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.

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Pennsylvania Poised to Become National Leader in Psychedelics Research

Pennsylvania is set to become a national, and possibly global, leader in psilocybin research, thanks to a new bill that was recently introduced in the House of Representatives. The bill passed a Health Committee vote in Harrisburg and is on its way for votes in the house and senate.  

Titled the Public Health Benefits of Psilocybin Act, the purpose of this legislation is to lay the foundation for researchers within the state of Pennsylvania to begin clinical trials on psilocybin, the predominant psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, as well as other natural psychedelics in the future. As it currently stands, with psilocybin categorized as a Schedule 1 narcotic on the DEA’s list of controlled substances, anyone trying to do any worthwhile research on the psychedelics has been massively hindered by a seemingly endless list of cumbersome and overbearing regulations.   

Just like cannabis, psychedelics are beginning to take hold in the Western World. Not only are they being used recreationally at much higher rates, but the world is becoming familiar with their many benefits, especially in the field of mental health. For more articles like this one, make sure to subscribe to our Psychedelics Weekly Newsletteryour top source for everything related to this growing industry. 


What are psychedelics? 

Psychedelic drugs, are a subset of hallucinogens which contain compounds that can alter mood and perception. They are also referred to as entheogens, a Greek term that can be roughly translated to mean “building the God within”. The active compounds in psychedelic drugs can be found in nature, like psilocybin or mescaline, but they can also be man made, like LSD or Ketamine. 

The high experienced when taking these types of drugs is known as a ‘trip’, and can include visual, auditory, and sensory hallucinations. The intensity of a trip will vary dramatically based on the specific compound, dose consumed, and tolerance of the user. Sometimes, a person will experience no hallucinations at all, but rather a sense of general well-being, spiritual connectivity, and euphoria.    

If you’ve ever heard someone mention a ‘bad trip’, this means the person had some type of negative side effects, or maybe even frightening hallucinations. Physical symptoms of a bad trip can include but are not limited to irregular heartbeat, nausea, chills, sweating, and anxiety. Bad trips, due to their negative nature, can seem more intense than good trips but this is not always the case. 

Dosing and setting, among many other factors, can significantly impact a psychedelic trip, so you want to make sure that you’re doing everything possible to ensure that your high is uplifting and eye-opening, not scary and traumatizing.  

Surrounding yourself with familiar people that make you feel comfortable, go low and slow with dosing, and picking a location that you know you’re safe in – these are all steps you can take to foster a good trip. Many present-day, medical (not recreational) users of psychedelics consume the drugs in micro-doses to avoid the risk of bad trips and other negative side effects altogether.  

More about the bill 

The Public Health Benefits of Psilocybin Act is primarily sponsored by Tracy Pennycuick, an Army veteran and Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives serving her first term, along with 20 bipartisan cosponsors. The bill, which has does not come with any funding, would place the state’s Department of Health in charge of clinical trials and other research efforts, starting with studying how psilocybin could help treat PTSD in military veterans.  

“I have PTSD, so it interests me,” Pennycuick said. “Not every treatment works for every veteran. So, you have to be always leaning forward into treatment.” 

What’s unique about this bill compared to other psychedelic research initiatives is that this one authorizes at least two state-licensed growers to cultivate psychoactive mushrooms to use in the clinical trials. Most research, like that conducted at Johns Hopkins University, is done using a synthetic form of psilocybin.  

This distinction is important because we will have legitimate, clinical information about how the varying naturally occurring compounds work together in the human body and how different mushroom/truffle strains could be used to treat different conditions. The entourage effect of psychedelic fungi.  

Another adamant supporter of this bill is Brett Waters, a Pennsylvania-native currently practicing as an attorney in New York. “It’s very clear at this point that current treatment that we offer people is not effective,” says Waters. “It has limited efficacy for some people and no efficacy for many people. We need to do better.”  

Waters is also the founder of Reason for Hope, a nonprofit organization that advocates for psychedelic-assisted therapy. Waters, who grew up in Merion, lost both his mother and grandfather to suicide. His organization is also working with politicians in New York, North Carolina, and Florida to push for more progressive legislation regarding psychedelic research.  

Another supporter and industry expert, Mason Marks, a professor at the University of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce School of Law and head of the Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation at Harvard’s Petrie-Flom Center, feels this bill should be a top priority in the minds of lawmakers.  

“For two decades we’ve seen rising rates of suicide, rising rates of drug overdose deaths, and so there is a certain amount of urgency on this issue, so I think increasing access is really important,” he stated.  

The race to legalize and study mushrooms 

If you’ve been following industry news lately, you’ve probably noticed that numerous cities/states are updating their psilocybin regulations. For the most part different regions are decriminalizing their possession. This has happened in several large cities across the US including Detroit, Seattle, Oakland, and Denver.  

However, a handful of states are approaching these new policies from the paradigm of research and medicine. On November 3rd, 2020, Oregon passed Measure 109, making it the first US state to legalize the use of psilocybin-assisted therapy, and lawmakers are currently working on developing the necessary regulatory framework.  

Early last year, Florida House Representative Michael Grieco introduced a bill that would legalize psilocybin medicinally for people with mental disorders, to be microdosed in licensed clinics. Late last summer, Texas passed House Bill 1802 calling for the state’s Health and Human Services Commission to do a human clinical trial on mental health disorders and psilocybin treatments, using a synthetic version of the compound.  

Where Pennsylvania differs, aside from the fact their programs aim to use natural psilocybin, is that this bill will be focused on university studies, clinical trials from medical research institutions, and hospital research and data.  

Even more research 

Last month, the National Institute of Health awarded nearly $4 million to Johns Hopkins researcher Matthew Johnson, who is looking into the benefits of pairing psilocybin-assisted therapy with traditional talk therapy. Given the introspective and sentient nature of psychedelics, microdosing with shrooms before a therapy session could definitely help one be more honest, open, and transparent. 

Recently, a publicly traded British firm known as Compass Pathways, released the results on their larger-scale psilocybin trial completed late last year. Researchers examined 233 patients who were given different doses of synthetic psilocybin, and they found that a one-time, 25-milligram dose was able to substantially reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression for up to three weeks.  

“The trial is encouraging being a larger sample of patients with a control group than earlier [treatment resistant depression] studies and having a significant effect for a clinical need,” said William R. Smith, a fourth-year psychiatry resident at Penn Medicine. “Treatment-resistant depression is a major challenge for contemporary psychiatry, we need more options.” 

