As we move into the year 2022, I am wondering about the ‘magic’ these magic mushrooms could weave for all of us in the years to come. This small group of about 200 peculiar mushrooms may finally be able to live up to their street name – Magic Mushrooms. Therefore, I may be right in calling them to be the best tip for the year 2022 that in all probability will change your life for the better.
I will lay out my reasons why this thought is more than just a gut feeling. The magic lies in the details. But to fully understand the enormity of the thought, you and I need to understand a few basic points about magic mushrooms. It will only help you understand the bigger picture, I am about to paint.
What are Magic Mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms are a small group of around 200 special mushrooms. These mushrooms are special because they contain Psilocybin and Psilocin. In fact, it is the presence of these psychotropic compounds that gives them the power to weave magic.
Psilocybin and Psilocin are anxiolytic, psychoactive hallucinogenic compounds. These compounds include psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly) and DMT— a class of substance, scientifically proven to induce psychedelic trips upon consuming them.
The science of Magic Mushroom
Magic mushroom belongs to a group of fungi known by their scientific name -Psilocybe Cubensis. They get their name from the psychedelic compound – Psilocybin present in it. Therefore, these mushrooms are also called Psilocybin mushrooms. Psilocybin is classified as an indole-alkylamine (tryptamine). (LSD), and Mescaline.
This group of mushrooms grow naturally in different climates around the world. But with the progress in science and technology, we can now grow them in controlled climates in laboratories and at-home nurseries. Our ability to grow them in-house is one the reasons for my enthusiasm about these magic mushrooms holding humongous potential for the future.
The psychedelic compound is the magic
The credit for the magic in these magic mushrooms goes to Psilocybin and Psilocin – the psychedelic compounds. These compounds are potent hallucinogenic agents inducing psychedelic trips upon consumption. It is these psychedelic experiences that in my opinion opens the doors of unlimited possibilities for these organisms that actually grow on dead and debris. A dreamer in me sees visions of a phoenix-like allegory in these mushrooms who are opening doors of new perceptions by themselves rising from death-like surroundings.
I have read and come to understand by other sources that Psychedelic therapy is emerging as a reliable option. Psychedelic-assisted therapies can help rebuild one’s mental being, just as mindfulness practices have proven beneficial in the similar vein.
How Magic Mushrooms can magically alter our lives?
Now let us discuss the various aspects of Magic Mushroom and how they can change our future for the better. In my personal opinion, these psychedelic mushrooms touch the lives of three categories of people – a) Mushroom User, b) Mushroom Growers who can also be users c) Mushroom based business houses. These three categories of people include the vast majority of the population.
Magic Mushroom and history
Magic mushroom is not very recent. Interestingly, a mushroom cult is reported to be active in ancient Mayan culture. This cult describes psychedelic fungi (mostly species belonging to the Psilocybe genus) as the body and food of Gods. Even in ancient Hindu Civilization, psychedelic fungi are rumoured to be an ingredient of Vedic ritual drink Soma. Similar references can also be found in Roman culture as well. Taoist monographs in Chinese literature too have reference to cultivation of macro fungi.
Magic Mushroom being a new psychedelic in psychotropic counter-culture entertaining psychonauts
Magic mushrooms have the potency to induce hallucinations. In psychotropic counter-culture, psychonauts are people who love experiencing altered states of realities induced by different psychotropic substances. This community has coined a specific term for these psychedelic experiences. In psychonautic counter-culture, a psychedelic experience induced by these hallucinogenic mushrooms is called a “trip”.
Mushroom for Psychedelic Experiences
People including psychonauts are using these magic mushrooms for different kinds of experiences. Regular cannabis users, habitual smokers, tokers are constantly experimenting with them seeking new psychedelic experiences. Much has been said about the ability of mushrooms to induce psychedelic trips. There are more than 100 varieties of these psilocybin mushrooms with varying degree of potencies, taste and flavour. In fact, most articles focus on recreational aspects of these psychedelic trips. But I am drawing your attention to another aspect of psychedelic trips.
