Facts, Info, History, Data, Studies + more

What are mushrooms generally, and how do they grow?

Can you name a vegetable or plant that doesn’t require sunlight for growth? Of course, greens get their energy from the sun. But there is a food we consume that is often mistaken for a plant or vegetable, and it is the mushroom. Unlike their counterparts, mushrooms do not require sunlight for growth. So what exactly is a mushroom? 

In short, mushrooms are fungi. The cap that we see above ground is the fruit of the fungus. And underground grows the fungus (or mycelium). The mycelium works as the root system for the mushroom. 

Mushrooms prefer dark, damp areas. Therefore, they often grow in soil, in compost and on trees. In order to eat, the fungi find themselves a food source. Then the mycelium grows around the nutrient-rich area and emits enzymes. The enzymes externally digest the food. After which, the mycelium soaks up the nutrients for growth.

What are magic mushrooms, and how are they different?

The idiom, the tip of the iceberg, can be confidently applied to the mushroom. Not only does an entire root system grow beneath the cap we see above ground, but each type of mushroom is unique. And this is where the Magic Mushroom enters the picture. 

Psychedelic Mushrooms contain a hallucinogen known as Psilocin or Psilocybin. 

When a person takes a Psilocybin Mushroom, they can experience an altered physical or mental state. 

How have they been used in history over the years?

For thousands of years, people used Magic Mushrooms for various reasons. 

Many historians believe that Indigenous North African Cultures used Psilocybin Mushrooms as far back as 9000 B.C. Historians base this educated conclusion on the representations found in rock paintings and sculptures. 

For example, certain temples and statues built between 1000-5000 BCE in South and Central America honour the Gods of Fungi. In addition, many believe that Aztecs used Psychedelic Mushrooms (served with chocolate and honey) in spiritual rituals. 

In addition, the Aztecs utilized something called teonanácatl. Teonanácatl is a substance that translates to ‘flesh of the Gods.’ Many historians infer that this fleshy substance was Psychedelic Mushrooms. And the Aztecs weren’t the only civilization to explore the topic. 

Indigenous Peoples of Siberia used mind-altering fungi to access a more expansive mindset. And in western Siberia, Psilocybin Mushrooms were used by Shamans in spiritual practices. 

The civilizations used Magic Mushrooms to induce themselves into a trance-like state. As a result, people could have prolific visions and believed they communicated with Gods

Finally, in the 1950s, Gordon Wasson (an American mycologist) travelled to north-central Mexico. In the Mexican highlands, he met a woman named Maria Sabina. Sabina was an Indigenous Healer and taught Wasson about the use of Psychedelic Mushrooms in healing ceremonies. 

From this point on, western culture has been fascinated by the Magic Mushroom, and it’s ability to change how someone feels (emotionally, physically and mentally). 

What are the physical and mental effects of taking magic mushrooms?

How someone feels and reacts to Psychedic Mushrooms depends upon the individual, the form of mushroom, and the dosage. 

But according to the Canadian Government, when a person takes Psilosibin Mushrooms, they can experience heightened emotions and senses. With the correct application, people might feel more creative and happier. In addition, those that take Psilosibin Mushrooms may laugh and experience both emotional and mental clarity. 

In a Guardian article about microdosing mushrooms becoming a mainstream stay, one woman explained her experiences. She described that she felt alert, assured, and comfortably confident when she took a small dose of Psilocybin Mushrooms in powdered form. She also said that microdosing helped her stop drinking and increased her overall happiness. 

The author of the Guardian article explained that she met an increasing number of people who entered positive emotional states after responsibly microdosing.  

Furthermore, a study published in Jama Psychiatry suggests that psilocybin can be helpful to ease depression. 

But what are some other possible physical effects of taking Magic Mushrooms?

Psilocybin Mushrooms can cause hallucinations and can:

  • Distort your perception of reality. 
  • Jumble your senses. 
  • Alter how you experience time. 
  • Cause numbness.
  • Create muscle weakness. 
  • Increase sweating and body temperature. 