Further research has found the psilocybin can even help regenerate brain cells. Yale researchers released this study: Psilocybin induces rapid and persistent growth of dendritic spines in frontal cortex in vivo. The research was conducted using synthetic psilocybin on mice, and it was was published in the journal Neuron in July, 2021.  

At this point, even the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) published a statement saying they need more cannabis and psilocybin produced for research purposed, and they want it as soon as the middle of this year. 

Final thoughts 

The Pennsylvania bill is expected to pass, but even if it does not, it shows how far public opinion on this subject has progressed. It’s a sign that curiosity about psychedelics is flourishing in the US and around the rest of the world. Despite what federal regulations might say, when you talk to people, you see that there is a general acceptance of these compounds, especially naturally occurring ones like psilocybin, mescaline, or DMT. Keep a close eye on Pennsylvania in these coming weeks, and check back here for updates on this important bill.  

Hello readers! Thanks for joining us at CBDtesters.co, the #1 internet location for the most recent and interesting cannabis and psychedelics-related news from around the globe. Visit the site everyday to stay abreast of the quickly-moving landscape of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletterto ensure you always know what’s going on.

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.

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National Group Submits Colorado Psychedelics Decriminalization Ballot Measures

A national advocacy group has submitted two separate proposals that would decriminalize psychedelics in Colorado in an effort to put the issue before voters in next year’s general election. New Approach PAC, a Washington, D.C.-based political action committee, filed the decriminalization proposals with the office of the Colorado Secretary of State on December 3, according to media reports.

The first proposal would decriminalize the psychedelic drugs ibogaine, DMT, mescaline (excluding peyote), psilocybin and psilocin for adults 21 and older, with a cap of four grams of the psychoactive substances. Under the measure, the governor would be required to appoint a Natural Medicine Advisory Board, which would be tasked with implementing decriminalization. The state would also license healing centers to supply psychedelic drugs and assist clients using them.

The second measure is similar to the first, but would decriminalize only psilocybin and psilocin, the psychedelic compounds found in “magic mushrooms.” Under the proposal, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies would implement decriminalization in a fashion similar to the one outlined in the first initiative.

If one or both of the proposals is approved by the Secretary of State’s office, organizers would then need to collect the required signatures to qualify the measures for the ballot in 2022.

“Our goal is to make the healing benefits of these natural medicines available to people they can help, including veterans with PTSD, survivors of domestic or sexual abuse, people with treatment-resistant depression and others for whom our typical mental-health treatments just aren’t working,” Ben Unger, psychedelic program director for New Approach PAC, told Westword.

Psychedelics for Health and Wellness

Researchers continue to study the potential medicinal applications of psilocybin and other natural psychedelic drugs, which are often also referred to as entheogenic plants and fungi. A study published last year in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy was a quick-acting and effective treatment for a group of 24 participants with major depressive disorder. And separate research published in 2016 determined that psilocybin treatment produced substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer.

Denver was the first major municipality to decriminalize psychedelics in 2019, and similar measures have been passed by Oakland, Washington, D.C., Detroit and Cambridge, Massachusetts since then. In October, city leaders passed a psychedelics decriminalization resolution in Seattle, the largest U.S. city to approve such legislation to date. And in November, voters in Oregon approved a ballot measure that decriminalized psilocybin and legalized the compound for therapeutic use.

Kevin Matthews, the leader of the group that campaigned for Denver’s psychedelics decriminalization measure, is now lobbying for the statewide effort advanced by national advocates.

“We’re glad to have New Approach as a partner who can help us bring this level of change to the entire state, because we’re going to create more opportunities for so many people to receive the help they need to deal with mental health conditions that are otherwise devastating,” Matthews said. “Creating new opportunities for people to heal is what drives us, and we look forward to engaging with Colorado residents on this issue.”

Activists Disagree on Best Path to Psychedelics Decriminalization

But not all psychedelics activists in Colorado agree with the New Approach proposals. Nicole Foerster, head of Decriminalize Nature Boulder County, said that she is concerned about some of the language in the potential ballot measures.

“They’re looking to create these top-down, restrictive policies in places where grassroots community has been the strongest and where policy has been passed by grassroots community,” Foerster said at a virtual meeting of the group held on December 16.

Foerster noted that local activists were not involved in drafting the proposals from New Approach, but said they are now trying to cooperate with the national group.

“We are trying to push and influence them to only include psilocybin and psilocin, because they said they’re unwilling to do anything that”s not going to set up a regulatory framework,” she added.

Unger said that the New Approach initiatives include a regulatory framework so that psychedelics can help as many people as possible safely.

“We believe more people will be served and treated by making psychedelics available in a safe, regulated and consistent way,” Unger said. “These natural medicines can be life-changing for so many, and we want people to be confident that the treatment they’re receiving is high-quality and held to clear standards of accountability.”

Some local activists at the Decriminalize Nature Boulder County virtual meeting expressed concerns that New Approach may be moving too quickly, but Matthews disagreed.

“We’ve been discussing the possibility of statewide reform since this spring, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far to ensure this initiative will be ready on the timeline necessary to set it up for success,” Matthews said. “We still have more outreach and collaboration to do in the coming weeks, and it’s been exciting working alongside so many of my colleagues and friends from our successful effort in Denver in 2019.”

The post National Group Submits Colorado Psychedelics Decriminalization Ballot Measures appeared first on High Times.

Psychedelics in magic mushrooms and 6 hallucinogens beyond psilocybin

Psilocybe and inocybe mushrooms are a treasure cove of opportunity to clinicians, patients, and chemists. Psilocybin, the centrepiece of psychedelic mushroom literature, shares characteristics with a larger family of molecules. In fact, at least six other psychedelics in magic mushrooms form a matrix of hallucinogens beyond just psilocybin and its active metabolite.   Few research labs, […]

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Do mushrooms have terpenes and an entourage effect?

Mycologist, Paul Stamets, gave incredible wisdom with a specific type of psychedelic mushroom during a MAPS presentation. This advice is perhaps only needed for the strongest of the species known to man, but as it turns out, there is more to a shroom than psychoactive tryptamines. Lab tests have revealed that fresh mushrooms contain the more delicate […]

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Biggest US Drug Loopholes: Delta-8 THC and Magic Mushrooms

Every country has its own set of drug laws, and nearly every set of drug laws comes with some sort of loophole. This is true for the good ole US of A as well. In fact, there are some very interesting US drug loopholes, namely delta-8 THC, and magic mushrooms.

