Psyched Wellness is Bringing You Amanita Mushrooms – And It’s All Legal

Magic mushrooms are the new buzz word, but they don’t all fall into just one category. Sure, there are psilocybin magic mushrooms, but there are also amanita mushrooms, for a different kind of high and unique medical advantages. Now, the company Psyched Wellness is offering amanita mushroom products, and the best part is, it’s all legal.

We all know about psilocybin mushrooms, right? Well, now there’s a new mushroom to know about, Amanita muscaria, and these mushrooms are not only legal, but come with a host of medical benefits. If you’re into independent drug reporting concerning the cannabis and psychedelics fields, this is the publication for you. We provide the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter so readers can stay updated on current events, as well as have access to tons of deals on cannabis products including popular cannabinoid compounds Delta 8 THC, and HHC, and all upcoming hallucinogenic products. Check the ‘best of’ lists for offers, and choose the products you’re most comfortable using.


What are amanita mushrooms?

When you hear the term ‘magic mushrooms’ the go-to association is with psilocybin mushrooms, the shrooms readily found in North and South America, which cause trips and highs by activating serotonin receptors. These mushrooms, along with LSD, DMT, and other compounds, are considered psychedelic hallucinogens.

This group of psychedelic hallucinogens doesn’t include other drugs we often think of as psychedelics, like ketamine. That drug, along with PCP and DXM are all dissociative hallucinogens. There is a third group as well, called deliriant hallucinogens, which includes scopolamine, the drug used to rob people by taking away their ability to argue with perpetrators. These three represent serotonergic, dopaminergic, and anticholinergic hallucinogens only.

This is where amanita mushrooms come in, as hallucinogens that act on a different neurotransmitter, GABA. Amanita muscaria mushrooms – AKA fly agaric, (for their ability to attract and trap flies), are also wild mushrooms that produce some trippy effects, but with an entirely different mode of action then psilocybin mushrooms. Amanita mushrooms are considered poisonous mushrooms, and contain a compound called muscimol, which is GABAergic. This means it acts as an agonist on GABA receptors, and does so in the same way as GABA itself; rather than attaching to different receptor sites like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and Quaaludes.

Amanita mushrooms

These mushrooms also contain ibotenic acid, which is the compound more likely to make a person sick. This compound is a prodrug (a compound which is biologically inactive until metabolization), and is metabolized in the body to become muscimol. This is similar to psilocybin, which is also a prodrug, and which is useless in the human body until it changes into the other compound found in magic mushrooms, and the real compound of interest, psilocin.

Whereas psilocin acts on serotonin receptors, creating a stimulant response along with its psychedelic effects, muscimol acts on GABA receptors that calm the body down. Amanita mushrooms therefore won’t cause the same kind of ‘bad trip’ as psilocybin mushrooms, since there’s no stimulant effect. They do, however, come with their own reasons for caution in how they’re prepared and eaten, so as not to make a user feel sick. Neither mushroom group is known to cause death (despite the name ‘poisonous’), so even a bad experience with either is only temporary.

Amanita mushrooms are less well-known in the Americas as they’re not native to this region. For the most part they’re found around Northern Europe and Russia (particularly Siberia), and factor into medicinal and shamanistic traditions in those regions. This is probably why they aren’t scheduled in the US Controlled Substances list, which makes them legal to have and use in the US.

A little about Psyched Wellness & Calm

Psyched Wellness is a publicly traded company on the Canadian Securities Exchange under (CSE:PSYC), which used to be Duncan Park Holdings Corporation. Based out of Toronto, Psyched Wellness is a life sciences company which just finished a pilot run for its new amanita mushrooms product, Calm.

This main offering of the company, Calm, is the first approved amanita mushroom product to hit US markets. According to the company, its made 100% from amanita mushroom caps, is lab tested, detoxified to ensure no bad effects (no ibotenic acid), and can be used to “reduce stress, ease muscular tension, and promote restorative sleep.” The company is taking preorders for the product right now, and interested buyers can reserve themselves a 1 fluid ounce bottle for $49.99. Products are expected to officially hit the market in the fall.

Calm registers as a dietary supplement, which is advertised as ethically sourced. The main component, according to the company’s site, is AME-1 which was developed in the Psyched Wellness laboratories to mimic the naturally extracted compound muscimol. It does not contain naturally occurring muscimol. As this is not a controlled substance, and doesn’t require a prescription, the company is free to sell it without the same complications that currently exist with psilocybin mushrooms, which are still federally illegal as they sit in Schedule I of the controlled substances list.

medical amanita mushrooms

The company is looking to expand its product offering in the future. According to CEO Jeffrey Stevens, “It has been a long journey to get to this point, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my co-founder, David Shisel, our team, KGK Science and Vantage Hemp for all of their hard work and commitment to get us to where we are today. The most exciting part for me is that we have just scratched the surface with respect to potential uses and delivery forms for AME-1. Stay tuned for more to come from Psyched.”

Aside from this compound, the company also sells accompanying sweatshirts, bags, T-shirts, phone covers, water bottles, hats, and mugs, some emblazoned with the well-known image of the red capped mushroom with white spots. While Super Mario Brothers certainly kept this image alive for years, its new entrance into the US sales market is sure to give it an extra popularity boost in the near future.

A bit more on muscimol from amanita mushrooms

For many people, these mushrooms represent something completely new. Whereas psilocybin mushrooms have been used in the Americas for millennia, both for medical and recreational purposes, amanita mushrooms are not well-known to this part of the world. They are therefore a mystery to Americans in terms of what they can do, what to be wary of, and how they differ from standard magic mushrooms. In an interview with Technology Networks, Jeff Stevens gave some insight into these ‘other’ hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Of muscimol he says, “Muscimol is one of the main psychoactive compounds found in the Amanita muscaria mushroom along with ibotenic acid and muscarine. Although it does have psychoactive properties, the effect is very different from psilocybin or psilocin. It reacts with the GABAA receptor and when ingested, it can provide feelings of euphoria and tranquility, an altered sense of hearing and taste, changes to sensory perception and vivid dreams.”

He goes on to stipulate that “If it is not processed properly, where the ibotenic acid is not converted to muscimol, it can provide quite a nasty experience including sweating, nausea, loss of balance and involuntary bodily movements.” This helps explain how amanita mushrooms can cause negative effects, but don’t have to so long as the right usage techniques are employed.

In terms of why we’re only hearing about muscimol now, he says, “We believe the reason muscimol has not been studied to a large degree is because it has been mislabeled as poisonous and as such was overlooked. As a result, there’s not been a lot of scientific studies conducted on muscimol so groups like Psyched Wellness need to start from the ground up, making it more time consuming and more expensive.”

muscimol mushrooms
Muscimol

When it comes to the legality of the mushrooms, he explains, “Amanita muscaria are considered food and are principally regulated under the Federal Drug Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act in Canada and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and The Nutrition Labelling and Education Act in the USA. As a result, the challenges that other compounds face with extraction, regulation and or administration are not a factor.”

Psyched Wellness has been going over accumulated research on these mushrooms, looking for different applications. Says Stevens, “we believe muscimol could show positive indications for various mental and physical health issues, including sleep, insomnia, addiction and pain.”

Conclusion

Amanita mushrooms represent a different option in the world of hallucinogenic treatment. It’s not just about standard psychedelics anymore, and amanita mushrooms, with their main psychoactive constituent muscimol, offer an entirely different approach to helping with mental and physical health.

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Oregon Psilocybin Rules Set To Be Finalized in December

The Oregon Health Authority’s Oregon Psilocybin Services Section is currently working on finalizing a regulatory framework to manage psilocybin legalization. While currently partnering with the Psilocybin Advisory Board, these rules are expected to be released by Dec. 31, 2022, as license applications will open up starting on Jan. 2, 2023.

The culmination of regulating psilocybin is two years in the making, according to Angie Allbee, a Section Manager for Oregon Psilocybin Services. “Ballot Measure 109, otherwise known as the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act, was passed by Oregon voters in November of 2020,” Allbee told KGW8. “What it did was create a licensing and regulatory framework for the production of psilocybin products and the provision of psilocybin services in Oregon. This is available to individuals 21 years of age or older, that would like to access psilocybin services. It does not need a prescription or a referral from a provider.”