Some adverse mental effects of ingesting Psychedelic Mushrooms can include:

  • Shifts in mood.
  • Feeling light-headed. 
  • Experiencing anxiety. 
  • Being confused.
  • Feeling intense fear. 

What are some promising psilocybin-based studies underway around the world? Who are leading researchers globally in the mushroom space?

While John Hopkins leads the way in many ways, below are some promising psilocybin-based studies:

Published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, a U.S. study revealed that cancer patients who received Psilocybin reported less anxiety, hopelessness, and depression. Along with the psychedelic dosages, the patients also underwent psychotherapy. 

Also published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, a U.K. psilocybin-based study displayed positive results for patients with treatment-resistant depression. The study suggests that the psychedelic compound revived the subject’s emotional responsiveness and improved brain function. 

The University of Toronto Mississauga launched a Centre for Psychedelic Studies. The institution will host breakthrough clinical trials on Psilocybin microdosing. Experts with backgrounds in clinical psychology, neuroscience, psychotherapy, and creative thinking seek to understand the effects of microdosing on creativity. 

According to an article in CTV News, the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health will pursue psilocybin-based research. 

St. Vincent’s Hospital of Melbourne, Australia, will oversee 40 patients receiving the psychoactive compound, Psilocybin. This trial is for patients who are terminally ill and who experience anxiety or depression. According to St. Vincent’s, this psychedelic treatment has increased positive shifts in the patients’ perspectives on life and death.

The UC Berkley Center for the Science of Psychedelics will research the use of hallucinogenics to understand human cognition. Initial clinical studies utilize the psychoactive compound in Magic Mushrooms. Not to mention, the Center is developing a program that to educate the public about this rapidly growing field of research. 

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai launched an innovative center to research hallucinogenic compounds. The Center for Psychotherapy and Trauma Research seeks to find efficient and alternative therapies for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The Center will concentrate on the study of Psilocybin and MDMA. 

The University of Calgary announced the creation of the Parker Psychedelic Research Chair. The plan is to research how psychedelics, such as psilocybin, can aid with mental health.

In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Roland Griffiths (of John’s Hopkins Center for Psychedelics Research) explains that psilocybin treatment helped patients overcome nicotine addiction. 

In the interview, Griffiths goes on to say that other prominent educational institutions are studying psychedelic-based treatments such as:

  • York University 
  • Yale University 
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham 
  • University of California, Los Angeles 
  • University of California, San Francisco 
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

Prominent Psilocybin-Based Researchers 

Kenneth Tupper: This heavy hitter is the Director of Implementation and Partnerships at the BC Centre on Substance Use. And Tupper’s current work includes clinical research on psilocybin-assisted therapy on substance abuse disorders. 

Rachel Yehuda: Director of Traumatic Stress Studies and Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at Mount Sinai, Yehuda, boasts an impressive professional resume. She has focused much research on MDMA but looks to understand psilocybin-assisted treatment. 

Mark Haden: Haden plays a vital role in developing Psilocybin research in Canada. In addition, he is a well-known intellectual and advocate of psychoactive treatments. Haden leads the way in the Psilocybin Research Investigating Medical Efficacy (PRIME). PRIME explores the hallucinogenic agent in Magic Mushrooms as a possible treatment for substance abuse. 

Roland Griffiths: Griffiths is the director of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness at Johns Hopkins University. In an interview with CTV NEWS Canada, he explains that his group is publishing numerous studies showing the benefits of single-dose Psilocybin in treatment. In the interview, he states that Magic Mushrooms’ psychoactive component helped patients feel a positive shift in how they view the world.

Matthew W. Johnson: Johnson is a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, and he is also a well-known psychedelics researcher. In 2016, he completed the most extensive study on the psychoactive component of Magic Mushrooms treating cancer-related anxiety. In addition, Johnson has administered 100 psychedelic therapy sessions. His research into Psilocybin continues to expand and impact our world.

David Presti: The UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics has initiated studies of the psychoactive component of Magic Mushrooms. And Presti, a neuroscientist and one of the center’s principal founders, explains that now is the perfect time to explore Psilocybin and other psychedelic research.