What’s better than good old-fashioned US drug loopholes? Not much! Luckily, with current legislation still in gray area, delta-8 THC is available to the masses. And this is great. Not only does it give alternate benefits to standard delta-9 THC – like less psychoactive effect and a more clear-headed highbut it also causes less anxiety for users. Delta-9 is still federally illegal, but delta-8 is not completely, and that means we can bring you the best delta-8 THC deals, so you can give it a go for yourself.

What is a legal loophole?

A basic definition for a loophole is “…a technicality that allows a person or business to avoid the scope of a law or restriction without directly violating the law.” In other words, laws do exist, but either the laws don’t cover everything, aren’t specific enough, or exist alongside contradictory laws that call into question general legality. No matter what the exact reason is that the initial law doesn’t hold, a loophole demonstrates the ability to get around it. Before getting to US drug loopholes, let’s take a look at non-drug loopholes. Here are a couple examples of existing/recently-closed loopholes in America, to give an idea of how loopholes actually work.

• The legal drinking age in the US is 21, right? Well, in Wisconsin, this can be gotten around. According to Wisconsin state law, a parent is allowed to give a child an alcoholic beverage, so long as the parent has a proper ID. This drink can be administered not only in a private residence, but in a bar or restaurant as well. The parent must order the drink first, and be served it, before passing it onto their child. This law exists under Chapter 125 of the Wisconsin Statutes, in the department of revenue, and states: “An underage person accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse of legal drinking age may be sold or served alcohol beverages in any licensed premises.” There are questions as to whether this could apply to a child between 18-21, as the parent is not technically a legal guardian anymore.

• Murder is illegal, right? Well, according to a loophole in Colorado, this isn’t always the case. Colorado’s Make My Day law actually states that “any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling….”. This isn’t terribly different than self-defense laws that exist almost anywhere, but Colorado’s law was used in court by inmates claiming their cell was their home, and that they had a right to murder to defend it.

US drug loopholes

In 2011, Antero Alaniz and Aaron Bernal killed 3rd inmate Cleveland Flood in the Sterling Correctional Facility, when Flood entered the cell of the other two prisoners. Alaniz and Bernal successfully used the Make My Day law as their defense to have the charges thrown out in 2014, by saying the cell was their home and they had a right to defend it. In April 2016, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an update to the legislation that bars it from being used further in the prison system, effectively closing the loophole.

US drug loopholes: delta-8 THC

There are plenty of US drug loopholes, but two of the most interesting ones relate to schedule I substances. The first is delta-8 THC, although how effective the loophole is, is certainly questionable. According to DEA Criminal Code 7370, all tetrahydrocannabinols are illegal, expect those that fall under the definition of ‘hemp’. The definition of hemp includes the flower itself, and products made from it:

“…the plant Cannabis Sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

This definition does not include any synthetics, only naturally occurring derivatives of hemp. Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring derivative of delta-9, formed through the oxidation of delta-9 when it comes into contact with oxygen. This process produces only minute amounts of delta-8 however, and in order for people to use it as a product, the delta-8 must be sourced using human processing help. As there is not a clear answer as to what constitutes a synthetic – and if human processing help puts it in this category, delta-8 falls into legal gray area about this definitional point. An Interim Final Rule put out by the DEA, and reinforced by the recent USDA Final Rule on hemp, does nothing to clarify this point.

This isn’t the only factor that effects delta-8 THC legality though. The 2018 US Farm Bill, which legalized the cultivation of hemp, and production of hemp-based products, and which uses the aforementioned definition of hemp, stipulates that it must be sourced from plants with not more than .3% THC in order to qualify as hemp. This would indicate the ability to source any amount of delta-8, so long as the delta-9 being used, came from hemp.

However, specifications to this law have pointed out that not only does the hemp plant need to have .3% THC or less, but it must retain this standard through the entirety of processing, as well as for the final product. Does this mean delta-8 is actually illegal? No. But it does make some rather stiff requirements for how strong a delta-8 product can be, essentially stating that the finished product also can’t have more than .3% THC. As the definition of hemp includes derivatives, and delta-8 is a derivative of delta-9, it does not get around this point.

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US drug loopholes: magic mushrooms

The second of the US drug loopholes has to do with mushrooms. Magic mushrooms are psychedelic fungi that can grow in the wild or be cultivated. Mushrooms that fit into this grouping contain psychoactive compounds like psilocybin and psilocin. These compounds are serotonergic hallucinogenic compounds, meaning they effect serotonin receptors in the brain, and are known for altering perception, mood, reality, and time for the user, while promoting feelings of euphoria, overall well-being, spirituality, and connectedness between people.

This loophole exists globally because of two opposing factors. The first is the inclusion of psilocybin, psilocin, and derivatives found in magic mushroom plants, in the Schedule I of the UN’s Convention on Psychotropic substances, an international treaty that denotes the legality of certain psychoactive drugs worldwide.

However, the plants themselves are not under any scheduling treaty globally. This means, that though there are laws outlawing what’s in the plants, there is no law against the plants themselves. This was emphasized in 2001, when the independent organization monitoring the implementation of UN drug treaties, the International Narcotics Control Board, made a statement to the Dutch ministry of health, in answer to a question about mushroom legality. It states:

“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.”

As can be seen in the answer, it is not simply the mushrooms themselves that are not under any global UN control, but nor are the preparations made from them, which would put this in direct contrast to the illegality of the active components. However, this is an international treaty, and not US law. When it comes to US law, the Controlled Substances Act from 1970, and the Psychotropic Substances Act of 1978 outlaw: “any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, substances 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”, with both psilocybin and psilocyn mentioned.

Depending on whether the terms ‘material’ and ‘substance’ account for plants, this definition does seem to illegalize magic mushrooms…albeit, with room for debate since the mushrooms themselves are still not mentioned.

magic mushrooms loophole

Notwithstanding states that have legalized (Oregon), or locations that have decriminalized (Denver) mushrooms, does this make magic mushrooms entirely federally illegal? No, it doesn’t. Though the US goes further than some countries which leave a wider loophole, the US does allow for certain things. And the biggest one, is the sale of magic mushroom spores. In fact most – but not all – states allow spores to be sold so long as the intention is not to ingest them. This, of course, is as silly as outlawing all cannabis, and then allowing hemp to be grown.