These rules will be the first of its kind in the country, and could serve as a template for other states who follow suit.

Allbee clarified that under these rules, patients can’t just take home psilocybin as medication, but they will consume it in a controlled environment while being monitored by licensed practitioners. “Psilocybin products will be sold to the clients, and that’s where the psilocybin services, the actual journey takes place,” Allbee said.

Psychotherapist Tom Eckert, who has long been a psilocybin advocate, has been an integral part of supporting psilocybin services for Oregon patients. KGW8 mentioned that he and his late wife have campaigned for access since 2015.

Eckert explained that the process is unique. “Most of the action is internal and that can be different for different folks because we come to this experience with our own stuff,” said Eckert. “So that’s kind of the neat thing about psilocybin and the experience of psilocybin as a therapeutic agent, it kind of goes where it needs to go.”

Ultimately, Eckert believes that the success of the entire program hinges on specialists who can help treat the individual needs of each patient. “I’ve always thought that the beating heart of this whole program is the practitioners, the facilitators,” Eckert said, “We need competent, trained practitioners to really understand this specific modality.”

While officials finalize these details, there are some cities in Oregon that do not want to allow psilocybin services. The Clackamas County Commissioners voted in July to temporarily ban psilocybin, and voters in Linn County will be able to vote on an approval to also ban psilocybin later this year in November.

 On a larger scale, “Right to Try Clarification Act” was recently introduced by Sen. Cory Booker and Rand Paul. If passed, restrictions for substances that are included in the Controlled Substances Act would not apply to psilocybin and MDMA, as long as a Phase 1 clinical trial has been completed. In action, this would allow terminally ill patients the opportunity to use these substances for medical treatment. “As a physician, I know how important Right to Try is for patients facing a life-threatening condition,” Paul said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the federal bureaucracy continues to block patients seeking to use Schedule I drugs under Right to Try. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan legislation with Sen. Booker that will get government out of the way and give doctors more resources to help patients.”

Psilocybin, like cannabis, is quickly being accepted as a medical treatment alternative. Numerous studies have released, and suggest evidence that psilocybin can act as an anti-depressant. Another study from July claims that it can boost “mood and health.” Another study based on South Africa in June found that it was especially effective in women with HIV and depression.

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Legal Psychedelics – What Can You Buy in the United States?

Despite growing mainstream popularity, and unlike cannabis which was always widely available – psychedelics are much harder to find if you don’t have a connection. You shouldn’t be incredibly hard-pressed to track down a mushroom or MDMA dealer in your area, if you’re diligent; but stuff like LSD, DMT, and mescaline often pose a greater challenge.  

With the rise of internet psychonaut communities, that too has become much easier, but then you’re left with questions of legality, and whether what you’re buying could possibly get you into trouble. Although the actual drugs themselves are 100% illegal to buy and sell online, there are still numerous products you can purchase that contain these compounds – and they are perfectly legal!  

Check out our list of legal psychedelics and related products below, and to stay current on everything important happening in the industry, subscribe to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!


Legal status of psychedelics in the U.S.  

The federal laws regarding psychedelics are pretty cut and dry: they are overwhelmingly prohibited. So far there is only one exception – ketamine/esketamine – two different versions of essentially the same drug (esketamine is an isomer of ketamine) that have received FDA approval for a handful of regulated medical uses. Other psychedelics, even those that are undergoing clinical trials like LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin, are all still on the list of Schedule 1 Controlled Substances.  

Like cannabis, psychedelic drugs were not always illegal in the United States. Throughout the 1940s and 50s they were studied somewhat extensively for their ability to treat mental health disorders that were proving resistant to standard pharmaceutical medications. Eventually, when the FDA banned entheogens, the research came to a screeching halt and patients were once again barred from these innovative treatments.  

However, in recent years there has been a renewed public interest in the use of psychedelics in psychotherapy. Both MDMA and psilocybin have received ‘breakthrough therapy’ designations by the FDA for PTSD and severe depression respectively, for which both are undergoing trials. This means a US federal government agency is pushing for the research and development of compounds with Schedule I listings. And this indicates that laws could be changing very soon. 

So, what can you buy? 

While you can’t legally buy psychedelic compounds themselves, you can purchase the products that are used to make these drugs. For example, psilocybin is illegal, but mushroom spore syringes are not. This is because the spores don’t contain any psilocybin yet, so they are legal by default. Also available are some psychedelics that are less common in this area, and so they aren’t well-known enough for regulators to start making laws against them.  

First, let’s take a look at what the DEA has to say about psychedelic compounds:  

“Unless specifically excepted or unless listed in another 
schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, which 
contains any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances, 
or which contains any of their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers 
whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, and salts of isomers 
is possible within the specific chemical designation: 
(1) 3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine. 
(2) 5-methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine. 
(3) 3,4,5-trimethoxy amphetamine. 
(4) Bufotenine. 
(5) Diethyltryptamine. 
(6) Dimethyltryptamine. 
(7) 4-methyl-2,5-diamethoxyamphetamine. 
(8) Ibogaine. 
(9) Lysergic acid diethylamide. 
(10) Marihuana. 
(11) Mescaline. 
(12) Peyote. 
(13) N-ethyl-3-piperidyl benzilate. 
(14) N-methyl-3-piperidyl benzilate. 
(15) Psilocybin. 
(16) Psilocyn. 
(17) Tetrahydrocannabinols” 

That leaves us with numerous products that are legal by default, and countless others that are not quite legal, but also not heavily regulated. For example, some psychedelic (or psychedelic-adjacent plants) you can find easily online are:  

  • San Pedro and Peruvian Torch cactus (both contain mescaline)  
  • Egyptian Blue Lotus (said to have MDMA-like effects at high doses)  
  • Salvia Leaf (contains opioid-like compounds that can produce hallucinations and synesthesia)  
  • Banisteriopsis Caapi (used to make ayahuasca, paired with Chacruna Leaf)  
  • Hape Ritual Snuff (sacred shamanic tobacco snuff)  
  • Kratom (used as a natural pain reliever and mild stimulant)  
  • Kanna (contains mildly psychoactive alkaloids)  
  • Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (AKA Elephant Creeper, seeds contain LSA [d-lysergic acid amide])  
  • Mimosa Hostilis Bark (contains DMT)  
  • Ergine (AKA morning glory, seeds contain LSA [d-lysergic acid amide])  
  • Kava (mildly psychoactive and depressant properties)  
  • Damiana (mildly psychoactive, relaxing and helps with sleep)  
  • Mexican dream herb (Calea zacatechichi, said to induce lucid dreaming) 

Additionally, you can buy a lot of ancillary products and supplies such as grow kits, mushroom spore prints, psilocybin spore syringes, liquid culture vials, reagent kits/drug testing kits, and so forth. What you can purchase depends on what state you live in, so you will have to look up regulations in your area for more specific details on what psychedelics are legal for you.  

DMT-source plants  

Legality is a funny concept, and understanding whether DMT containing plants – such as Mimosa Hostilis Bark, Chacruna Leaf, and Acacia confusa – are legal or not has become quite the topic of debate in the psychonaut community. Some believe it’s legal by technicality, falling into a sort of regulatory limbo, while others claim the FDA explicitly bans these products. So, which is the correct answer? 

If we take the above statement: “… any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, which 
contains any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances…”, it seems relatively clear. But if we dissect the legal text a little bit more, some questions surface. Take into consideration how widely DMT is found in nature – it’s produced my countless animals (including humans) and thousands of plants, even some very common ones like the leaves of lemon and orange trees. There are even some plausible theories floating around that every living thing produces at least trace amounts of DMT. With that in mind, in would be impossible to regulate “any material” containing “any quantity” of DMT.  

Overall, I think it’s safe to say that this definitely falls under a legal gray area. Although the government would probably like all DMT-containing plants to be illegal, and they may even go to the extent of regulating a few select ones, it would be extremely difficult to do on a larger scale, especially for a compound that has relatively low statistical use. But that doesn’t mean they are not trying. For example, shipments of Mimosa bark and other products used to extract DMT are often intercepted. And it’s illegal to own Bufo alvarius (or Incilius alvarius, the Colorado river toad, used in the production of 5-MeO-DMT) as a pet.  

