Magic Mushrooms, a BILLION Dollar Industry?!!

Magic Mushrooms, a BILLION Dollar Industry?!!

Magic Mushroom Boom?

 The Cannabis Boom is here in a BIG way, but are Magic Mushrooms going to be the next Billion dollar business? Denver and Oakland have already decriminalized psilocybin containing mushrooms, commonly referred to as Magic Mushrooms or Shrooms. Oregon is trying to get a state wide measure on the ballot for 2020.  With decriminalization efforts picking up steam, are Shrooms about to breakthrough as the next big thing?

 

What are Magic Mushrooms?

Magic Mushrooms are a group of fungi that contain psychoactive alkaloids such as, psilocybin and psilocin.  Psilocybin breaks down into psilocin inside our bodies, and causes the psychotropic effects associated with “tripping”.
 
The “come up” is usually felt within the first 30 minutes, and can be identified by cold chills, muscle tremors, nausea, and yawning.  Following that, the trip continues to a peak experience that can be mild to ego melting, depending on a number of factors. Auditory, sensory, and visual hallucinations are at their highest at this point.  Many psychonauts report melding together with nature/the universe at this stage, and losing their idea of self. This is called ego death, and is only experienced with heroic doses.  The third stage, the plateau, can last for 2-6 hours, in which the effects can still be quite strong, though not as strong as the Peak.  Finally, after about 6-8 hours, you touch back down to baseline consciousness.  The “afterglow” from a Magic Mushroom session can last from a few hours to a few days, but the transformative effects can last a lifetime.
 

 

Psilocybin as Medicine

Clinical studies, like the John Hopkins study, have shown the powerful mental health benefits of psychedelic mushrooms.  More studies are under way around the world, hoping to put these little fungi to work healing people.  Depression, PTSD, and end of life anxiety have been the specific focus of many studies.  

There are over 300 million people, world wide, suffering from depression.  One in six Americans are prescribed some form of psychiatric drug, and many of these are anti-depressants.  Many of these medications carry side effects ranging from dry mouth to suicidal thoughts!  Psilocybin mushrooms offer a different pathway to treating depression than the traditional pharmaceutical method, SSRI’s, with much fewer, and less severe side effects.

Over 8 million people experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, every year.  It is estimated that 8% of the population will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.  Symptoms include severe anxiety, nightmares, and flashbacks so real, it is hard to distinguish from present reality.  PTSD may express itself immediately following the traumatic event, but sometimes it may be years after the trauma. Studies have shown improvement in PTSD sufferers’ conditions even after only one session.

The John Hopkins study is now famous, having been discussed in mainstream stories, and on the popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.  Essentially, they took a group of terminal patients and, under standardized conditions, gave them either psilocybin/psilocin or a placebo.  The magic mushroom group showed a significant decrease in anxiety.  Basically, they cured these people’s fear of death!

Billion Dollar Industry

If the Cannabis industry is in it’s infancy, then the Psychedelic Mushroom industry is in still in the womb.  These are early days for making shrooms into a mainstream treatment option.  The beginnings are always filled with exciting discoveries, and, for big money investors, potential for huge profits.  It was those factors that helped cannabis get into the limelight, and they’re about to launch Magic Mushrooms as well.
 

Right now there are only a few companies that make up the psilocybin mushroom field.  Among those, Compass Pathways seems to be the clear leader.  They gained “breakthrough therapy” status from the FDA last October, and are doing clinical trials in Europe and North American.  Compass has the tools to succeed in bringing the psychedelic medicine to a doctor near you.  Peter Thiel, the legendary Silicon Valley investor, has invested heavily into Compass Pathways.  Pair Thiel with a team of top scientists, and Compass is likely to be the first producer of psilocybin based medicines.

Another company trying to cash in on psychedelic mushrooms, is Wuhan General Group China Inc.  They are focused on CBD growing and processing, but have already said, they will also join the magic mushroom field.  They aim to have a psilocybin/psilocin derived medicine within the next few years.

What does it mean for Shrooms?
With the attention of doctors, scientists, and investors, Magic Mushrooms are definitely about to have their moment.  The trend seems to be isolating psilocybin or psilocin, and mass producing medications based of them and their interactions with the body.  More research is needed to determine other helpful compounds, potential treatments, and whether the whole mushroom or isolated psilocybin is the best.  The next 6 months to a year are going to be very exciting for psychedelic mushroom lovers.
 
 
Photo Courtesy of https://www.hkherbarium.net/magic-mushrooms/
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