The reason for this, is that the spores themselves don’t contain psychedelic compounds, making them exempt from federal law. Technically, they aren’t meant to grow or be consumed, but the law allows them to be bought and sold, making the ability to grow and consume them, very possible in the USA. Another thing to consider, related to a Florida Supreme Court case from 1970, is that, if a person is arrested for mushrooms, but doesn’t know they are magic mushrooms (or can make a court believe this), they will likely not be held responsible for what they are not expected to realistically know.

It probably also bears mentioning, that the US’s FDA made the designation of psilocybin as a breakthrough therapy for major depression in 2019, a term meant to expedite the testing and development of medications. Funny for a government agency to work to speed along medications for a schedule I compound. Says a lot for how magic mushrooms are actually viewed by the US government.

Conclusion

The whole idea of a loophole, is that it’s not exactly legal, it’s just not 100% illegal either. I also include circumstances where there is illegality, but it doesn’t mitigate access. As one of the biggest current US drug loopholes, there is a mess of confusion currently around delta-8 THC, and though it seems more and more like the loophole available, doesn’t really cover everything, it’s also not officially illegal either.

For magic mushrooms, once again, the mushrooms aren’t stated as anything more than a ‘material’ or ‘substance’, which might make it arguable in court. But more importantly, their spores are completely legal in most US locations, making the availability and ability to grow them, not only possible, but pretty freaking easy!

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Resources

How to Test Delta-10 Products to Ensure They Are Real
Denver Residents Vote to Decriminalize “Magic Mushrooms”

Start Spreading the News: Recreational Cannabis is Legal in New York… and New Mexico
DIY: How to Make Delta-8 THC at Home Mexico’s Magic Mushroom Tourism Industry Welcome to the World’s 1st DMT Trials into Depression
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

Nature’s Magic – The Health Benefits of Psilocybin Mushrooms
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers). The Legality of Delta-10 THC – Where It Stands
Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy, and How It Works

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc), the Best Delta 8 THC Deals and the Best Delta-10 THC deals.
What is Delta 10 THC & Does It Get You High? What’s The Best Extraction Method For CBD?
Cannabis Election Results – What Just Became Legal in the United States Delta 8 / 9 / 10 / 11… How Many THCs Are Out There? Kiss the Psychedelic Toads to Treat Mental Illness
Delta-8 THC Exploits Fantastic Legal Loophole Florida Bill Aims to Legalize Medical Magic Mushrooms
The New Rise of Medical Psychedelics

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a medical professional, I have no formal legal education, and I’ve never been to business school. All information in my articles is sourced from other places which are always mentioned, and all opinions stated are mine, and are made clear to be mine. I am not giving anyone advise of any kind, in any capacity. I am more than happy to discuss topics, but should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a professional in the relevant field for more information.

The post Biggest US Drug Loopholes: Delta-8 THC and Magic Mushrooms appeared first on CBD Testers.

Mexico’s Magic Mushroom Tourism Industry

The term ‘cannabis tourism’ denotes a well-known concept. People travel to destinations where they can specifically take part in cannabis consumption activities. Cannabis is not the only drug that drives tourism though, as Mexico’s burgeoning magic mushroom tourism industry implies. Yes, Mexico is known for cartels and tequila, mariachi and sombreros. And now magic mushrooms too. Psychedelic tourism is definitely on the rise.

Of all the psychedelics, THC is still the most popular one. For THC users who have a problem with the anxiety or experience paranoia, the alternate delta-8 THC might be preferable. If you think you could benefit from this altered version of THC, take a look at our awesome delta-8 THC deals, and try it out for yourself.

Maria Sabina and Oaxaca mushrooms

Different parts of Mexico are known for different things. Like the town of Tequila, which is the actual birthplace of one of the most popular liquors throughout the world. As it happens, the state of Oaxaca, Mexico is known for its very own thing, as the main point of Mexico’s magic mushroom tourism industry. The Oaxaca highlands area, like San Jose del Pacifico, is specifically known for magic mushrooms and the related tourism, particularly between July and October.

Travelers come to Oaxaca for mushrooms, both from within Mexico, and from all over the world. Magic mushrooms were first discovered in Mexico by Spanish friars, during the time that Mexico was being colonized. Oaxaca mushrooms (or ‘hongos’ in Spanish) were brought into prominence in this area by witch doctor – or Mazatec curandera – Maria Sabina, who used them in her work.

She worked with many rich and powerful people who wanted the benefits of the mushrooms. She became well-known to the public in 1955 when the article ‘Seeking the Magic Mushroom’ written by R Gordon Wasson, the vice-president of JP Morgan, was published. It was this semi-stardom that made her, and her mushrooms, known to Timothy Leary, the Harvard psychologist who went on to become a leading advocate for psychedelics.

Mexican magic mushrooms

Timothy Leary wasn’t the only well-known name to have been inspired by Maria Sabina. In the 1960’s – the era of the hippie, psychedelics were rather big for both individual use, and in celebrity culture. That general area of Oaxaca was visited in this decade by members of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison of the Doors, and Bob Dylan, all to take psychedelic mushrooms.

These mushrooms are a big part of local Zapotec culture, and are used for religious and traditional purposes. Law enforcement tends to ignore these uses by indigenous cultures, even though the mushrooms are illegal. In the Zapotec culture, children as young as six-years-old can consume mushrooms as part of their rituals. In fact, the current influx of tourists has done much to disrupt local culture in the area, and has worked to drive a large magic mushroom scam market as well.

Mexico’s magic mushroom tourism industry has brought so many people to Oaxaca, and places like San Jose del Pacifico, and Huautla de Jimenez, where Maria Sabina used to operate from, that tourists getting off the buses in some of these areas can expect to be met by children, waiting to take them to where they can find mushrooms.

What are magic mushrooms? And what are psychedelics?

Magic mushrooms are a grouping of fungi that can grow wild, or be cultivated. Mushrooms with this designation contain psilocybin as a primary psychoactive compound, though many mushrooms contain other psychoactive compounds as well, like Psilocin. Examples of mushrooms in this category include: Psilocybe (the most well-known), Panaeolus, and Conocybe. Mushrooms are often purchased dried out, but can be consumed raw as well. Mushroom trips generally last around six hours.

