooms are known for their rapid colonization time, often colonizing up to 20% more quickly than other strains. It’s somewhat resistant to mold and disease, and it produces a massive first flush, so it’s a popular choice for magic mushroom growers.Allen shrooms have an average potency, but they are known to spark creativity and boost focus and concentration. As such, it is a popular strain among users, especially those looking to induce non-linear thinking and those who microdose for creative purposes.