Updated: Sep 26, 2022
Today we wish to focus on differences in experience with A. muscaria and A. pantherina. There are many medical as well as personal reports indicating that effects of A. pantherina are deeper, more overhelming and shady. General consent among Amanita users says that Panther cap is not recommended for beginers and more likely may cause stomach sickness, unexpected "dark trips" or even hiperactive, rampant and psychotic states in case of excessive overdosing.
The answer to this Panther cap's dark legend is of course in chemistry. The main psychoactive pair muscimol/ibotenic acid - GABA receptor antagonist - is common to both species, yet in A. pantherina the concentration may be several times higher, thus higher chance of partial decarboxylation in cases of improper preparation. Moreover, there are two groups of substances present in A. pantherina that are not present in A. muscaria or detected in trace amounts. First one are stizolobic and stizolobinic aminoacids which originate from DOPA and give excitatory dopaminergic action in nervous system. This may explain reports of excitation and hyperactivity followed by drowsiness.
The other group is aminothiopropanoic acids which are specific type of NMDA receptor anthagonists. There is wide field of interest where NMDA receptors are involved and studied. The most important is memory and learning as well as neuroplasticity of central nervous system in regard to such diseases as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's but also recovering from mechanical brain injures. There is also large field of NMDA studies focused on symthoms of schizofrenia and psychotic disorders that gave hints of structural and dosage dependency of certain inhibitors in regard to evoke or reduce such episodes.The exact mechanism of this particular Amanita compounds' action on human nervous system is not fully recognized, but saying that we may suppose reports about psychotic-like states evoked by excessive overdosing of A. pantherina also true.
So Pantherina, the "shady" sister of Muscaria, is probably misunderstood in the light of accidental "poisonings" or "bad coocked" unpleasand entertaining-to-be "bad trips". She is so eager to be Berserker's dream, but if approached reasonably it is not something for brave ones and lionhearthed only.