Rotem Petranker: Petranker is a trailblazer when it comes to psychedelics. He is the associate director Psychedelic Studies Research Program at the University of Toronto. And this program seeks to understand creativity through microdosing. 

Dr. Joe Tucker: This Albertan scientist will partner with the University of Calgary to research Psilocybin. The research aims to better understand the active hallucinogenic ingredient in Magic Mushrooms as a way to mental illness.

Michael Pollan: Author of How to Change Your Mind, Pollan explains that medicalization shouldn’t be the only possible future for Psilocybin. However, he believes that a thorough understanding of the hallucinogen is vital.

What are some of the most popular species for the best trip?

All Psychedelic Mushrooms provide you with a trip. However, with over 180 unique species to choose from, here are some of the popular ones… 

B+ P. Cubensis: This species offers high yields. It isn’t picky when it comes to growth — adding to its convenience factor. Because it adapts easily to various climates and growing conditions, it’s suitable for newbie cultivators. 

McKennaii P. Cubensis: Notorious for its ability to increase problem-solving skills, this species is popular. In addition, it is known for helping people access self-awareness while diving into personal exploration. 

Psilocybe Cyanensis: Favoured among Psychedelic Mushroom merchants, this species is known for its potency. Many Magic fungi lovers appreciate the efficacy and hallucinogenic experience offered by this species (also called Wavy Caps). 

Psilocybe Baeocystis Singer & A.H. Sm.: A Canadian classic, this species is highly potent. Like most Magic Mushrooms, stains dark blue. 

Psilocybe Semilanceata: Also known asLiberty Caps,’ these Psychedelic Mushrooms grow around the northern hemisphere. They grow abundantly and wildly — think sports fields and home lawns. They are small, but don’t let that fool you. This Magic Mushroom is not only a British Columbian icon, but potent, too. 

Psilocybe Azurescens: Known as ‘Flying Saucer Mushrooms,’ these heavy hitters are strong. In fact, they are one of the most potent Psilocybin Mushroom strains in the world. 

Psilocybe Zapotecorum: Native to Mexico, this species was likely used in ancient ceremonies. For example, spiritual leaders have used this Magic Mushroom to speak to Gods. Hence, its popularity among the spiritually bold.   

Psilocybe Tampanensis: Referred to as Magic Truffles or the Philosopher’s Stone, these mushrooms are popular. They are unique because they have high levels of Psilocybin but offer a milder effect.  

Psilocybe Caerulescens: Used ceremoniously by the Mazataca culture of Mexico, these Magic Mushrooms are well-known. And because their potency is low, they are viewed as a good ‘introductory’ to the world of Psychedelic fungi.  

Psilocybe Stuntzii: A rare Psilocybin Mushroom, this strain is nicknamed ‘blue legs’ or ‘blue ringer.’ The strength of the Stunzii makes it a beloved contender.

Want a few more suggestions? We have you covered. The list below includes both internationally and Canadian found Magic Mushrooms. 

  • Copelandia Cyanescens (Blue Meanies) 
  • Psilocybe Mexicana (Teonanacatl) 
  • Psilocybe Caerulipes (Blue Foot Mushroom)
  • Golden Teacher P. Cubensis 
  • PES Amazonian P. Cubensis
  • Psilocybe Subfimetaria
  • Panaeolus Subbalteatus 
  • Gymnopilus Aeruginosus
  • Conocybe Cyanopus
  • Psilocybe Pelliculosa 

How do you identify types of psychoactive mushrooms visually?

Most of us have heard stories of adventurists who tried to find Magic Mushrooms in the wild. Unfortunately, after ingesting them, they became ill or even died. Of course, this tragic fate doesn’t apply to all, but it certainly is a tale of caution as it is not easy, nor suggested, to hunt for Psychoactive Mushrooms in the wilderness.  

That said, there are a few distinguishing factors when it comes to our hallucinogenic fungi friend. 