Both psilocybin and psilocin are hallucinogenic compounds that are both serotonergic, or acting on serotonin receptors in the brain. Magic mushrooms are known for promoting feelings of euphoria, altered mood and perception, distortion in time and reality, heightened feelings of connection between people, intensified feelings of spirituality, and an increased level of introspection.

Psychedelics, the class of drugs that psilocybin and psilocin are known as, is a subset of hallucinogenic drugs, which itself is a subset of psychoactive drugs. Psychedelics are known generally for causing the kinds of effects experienced through magic mushrooms, with altered perception, cognition, and mood, euphoria, spirituality, connectedness, and the rest. Very infrequently are psychedelics associated with unwanted effects and bad trips if dosing is done correctly, but negative effects like increased heart rate, anxiety, sweating, and nausea, are possible.

Mexico's magic mushroom tourism

Recently there has been a renewed interest in psychedelic testing. This is a general continuation of what was started in the mid 1900’s with LSD and psychedelic-assisted therapy, in which the patient is given a psychedelic drug, and then guided through the experience by a professional, who can help the patient use the drug to mentally work out their issues.

Legality of magic mushrooms

Mushrooms are interesting because they fall into a legal loophole in many places of the world. The magic mushroom loophole goes like this: the active psychedelic compounds found in mushrooms, like psilocybin and psilocin, are schedule I drugs according to the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, a UN international drug scheduling treaty meant to police the use, production, and sale of different substances throughout the world. Many countries, like the US, also have drug scheduling laws of their own, and many put these compounds in schedule I of local legislation.

What creates the loophole with magic mushrooms, is that the mushrooms themselves are perfectly legal, and under no global treaty regulation. Under international law, its legal to have the mushrooms, but the compounds inside are illegal. Plus, many places (like Mexico) make designations about how the mushroom is grown, to determine legality.

It’s just like the industrial hemp loophole, which allows industrial hemp to be grown in places where cannabis consumption is illegal, thereby giving residents a way to consume hemp outside of the law. This same loophole also covers products like delta-8 THC, which can be sourced from the *legal THC in hemp plants, thereby creating a compound that is technically illegal according to what it is, but produced completely legally, and not actually mentioned by name in the law.

Putting these drugs in schedule I of drug legislation implies that the compounds are dangerous, addictive, and with no medical benefit. A line like this starts to sound sillier and sillier as it keeps being applied to substances that are so clearly not in that category. And it brings up the question of how we’re supposed to be protected by such laws, and the people who put them in place.

In 2001, this loophole was made all the more clear on a global level, when the (INCB) International Narcotics Control Board (the independent organization that monitors how UN international drug treaties are implemented) secretary of the board, Herbert Schaepe, made the following statement in answer to a question by the Dutch Ministry of Health:

“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.”

Is Mexico’s magic mushroom tourism industry illegal?

Magic Mushrooms Mexico

When it comes to Mexico, the 1984 Ley General de Salud outlaws both psilocybin and psilocin, and even goes farther than the US, specifically mentioning psilocybin-containing fungi as a whole, to be illegal. The law even calls out a few specific species like: Psilocybe Mexicana, and Psilocybe cubensis. Native cultures using mushrooms are not held to enforcement of this law, and wild-growing mushrooms are actually legal!

What is very strange, is that when Mexico signed an amendment to the General Law on Health and the Federal Penal Code in 2009, that both LSD and MDMA were included in the list of drugs that were decriminalized, but magic mushrooms and their compounds, were not. This could, perhaps, be related to the ability for self-cultivation with mushrooms. The idea of decriminalized mushrooms might be a little scarier to big business. After all, once it becomes like cannabis, where personal-cultivation is a regular thing, it will be harder for biotech and pharmaceutical companies to control the industry.

And how likely is a pharmaceutical industry for magic mushrooms? Considering they are already used in tons of places, and that the US’s FDA named magic mushrooms as a ‘breakthrough therapy’ for major depression in 2009, it looks like there certainly will be.

According to the FDA, this “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.” This is literally meant to quicken the development of products. If the FDA is pushing this hard for magic mushroom products, it’s a good bet there’s an industry waiting to erupt, and a full legalization might not happen until that time.

Experience Mexico’s magic mushroom tourism industry

If you’re looking to take advantage of Mexico’s magic mushroom tourism, you’ll probably want to head to San Jose Del Pacifico, which is a three hour drive from Oaxaca city, and about 3.5 hours from the Pacific coast. If you simply make it there, you probably won’t have to look too hard, since, as mentioned, the area caters to this tourism. In fact, it’s quite possible that the attendant at your hostel or hotel might ask you if you’re interested. One mushroom trip should cost about $200-250 pesos, but this could vary between locations.

Of course, if you’d rather find them yourself, you can do that too. Just be wary since picking the wrong mushroom could mean a pretty nasty death. If you want to pick them yourself, head to that region between July and October, which is the rainy season. Heading between June and August will likely net the best results.

For those who like things more planned out, there are plenty of magic mushroom retreats like this Buena Vida psilocybin retreat, where participants can take part in a controlled ritual ceremony. Retreats can be found all over the country, as Oaxaca, often considered the capital for magic mushrooms, is not the only location for tourism. Retreats exist in the Mayan Jungle, through Bluaya. Or Life Synergy Retreat which offers retreats in Playa del Carmen, and Tulipanes.

magic mushroom retreat

Conclusion

The general illegality of the compounds within magic mushrooms, and the mushrooms themselves, make the legality of magic mushroom tourism questionable in Mexico. However, it seems to be acceptable for ceremonial use, and when found in the wild. The latter is very important here, because it means if the mushrooms are not being officially cultivated – by you or a company – they’re actually perfectly legal.

In that sense, anyone can legally walk into the woods at any time, and legally pick and use magic mushrooms. Any retreat that incorporates these aspects of the law, can operate perfectly legally. As the general world of psychedelic tourism grows, Mexico is sure to see even more people come through, to trip on its mushrooms.

Hi and welcome to CBDtesters.co, the top spot for all the latest cannabis-related news from around the globe. Check in with us daily so you’re always on top of the ever-changing world of legal marijuana, and sign up to our newsletter so you never miss a thing.

