Consumer brands are appropriating the hype around psychedelic medicine to market products that don't contain any psychedelic substances, yet take advantage of the buzz around terms like "psychedelics" and "microdosing."
The global mental health crisis has put the substances back in the center of the discussion in what is called "the psychedelic renaissance." As traditional medicines and conventional therapies have not been able to provide successful treatment for many, psychedelics are being tested in clinical trials for their therapeutic ability to help heal various mental health disorders.
Yet there is something to keep in mind for those eager to have a psychedelic experience or dive further into creative states: while clinical studies are rapidly advancing, the framework for virtually all psychedelic substances is, to this date, still federally illegal. The only exception so far are therapeutic settings legislated by statewide measures, such as in Oregon.
If this is not the case, there is no way to legally get any psychedelic substance —psilocybin, MDMA, LSD or DMT — to consume in daily life.
The Current Microdose Market Offer
As Dave Hodes reports in his recent Green Market Report article, numerous mushroom-based products are beginning to flood the market, targeting the public for microdosing psychedelics as well.
Hodes’ research has led him to find a brand producing what they call “psychedelic water,” a combination of kava root, damiana leaf and green tea leaf extract that creates “a sense of euphoria for a hangover-free experience,” while actually not containing any psychedelic substances.
Several companies promise a “magic” experience with their mushroom blends, while there is nothing in these products that will cause an actual psychedelic trip. Put simply, they do not have hallucinogenic properties.
Their constitution is the result of a mix of mycelium, fruiting bodies, masala chai, chaga, reishi, cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, cacao, turmeric, cinnamon, sea salt and even caffeine. On the bright side, many of these non-psychedelic mushrooms have beneficial effects on health, such as stomach pain relief or fortifying the immune system.
Nonetheless, according to user reviews, some of the goods do achieve similar outcomes to those produced by psychedelics: energy, focus, calming moments, relaxation or euphoria. A sort of brain boost without the strained effect usually found in coffee.
Psychedelic Experience From Natural Plants
According to Hodes, real natural sources provide an actual psychedelic experience: the “herbal highs,” mostly still legal with differences in safety and efficacy. The list includes mad honey, an intoxicating medicine from Nepal used as an aphrodisiac; lysergamide (LSA), a seed producing similar effects to those of LSD; and amanita muscaria mushrooms, which can cause hallucinations as well as coma and death.
This shows an existing legal variant of psychedelic experiences for those in search, while the more popular psychedelics currently under clinical trials (MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, DMT) show positive results in research.
Photo Courtesy of Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.
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