But if any material which contains any quantity of DMT is considered a Schedule I drug, then quite possibly, nearly all living things would be Schedule I – from your own lungs and brain to the citrus trees growing in your backyard. The law is unenforceable as it is currently written, and it would be hard to imagine someone getting prosecuted for possession of one of these plants (assuming they have a decent lawyer and there was no intent to distribute).  

Keep in mind that although no law expressly bans all these plants and products, local law enforcement may still look at items of this nature unfavorably. Individual buyers are not likely to be targeted by federal law enforcement for small purchases, but local law enforcement could be a wildcard. Avoiding raising any suspicion from postal service workers, nosey neighbors, and local law enforcement is key to staying above board with these things.  

Final thoughts on legal psychedelics

The psychedelics product market isn’t raging just yet (at least not domestically), but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on some fun, interesting and legal products still. From mescaline-producing cacti to DMT-containing bark to psilocybin mushroom spores, there is no shortage of plant products to trip on; and if you know where to look, most can be found with relative ease.  

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Canadian Senator Admits He Takes Psilocybin for Depression

Last week, Canadian Senator Larry Campbell came out of the psychedelic closet in the opening speech to the Catalyst Psychedelics Summit in the U.K. Namely, he admitted that he has been microdosing with psilocybin to help his depression.

According to Campbell, who has worked in drug reform for a long time as both the Mayor of Vancouver and a member of the Canadian Senate, he suffers from PTSD, depression, and the issues of “getting old.” However, his normal cocktail of anti-depressants was still leaving him with symptoms, making him “grumpy.”

Suddenly, during the pandemic, he noticed that his mood was steadily improving. He could not figure out the cause.

After several weeks of this, he mentioned the same to his wife.

It was then she admitted she had been spiking his coffee with microdoses of psilocybin.

The admission is particularly timely.

Right now, the Canadian government is trying to figure out how to regulate the coming wave of psychedelics, starting with psilocybin. So far, it has allowed several depression patients to use psilocybin under an experimental regime called the Special Access Program which authorizes the use of medicines currently not legal in Canada. However, before legalizing this on a larger scale, Canadian authorities want to see clinical trial evidence.

In the U.S., then-President Donald Trump signed a similar “right-to-try” piece of legislation in May 2018, allowing seriously ill patients to bypass the FDA for experimental medicines. Presumably both cannabis and psilocybin could be covered under the same.

The State of Psychedelic Drug Reform, Globally

Even as Canada considers legalizing its medical use, the issue is now percolating in the U.S. at all levels. Several cities have already moved forward. This includes Denver, Colorado which decriminalized it three years ago this May. Several other cities followed suit, including multiple cities in California, Massachusetts, and Washington State, plus Washington, D.C.

Oregon remains the only state that has decriminalized psilocybin and legalized it for medical use.

There is also a significant movement in the U.K. to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic purposes.

Canada is the first country to move forward on the discussion of potentially legitimizing the substance as a legal medical product on a federal level.

Sound familiar?

The Magic Mushroom Boom?

Psilocybin is also known as “Magic Mushrooms.” It is a naturally occurring psychedelic drug which was used traditionally by Meso-American societies for religious and spiritual purposes. It was first referred to in European medicinal literature in the London Medical and Physical Journal in 1799.

During the 1950s and ’60s, magic mushrooms were initially hailed as a wonder drug that could treat everything from addiction to anxiety. Unsurprisingly, the substance was subsequently banned in the United States, as a Schedule I drug in 1970, by the Controlled Substances Act.

Around the time that the modern campaign for medical cannabis use began to be a political force at a state level in the U.S., the campaign to at least decriminalize psilocybin also took off.

The most recent court battle, the 2015 State of New Mexico vs. David Ray Pratt, found that the defendant was not manufacturing the substance by merely growing the mushrooms on his property for personal use.

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration granted psilocybin “breakthrough therapy” status for research purposes.

Psilocybin Appears to Make Brain More Adaptable

According to the admittedly small amount of research that is currently available, psilocybin makes the brain more flexible. Depressed people’s brains appear to “ruminate”—or go in circles, making negative thinking an entrenched mental state. Psilocybin appears to increase brain network integration, allowing people to break out of this self-defeating pattern of thoughts.

Psilocybin also works differently than regular anti-depressants. Indeed, there is emerging evidence that it could be a viable alternative to existing treatments for depression. Even more excitingly, the research available so far also seems to suggest that psilocybin’s effects last long after treatment ends—which is not the case with traditional medicines. Results of a study at Johns Hopkins University even show that psilocybin treatment for major depression lasts about a year for most patients.

As cannabis reform goes mainstream, it is inevitable that the conversation about other psychedelic drugs progresses. Psilocybin in particular has been making that journey during the same period of time, albeit at a slower pace.

Now, as cannabis reform begins to be a global reality, it is also obvious that such drugs, which also gained notoriety and were banned at about the same time as cannabis, are taking the stage.

And that is a seriously good thing. Particularly for the patients who need them.

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Magic Mushroom Dispensaries and the Future of Legal Psychedelics

The progression of today’s psychedelics industry is very reminiscent of the early days of cannabis decriminalization. Think back about 10 or so years ago, when cannabis was not yet fully legal anywhere but regulations and societal views were beginning to relax, and unlicensed dispensaries (called collectives at the time) were becoming increasingly prevalent.  

In a similar fashion, certain pockets around the world are seeing a ‘shroom boom’ with new magic mushroom dispensaries popping up and operating in the open, seemingly without fear of legal repercussions. A few questions immediately come to mind – Like where can you find these stores? What kind of products do they carry? And how are they able to set up shop without getting quickly shut down? Let’s take a closer look.  

We cover everything important in the emerging industry of psychedelics, which you can read about in The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter. Keep up with everything going on, and be the first to get access to new deals for psychedelic products as they come in.


Cannabis, psychedelics, and civil disobedience 

Let’s start by first covering what is likely everyone’s most prevalent question: are these stores legal? In short, no, they are not. They’re not legal in either of the countries they’ve been recently appearing in, which are the United States and Canada. But honestly, the legality, or rather the prohibition of these substances, is nothing more than an extremely unjust social construct that we’ve been forced to abide by for decades. It’s not because keeping these drugs away from us actually has any merit or benefits, so do the laws even matter at this point? 

As it turns out, they never really did. And over the years, thanks to legacy operators and industry OGs who simply did not give a f**k about pointless regulations, we’re now right on the cusp of a 100% federally legal, adult-use cannabis market (only a handful remaining states that need to get with the program… I’m looking at you Indiana, Texas, Wisconsin, and a few others). At the core of our incredible industry, it was the decades of civil disobedience coupled with an abundance of inarguable medical research, that successfully propelled cannabis into the mainstream.  

Now it seems that psychedelic substances, especially entheogenic plants like psilocybin mushrooms, are making a similar journey down the path of decriminalization and social acceptance. In 2019, Denver became the first major US city to decriminalize psilocybin, followed shortly after by: Oakland, Santa Cruz, Washington DC, Detroit, and several other small cities and municipalities across the country. Many countries have decriminalized or legalized psilocybin mushrooms as well, including Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Bahamas, and many more.  

In both the United States and Canada, they are not completely legal yet. Decriminalization laws allow for limited possession and consumption; but the manufacture, production, and distribution of products containing hallucinogenic compounds remains illegal. No city or state (or province) has yet established any type of laws to regulate a psychedelics industry, they’re just making possession arrests a lower priority at this point. Because of this newfound leniency, a handful of underground psychedelics brands are popping up in these areas, many of which are offering specialty products like psilocybin-infused chocolates and beverages, DMT vapes, and more.  

Canadian Shroom Shops 

As far as drug legislation goes, it seems that our neighbors to the north have always been a couple steps ahead of the curve. This was the case with cannabis legalization, and the same rings true now in regards to psychedelics. In Vancouver, a few stores have begun supplying the local populace with shrooms. Some are selling them in designated dispensaries, while others seem to be making do with whatever retail space they have available, like a longtime neighborhood barber who is now selling magic mushrooms right out of his shop.  

