Category Archives: Psychedelics

How Cannabis Affects Our Cognition and Psychology

Summary: Researchers investigate how cannabis can influence a number of cognitive and psychological processes.

Source: The Conversation

Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years and is one of the most popular drugs today. With effects such as feelings of joy and relaxation, it is also legal to prescribe or take in several countries.

But how does using the drug affect the mind? In three recent studies, published in The Journal of PsychopharmacologyNeuropsychopharmacology, and the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, we show that it can influence a number of cognitive and psychological processes.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported that, in 2018, approximately 192 million people worldwide aged between 15 and 64 used cannabis recreationally. Young adults are particularly keen, with 35% of people between the ages of 18 and 25 using it, while only 10% of people over the age of 26 do.

This indicates that the main users are adolescents and young adults, whose brains are still in development. They may therefore be particularly vulnerable to the effects of cannabis use on the brain in the longer term.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. It acts on the brain’s “endocannabinoid system”, which are receptors which respond to the chemical components of cannabis. The cannabis receptors are densely populated in prefrontal and limbic areas in the brain, which are involved in reward and motivation. They regulate signalling of the brain chemicals dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate.

We know that dopamine is involved in motivation, reward and learning. GABA and glutamate play a part in cognitive processes, including learning and memory.

Cognitive effects

Cannabis use can affect cognition, especially in those with cannabis-use disorder. This is characterised by the persistent desire to use the drug and disruption to daily activities, such as work or education. It has been estimated that approximately 10% of cannabis users meet the diagnostic criteria for this disorder.

In our research, we tested the cognition of 39 people with the disorder (asked to be clean on the day of testing), and compared it with that of 20 people who never or rarely used cannabis.

We showed that participants with the condition had significantly worse performance on memory tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) compared to the controls, who had either never or very rarely used cannabis. It also negatively affected their “executive functions”, which are mental processes including flexible thinking.

This effect seemed to be linked to the age at which people started taking the drug – the younger they were, the more impaired their executive functioning was.

Cognitive impairments have been noted in mild cannabis users as well. Such users tend to make riskier decisions than others and have more problems with planning.

Although most studies have been conducted in males, there has been evidence of sex differences in the effects of cannabis use on cognition. We showed that, while male cannabis users had poorer memory for visually recognising things, female users had more problems with attention and executive functions.

These sex effects persisted when controlling for age; IQ; alcohol and nicotine use; mood and anxiety symptoms; emotional stability; and impulsive behaviour.

Reward, motivation and mental health

Cannabis use can also affect how we feel – thereby further influencing our thinking. For example, some previous research has suggested that reward and motivation – along with the brain circuits involved in these processes – can be disrupted when we use cannabis. This may affect our performance at school or work as it can make us feel less motivated to work hard, and less rewarded when we do well.

In our recent study, we used a brain imaging task, in which participants were placed in a scanner and viewed orange or blue squares. The orange squares would lead to a monetary reward, after a delay, if the participant made a response. This set up helped us investigate how the brain responds to rewards.

We focused particularly on the ventral striatum, which is a key region in the brain’s reward system. We found that the effects on the reward system in the brain were subtle, with no direct effects of cannabis in the ventral striatum.

However, the participants in our study were moderate cannabis users. The effects may be more pronounced in cannabis users with more severe and chronic use, as seen in cannabis use disorder.

There is also evidence that cannabis can lead to mental health problems. We have shown that it is related to higher “anhedonia” – an inability to feel pleasure – in adolescents. Interestingly, this effect was particularly pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

Cannabis use during adolescence has also been reported as a risk factor for developing psychotic experiences as well as schizophrenia.

One study showed that cannabis use moderately increases the risk of psychotic symptoms in young people, but that it has a much stronger effect in those with a predisposition for psychosis (scoring highly on a symptom checklist of paranoid ideas and psychoticism).