Mushrooms for handling Mood Disorders
Yes, the trip induced by these magic mushrooms is reported to uplift the mood. People struggling with anxiety, depression and mood related disorders are increasingly taking to these psychedelic mushrooms for handling these issues in their life. According to a recent study by researchers at Imperial College London patients claimed them to be life savers as the psychedelic effects caused a brain-reset providing much needed relief.
Mushroom for Psychedelic-assisted therapy
I am particularly buoyed by developments in psychotherapy especially related to use of psychedelics – psychedelic-assisted therapy.
By affecting central nervous system serotonin (5-HT) receptors, these magic mushrooms put in motion a psychedelic trip. It is these psychedelic trips that are being used to address mental health issues. They are used for patients who have failed to receive much benefits from the traditional mental health treatments.
The process is in motion for the approval of – 3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), renowned for inducing euphoria – for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). MMDA is commonly known as Ecstasy. Even synthetic forms of psilocybin are available. In 2018, these synthetic forms were given “breakthrough” designation by the FDA, opening doors for running drug trials.
Frederick S. Barrett, Asst. Prof. of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine stresses that “Psychedelics-assisted therapy, have tremendous potential to truly alter someone’s life with just one or two sessions, because you’re getting at suffering at the source.”
Ketamine, another hallucinogen, has the approval of the government for supervised medical use. It is used for treating patients struggling with depression. Both Ketamine and Psilocybin by inducing hallucinations helps the brain to break the set mental loop and form new pathways. These set mental loops are found to be characteristic of nagging ailments like addiction, depression and anxiety.
“It’s almost like reprogramming the operating system of a computer. People feel ‘reorganized’ in a way they don’t with other drugs,” said Johns Hopkins neuropharmacologist Roland Griffiths.
The best thing is that we are still scraping at the surface. There is scope for more discoveries, hence, more improvements and a better life for many who need hope of setting themselves free from crippling mental issues.
But there’s another sphere of our life that these magic mushrooms are helping us to grow in different spheres of life.
Magic Mushroom and new line of businesses
First of all, growing magic mushrooms is a business itself. Born out of the demand for people to look for different sources of psychedelic experiences. These mushrooms who naturally grew on dead plants, dung and debris are now flourishing under flashbulbs in dishes and containers. Dispensaries growing magic mushrooms are mushrooming.
This happened due to a shift in the government policy regarding these psychotropic mushrooms.
Psychedelic Drug Manufacturing
ATAI Life Science backed by billionaire investor Peter Thiel is a berlin based Psychedelic drug making company. ATAI Life Science was in news as it is planning to raise $100 million in an initial public offering. The company also tests drugs like ketamine, DMT and psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” to treat depression.
Aside from depression, other psychedelic drug manufacturing companies including COMPASS Pathways, Novamind Inc. and Silo Pharma are also developing psychedelics and other drugs to treat anxiety, opioid addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia.
Magic mushroom and the law
Please note Psilocybin is currently classified as Schedule I substance under the federal DEA’s Controlled Substances Act. This means that Psilocybin is accredited with an alarming potential for abuse. Additionally, it is not accepted for medical use in treatment in the country.
But times are changing.
The state of Oregon in November 2020, passed Measure 109 to legalize psilocybin for people age 21 and older. Washington, DC also decriminalized psilocybin in the same month of the same year. Washington D.C. is not alone – cities of Oakland, Denver, and Ann Arbor too have voted to effectively decriminalize the drug particularly for legal therapeutic use. Chicago city too passed a resolution supporting scientific and medicinal research, with a goal of decriminalization.
To make a long story short – the atmosphere is ripe for a change. Many businesses are now mushrooming under the new change in law. The new businesses and start-ups are coming up with new knowledge about these magic mushrooms. It would be easier to buy shroom online and through retail stores as well. You can buy shrooms online in Canada though licensed dispensaries.
Mushrooms are the skin care industry’s new secret magic ingredient.