Resources

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The New Rise of Medical Psychedelics
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

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Delta-8 THC and Athletics – Why the Two Go Together
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers). Nature’s Magic – The Health Benefits of Psilocybin Mushrooms
Florida Bill Aims to Legalize Medical Magic Mushrooms

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Delta 8 THC Deals. Desert Tripping – A Closer Look at Peyote: Spiritual, Medicinal, & Controversial
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Ayahuasca In the Fight Against Drug Addiction MDMA – The New Way to Treat PTSD
Welcome to the World’s 1st DMT Trials into Depression

Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a medical professional, I have no formal legal education, and I’ve never been to business school. All information in my articles is sourced from other places, which are always referenced, and all opinions stated are mine, and are made clear to be mine. I am not giving anyone advise of any kind, in any capacity. I am more than happy to discuss topics, but should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a professional in the relevant field for more information.

The post Mexico’s Magic Mushroom Tourism Industry appeared first on CBD Testers.

Are magic mushrooms synergistic with cannabis and your ECS?

Sometimes depression can hurt, literally. Interestingly, this has a lot to do with our Endocannabinoid Systems (ECS)—a network that consists of a few receptors and two neurotransmitters. Pain and emotions are tied together through these messengers. And, it is through the ECS that magic mushrooms and cannabis can often, although counterintuitively, have therapeutic effects. (1) […]

The post Are magic mushrooms synergistic with cannabis and your ECS? appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Florida Bill Aims to Legalize Medical Magic Mushrooms

For the last several decades, it was almost unthinkable to consider what Florida lawmakers are now considering. In light of the recent flurry to change legal restrictions on cannabis, the psychedelic field is starting to get its own flurry of attention. With new research coming out to back the medical properties, a Florida lawmaker produced a bill that aims to legalize magic mushrooms for medicinal purposes.

In the world of psychoactive and psychedelic drugs, THC is one of the most popular compounds, but it’s not for everyone. If you get too high on traditional THC, or the anxiety is too intense, you might be better off with delta-8 THC. Check out our Delta-8 THC deals and give the other THC a shot.

What are magic mushrooms?

Magic mushrooms are a group of fungi that grow wild or are cultivated, that contain the compound psilocybin. Some of the mushroom genera that fit into this category include: Panaeolus, Conocybe, and Psilocybe – the most well-known.

Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic and psychoactive compound. Much like LSD it is a serotonergic psychedelic, which means it activates serotonin receptors in the brain. Albert Hoffmann, the same guy who brought us LSD in 1938, was also the first guy to isolate psilocybin in 1958. As hallucinogens, magic mushrooms can cause users to see, hear, and physically feel things that are not actually there. Psilocybin is also associated with feeling euphoric, altering mood, altering perception, an intensified sense of connection to other people, distortion in time and reality, a high level of introspection, and spiritual experiences.

Mushrooms can be dried out before being consumed, or eaten raw, and effects can last about six hours. Psilocybin is a Schedule I compound according to the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, a drug scheduling treaty, much like the Single Convention on Narcotic Substances treaty which was signed in 1961. Schedule I on both treaties denote a dangerous drug with no medical value.

Florida legalize magic mushrooms

Is it legal?

Psilocybin in technically banned due to being in Schedule I of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances treaty. The treaty is an international UN treaty from 1971 that sets legal guidelines for drugs throughout the world. It was originally illegalized in the US in 1968 with the Staggers-Dodd bill, before becoming illegal all over the world through the scheduling treaty, which ignored all medical benefit of the compound.

However, this is not the whole story. While psilocybin and psilocin (another psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms) are Schedule I drugs, the mushrooms themselves are not regulated under any treaty, and are part of longstanding medical, religious, and spiritual traditions all over the world. In a letter dated September 13, 2001, Herbert Schaepe – the secretary of the board for the (INCB) International Narcotics Control Board, which is the independent body that monitors the implementation for the UN’s International drug treaties – specified the following to the Dutch Ministry of Health:

“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.”  

Where are they legal in the US?

In fact, different countries have different legalization policies for mushrooms, making a disconnect between the UN treaty, and individual laws of countries. In the US, mushrooms are illegal under federal law, however there are already states with decriminalization policies in place, including: Ann arbor, Michigan; Denver, Colorado; Oakland and Santa Cruz in California; and Washington DC. Psilocybin was legalized in Oregon during the 2020 presidential election, for the treatment of mental health disorders, under supervision. Oregon even decriminalized its recreational use, along with several other drugs, under Measure 110. All of this went into effect on February 1st 2021.

On November 3rd, 2020, Oregon passed Measure 109, making it the first US state to legalize psilocybin use medically. The state has two years to complete an operational regulation structure. The law, which passed with 56% of the vote by Oregon voters, will allow adults 21+ to have access to psilocybin products for ‘personal development’ so long as they pass a screening. This would take place only in licensed facilities. It should be remembered that Oregon already allows legal adult-use marijuana through Measure 91 which was approved back in 2014.

New Florida bill to legalize magic mushrooms

Oregon isn’t the only state to update its view on magic mushrooms and psilocybin. Last month, Florida House Representative Michael Grieco introduced a bill that would legalize magic mushrooms (psilocybin) medicinally for people with mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Called the Florida Psilocybin Mental Health Care Act, it calls for the creation of state-funded clinics where micro-dosing of psilocybin by licensed professionals, can be done. The magic mushroom experience would take place with the health care professional, and the patient would be offered a counseling session afterwards as well. Said Grieco:

“When people think of ‘magic mushrooms,’ they think of listening to Pink Floyd and tie-dye T-shirts, but we should take this seriously… We have veterans and Floridians who have deep depression and post-traumatic stress disorder who are resistant to other medications.”

psychedelic medicine

His 59-page proposal is partially based on Oregon’s aforementioned bill that legalized psilocybin for medicinal use. It should be noted, that while psilocybin and magic mushrooms are illegal federally in the US, the US (FDA) Food & Drug Administration twice in 2019 made the designation of psilocybin as a ‘breakthrough therapy’ for major depression.

This isn’t just cute wording either. Giving such a designation is meant to quicken development for medications. As per 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.”

What about Connecticut, California, New Jersey and Hawaii?

Not every state to introduce a new measure, is introducing one as extreme as the Florida bill that would legalize magic mushrooms medicinally. However, on February 18th, 2021, California democratic Senator Scott Weiner introduced a bill that would decriminalize psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, LSD, ketamine, MDMA, mescaline, and DMT for both personal and therapeutic use in California.