What once had to be a clandestine operation for fear of harsh legal repercussions (and still is the case in many parts of the world, including most of the US), the magic mushroom dispensaries you find in Canada appear to be making zero attempts at hiding anything that’s going on. Large, colorful signs advertise the variety of mushroom-based products on offer, so everyone has a good idea of what is available at the premises before even setting foot through the doors.  

Dana Larsen – Canadian author, businessman, philanthropist and activist for cannabis and drug policy reform, and owner of The Coca Leaf Cafe & Mushroom Dispensary – is proud of his products and business model, and he’s excited for the future Canada’s psychedelics industry. Larsen’s dispensary is one of four in the city providing a small menu of different products in both micro and higher doses. For higher doses, the consumer is typically required to fill out a medical form.  

“I was heavily involved in the cannabis movement in Vancouver and across Canada and I see psychedelics and mushrooms in particular as the next step in that process,” Larsen said. “We kind of operate in this grey area and I hope to change that grey area to lighter and lighter shades of grey, and hopefully in the next few years, we see a change in the laws around psilocybin mushrooms.” 

It’s worth pointing out that psilocybin is still technically illegal in Canada. It has been decriminalized, so personal possession is overlooked, as is collection of wild mushrooms. But production/manufacture and distribution of products containing psilocybin are still not permitted. However, the Vancouver Police department has admitted that they are “focused on landing bigger fish”.  

California’s Church of Entheogenic Plants  

It is not uncommon for intoxicating plants to be used as religious sacraments, and this is often one of the first uses for which such compounds are legally approved. Peyote (the cactus that produces mescaline) is a prime example of this, as it is completely illegal in the U.S. with the exemption of its ceremonial use by certain Native American tribes. As of now, only registered members of the Native American Church are authorized to grow, possess, use, or transport peyote, although dozens of states are working to loosen these regulations over the coming years.  

Zide Door capitalizes on this same principle. Situated discreetly in one Oakland’s industrial zones, this self-described Church of Entheogenic Plants reminds me a lot of the early days of Prop 215 dispensaries in California, or Bill Levin’s First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis. Although Dave Hodges founded his mushroom church for very different reasons than Bill and his weed church, the vibe in both is quite similar.  

Hodges has been working in the cannabis industry for decades, took a 3-year hiatus, then reappeared on the scene after Oakland decriminalized magic mushrooms for personal use in June 2019. Although Hodges’ church does not attempt to proselytize in any way, they do require that you provide a government-issued form of identification (18+ year old minimum age) and sign a waiver stating that you’re not affiliated with law enforcement and that you “accept entheogenic plants as part of your religion”. 

Once inside you walk through a small altar area and go to the back room, where you’ll be greeted by an assortment of cubensis products such as dried ready-to-eat mushrooms, infused chocolate bars, and an assortment of teas. On any given day, you can find roughly a dozen (sometimes more) strains to choose from such as Albino Penis Envy, Golden Teachers, and Cambodian.  

Michigan Mushroom Delivery 

Although psilocybin cubensis are still illegal in Michigan, two of the largest cities in the state have already decriminalized their possession: Detroit and Ann Arbor. So far, I haven’t been able to find any storefront magic mushroom dispensaries around Michigan but I did find a few delivery services that will bring the shrooms straight to your door.  

It makes sense to operate this way, and it’s not uncommon for businesses in this industry. In my hometown of Joshua Tree, CA, dispensary storefronts were prohibited so only delivery services were available. This is still how it is in many California cities because, even though it’s a legal state, a large number of cities and municipalities have banned cannabis businesses. And it matters less if delivery is legal in the area or not; without having a physical location, it’s more difficult for police to conduct a sizable raid.  

“Nature is not against the law, many of these sacred mushrooms are found growing naturally in and around the Huron River watershed. People have an inalienable right to access natural medicine to heal themselves, their families and their communities! We are developing a safer way to do this,” says founder of Arbor Shrooms delivery service, Aurora, an Ann Arbor resident, single mother of two and a survivor of domestic abuse, who began farming mushrooms to treat her own PTSD and to help others with PTSD such as the Ann Arbor military veteran community.

“Arbor Shrooms is not a corporation,” she added, “it’s a community, where patients can connect with mycologists, the farmers and custodians of these sacred medicines. Patients can gain direct and safe access to now decriminalized medicine in the time of a global pandemic and an unprecedented mental health crisis facing our community.” 

What the future holds  

The fact that magic mushroom dispensaries exist in the first place is amazing in and of itself; but before we get ahead of ourselves it’s important to remember that legislation, even in the most lenient of places, usually states that psilocybin can only be possessed or consumed under very specific circumstances. Not only that, but many regulators are pushing for low-dose products, supervised mushroom trips, prescription-only psychedelics and many other caveats that make a recreational mushroom market quite difficult for the time being. I think we’re still years away from a legalized, adult-use psychedelics industry, but we’re definitely making major strides in the right direction.  

Thanks for joining us! Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your preeminent internet location for the most important independent coverage of cannabis and psychedelics-related news going on in the world today. Stop by regularly to stay informed on the fast-moving universe of cannabis and psychedelics, and subscribe to The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter, for your daily dose of industry news.

Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Magic Mushroom Dispensaries and the Future of Legal Psychedelics appeared first on CBD Testers.

‘Breakthrough Therapy’: How the FDA is Pushing for Legal Psychedelics

The psychedelics boom is underway, that’s for sure, and its moving full steam ahead. Perhaps pushed on by the success of the cannabis industry, which has been lighting the way, psychedelics have much more quickly come into the spotlight and gained acceptance. While they are still mainly federally illegal, recent breakthrough therapy designations given by the FDA indicate that at least one government body is pushing for legal psychedelics.

The FDA might not have explicitly stated it, but its breakthrough therapy designations given to companies studying psilocybin and MDMA make a pretty big statement, and it seems the FDA wants legal psychedelic medications. We cover everything important in the growing field of psychedelics, so subscribe to The Cannadelics Newsletter for more stories like this, and to stay on top of the big news items coming out of the industry.


What is a breakthrough therapy?

The FDA – Food & Drug Administration, is the US federal agency that governs and regulates all medicines that can be marketed and sold in the US. The FDA sits under the Department of Health and Human Services, and is responsible for more than drugs, also regulating the food industry, tobacco products, dietary supplements, over-the-counter medications, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, vaccines, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting products, animal food, veterinary products, and cosmetics.

In order to get a medication approved, a compound must go through different rounds of testing through clinical trials. After it has passed this part, a company must submit a new drug application to the FDA, and then the FDA decides whether the medicine should be approved or not. The FDA is the sole body to do this, so if it does not approve, a medication cannot legally be sold.

When a drug is in the testing phase, the company that created it and is having it go through trials, can submit it to the FDA for a ‘breakthrough therapy’ designation. This goes for whether the drug is specifically illegal according to the Controlled Substances list, or not. The term ‘breakthrough therapy’ is defined this way by the FDA, as a:

“…drug that treats a serious or life-threatening condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement on a clinically significant endpoint(s) over available therapies.”

What is this designation meant to do? According to the FDA, the “Breakthrough therapy designation is intended to expedite the development and review of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions.” Let’s say a new drug is going through testing that could be used in place of chemotherapy, and which shows promise as a better option in preliminary testing for treating cancer. Then the company that made the drug can apply for a ‘breakthrough therapy’ designation to quicken its product to market, with the hope that this could in turn save lives.

So the point of it is essentially to speed things up. If the FDA gives this designation, it wants to get the drug through trials, and get it on pharmacy shelves. This, of course, becomes all the more interesting when the drugs in question are Schedule I drugs, deemed by the federal government to be dangerous, and with no medical value. Having said that, we all know the government can get it wrong, as it also has cannabis in Schedule I.

How does the breakthrough therapy designation apply to psychedelics?

The FDA has now officially given out three breakthrough therapy designations to three different companies studying either psilocybin or MDMA. All of which has occurred within the last few years. Which companies got it? And what are they studying?

One company to get such a designation is Compass Pathways which received the designation in 2018 for research into psilocybin for use with treatment resistant major depression. The following year, the company Usona Institute also applied for, and received, this designation for its research into psilocybin for treatment resistant depression.

It doesn’t stop at psilocybin though. In fact, before Compass or Usona got their designations, a 2017 breakthrough therapy title was given to the organization MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) for its research into MDMA for PTSD. And in this case, the FDA went a step further than simply giving it the title to speed things along.