The skin care industry seems to be in a “shroom boom”. Mushrooms are rich in skin immune-boosting beta glucans. They have antioxidant, wound healing and anti-aging properties as well. But this is not proven for magic mushrooms. However, the industry is cashing on the buzzword ‘magic’ associated with psychedelic mushrooms. Though, so far, these cosmetic companies are not using psychedelic mushrooms in their products, but they are using the other cousins. Snow Mushroom (or tremella mushroom), Chaga, Reishi and Cordyceps are being pronounced liberally in the product description and promotional materials.
Cosmetic firms claiming mushrooms provide moisturizing and skin-plumping benefits. In my opinion, when the magic mushroom gets a green nod like Marijuana did in Canada and many other states, a new era will begin. Magic mushroom too will trigger a new way of magic mushroom infused skin care products.
A new term doing rounds is “adaptogen”. An adaptogen is described as any plant having the ability to reduce stress. The stress busting nature of psychedelic mushroom is well known. These magic mushrooms too can push the aging of skin further. The time is not far when the fine line between medicinal mushroom and magic mushroom will fade away.
Mushrooms the immune booster
COVID pandemic has turned all the flash bulbs pointing them to immune boosting practices. New and old tips are being told, shared and pronounced.
Mushrooms too have been known to naturally contain therapeutic and mood-altering compounds. Chaga mushrooms have been used for centuries in Siberia and Asia as medicine to boost immunity and improve overall health. Reishi, another popular medicinal mushroom, is also blessed with immunity boosting ability and fighting certain cancer cells, too. Another mushroom, Lion’s Mane, strengthens the immune system, in addition to fostering mental clarity and brain health.
Many companies are now concentrating their efforts in harnessing the immune boosting powers from these natural wonders.
Flourish Mushroom Labs Inc. has acquired technology for the invention of a method of manufacturing a mushroom extract to be used in a variety of therapeutic and pharmaceutical formulations.
Again, it must be mentioned that Chaga, Reishi and Lion’s Mane are not psilocybin mushrooms. But if intensive research is allowed, we may discover psychedelic mushrooms to have these properties too. We will wait for the good news.
Magic Mushrooms are boosting Wellness Tourism
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) in 2018 identified two trends – Mushrooms and Wellness Travel. The two get connected in creating a new business avenue – Wellness travel.
Wellness Travel emerged from a 2018 buzz word “Transformative travel”. It includes wellness destinations using the power of wellness circuits creating wellness experiences. A wellness circuit is where people journey across different destinations getting totally immersed creating emotional and sensory voyage rejuvenating mind, body and soul.
Psychedelic mushroom wellness retreats are mushrooming around the world from the Netherlands in Europe to Central America in Mexico, Silo Wellness, Jamaica in West Indies and Peru in South America.
Psilocybin retreats do NOT cater to general “party-goers” or anyone looking to abuse these psychotropic substances. Rather, the accent is on creating a safe and legal environment to help heal the mind.
“Consumers are increasingly interested in incorporating mushrooms into their wellness routines. Through our propagation operations, wellness retreats and upcoming retail location, it’s our aim to make mushroom-based products, experiences and education accessible at a time when so many people are struggling with mental health and other issues.” – Douglas K. Gordon, CEO SILO WELLNESS in an interview with Forbes.
One of the visitors at Silo Wellness described during nightly ceremonies, participants take psilocybin mushrooms and, led by local Rastafarians, embark on a series of transcendental journeys that might include visions and an altered emotional state.
I am sure I have given enough food for thought. Based on my arguments and information above, it should be natural to draw positive inferences pointing in the direction of a magic mushroom holding immense potential. Shrooms’ true potential is there to be explored. It is posed to make a huge difference in many different ways to changing our life for better, starting in 2022. You could draw recreational value from more than 180 varieties of psychedelic mushrooms. These psychedelic trips can be potently therapeutic. The therapeutic abilities are spurring new fertile business ideas such as psychedelic-assisted therapy, wellness spas and tourism. Cosmetics too are getting an injection of new spirits by these magic mushrooms. Overall the outlook of 2022 and beyond looks promising and optimistic in the light of these magic mushrooms. You can invest your time and energies into these potent gifts of nature and seek comfort, joy, bliss, consciousness expansion, spirituality and prosperity. I am sure there are more.