This shows a drawing of a woman with cannabis leaves in her hair
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. Image is in the public domain

Assessing 2,437 adolescents and young adults (14-24 years), the authors reported a six percentage points increased risk – from 15% to 21% – of psychotic symptoms in cannabis users without a predisposition for psychosis. But there was a 26-point increase in risk – from 25% to 51% – of psychotic symptoms in cannabis users with a predisposition for psychosis.

We don’t really know why cannabis is linked to psychotic episodes, but hypotheses suggests dopamine and glutamate may be important in the neurobiology of these conditions.

Another study of 780 teenagers suggested that the association between cannabis use and psychotic experiences was also linked to a brain region called the “uncus”. This lies within the parahippocampus (involved in memory) and olfactory bulb (involved in processing smells), and has a large amount of cannabinoid receptors. It has also previously been associated with schizophrenia and psychotic experiences.

Cognitive and psychological effects of cannabis use are ultimately likely to depend to some extent on dosage (frequency, duration and strength), sex, genetic vulnerabilities and age of onset. But we need to determine whether these effects are temporary or permanent. One article summarising many studies has suggested that with mild cannabis use, the effects may weaken after periods of abstinence.

But even if that’s the case, it is clearly worth considering the effects that prolonged cannabis use can have on our minds – particularly for young people whose brains are still developing.

Funding:

Barbara Jacquelyn Sahakian receives funding from the Leverhulme Trust and the Lundbeck Foundation. Her research work is conducted within the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Mental Health and Neurodegeneration Themes and the NIHR MedTech and in vitro diagnostic Co-operative (MIC). She consults for Cambridge Cognition.

Christelle Langley is funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Martine Skumlien receives funding from the Aker Foundation.

Tianye Jia receives funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Drug War Crumbles as 14 Cities Have Now Decriminalized Mushrooms, Other Psychedelics—Despite Prohibition

By Matt Agorist

Despite the overwhelming evidence showing that kidnapping and caging people for possessing illegal substances does nothing to prevent use and only leads to more crime and suffering, government is still hell bent on enforcing the war on drugs. Like a crack addict who needs to find his next fix, the state is unable to resist the temptation to kick in doors, shake down brown people, and ruin lives to enforce the drug war.

Instead of realizing the horrific nature of the enforcement of prohibition, many cities across the country double down on the drug war instead of admitting failure. As we can see from watching it unfold, this only leads to more suffering and more crime. Luckily, there are cities, and now entire states in other parts of the country that are taking steps to stop this violent war and the implications for such measures are only beneficial to all human kind.

Eight years ago, Colorado citizens—tired of the war on drugs and wise to the near-limitless benefits of cannabis—made US history by voting to legalize recreational marijuana. Then, in 2019, this state once again placed themselves on the right side of history as they voted to decriminalize magic mushrooms. But this was just the beginning and their momentum is spreading—faster and stronger, toward decriminalizing all plant-based psychedelics. Then, last year, the state of Oregon decriminalized all drugs.

Now, another spark has erupted, and this time it is in Michigan. In March, Hazel Park City Council voted to decriminalize psilocybin and other naturally occurring psychedelics — following the lead of municipalities across the country.

Hazel Park is the third city in Michigan to pass a resolution to decriminalize psilocybin and the fourteenth in the nation.

To be clear, these measures do not mean that mushrooms and other plants are now legal, it simply means that cops can’t make it a priority to go after folks for them and it won’t land people in jail for possession. While legalization would be the perfect result, this is most certainly a step in the right direction.

As the resolution states, “it shall be the policy of the City of Hazel Park that the investigation and arrest of persons for planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, or possessing Entheogenic Plants or plant compounds which are on the Federal Schedule 1 list shall be the lowest law enforcement priority.”

The resolution further stipulates that “city funds or resources shall not be used in any investigation, detention, arrest, or prosecution arising out of alleged violations of state and federal law regarding the use of Entheogenic Plants.”

“As the resolution states, entheogenic plants improve mental health and wellbeing, and connect people with nature and whatever deity they worship,” Councilmember Luke Londo, the resolution’s sponsor said in a press release. “This isn’t speculative. This is the truth, with a whole body of research to back it up.”