MDMA

When it came time for MAPS’ phase III trials, they were designed with help by the FDA. The two organizations came up with a ‘Special Protocol Assessment’ to ensure that trial outcomes would be in line with regulation. So not only has the FDA basically said it’s cool with these drugs being studied for use as medications, but it actually helped one of the companies to make sure that should the study results be positive, that there will be no issue with them breaking regulation. Maybe it’s just me, but this seems to outwardly imply that the FDA wants the drugs approved.

Are all psychedelics illegal?

The recent moves by the FDA to give breakthrough therapy designations to psilocybin and MDMA, is just another part of a general trajectory when it comes to psychedelics. Back in 2019, the FDA very quietly (as in, under cover of night quietly) legalized a form of ketamine for use with treatment-resistant depression, called esketamine. This is odd when you consider just how much of a debate exists with legalizing cannabis, or when it comes to the legalization of pretty much any drug. Why was this done without discussion, or the public being aware at all?

The US government isn’t big on explaining its moves, but it seems the most probable reason for this change, was related to the quickly expanding gray market ketamine industry which relies on off-label prescribing. As ketamine is Schedule III, this is possible within general regulation, but makes for a market that is untaxed by the federal government, at least beyond standard taxing. Think about how many taxes are applied to the cannabis industry. It would be silly to think a psychedelics industry wouldn’t have the same, so ketamine proposes an issue to the US government.

If this burgeoning market was the reason for the esketamine legalization, the government failed on a couple levels. For one, it requires a regular antidepressant to be taken as well, and that defeats the purpose of using esketamine for treatment, while also making it more likely to have drug interactions. And second, it was only cleared for treatment resistant depression despite the large amount of evidence for it to be used for pain. This is odd considering the current opioid epidemic, and the ability for ketamine to not only deal with pain issues, but also possibly with the addictions that have grown around opioids. In fact, the US government has made no mention of using esketamine in this way at all, while 75,000+ people die a year from opioid overdoses.

Apart from esketamine, there’s another psychedelic that has been legal for quite some time: DXM – dextromethorphan. DXM is a dissociative psychedelic which is in the morphinan class, and not only has it been legal since 1958, but despite its known abuse, it’s been an over-the-counter drug the whole time. And one that can be accessed by anyone of any age. DXM can be found in tons of cold medicine products, and the US government has actually turned down initiatives to make it a prescription medication, though some states like California and Oregon have made their own regulation to stop the sale of DXM to minors.

State’s rights and psychedelics

Everything I just went through relates to federal guidelines, but there’s a caveat here, and it’s the same reason we have legal cannabis in 18 states: whatever isn’t covered explicitly by the constitution, falls under ‘states’ rights’, which are also ‘personal rights’. Because of this, psychedelics are not illegal everywhere.

magic mushrooms

Several locations throughout the US have instituted decriminalization measures, including: Denver, Colorado; Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Arcata in California; Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, and Detroit, Michigan; Washington, DC; Somerville, Cambridge, Northampton, and Easthampton in Massachusetts; and Seattle, Washington.

Not only that, but as of the 2020 elections, the entire state of Oregon decriminalized psychedelics, while legalizing them for medical use. Three more states are looking to up the ante with full state recreational legalization policies: California, Michigan, and Washington. Though they propose different measures in their respective bills, in all cases legalizations would be made for the recreational use of at least some psychedelics, generally in the form of entheogenic plants (plants with psychedelic compounds).

Conclusion

Right now psychedelics are on the cusp of a major growth spurt, aided in part by breakthrough therapy designations from the FDA, the momentum of the cannabis industry, and the lightening mood of the population toward these two drug classes. I tend to think, when there’s this much of a rally, it can be expected that change is coming. So even if the three current states don’t get their bills through this time, something will pass soon enough. The one thing for sure is, psychedelics are coming.

Welcome readers! Thanks for joining us at CBDtesters.co, the preeminent internet location reporting on the most relevant and thought-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news of today. Check us out daily to stay aware of what’s going on in the fast-paced world of cannabis and psychedelics, and subscribe to The Cannadelics Newsletterto ensure you’re always first to get the news.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post ‘Breakthrough Therapy’: How the FDA is Pushing for Legal Psychedelics appeared first on CBD Testers.

Can You Smoke Magic Mushrooms?

Mushrooms are becoming the next big thing, and that means more questions being asked. Like how to grow them? And if they mix well with weed. And whether or not you can smoke magic mushrooms. So, let’s take a look at that question today, and go over the different ways that magic mushrooms can be used.

Maybe its best not to smoke magic mushrooms, but there’s an entire skin care industry that wants you to put them on your skin; and medical research into skin patches for psilocybin medication. New products are sure to hit shelves soon. We cover everything going on in this growing industry, so remember to subscribe to The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter to stay on-top of everything relevant now. Plus, you’ll also get access to premium deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and tons more! Don’t worry, our offers on cannabinoids like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC , won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Find all the best products in our “Best-of” lists, and enjoy responsibly!


What are magic mushrooms?

Mushrooms are pretty common, and you’ve probably eaten one before. However, the majority aren’t hallucinogenic, and offer a specific flavor and some health benefits, but no psychoactive high. Magic mushrooms are a group of fungi that contain psychedelic compounds like psilocybin and psilocin. These are similar to compounds like LSD, or DMT, and produce a serotonergic effect, meaning they attach to serotonin receptors to create a psychedelic response. Some examples of popular magic mushrooms include: Panaeolus, Conocybe, and Psilocybe – the most well-known.

Compounds like psilocybin and psilocin are part of a larger group of compounds known as hallucinogens, which are a category of psychoactive drugs. Not all psychedelic drugs create the same reaction, but they are all associated with similar things. These include causing hallucinations, which are sensory experiences that do not actually exist; promoting feelings of spirituality, euphoria, well-being, and connectedness; of creating mystical encounters; and of causing life changing experiences.

Mushrooms vary in how much of the active components they contain, and how strong they are. Like any other psychedelic (and most any compound in general), taking too much is bad and can lead to a ‘bad trip’ wherein the user experiences negative hallucinations, along with physical symptoms like irregular heartbeat, nausea, chills, sweating, vomiting, and anxiety. Getting the correct dose is highly important in guaranteeing a good trip, along with other things like being in comfortable surroundings, and with trusted people.

Mushrooms, and their active ingredients, are all Schedule I in the DEA’s Controlled Substances list. However, mushrooms often fit into a loophole in many places. This is because mushrooms themselves are not scheduled in either the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, or the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. This was backed up in 2001, when INCB’s Secretary of the Board gave this answer to the Dutch Ministry of Health. (INCB is the monitoring agency for UN drug treaty implementation):

“As a matter of international law, no plants (natural material) containing psilocine and psilocybin are at present controlled under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. Consequently, preparations made of these plants are not under international control and, therefore, not subject of the articles of the 1971 Convention.” 

Can you smoke magic mushrooms?

Mushrooms have been around for millennia, but by all accounts were generally eaten. And sure, that works just fine, right? But we’re a curious species of animal, and we like to know things. And we like to test things out to see what happens. So its not that surprising that the question arises of can a person smoke magic mushrooms, or inhale them in some way? Now, the short answer is yes, of course! Just light it up and smoke it. But smoking something and eating it are very different, and mushrooms can be scary in how dangerous they are. So it’s not just about whether the material will burn so you can inhale it, but what happens when you do.

The sad answer to this question, and one that might save people some time, money, and frustration from self-experimentation, is no, it won’t get you high. Yes, you can smoke mushrooms without ill effects (though this is not guaranteed), but it’ll also be without all the good effects as well. No hallucinations or spiritual experience, no euphoria and feelings of connectedness and well-being. Though some anecdotal evidence points to it causing a wee bit of a high, the lack of certainty on this indicates that whatever it does do, is mild, and probably not worth it.

Why is this? Well, the question of why it doesn’t work to smoke magic mushrooms hasn’t been thoroughly investigated, but there are some indications about why this would be the case. For one thing, psilocybin is not thermally labile, which means high temperatures will break it down. Smoking requires high temperatures making there little chance of psilocybin surviving being lit on fire. Beyond this, smoking fungi can get mold into the lungs which can bolster allergies or infection. Plus, mushrooms are known to have many dangerous compounds, and how they react to high heat isn’t always known, which means what response you’ll get, isn’t necessarily known.

