Psilocybin is a far more complex drug than cannabis and is treated differently when it comes to legalization. Cannabis is getting more and more accepted for medical, as well as, recreational uses in the United States. On the other hand, activist organizations in a number of states in the U.S. are pushing for the legalization of psychedelic mushrooms. Different areas are looking to legalize the use of psilocybin, a psychoactive compound existing naturally in specific strains of mushrooms.
Magic mushrooms or “shrooms” are thought to cause altered perceptions of the reality and induce sensations of seeing, hearing and feeling what is not real but seems to. Where the magic in “magic mushrooms” lies is these evolved spores have always been associated with the concepts of spirituality and divinity. Mushrooms containing psilocybin are used for their ability to widen the thought process.
Recent research has found that this psychoactive compound can treat a number of health issues.
Psilocybin is known to relieve the symptoms of various chronic conditions like cluster headaches, help cancer patients deal with anxiety and depression, treat ALL sorts of addiction and provide a natural remedy for those who don’t like using conventional treatments for depression and other mind-related conditions.
Psilocybin itself is not thought to be very psychoactive, it is soon after it is ingested that it is metabolized into a substance called psilocin, which is highly psychoactive. In that sense, psilocybin is considered a prodrug, a substance that is inactive until converted into an active drug after administration. Once psilocybin gets converted into psilocin, psilocin binds with serotonin receptors; these are receptors in our brain that regulate chemicals responsible for feelings of anxiety, mood, imagination, appetite, memory, cognition and perception.
Although we have some understanding of the activity of psilocin in the brain, it is not completely understood why people have such subjective experiences when on magic mushrooms. Psilocin also interacts with other serotonin subtypes such as dopamine, histamine, adrenergic receptors, and the serotonin transporters. Even if the role of these other targets in the effects of psilocybin is not very clear, it is yet another example of the uniqueness of each species of magic mushroom; wether mushrooms or human, we all have our very own equation, our own inner recipe, and psilocybin will resonate very differently for each one of us. Interest in the entourage effect of strains rich in unusual compounds such as aeeruginascin, give way to new studies. Have a look at Inocybe aeruginascin if you’re curious to know more.
Just like LSD, heroin and ecstasy, psilocybin is considered to be a Schedule 1 drug on a federal level in the United States. But not for long! This means it is not accepted for medical use and has a high potential for misuse. In 2018, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University had suggested the reclassification of psychedelic mushrooms to Schedule IV drug to be useful for medicinal purposes. Shrooms are presently legal in countries of Jamaica, Brazil, Netherlands, Samoa and Bulgaria. A number of other countries have decriminalized the cultivation and possession of psychedelic mushrooms and some other countries consider only the dried form of shrooms to be illegal.
In the United States, the use of psychedelic mushrooms is still illegal in all 50 states although microdosing has become VERY popular. Areas of Oakland, Denver, Colorado and California have decriminalized the use of these products. This means these states don’t impose penalties on people over the age of 21 years who possess or use psychedelic mushrooms though the sale of the substance still remains illegal. This decriminalization of psilocybin opened the doors for researchers to discover the medical benefits of the compound. The Oakland City Council Member stated that these mushrooms have always been used for healing, creativity, connection, knowledge and spirituality. The present use of this drug is very low in the United States.
Though psychedelic mushrooms remain illegal throughout the United States for recreational purposes, activists in many states are pushing their efforts towards decriminalization. Spores that don’t contain psychoactive compounds are legal for sale in most states of the country. Selling spores with the purpose of producing psychedelic mushrooms is also illegal. The Oregon ballot initiative could take the United States close to making psychedelic mushrooms legal under licensed and regulated conditions.
The legalization of psychedelic mushrooms is expected to gain momentum in 2020 and the measure can gain signatures to change the legalization of the drug in the United States. The initiative would not necessarily mean that shrooms will be legal at all times in every state. The measure would, instead, allow the production, delivery and sale of psilocybin at licensed, supervised facilities. The initiative has time until July 2020 to get more than 110,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot. With continuing research on the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin, psychedelic mushrooms can see a change in their legality in the United States.