The bill actually specifically excludes peyote, since its considered an endangered plant which is highly important to Native American traditions. This is not the same as what Florida is proposing, or that Oregon has with Measure 109, but it would make the possession and use of these drugs not a criminal offense. The bill would also expunge the criminal records of those who had psychedelic possession convictions.

Said Weiner, “The war on drugs has been a complete failure… It hasn’t stopped people from using drugs and it hasn’t stopped addiction.” This idea was expanded on by policy and advocacy counsel Ismail Lourido Ali of (MAPS) Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, who said:

medical psychedelics

“Psychedelic use can come with some risks, but criminalization only increases those risks by creating an unregulated market in which difficult-to-verify dosages and the presence of adulterants like fentanyl threaten public health.”

Then there’s Connecticut where Representative Josh Elliot, along with four other legislators, put forth a bill that would create a task force for researching the medical benefits of psilocybin. This is significantly more limited than California’s bill, but shows a definite interest in knowing more about psilocybin and how it can help.

Both California and Connecticut are following in line with Hawaii which introduced bill SB 738 at the end of January 2021, which would legalize magic mushrooms for therapeutic use. The bill would also officially remove both psilocybin and psilocyn from Hawaii’s Schedule I drug list. The bill is not otherwise terribly specific, literally saying only that the Department of Heath will adopt rules to go along with the law.

And don’t forget New Jersey! On February 4th, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy – who has done quite a bit to pass cannabis legalization measures in New Jersey, signed a bill that works to semi-decriminalize magic mushroom use. The law took effect immediately, and downgraded up to one ounce of psilocybin from a third-degree crime, to a ‘disorderly person’s offense’. It’s not a true decriminalization in that users can still end up with six-month jail sentences and $1,000 in fines. However, this is much better than the previous three-five years in prison.

Conclusion

It’s hard to say if the new Florida bill to legalize medical magic mushrooms will go through, but if it doesn’t this time, it’ll have that much more push the second time around. Plus, with state after state adopting new decriminalization and medical legalization policies for psilocybin, and psychedelics in general, it seems that just like with cannabis, we might see a very quick shift to psychedelic acceptance.

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Plant Power: Everyday Plants That Activate the Endocannabinoid System
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers). How to choose Delta-8 THC flowersDelta-8 THC Flowers: Everything You Need To Know.
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
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The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Delta 8 THC Deals. Best Delta-8 THC Vape Bundles – Winter 2021 Denver Residents Vote to Decriminalize “Magic Mushrooms”
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New Jersey Wants Home Cultivation for Cannabis   Compared to Prescription Medication, Medical Cannabis Not Always Affordable Alternative
Nature’s Magic – The Health Benefits of Psilocybin Mushrooms

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The New Rise of Medical Psychedelics

As the battle for cannabis legalization continues globally, the re-acquaintance to its medical use has reopened the door for other drugs that have also been labeled as narcotics, or scheduled so that people have no access to their medical benefits. One of the major classes of drugs that has shown great promise therapeutically, is psychedelics. With a greater level of liberal acceptance, there has been a recent rise in the medical use of psychedelics.

What’s one of the most widely used psychedelic compounds on earth? THC! And not just the standard delta-9 THC that most people are familiar with. With the addition of delta-8 THC, users can choose how they want their experience to be. Want less psychoactive effect and less anxiety, then check out our Delta-8 THC deals and give the other THC a try.

What are psychedelics?

A psychedelic is a drug containing psychoactive compounds capable of altering a person’s mood, perception and cognition. This can include naturally occurring and man-made substances. Examples of psychedelics include: mescaline, which can be found in San Pedro cactus and peyote; DMT, one of the main ingredients in ayahuasca; LSD; and psilocybin, which is what makes magic mushrooms so magical.

Psychedelics are known to produce life-altering experiences, wherein the user can find insights into life and consciousness. It are these attributes that have been the main instigator for the recent rise in research of medical psychedelics.

Psychedelics, much like cannabis (which is technically a psychedelic), occur naturally in different plants around the globe, and have been used for millennia in different ceremonial, religious, and medical practices throughout history. Unlike cannabis, they were not all outlawed together in one sweeping move, but rather, became illegalized over time. In the US, the criminalization of psychedelics started in 1968 with the Staggers-Dodd bill which specifically illegalized LSD and psilocybin.

The word itself, ‘psychedelics’, was first used in 1957 to recognize substances that were said to open the mind, however, the more scientific term for them is ‘entheogens’. This term was adopted less to be scientific, however, and more to allow the field to operate without the stigma attached to psychedelics from the smear campaigns of the 1960’s. The term entheogen comes from Greek where it means ‘building the god within’.

LSD

History of illegalization

When it comes to the illegalization of cannabis, it is becoming understood more widely that there was more to it than a fear for public safety. The entire movement to illegalize was spearheaded in the government by Harry Anslinger, with media giant William Randolph Heart pushing the anti-hemp movement from outside, in an effort to kill the enemy of his paper industry.

Some might see it as a similar manner of business, when psychedelics were demonized in the 60’s and70’s, as when cannabis was in the 1930’s onward. In the case of psychedelics, much of the news, controversy, and general story around them, took place during the Vietnam war, and served as a good distraction from the horrible ridiculousness of that mess and the unnecessary violence and deaths that came from it. Think about what actually came out of that war. The nothingness that was accomplished in the face of the massive death toll that was taken. How easy is it to get your population to go along with such antics? And would focusing on the truth of it have made it a harder sell?

In 1970, the US congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act which enforced stricter measures for pharmaceutical companies, requiring stringent reporting, and better security of drug stocks. These aren’t bad things, of course, but they led to the current model of drug scheduling, which has, essentially and with much bias, ruled many drugs out.

The Single Convention on Narcotic Substances is a treaty that was formed out of international discussions concerning drug controls in 1970. This was followed up with the Convention on Psychotropic Substances in 1971, a similar treaty which also orders drugs into classes based on their potential level of harm and usefulness. In both treaties, schedule I is associated with the most dangerous drugs with no medical benefit, but a high addiction possibility, and schedule IV denotes safer drugs with medical purpose. Psychedelics took the schedule I spot in 1970, ruling out their use as medicines.

