Tryp Labs CoA interpretation
So, you just got a certificate of analysis (CoA), either from your own sample submission, or shared by a friend. Now you might be thinking, what am I looking at? Let’s look at one of these CoA’s and break it down.
A CoA is a printout of results of a laboratory analysis. At the top of the CoA, it is common to see the laboratory that analyzed the sample, the agent that submitted the sample, the date, and the type of analysis. Below those, you can find information about the sample, like the name, the sample type (i.e., mushroom, edible, tincture, extract, etc.), the date it was received and processed, and how much sample was used.
Typically, the next section shows the results of the analysis in a table format. Within the results table, the analyte is any chemical that is analyzed. In a Tryp Labs CoA, the analytes are listed on the column on the far left. To the right, these are quantified as two different numbers, milligram per gram (mg/g) and percent by weight (%w). The milligram per gram unit refers to how many milligrams of the analyte are present in a gram of the sample, while the percent by weight is the percentage of the weight of the sample that is the analyte. The result is the same for each analyte but reported as two different units. This may be helpful depending on what unit you are typically used to reading.
The analytes that Tryp Labs is currently capable of screening for in psilocybin fungi are psilocybin, psilocin, baeocystin, norbaeocystin, norpsilocin, and aeruginascin. The results of all the analytes are summed and this is reported as a combined result. There are also two more numbers reported, a psilocybin equivalent, and a psilocin equivalent, that are worth some discussion. The rest of the CoA shows a picture of the sample, either taken by the lab, or submitted with the sample, some notes, and a signature from the analyst.
Now, what are the equivalent numbers? These numbers help in understanding and using the mushroom. Mushrooms produce primarily psilocybin, and only trace amounts of psilocin, during their healthy growth. When harvested, or left to grow too long, enzymatic oxidation occurs that converts the psilocybin to psilocin. The psilocybin equivalent number approximates the unadulterated psilocybin content of the mushroom, by using math to convert the psilocin concentration into a psilocybin concentration and combine it with the measured psilocybin. The equation is based on the molecular mass of the different molecules, and is as follows:
psilocybin equivalent (PSB EQ) = 1.32*psilocin + psilocybin
This can be helpful when planning dosages, because information in the medical literature is usually in reference to milligrams of psilocybin. Since a psilocybin equivalent is included, it seemed relevant to also do the calculation the other way and report a psilocin equivalent. This equivalent is represented as:
psilocin equivalent (PSN EQ) = 0.79*psilocybin + psilocin
Psilocin is the molecule primarily responsible for the effects of psilocybin mushrooms, so this value gives some insight into how much psilocin gave what affect. The other analytes are not taken into consideration for these equivalent values, as they are not converted to psilocybin or psilocin during ingestion.
If these other analytes are not being converted to psilocybin or psilocin during ingestion, then what sort of effects if any do they contribute? The short answer is, we currently do not know. There are suspicions that the other molecules play a role in the experience, sometimes called an entourage or ensemble effect, but conclusive evidence of this is currently unavailable. Here at Tryp Labs, we are interested in testing for these compounds, and building data, so that if new evidence supported such an entourage effect, we could look back at this data and apply how these values might apply to experiences for any strain or species. With the psychedelic experience, much variability is left within the user’s own biochemistry, diet, and mindset. These numbers are only a baseline, that may help one dial in a specific dosage, or to just understand a mushroom strain.
How do my mushrooms compare to other magic mushrooms?
The most common magic mushrooms are Psilocybe cubensis, and on average, these mushrooms are 0.3%-0.8%. At Tryp Labs, we classify mushroom potency in some ranks:
0-0.3% - below average
0.3-0.8% - average
0.9-1.3% - above average
1.4-1.8% - potent
1.9-2.3% - very potent
2.4%+ - extremely potent
As a brief summary, the CoA is a display of results of a sample test. This test is for psilocybin and related tryptamines in magic mushrooms. The results are reported as mg/g and %w, two different units representing the same result. The Equivalent numbers convert psilocybin and psilocin into one number that is useful for using and understanding the mushrooms.
How do I use this data?
Knowing the potency of your mushrooms can be useful for dialing in dosage for a well-tuned and catered experience. Different strains of mushrooms are reported to have different effects, this data may begin to help explain why. While it is possible different strains of mushrooms inherently have different effects, a rational explanation to experiences may start by looking at the difference in psilocybin concentration. The stronger the dose of psilocybin, the more psychedelic the experience. Stronger doses are likely to induce psychedelic states of consciousness, whereas micro doses allow for one to go about their day with sub-perceptual to mildly perceptual effects.
Here is a great open access study by a leading psilocybin researcher Roland R. Griffiths looking at the effects of different doses of psilocybin in various conditions: Potential therapeutic effects of psilocybin
From this article, a reasonable dose for a therapeutic experience may be somewhere between 25-35 mg of psilocybin, and a micro dose may be somewhere around 3 mg of psilocybin. Here’s how to calculate how much mushrooms to eat for either of these experiences, based on an example data set:
Mushroom potency as psilocybin equivalent mg/g = 12.8 mg/g
This means there is 1 gram mushroom per 12.8mg psilocybin
Target dose = 30 mg psilocybin
Let X equal grams of mushrooms
X (grams of mushrooms) = 30 mg psilocybin * 1 gram mushroom / 12.8 mg psilocybin
X = 30/12.8
X = 2.3g of mushrooms.
Therefore, to calculate the grams of mushrooms for a desired experience, divide the milligrams of target psilocybin by the milligram per gram potency of the mushrooms.
Grams of mushrooms = target dose of psilocybin / mushroom potency
Applying the same equation, we can calculate the grams of mushrooms to ingest for a micro dose, approximately a quarter of a gram of mushrooms (0.23g). To reiterate, this calculation is performed with the mg/g potency, not the % potency. This calculation can be used to determine any target dose.
Figure 1 – Certificate of analysis (CoA) with concentrations of psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin in a Psilocybe cubensis ‘Penis Envy’ sample.