The thing is, we know that drugs can often be used in different ways. Cannabis can be smoked or eaten, put on the skin, or sucked in through the nose. It can even be stuck in body orifices. Since smoking is a major form of drug taking in general, it can certainly be assumed that people have tried this, along with other applications. And a trip to different forums confirms this notion. Smoking might not be the best way of enjoying standard magic mushrooms, but not all magic mushrooms were created equally.

Can you smoke fly agaric magic mushrooms?

fly agaric

Though we tend to associate magic mushrooms with psilocybin, one of the most prominent of the magic mushrooms has no psilocybin at all. Fly agaric mushrooms – Amanita muscaria – belong to genus Amanita and family Basidiomycota. They got their nickname by their ability to attract small insects. These mushrooms are actually the ones most associated with the visual of magic mushrooms, with the red cone and white spots. They are what’s seen in Mario video games, and are associated with Alison in Wonderland.

These mushrooms are different from psilocybin mushrooms in that psilocybin is not what causes the high. Therefore they are often simply called ‘poisonous mushrooms’, though similar effects take placec. Technically, all mushrooms are ‘poisonous’ in this way, so the distinction doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, except for pointing to a different active ingredient. The active compounds in these mushrooms are muscimol and ibotenic acid. Not only are they entirely different kinds of compounds, but unlike most psychedelics, these compounds aren’t seratonergic. Instead, fly agaric mushrooms effect GABA receptors (gamma amino butyric acid), which are the same receptors targeted by benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and the now non-existent Quaaludes.

Muscimol is a potent GABA agonist, meaning it promotes activity at GABA sites, while ibotenic acid acts on NMDA glutamate receptors, which are responsible for controlling neuronal activity. This is thought to be the primary reason for psychoactive effects.

According to posters in forums, smoking fly agaric mushrooms can possibly lead to psychedelic effects, while others say they got no effects, an amplification of current feelings, feelings of relaxation, or were put in a dreamlike state. Many people did find it to be a pleasurable experience, but anyone considering this should be very careful. Others talked about chest pains, horrible taste, or no good effects. It probably depends on the quantity smoked, as a larger amount could lead to more negative issues. In fact, anyone who does want to try this, would be smart to do it microdose style, and not assume that they can’t be hurt by smoking them, regardless of what someone else posted.

How else can mushrooms be used?

If you want to smoke magic mushrooms, you probably won’t get the effect you want, but what about other modes of ingestion? For one thing, though its technically the same mode of ingestion, mushrooms are often dried and then made into a tea. This, however, still processes it through the digestive tract in the same way.

Magic mushrooms are not generally spoken about historically as a skincare product, but mushrooms have certainly become the break-out skincare additive of today. These products wouldn’t have psilocybin, or any other Schedule I compound, but they do use the general power of mushrooms. This, of course, says nothing about whether psychedelic benefits can be obtained from magic mushrooms in this way.

mushroom skin cream

Recently, researchers at the Terasaki Institute of California, in partnership with the company PharmaThe, have investigated a micro-needle patch for delivery of psychedelic compounds like LSD or psilocybin through the skin. It is being investigated for treating severe pain, anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. The patches have tons of tiny micro-needles which enter the skin surface and biodegrade, leaving their medicine behind.

This is not the first venture of its kind though. Also last year it was announced that medical startup Ei.Ventures was partnering with Tioga Research to create transdermal patches for psilocybin delivery. Said Tioga Research CEO John M. Newsam, the patches “will deploy our proprietary technologies and deep expertise to address key psilocin formulation issues, such as delivery and stability. A transdermal delivery route can circumvent issues with oral administration, such as nausea.” Perhaps using a lotion won’t get you high (and perhaps it will), but it sure sounds like these patches will.

What about direct to the vein?

Now we know you can eat magic mushrooms (tea, edibles, plain mushrooms), that you probably shouldn’t smoke magic mushrooms, but that a magic mushroom cream or patch can be applied to the skin. What about mainlining it? Many medications can be injected IV or IM, in order to get a quick response, and to have maximum bioavailability – the ability for your body to actually absorb compounds and not just expel them as waste material.

There are reports out there of poisonings due to people injecting magic mushrooms. One such case involves a 30-year-old man who injected an extract and suffered vomiting, severe myalgias, hyperpyrexia, hypoxemia, and mild methemoglobinemia. Yet another relates to a guy who injected magic mushroom tea. According to stories, the mushrooms began growing in his veins, and the man entered the hospital with organ failure.

If all this makes it sound like IV injections are probably not the way to go with psilocybin, it should be noted that research has taken place where participants were given psilocybin injections. Of course, an injection in a medical setting, and a couple guys brewing tea or making an extract and then injecting whatever amount into a vein, are entirely different things. It should always be remembered that doing a drug frequently doesn’t make a person an expert on every aspect of it. And when traversing new territory, its best to consider all the dangers.

Conclusion

There you have it. It’s best not to smoke magic mushrooms, or inhale them in any way, and it’s best not to attempt to inject them either. But eat them however you like, and take advantage of the newly growing industry of psilocybin for the skin, to get the best benefits possible.

Welcome readers! Thanks for making it to CBDtesters.co, your preeminent internet spot for all cannabis and psychedelics-related news relevant to today. Check us out daily to stay informed on the exciting universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and subscribe to The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletterand make sure you always know what’s going on.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Can You Smoke Magic Mushrooms? appeared first on CBD Testers.

What Would a Psychedelics legalization Look Like?

Unless you’re living under a rock, you should have heard the word that psychedelics are becoming the new medical darling, with the idea of a legalization on its way. What does this mean though? Will we all be tripping on acid, or going to ayahuasca ceremonies, or playing around with magic mushrooms? Well, its possible, but maybe not right away. There are some realities to a psychedelics legalization, and some things to understand.

Is a psychedelics legalization on the way? Could be, but maybe not how you think. The US government is edging closer to the idea of allowing medical use, while different states are floating policies for recreational use. Stay tuned to life to find out what happens next! For more articles like this one, remember to subscribe to the Psychedelics Weekly Newsletteryour #1 source for everything related to this rapidly growing industry.


Are psychedelics legal now?

When it comes to many things in the US, there is a federal truth and a local truth. This goes for both cannabis and psychedelics as well. Cannabis has been federally illegal since the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, with more stringent laws added to create a complete illegalization by 1970. However, if you’re really not living under that rock, you also know that there are huge legal cannabis markets in the US, but only in certain places, and each individual place with its own individual market.

That’s because America has States rights, which are actually ‘personal rights’, or anything that isn’t established by the US constitution, and which therefore can be argued in the Supreme Court. These rights enable laws to be made that run counter to US federal law, and cannabis is a prime example. 18 states now have legal, regulated recreational industries, or are on their way to. The number should be 19, but South Dakota had its publicly voted on measure taken away by its government. Nearly 40 have comprehensive medical programs, while even many of the remaining states have at least a minimal allowance for something cannabis related.

Psychedelics on the other hand were illegalized much more recently, though some of them only came about more recently. While entheogenic plants (which constitute natural psychedelics) have been used for millennia, synthetic psychedelics like LSD and ketamine were only invented within the last century. Psychedelics first became illegal in the US through the Staggers-Dodd Act of 1968 – though this only applied to mushrooms and LSD.

psychedelics

In 1970 the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act was passed which put massive restrictions on pharmaceutical industries, which though not bad in terms of oversite, were the beginning of the current drug scheduling model which works to rule out many compounds, with much bias.

The UN, for its part, put nearly all psychedelic compounds in Schedule I of the Convention On Psychotropic Substances in 1971, making them illegal worldwide. And to add onto all this, the US signed into legislation the Comprehensive Crime Control Act in 1984, which allowed the government to immediately ban any drug it pleased so long as it claimed the drug was dangerous first. The law was used to illegalize MDMA the following year. This, even despite a judge’s decision to put it in Schedule III instead and allow it for medical use.