“It’s the plants that are going to bring us back to sanity. We’ve got to listen to their message and we’ve got to live reciprocally with nature and restore the natural order,” Susana Eager Valadez, director of the Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and Traditional Arts said after Oakland passed a similar measure in 2019.

Now, cops can try to focus on real crimes instead of kidnapping and caging people who are trying to heal themselves with a plant.

As TFTP has reported in the past, psilocybin-containing mushrooms are an enemy to the establishment who has every reason in the world to want to keep them as illegal as possible. The same goes for ayahuasca and other powerful mind-opening substances.

The United States Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favor of the legal religious use of ayahuasca by the União do Vegetal, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the Santo Daime Church’s freedom to use Ayahuasca for religious purposes. However, ayahuasca’s principally active ingredient, DMT, remains a Schedule I controlled substance, carrying a steep prison sentence.

DMT appears in trace amounts in human blood and urine, suggesting it must be produced within the body, which means the DEA literally classifies our own bodies as have no medical purpose.

Because the US government is so tyrannically far behind the times, many people have been forced to travel outside of the country to meet with Shamans in the Amazon who are skilled and knowledgeable about the substance.

One industry in particular, Big Pharma, stands to lose billions if measures like this one began to spread to other areas as mushrooms and other hallucinogens have been clinically tested to treat a wide range of problems, including depression.

E-Course: How to Grow Edible Mushrooms (Ad)

One in ten men in the US currently takes an antidepressant while 16.5 percent of women use them as well. If people can treat their depression with something that you can grow in your own home or a plant medicine from a shaman verses taking pills with side effects like homicidal ideation, the pharmaceutical industry would lose big time.

Indeed, there are mounds of evidence and studies showing the positive benefits of magic mushrooms, ayahuasca, and ibogaine.

As TFTP reported, a study, published in the scientific journal Neuropharmacology, found that clinically depressed people had increased neural responses to fearful faces one day after a psilocybin-assisted therapy session, which positively predicted positive clinical outcomes.

“Psilocybin-assisted therapy might mitigate depression by increasing emotional connection,” neuroscientist and study author Leor Roseman, a Ph.D. student at Imperial College London, explained to PsyPost.

This is almost the exact opposite of how standard anti-depressants operate, as SSRI’s typically work by creating an “emotional blunting.”

“[T]his is unlike SSRI antidepressants which are criticized for creating in many people a general emotional blunting,” noted Roseman.

“I believe that psychedelics hold a potential to cure deep psychological wounds, and I believe that by investigating their neuropsychopharmacological mechanism, we can learn to understand this potential,” explained Roseman.

The government also stands to lose if more measures like this take hold in other cities too.

As TFTP previously reported, mushrooms and psychedelics used to be widely accepted as a treatment for many ailments until government moved in to stop the expansion of human consciousness.

As MAPS points out, although first-hand accounts indicate that ibogaine is unlikely to be popular as a recreational drug, ibogaine remains classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States (it is also scheduled in Belgium and Switzerland). Yet despite its classification as a drug with a “high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use,” people who struggle with substance abuse continue to seek out international clinics or underground providers to receive ibogaine treatment.

In the 1940s, Western medicine began realizing the potential for psychedelics to treat addiction and psychiatric disorders. Tens of thousands of people were treated effectively, and psychedelic drugs were on the fast track to becoming mainstream medicine. But the beast of oppression reared its ugly head.

In 1967 and 1970, the UK and US governments cast all psychedelic substances into the pit of prohibition. People were waking up to the fact that governments intended to keep the world in a state of war, and that governments were working to keep the populace sedated under a cloak of consumerism. The collective mind expansion of that era came to a screeching halt under the boot and truncheon.