First, a young Psilocybe Cubensis can be a rich golden brown, while an older one tends to be slightly lighter. Second, you may even notice that the center of a Psychedelic Mushroom has a brown spot. 

Another distinguishing feature is if the stem has a blue hue to it. The blueish tinge occurs when there is bruising. And bruising can quickly happen when an insect or human has touched the Magic Mushroom. 

Finally, you might notice that a Psychedelic Mushroom has a deep purple veil. The veil is a thin sheath that protects the mushrooms’ gills.

What’s the Dosage Amount for Magic Mushrooms?

Isolated by Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann, Psilocybin is the hallucinogenic ingredient found in Magic Mushrooms.

Dosage amounts for pure Psilocybin are:

  • Microdose: 4 mg or lower
  • Low Dose: 4 to 8 mg
  • Average Dose: 6 to 20 mg
  • High Dose: 20 to 35 mg
  • Extra-High Dose: 35 mg or more

Dosages for Psychedelic Mushrooms differ from that of pure Psilocybin.

Depending on the type of Magic Mushroom and its preservation state, the doses vary. Another factor that weighs in is whether the Psychedelic Mushrooms are dry or fresh. So bear in mind, adjusting dosages is an imprecise science. But for popular varieties, such as a dried P. Cubensis, we can apply a general intake volume. 

Dosage amounts for common, dried Magic Mushrooms are:

  • Microdose: .25 gr or less
  • Low Dose: 0.25 to 1 gr
  • Average Dose: 1 to 2.5 gr
  • High Dose: 2.5 – 5 gr
  • Extra-High Dose: 5 gr or more 

What are the magic mushroom laws currently in Canada and the USA, and how is this changing?

Currently, in Canada, the production, possession and sale of Psilocin and Psilocybin are illegal unless authorized for a clinical trial or research.

Because Psilocybin is legal for clinical trials, and because the cannabis industry is now in its newest legal life phase, many optimistically hope and predict that Psilocybin will become legal.  

New research focuses on the health and medical benefits linked to Psychedelic Mushrooms. As a result, a growing number of companies have begun to develop Magic Mushroom products they plan to market in the natural health and wellness industry. 

The Canadian government explains that studies of Psilocybin look to understand its potential to treat ailments (such as depression, drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety). And of course, the Canadian studies administered use pure, active ingredients in clinically supervised settings.

So what about Canada’s neighbour down south? Magic Mushrooms are still illegal in the United States. But, Colorado, California, Denver, Oregon and Oakland have approved legislation to decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms. As a result, researchers can more freely explore the possible health and medical benefits of this fungi.

What is psilocybin, where does it come from and what’s next for Snap Brands?

Psilocybin, found in certain species of mushrooms, is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound. Once ingested, psilocybin is rapidly metabolized to psilocin, which then acts on serotonin receptors in the brain. Psilocin has been shown in many studies to provide many psychological benefits. 

According to the National Institute of Health, more than 16 million Americans suffered from depression in 2016, while 40 million suffer from anxiety, making it the single most common mental illness in the United States. However, major antidepressant medications only improve symptoms in 40% to 60% of sufferers.  Big pharma has had a 10+ year stalemate on any new drug innovations surrounding mental illness.  Snap’s management believes the next few years of newly discoverable data from psychedelic studies can potentially create an entirely new marketplace of safe and effective drugs derived from psychedelics.  The FDA has granted Psilocybin, a compound traditionally found in magic mushrooms, “breakthrough status.” Health Canada has also approved the substance for research, showing the importance of alternative treatments and proving the time is right for natural Psychedelics to disrupt the market.

As a real food nutrition company that intends to be an early mover in the psychedelic markets to create the the mind and spiritual components of our holistic health approach, we have adopted a near term revenue model through the sale of non-psychedelic medicinal mushroom products, and a mid to long term strategic model for SNAP to be at the forefront of the market to monetize psychedelic products.  The ground is shifting across the policy and medical landscape. Acceptance of psychedelics is increasing as regulatory approvals appear on the horizon.


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