Having said all this, Oregon decided not to care about it in 2020, allowing residents to vote on the matter of legalizing psychedelic compounds for medical use (Measure 109), and decriminalizing the recreational use of the drugs (along with many other drug classes) with Measure 110. These went through making Oregon the first state to set such policies. But not the first to do something. Denver, Colorado was the first on this front, decriminalizing magic mushrooms in 2019. Since that time, it has been joined by Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Arcata, California; Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, and Detroit, Michigan; Washington, DC; Somerville, Cambridge, Northampton, and Easthampton, Massachusetts; and Seattle, Washington.

So, what does a psychedelics legalization mean?

The main thing to expect in terms of a psychedelics legalization federally, is for a medical legalization of specific compounds. In fact, this can already be seen with the legalization of esketamine, though chances are this legalization was spurred on by the non-government-sanctioned, yet not-illegal ketamine clinic industry which has been growing rapidly in the last several years.

Esketamine, a close relative of ketamine, was quietly legalized in 2019 as a way to attempt to divert from this existent ketamine industry. Ketamine is legal as an anesthetic, but can be prescribed for ‘off-label’ use legally, allowing it to be used for pain management and psychological issues at these clinics, but outside of specific regulation or taxation for the treatments. More well-known psychedelics MDMA and psilocybin (of magic mushrooms) are on the docket as well. How do we know this? Because the FDA was willing to grant breakthrough therapy designations to three different companies studying these drugs.

Compass Pathways and Usona Institute both received this designation for their studies into psilocybin, while MAPS received it for its study into MDMA. Not only did MAPS win this designation, but it also planned Phase III of its trials in conjunction with the FDA to ensure that results meet regulation. Out of all of this, I’m not sure that another move more clearly signifies the intent to legalize, than for a federal body to actively promote a compound to the point of ensuring a study on it will be able to meet all regulation, even before seeing results.

medical psychedelics

If you’re wondering what this designation of ‘breakthrough therapy’ actually means, according to the FDA, “A breakthrough therapy designation is for a drug that treats a serious or life-threatening condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement on a clinically significant endpoint(s) over available therapies.”

Will the US federal government go for a recreational psychedelics legalization? Though I would certainly never say never, I don’t see that happening any time soon, though its quite possible that the US government will find itself in the same place it is with cannabis, having state after state adopt policies that conflict directly with it.

In the case of cannabis, its gotten to such a fever pitch, that the federal government looks weaker and weaker with every new legalization. So much so that the federal government is doing a complete turnaround, and even before getting to a medical legalization, its already floating two different legalization bills. One is called a decriminalization, but as it sets up tax measures, it sounds like more of a legalization in decriminalization clothing.

Will psychedelics ever be legalized?

Sure, as stated, the federal government might get there at some point if more and more states go against it. And its likely to happen faster than with cannabis, as cannabis set the stage so well. But even if the federal government drags its heels, it’s already being taken up by individual locations within states, as well as state governments introducing policies for the entire state. So far, these have been strictly decriminalization measures, with the exception of Oregon, which legalized medical use.

However, two other states are looking to take it up a notch. Both California and Michigan introduced legislation for full-state legalization policies for psychedelics. In California, this is being done through the California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative, which may make it onto the ballot for 2022 as a referendum for public voting. The bill would specifically “legalize psilocybin, including psilocybin mushrooms, truffles, sclerotia, and mycelium, in California.” This would cover the “cultivation, manufacture, processing, distribution, transportation, possession, storage, consumption, and retail sale of psilocybin mushrooms.”

Michigan, for its part, introduced Senate Bill 631 in September of last year, which would legalize plant-derived psychedelics for use (including communal), cultivation, possession, delivery, and production. This would not include sales, however, as this would remain illegal, with a caveat that a fee could be charged for “counseling, spiritual guidance, or a related service that is provided in conjunction with the use of an entheogenic plant or fungus under the guidance and supervision of an individual providing the service.”

entheogens

Psychedelics haven’t been fully legalized anywhere yet like cannabis has, but it looks to be in the works. When trends like these start, they don’t generally just stop. So even if these bills both get stifled, the next round will likely produce a winner. And that means that if this is indicative of a new trend, that we can expect to see state-wide legalizations for recreational use of psychedelics within the next couple years. Add onto this the FDA’s interest in psilocybin and MDMA, and the US government’s desire to tax anything it can, and it looks like a medical legalization can be expected on a federal level whenever those drugs are ready to be sold.

Conclusion

What will a psychedelics legalization look like? Probably a lot like with cannabis. Individual governments will set up policies, and eventually the federal government will cave and start to offer its own legislation. Much like with cannabis as well, the government will fight itself to legalize the compounds medically, knowing its smear campaigns can’t work forever, and that eventually it will have to take a 180º turn.

In both cases – cannabis and psychedelics – these compounds do not go from fully illegal to fully legal with no parameters at all. The cannabis industries of today are highly overregulated, so even in a legal place, the guidelines for legality are extensive, with tons of pitfalls. Smokers in legal locations must beware of blood THC levels as a new DUI possibility, the inability to smoke in public places, and the appearance of alcohol in places that cannabis is still not allowed, among many other regulations.

Hello readers, thanks for joining us! You’ve made it to CBDtesters.co, the internet’s one-stop-shop for the most relevant and important cannabis and psychedelics-related news going on world-wide. Drop by whenever possible to stay aware of the constantly-morphing landscape of cannabis and medical psychedelics, and check out the The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always on top of everything going on.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post What Would a Psychedelics legalization Look Like? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Magic Mushrooms and Truffles in Amsterdam – What’s the Difference?

Some people see the Netherlands, and more specifically Amsterdam, as a drug-utopia. A place where everything is legal, allowed and thriving. A place where you can smoke cannabis on the street, walk along the red-light district, and munch on some magic truffles. But what are magic truffles? And are they as potent as magic mushrooms? In addition, why is one legal but the other is not? Although Amsterdam may seem like an unapologetically open city, it’s far more nuanced than that. Using Amsterdam as a reference point, let’s take a closer look at what the true difference is between magic truffles and magic mushrooms.

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Netherlands Drug Laws

Cannabis

It’s a common misconception that drugs are legal in the Netherlands. In fact, even cannabis, which is sold publicly on the streets of Amsterdam, is still an illegal drug. This means that Luxembourg was actually the first country in Europe to officially legalize cannabis for growing and consumption. But how can this be the case? Well, CNN Travel elaborates:

“You may be surprised to learn that recreational drugs are illegal in the Netherlands. Yes, even pot. But an official policy of tolerance emerged and in 1976 the Dutch parliament decriminalized possession of less than 5 grams of cannabis.”

What occurred after this decision was a new culture of coffee shops where you could buy up to 5 grams of cannabis flower, under the guise that it was not illegal, only decriminalised. That evolved and now Amsterdam is known for its cannabis culture, with over 160 coffeeshops in the city center. There are a wide range of cannabis products on sale in Amsterdam, these include: edibles, high-THC buds, tinctures, and more. 

Magic Mushrooms

So, what about other kinds of drugs? How about magic mushrooms? Almost all other drugs are dealt with harshly. Much like the rest of the world. Cocaine, heroin and MDMA are all illegal and only sold unlawfully on the dark web or from street dealers. It’s only cannabis that has seemed to find its own loophole. Well, interestingly, before 2008, magic mushrooms actually were a legal drug in the Netherlands.

Magic mushrooms are wild growing fungi found all over the world. Mushrooms can be poisonous, so it’s important to know what exactly magic mushrooms look like if you decide to go searching for them. The magic kind look like an ordinary mushroom except they have a longer stem and smaller head. Magic mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is a naturally-occurring hallucinogen and psychoactive ingredient. It’s the psilocybin that is responsible for the well-known effects of shrooms. These effects include: 

  • Distorted sense of reality 
  • Euphoria
  • Sensory enhancement
  • Hallucinations
  • Introspection

Magic mushrooms are usually placed in the top tier of drug categories around the world because they are a hallucigen. In the USA, they are considered a Schedule 1 and in the UK they are considered a Class A, meaning they’re believed to carry a high risk of abuse and addiction. Any drug that twists and re-shapes reality are often considered to be the most dangerous drug by most nations, although this is not necessarily accurate. And this is despite the fact that psilocybin has been found to have numerous different medical benefits. In 2016, a John Hopkins study found that psilocybin could help treat people with anxiety and depression.