As John Vibes pointed out, a study actually confirmed the fear of authoritarians and showed they have every reason to oppose legal mushrooms. According to the study from the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London, published in the journal Psychopharmacologypsychedelic mushrooms tend to make people more resistant to authority. They also found the psychedelic experience induced by these mushrooms also cause people to be more connected with nature.

“Our findings tentatively raise the possibility that given in this way, psilocybin may produce sustained changes in outlook and political perspective, here in the direction of increased nature relatedness and decreased authoritarianism,” researchers Taylor Lyons and Robin L. Carhart-Harris write in the study.

Now, as people share information globally, instantaneously, on a scale unstoppable by the state, we are resuming the advancement of medical research on psychedelic substances. Scientists are challenging the irrational classification of psychedelics as “class A” (UK) or “schedule 1” (US) substances, characterized as having no medical use and high potential for addiction. And, the recent push in Michigan is evidence of this.

While the stigma associated with mushrooms and other psychedelics has been perpetuated by those who wish to keep them illegal—to keep society in a constant state of obedient mediocrity—in reality, they are extremely safe.

In fact, a major study declared magic mushrooms to be the safest recreational drug on the planet.

Of an astonishing 120,000 participants from 50 nations, researchers for the Global Drug Survey found the percentage of those seeking emergency treatment for ingesting psilocybin-containing hallucinogenic mushrooms to comprise just 0.2 percent per 10,000 individuals.

Rates of hospitalization for alcohol and cocaine were an astounding five times higher.

“Magic mushrooms are one of the safest drugs in the world,” Global Drug Survey founder and consultant addiction psychiatrist, Adam Winstock, told the Guardian, noting the biggest risk users face is misidentification — ingesting the wrong mushroom — not from the psychedelic fungus, itself.

After decades, it appears that another brick in the wall of prohibition is beginning to crumble in the face of science and logic. There may be hope for humanity after all.

Source: The Free Thought Project

Another Michigan City Decriminalizes Psilocybin Despite Federal Prohibition

By Amanda Bowers

HAZEL PARK, Mich. (April 5, 2022) – Last month, Hazel Park City Council voted to decriminalize psilocybin and other naturally occurring psychedelics, despite federal prohibition on the same. Passage of the resolution takes a first step toward nullifying federal prohibition in practice and effect.

Councilmember Luke Londo sponsored the resolution. Under the new policy directive, enforcement of laws against a wide range of entheogenic substances such as psilocybin and ibogaine will become among the city’s lowest enforcement priorities.

The resolution declares that “it shall be the policy of the City of Hazel Park that the investigation and arrest of persons for planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, or possessing Entheogenic Plants or plant compounds which are on the Federal Schedule 1 list shall be the lowest law enforcement priority.”

The resolution further stipulates that “city funds or resources shall not be used in any investigation, detention, arrest, or prosecution arising out of alleged violations of state and federal law regarding the use of Entheogenic Plants.”

“As the resolution states, entheogenic plants improve mental health and wellbeing, and connect people with nature and whatever deity they worship,” Londo said in a press release. “This isn’t speculative. This is the truth, with a whole body of research to back it up.”

Hazel Park is the third city in Michigan to pass a resolution to decriminalize psilocybin and the fourteenth in the nation.

Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic compound found in certain mushrooms. A number of studies have shown psilocybin to be effective in the treatment of depression, PTSD, chronic pain and addiction. For instance, a Johns Hopkins study found that “psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer.”

Despite the move to decriminalize psilocybin and other and its promising medical uses, the federal government maintains a total ban on the substance.

LEGALITY

Under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed in 1970, the federal government maintains complete prohibition of psilocybin. Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate such substances within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.

The city council’s action will effectively end city enforcement of laws prohibiting the possession of psilocybin in Hazel Park. As we’ve seen with marijuana and hemp, when states and localities stop enforcing laws banning a substance, the federal government finds it virtually impossible to maintain prohibition. For instance, FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. By curtailing or ending state prohibition, states sweep part of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.

Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly annual budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution either. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state and local assistance, and the same will likely hold true with psilocybin.

