Whether Golden Teacher is really more educational than other varieties is unclear; many users swear that the quality of the trip depends on the strain of mushroom involved, with some being more visual, others more physical, and so on, while others insist a cube is a cube is a cube (potency does vary). Either way, P. cubensis is known for producing a variety of enjoyable “symptoms,” including euphoria, introspection, and hallucinations—and some that are less-pleasant, such as nausea and sometimes anxiety. Serious side effects are rare but possible. There is some evidence that psilocy, the psychoactive substance present in Psilocybe mushrooms, may have some medicinal value, though it is still extremely illegal in most jurisdictions (one reason there hasn’t been much research).
There are many psychoactive Psilocybes besides P. cubensis, as well as some hallucinogenic species in the Amanita genus that contain a very different active substance and hence give a very different kind of trip. Any of these might be said to be “magic,” but usually when people refer to magic mushrooms or shrooms, they mean P. cubensis, either the wild type or a cultivated strain, like Golden Teacher.
Golden Teacher is of roughly average potency, as P. cubensis strains go[i], and trips are often shorter than average, only two to four hours[ii]—an advantage for beginners who don’t know yet whether they’ll like the trip. Users report a very calm, relaxing experience with only mild visuals but a strong body component.