Putting psychedelics in this scheduling category seems to have been the result of industry issues, much like with cannabis. During the discussions for the treaties, bigger and more developed countries with bigger and more developed pharmaceutical industries, pushed for the illegalization of these natural compounds, whereas countries with less development, and which didn’t have competing industries, were not for their illegalization. As with cannabis, the bigger, stronger countries won out, and forced these decisions on everyone else.

In fact, in 1994, John Ehrlichman, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs under Nixon, made this statement about the war on drugs that was fought under Nixon, highlighting an alternate reason for pushing anti-drug measures at that time:

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

And then it got worse. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan’s administration put out the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, which allowed for emergency banning of drugs by the government. This was put into effect the following year when the subject of MDMA came up, and was used to immediately illegalize it. And this despite a judge’s decision to schedule it as Schedule III, and allow it for medical use. This action entirely stymied any research progress into the drugs, and slowed the rise of medical psychedelics to a halt.

magic mushrooms

Psychedelics in history

As with anything else, putting together the history of psychedelic use in antiquity, is dependent on ancient texts, findings, and rituals. While there is a current rise in the use of medical psychedelics, this does not imply that they were used for the same exact purpose back then, as they are today.

One of the interesting finds related to psychedelics, is the discovery of a pouch in southwestern Bolivia, dated to a thousand years ago. The pouch contains traces of several psychedelic compounds including harmine and DMT (dimethyltryptamine) which denote the use of ayahuasca, bufotenine (from toad skin), and psilocin – another psychedelic constituent of magic mushrooms. The pouch also contained traces of cocaine and its metabolite benzoylecgonine, which would have likely come from coca leaves.

The discovery came from the Sora River Valley. The pouch – made of three fox snouts – was part of the contents of a leather bag, which mass spectrometry carbon dating has put between the years of 900-1100 CE. It is thought that because of the dating period, that the pouch likely belonged to a member of the Tiwanaku, which pre-dated the Incas. The use of ayahuasca denotes the earliest evidence of it that has been physically found.

The reason this part is interesting is because the two compounds that were found that ayahuasca is made from, come from two separate plants that work in combination to produce the effects. This means that the ancient population this comes from, was putting two plants together to gain a psychoactive effect that wouldn’t be felt if they were used on their own. Another interesting aspect of the find is that the plants used to make ayahuasca were not from that area, so whoever procured them, had to go out and find them somewhere else.

Other findings

According to this study, Mayan culture is associated with the drinking of balché, a drink consisting of Lonchocarpus bark extracts that create a mildly intoxicating effect, which is strengthened through the use of honey. This was used in group ceremonies to reach intoxication. Peyote for mescaline, hallucinogenic mushrooms for psylocibin, and ololiuhqui seeds for lysergic acid amide (a precursor to LSD), were used by the Mayans, Aztecs, Olmecs, and Zapotecs.

During the period when the Olmecs were around, it was also customary to use bufotoxins which come from the skin of the Bufo spp. toad. At the same time, wild tobacco, Jimson weed, Salvia divinorum, and water lily were used for psychoactive effects. And while the exact use is arguable, mushroom stones dating back to 3,000 BC have been found in the Mesoamerican region in religious/ritual contexts which could indicate the use of mushrooms that far back. Archeological evidence of the use of peyote goes back as far as 5,000 years.

Mesoamerica isn’t the only location where psychedelic remains have been found. Researchers into psychedelic use in the near-East have turned up botanical remains in the form of residues, pollen, fibers and fiber impressions, and carbonized seeds. Where were they found? Traces of Blue Water Lily extract, a potent narcotic plant, were found in none other than Tutonkamen’s tomb from the 14th century BC. And in the late bronze age temple Kamid el-Loz in Lebanon, a storage jar containing 10 liters of Viper’s Bugloss was found, which is a very strong hallucinogen.

Things to consider…

One thing to take into account, is that there is a great amount of controversy over whether something like the use of ayahuasca can actually be traced back through history, with a lot of evidence pointing to confusing stories that come more from Western tourism, than actual history. Researchers into the topic have continually found a mesh of newer ideologies masquerading as old-school folklore as a means to sell a product. In fact, the whole idea of how ayahuasca is used today to treat mental illness, is not how it seems to have been used in history, when shamans took it to contact the supernatural, and battle evil beings.

psychedelic toad

Does this mean that psychedelics weren’t used in history? Of course not, but it does shed light on the idea that what we consider real history, might have been altered because of tourism. It should also be remembered that there are a lot of kinds of psychedelics that would have factored into different cultures and time periods. For example, the aforementioned study into hallucinogenic drug use in pre-Colombian Mesoamerica, which has findings based on archeological, ethno-historical, and ethnographic evidence, found plenty of indication of hallucinogenic drug use in that area, for that time period.

Rise of medical psychedelics

There is quite a bit of medical research into psychedelics, as well as historical evidence to its uses, going back thousands of years. According to the more recent medical research, psychedelics have shown a possible ability to aid in depression, PTSD, and with addictions. It should be remembered that cannabis itself is considered a psychedelic drug, with research into a multitude of categories including: insomnia, depression, neurodegenerative diseases, spastic disorders, inflammatory diseases and so on.

Psychedelics have not just been touted as a treatment for different mental illness. They have shown strength in dealing with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and have even shown possibility in treating autoimmune disorders. If these benefits prove consistent over time, it will likely help boost the current rise in medical psychedelics.

However, despite all the relevant research into the useful benefits of these compounds, the DEA has continuously rejected information, and stood in the way of scientific progress. Kind of makes a person wonder what the agency is even there for. The report highlighted found that the DEA has continuously slowed down scheduling decisions, while increasing speed on banning drugs, in order to restrict all access.

It took an entire 30 years in all to respond to requests to reschedule marijuana, with gaps of 16 years, five, and nine in between requests and responses. The DEA even overruled its own judge to illegalize MDMA by putting it in schedule I. This, of course, has never gotten in the way of military testing of these compounds, which seems to be perfectly okay with the same agency.

Conclusion

With cannabis opening the door into the medical (and recreational) use of drugs like marijuana, the rise in medical psychedelics is sure to keep going. Just like with cannabis, it will likely be found over time, that the notions we have related to these drugs are way more attached to long-lasting smear campaigns, than the actual dangers they pose. And that just like cannabis, they can offer incredible medical benefits that have been suppressed for quite some time now.

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