Passage of this resolution in Hazel Park takes another first step toward nullifying psilocybin prohibition in practice and effect.

Source: Tenth Amendment Center

Amanda Bowers is a long-time Jill-of-all-trades with the TAC. She’s worked in outreach, local chapters, research, blogging and more.

Psychedelic Medicine Is on the Rise and the Mental Health Sphere May Never Look Back

In the recent past, it was impossible to even consider the use of psychedelics in modern medicine. Throughout the 20th century, psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin were a forbidden topic. The banning of these compounds in the United States began in the 1960s and restrictions scaled from there. Eventually, the majority of these hallucinogens were named Schedule I drugs and punishment for possession was not to be taken lightly. 

However, as science (and society) have progressed, there’s been a slow and steady adoption of plant and fungi medicine into the medical system, particularly the mental health sphere. As Michael Pollan said in his article, The Trip Treatment, “As the drug war subsides, scientists are eager to reconsider the therapeutic potential of these drugs, beginning with psilocybin.” 

Now, half a century after psychedelics were first declared illegal, they’re beginning to make a comeback with legalization on the state level in various cities around the country. In fact, the FDA and DEA are starting to approve psychedelic studies and allow researchers to examine the effects of the natural compounds on mental illness. This is a time many thought would never come. 

The mental health crisis is worse than we thought

The fact that we are seeing greater use of psychedelics in mental health is monumental, especially as the mental illness epidemic continues to sweep our globe. Right now, over 700 million people suffer from this unspoken epidemic – including anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance abuse and beyond. In fact, the global cost of depression is valued at a monumental $1T. 

The impact is devastating, from breaking families apart to suicide to poverty and more. Mental health statistics have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. With widespread social isolation, the loss of jobs and homes, and deaths of loved ones, cases have skyrocketed. There was a 20% increase in the use of antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs in the U.S. during the COVID-19 quarantine. Additionally, the rate of depressive disorders quadrupled in the 2nd quarter of 2019.  

The medical sphere is coming to terms with the fact that we need better solutions. Common treatments used for these chronic conditions are outdated and not effective in providing sufficient support or long-term relief. Believe it or not, the non-adherence rate to antidepressants is 75%, meaning that the medication either doesn’t work or has a negative impact on the patient. And, nearly one-third of patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are treatment-resistant while 50-66% of patients on antidepressants do not fully recover. 

It’s time for something better – a solution that provides people with the relief they need to thrive. And for the 700 million people suffering worldwide, that can’t come soon enough. This is where natural medicine steps in. 

More and more research shows that psychedelics like psilocybin mushrooms and LSD could be effective in helping people who suffer from chronic mental health conditions. In 2018, the FDA granted “breakthrough therapy” status to psilocybin mushrooms, referring to clinical trials for the fungi to aid patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression. Due to the increasing need for innovation in the mental health sphere and growing social acceptance of psychedelics, more time and money is being put into psychedelic research for mental illness as it proves a promising solution to a growing epidemic.

Non-synthetic medicines prove promising

In a medical environment that prioritizes synthetic drugs, patients might not have access to natural and effective solutions for years to come. Fortunately, Ei.Ventures (Emotional Intelligence Ventures) is determined to shift this dismal projection. Stemming from a passion for creating natural, non-synthetic remedies for the vast number of people suffering from chronic mental health conditions, Ei.Ventures is developing botanical psychedelic therapeutics and nutraceuticals.

In a study of 2000 individuals, it was discovered that 1 in 2 people avoid traditional medicine in favor of natural alternatives because synthetic medications simply aren’t doing the trick. Ei.Ventures takes the stance in the “farma vs. pharma” debate that whole-plant medicines can be more impactful than the synthetics commonly prescribed. They believe that their non-synthetic compounds can offer patients true, long-term relief with minimal side effects. In a medical community that has rejected natural remedies up until recent years, this cutting-edge startup has the opportunity to create big waves. 