In the Netherlands, it wasn’t until recently that mushrooms were made illegal.This was a headline for an NBC News article, written in 2007:“The Netherlands will ban the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms, the government announced Friday, tightening the country’s famed liberal drug policies after the suicide of an intoxicated teenage girl.”

After a girl under the influence of mushrooms jumped out of a window in 2007, protests against hallucinogens took place and resulted in the drug being made illegal. Consequently, the majority of magic mushroom types were banned. All, except one: the truffle. 

What are Truffles? 

So, in order for us to understand why truffles were left legal, we first need to understand what they actually are. And, of course, how they differ from magic mushrooms. Truffles are mostly spoken about in relation to the Netherlands because most other countries do not allow them. In addition, when people visit Amsterdam, many are surprised by the ease of purchasing truffles. They can be bought in coffeeshops and smart shops and usually come in colourful packaging with names like: ‘mexicana’, ‘atlantis’ and ‘high hawaiians’. All claim to be stronger than the next. But really what are truffles? 

Magic truffles are nothing like the kinds of truffles you cook with, except they do have one similarity: they grow underground. Magic truffles are sclerotia, which is essentially a hardened mass of fungal mycelium that grows beneath the surface. Magic truffles are from the psilocybe mushroom mycelium and contain psilocybin. Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic compound and gives both truffles and mushrooms their psychedelic effects. 

Taste & Look

Magic truffles are essentially magic mushrooms that never made it to the surface, and this is exactly what they look like. They look like mushrooms that have never seen the sun and haven’t been able to grow. This means they taste a little like soil and dirt. In addition, they’re very dry so eating them without liquid can be quite difficult.  

Magic Mushrooms vs Magic Truffles

So, what are the differences between these two fungi, and why is one legal and the other is not in the Netherlands? 

Science

First up, let’s take a look at the scientific differences between the two substances. So far we know they both contain psilocybin, which is a psychedelic compound. But also, this is what the National Library of Medicine has to say:

“Magic mushrooms is the most common name given to hallucinogenic fungi containing the psychoactive alkaloids psilocybin and psilocin. In recent years, fungis’ sclerotia, commonly called “magic truffles” have become a form of supply of psychoactive Psilocybe alkaloids since Psilocybe sclerotia are not specifically included in the laws banning the sale, the purchase and the use of such substances and mushrooms containing them”

What this means is that magic mushrooms and magic mushrooms are essentially the exact same thing. However, magic truffles are simply at an earlier stage of development. They are at a more embryonic stage, hence why they are ‘picked’ whilst they’re still underground. Known also as sclerotia, hallucinogenic truffles are a younger fungus, which stores food reserves in a hard mycelium. These then grow into magic mushrooms after time. 

Look

Magic mushrooms and magic truffles do not look the same. In fact, truffles look like what they are: stunted mushrooms that never made it to the surface and never saw the sun. They also resemble a darker-looking bit of ginger. Whatever you want to liken them too, they definitely don’t look appealing. Magic mushrooms – on the other hand – look the same as usual mushrooms, except with longer stems and smaller heads. 

Potency

Some believe that truffles must be less potent than mushrooms because they are legal and less formed. This is not necessarily correct. Both contain psilocybin and the same chemical compounds, therefore they should technically have the same potency. However, due to the fact that magic truffles are standardised and commercialised, they have been able to create and package various strengths and potencies. Therefore, you can purchase weak, mild and strong magic truffles in Amsterdam. It’s harder to do the same with magic mushrooms as they are illegal and are usually sold by people who do not have various types. Both magic truffles and magic mushrooms are digested, they usually kick-in after around an hour and their effects can last from 4-8 hours. Overall, magic truffles and magic mushrooms have the same level of potency, but truffles can be bought to have less if customers require it. 

Legality 

If all this is the case, then why have the Netherlands decided to illegalise magic mushrooms but not magic truffles? Well, it’s first important to understand that countries like the UK and the USA have banned the substance of psilocybin which, as a result, has made anything containing this substance also illegal. This includes both magic mushrooms and magic truffles. However, in the Netherlands, they decided to illegalise magic mushrooms as a substance, rather than what they contain. This left room for magic truffles to slip through the cracks. 

Conclusion

Magic mushrooms and magic truffles are both essentially the same drug, except they are both at different stages of growth. The Netherlands, in particular, have decided to treat each drug individually rather than the substances that the drug contains. Whatever you believe to be right or wrong, the situation is that magic truffles are potent and extremely easy to purchase in Amsterdam. So, if you’re looking for an exciting and legal experience, make sure to head over there and try them out.

Hello all! Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your ultimate online destination for the most relevant and thought-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news globally. Read through the site regularly to stay on top of the constantly-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletterso you never miss a thing.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Magic Mushrooms and Truffles in Amsterdam – What’s the Difference? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Organization Aims to Reschedule Psilocybin Mushrooms in UN Categorization

The International Therapeutic Psilocybin Rescheduling Initiative (ITPRI) has launched a campaign on January 11 to see medical mushroom reform happen on a global scale.

The organization argues that the antiquated 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances Act is long overdue for some changes. While the Act was created to target drugs that are harmful, ITPRI argues that recent therapeutic evidence and effectiveness of psilocybin warrants a change in scheduling.

“In most countries, legal control of psilocybin results from its Schedule I status under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances,” ITPRI wrote in a press release. “Meant for dangerous drugs which create an especially serious risk to public health and whose therapeutic value is little to none, Schedule I drugs are subject to strict limits on their scientific and medical use. Schedule I licensing, safe-custody, security, manufacturing, quantity, and import/export restrictions result in a level of regulatory control and oversight that is drastically more onerous than for the Convention’s other three schedules. As a result, researchers wishing to study psilocybin face numerous regulatory hurdles which add significantly to the cost, complexity, and duration of research and can negatively impact ethical approvals, funding and collaboration.”

According to ITPRI, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances Act describes a Schedule I substance as “Substances whose liability to abuse constitutes an especially serious risk to public health and which have very limited, if any, therapeutic usefulness.”

Despite the growing potential of psilocybin as a medical treatment, progress has been hindered by the UN’s 51-year-old agreement. Professor David Nutt, head of Imperial College London’s Centre for Psychedelic Research and Founder of Drug Science, described the setback. “Psilocybin’s Schedule I status has severely limited—and continues to limit—neuroscience research and the development of treatments for patients.” Drug Science is one of many partners supporting this effort, including Beckley Foundation, MAPS, Mind Medicine Australia, Nierika A.C., Open Foundation and Osmond Foundation.

ITPRI’s plan is to inspire nations of the UN to initiate a review. “To ensure equity of access to psilocybin as a global public good, ITPRI is engaging, educating and mobilizing officials and other stakeholders without the ecosystem of UN institutions, member state permanent missions and NGOs that will be critical to achieving a review and change in scheduling,” the organization says of its rescheduling plan. Once the process has begun, the World Health Organization (WHO) will present a critical review, which could result in a recommendation to reschedule if two-thirds of the member countries agree.

ITPRI Co-founder and Chair of the Board of Directors, Christopher Koddermann, expressed the certainty that the ITPRI’s new campaign will help move things along. “Given today’s scientific understanding of psilocybin’s high potential therapeutic value and low risk of dependence, a change of its status as a Schedule I drug is long overdue.”

In December 2020, the UN Commission for Narcotic Drugs has voted to reclassify cannabis, and more recently, the UN voted against a ban on kratom in December 2021. Furthermore, many states and cities in the U.S. have embraced decriminalization of mushrooms to allow medical patients to gain easier access to psilocybin mushrooms as a treatment. The state of Oregon was one of the first to embrace psilocybin mushrooms legalization.

Businesses such as Dr. Bronner’s are going all-in to support psilocybin legalization, both in Connecticut as well as throughout the U.S. Canada has even eased access for mushrooms as well, thanks in part to the rising amount of evidence that suggests its potential as a medicine. The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed consideration of psilocybin therapy last year. All of this and more are contributing factors to the world’s changing view of psilocybin as medicine.

The post Organization Aims to Reschedule Psilocybin Mushrooms in UN Categorization appeared first on High Times.