Ei.Ventures offers a suite of mental wellness products and services designed for the prevention, reversal, and management of a variety of chronic mental health disorders. Their first project is named Psilly, a transdermal patch that administers a low-dose, psilocybin-based formulation. This proprietary formulation combines high-quality psilocybin extract with other natural and complementary plant extracts. The high-tech patches are designed to make treatment significantly more convenient than other methods. This is because the patch allows the medicine to pass through the blood-brain barrier and bypass the gastrointestinal tract, providing direct delivery of active ingredients to the body. The benefits include improved patient well-being, a quick onset with consistent drug levels, and minimal side effects. 

Ei.Ventures has also developed several functional mushroom nootropics composed of psychedelic compounds made from whole botanical extracts. These products have been formulated for a variety of indicators, including cognition and immune system, energy and vitality, mood, sleep, weight loss, mental and physical optimization, and joint and muscle pain. The company’s unique formulation process allows for these nootropics to have enhanced bioavailability and greater efficacy. 

The last branch of development includes telepsychiatry and wellness app partnerships. As a company that emphasizes a natural approach over pharmaceutical prescriptions as the first step to intervention, the company seeks to facilitate greater availability of telehealth to those in need of support.

The psychedelic pharmaceutical boom is just beginning

These areas of product development come together to represent a $34.5B industry. This groundbreaking startup is stepping into an environment rich with opportunity. Plus, there hasn’t been another time in history when people have needed effective mental health solutions more. 

Additionally, Ei.Ventures has the early mover’s advantage for several reasons: Mental health conditions have been rising since COVID-19, big pharma companies like Johnson & Johnson are starting to develop psychedelic mental health treatments, and psychoactive pharmaceuticals are in the infancy stage with a high barrier to entry.

The startup is presenting a promising opportunity to invest in psychedelic medicine. They already have a foot in the door with a leadership team that holds a strong clinical, FDA, and botanical drug development background and an experienced advisory board of thought leaders spanning multiple disciplines. They also hold a robust library of intellectual property consisting of both psychedelic and non-psychoactive compounds, and an immediate go-to-market strategy that combines FDA drug pipeline development with alternative legal pathways to bring their solutions to the market. 

Their products are currently in the pre-clinical and pre-manufacturing phase of development, and they’re aiming to provide early access to the patients who need these innovative solutions the most. The company plans to achieve commercialization and licensing beginning with Psilly, advance into phase 2 trials within 18 to 24 months, achieve full FDA approval, launch their medicinal mushroom formulas into the $250B nutraceutical market, and license their proprietary formulas to other organizations. They’re also aiming to expand their unique telepsychiatry app to compliment their products for a full spectrum approach. 

Ei.Ventures recently signed an LOI with Mycotopia Therapies Inc., a biopharma company focused on the development of medical psychedelics. When a definitive agreement is reached, Mycotopia will acquire Ei.Ventures by Q1 of 2022 and merge to become PSLY.COM, a $360 Million transaction with plans to list on NASDAQ. As a joint venture, they will focus on developing fungi and plant-based psychedelic solutions. Their main goals include completing preclinical and phase 1 trials to launch Psilly into legal jurisdictions and acquire a Drug Master File with the FDA so that they can sell their formulations while protecting their IP. 

And, under this new name, the company just purchased virtual land estate in The Sandbox, an online world where players can trade NFTs through the Sandbox marketplace. In partnership with Orthogonal Thinker, PSLY.COM will make it possible for clinicians to virtually host psychedelic therapy sessions in the metaverse. Although these plans are in their early stages, they believe that this land deal will lead the way for billions of people to receive virtual access to psychedelic therapy. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the mental health renaissance. 

Here’s how you can join the mental health revolution

As medicine starts to turn back to the natural world and society begins to see the merit in the earth’s unaltered plant medicine, we can understand how potent these natural compounds are. Ei.Ventures is offering an investment opportunity of a lifetime as they are getting a headstart in the medicine revolution that’s quickly gaining traction. This is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor. Invest in Ei.Ventures today.

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https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1823182/000110465921153675/tm21…

Where Can You Legally Take Magic Mushrooms? List Of Regions And Countries


By Mayukh Saha

The chemical in magic mushrooms that gives it the “magic” is known as psilocybin. This compound or some form of it is found in approximately 180 species of mushroom. But these hallucinogenic fungi are not new substances. Rather, they are one of the oldest substances used and recorded in humanity’s history to increase levels of consciousness.

As such, magic mushrooms have remained among the most common and popular psychedelic substances even today. They are quite popular in South America, Europe, and North America. But, as with all psychedelic substances, there are concerns over their usage and legality, and many places prohibit these special mushrooms.

But, that mindset is changing. Studies have recently claimed that mushrooms containing psilocybin can actually help the patients in some specific cases. In a 2017 study, they were found to have some effect when it came to treating mental health conditions. This was a big step forward for advocates who wanted to legalize psilocybin mushrooms.

As for the present situation, there are a handful of countries where it is completely legal to own and use magic mushrooms. Here is a list of them according to the major regions. However, be aware that the use of these substances in most cases is still dangerous. Moreover, in some cases, the law forbids the chemical “psilocybin” while not mentioning magic mushrooms themselves, which makes it very risky. As such, we will leave out the nations where magic mushrooms are not openly sold.

Oceania

Samoa: In this country, you can find magic mushrooms openly in nature. Additionally, the national law does not have any particular mention of its usage, so for now it is legal. However, the Samoan government is planning to bring in some enforcements about them in the near future.

Asia

Nepal: The country has no law whatsoever regarding magic mushrooms. Visitors are allowed to freely purchase and eat them as much as they want.

Europe

Austria: Here, you can own and grow them. But you cannot harvest and/or sell the fungi. As such, stores in Austria and online have “grow kits” for sale. Also, the law allows possessing mushrooms you find growing in nature.

Italy: Another country where the chemical is banned but owning, selling, and buying kits to grow them on your own is legal.

Poland: Similar to Italy, one is allowed to grow the fungal species should they wish to. But the substance is banned.

Spain:  The country allows possession and cultivation of the mushrooms but selling the chemical psilocybin is banned.

Central & South America

Brazil: As with several other countries, even though the chemicals are prohibited, the magic mushrooms are not. As such, you can find special websites that exist solely to sell these mushrooms.

The Caribbean

The Bahamas: The island nation allows possessing, selling, and using magic mushrooms completely, even if they had signed the 1971 UN Convention on drugs.

The British Virgin Islands: You can own and use the fungi here, but selling or buying it in any form is illegal.

Jamaica: The island nation has no particular laws regarding any psychedelic drug. As such, magic mushrooms are only one of the various psychedelic substances you can openly find and use there.

North America:

The USA: Oregon is the only state, so far, to allow the usage of magic mushrooms for medicinal purposes. But the law is still being processed, and the residents can only use it for therapy. Some other major cities have a softer outlook but even spores of these mushrooms are still mostly illegal.

Read: Oregon May Become First US State to Legalize ‘Magic Mushrooms’ 

Canada: Cannabis is legal in Canada, but magic mushrooms are not yet there. But you can buy and grow spores from easily available “grow kits”. You can harvest naturally occurring ones.

There are some other countries worldwide and regions in the US where some kind of a loophole exists that lets people enjoy magic mushrooms. For instance, in Mexico, tribes are allowed to use them, but not officially. Since it is still a matter of legality, we have stayed away from places and regions where there can be even a hint of trouble.

Finally, you should always check with your local authorities about how legal a drug is to ensure the law is never broken. Remember that you will be the only one responsible for your actions. As long as you are legal and careful, there should not be any problems in these places.

About the Author:

Hey! I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, videos, design, and social media management. I am an avid traveler and I started living as a digital nomad in Europe since 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: justmayukh@gmail.com Love, Mayukh Read More stories by Mayukh Saha