When it comes to psychoactive edibles, cannabis ones are by far the most popular. However, over the last few years what was once a niche and relatively underground product has been taking the recreational drug world by storm. The product in question? Psilocybin edibles… and they just so happen to be an excellent solution to dosing and flavor issues, a couple of the more common complaints people have when it comes to eating dried mushrooms.
All about psilocybin edibles
Psilocybin edibles are tasty edible treats infused with psilocybin. Although magic mushrooms are already edible, they can be difficult to dose and a large number of people simply can’t stand the taste. Edibles circumvent that dilemma. They can be made one of two ways: either by taking very finely chopped, dried mushrooms and incorporating them into various recipes; or you by making a psilocybin extract and using that instead. If you buy your shroom edibles from an actual company, then you’re most likely getting extract, while homemade shroom treats typically take the easier route with real mushroom pieces.
When it comes to psilocybin extractions, there are a few different ways this can be done as well. One of the newer methods is called ultrasonic-aided methanol extraction, and it’s actually really cool. It works by using high-frequency sound waves to perforate the mushroom’s cellular wall and activate its chemical compounds, which are then promptly released into the surrounding liquid solvent (methanol).
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I find the idea of utilizing high frequency sounds waves to solve various physical and tangible problems in our lives to be quite fascinating. In recent years, sound waves have studied for so many different uses such as repelling pests, controlling wildfires, and even to heal numerous different ailments.
Other manufacturers prefer the older, time-tested methods such as hot and cold water extractions. You can boil fresh mushrooms to extract the psilocybin in a type of shroom tea. Or alternatively, you could put the mushrooms in a jar of cold water in the fridge and leave them overnight, and the water will be infused the next day. In both cases, the remaining water will turn a dark blue/purple color.
Although market is currently limited, innovative producers have many interesting ideas in the works. If you know where you to look, you can (or will soon be able to) find a wide array of shroom edibles including: kombucha, tea, shots, gummies, and capsules. Will Padilla-Brown, citizen mycologist and founder of Mycosymbiotics and MycoFest, has seen shroom products proliferate over the past year. “I’ve seen capsules, blister packs of pills, freeze-dried shrooms, chocolate bars, gel capsules, infused honey, psychedelic truffles, teas, and psilocybin mixed with other functional mushrooms in capsules,” commented Padilla-Brown.
One issue, however, is the fact that the shroom edible market is completely unregulated, and thus, no industry standardization exists at this time. I mean, just think how many unchecked products exist in the cannabis market, which actually is regulated to some extent in most states. “I’ve been seeing lots of crude extract into gummies that aren’t very reliable, and many mushroom chocolates that aren’t homogenized,” said Padilla-Brown.
Another issue, relating to the lack of oversight in this sector, is whether some brands of shroom edibles even contain real psilocybin or not. Many believe that they are infused with a synthetic version instead, known as 4-AcO-DMT (psilacetin). Although I’m personally unfamiliar with it, people claim that psilacetin has very noticeable and unpleasant taste.
More on shrooms and chocolate
Despite all the variety on the market, by far the most popular type of magic mushroom treat is psilocybin-infused chocolate. It’s not just because chocolate does a relatively good job of masking the taste of powdered mushrooms (or 4-AcO if that’s what they’re using)… there’s in fact, a bit of a science to this combination as well.
According to Cheyenne Dehier of STEM Chocolate, psilocybin and chocolate is an ancient and sacred blend. “Traditionally, the combination of psilocybin and cacao is known as the Aztec combo,” explains Dehier. “Cacao’s name is derived from the scientific name Theobroma cacao meaning food or nourishment of the gods. The Aztecs referred to the psilocybin mushroom as Teonanácatl which translates to flesh of the gods.”
Her products offer a modern spin on this traditional duo by combining dark, milk, and white varieties with various exotic flavors such as cardamom, Provence lavender, and yuzu. She hopes her product will get more people on board with high-end shroom edibles and safe mushroom consumption.
“We’re dedicated to dismantling the stigma surrounding this magnificent species,” says Dehier. “We were driven to create STEM to disrupt the industry as we know it, by presenting this medicine in a more elevated and approachable way. STEM’s most popular mushroom chocolate bar flavors are Cookies & Cream Dreams, Caramel Gold Rush, and our premium Passionfruit Triptych made with Penis Envy mushrooms, Valrhona chocolate, and genuine 23K gold.”
Food of the Gods and Flesh of the Gods: Benefits of blending cacao and psilocybin
Now back to the medicinal benefits of combining cacao and psilocybin. Once again, this is a custom that dates back thousands of years to the ancient spiritual ceremonies of the Aztec people. But how does it work? As you can expect, there has been no research conducted on this subject in any official capacity. So, our best bet is to take a closer look at the history behind the Aztec Combo, and we can also check out some studies done on the benefits of cacao and psilocybin individually.
Traditionally, it is said that psilocybin mushrooms open the mind, while cacao opens the heart.” Cacao was seen as a divine gift from the peaceful god Quetzalcoatl, also known the feathered serpent (hence the name “food of the Gods”). Ceremonial cacao was traditionally paired with other teacher plants and used in various rituals by Aztec and Mayan shamans. They combined the cacao with what they called “teotlnanácatl” mushrooms, which translates to “flesh of the Gods”. They believed the combination helped to awaken the mind (shrooms), but also open the heart (cacao).
Cacao, the seed from which cocoa and chocolate are made, is considered a sacred teacher plant, similar to some well-known entheogens like ayahuasca. Although it’s not psychoactive in the same way as the aforementioned, it does induce a different and unique state of mind when consumed in sufficient quantities. Think about the warmth and relaxation you feel after drinking a cup of hot chocolate – that’s the same feeling brought on by pure cacao, but stronger.
Magic mushrooms and truffles are serotonergic, so they interact with our serotonin receptors to alter our moods. Psilocybin is said to encourage mental flexibility and is touted as being extremely effective in alleviating symptoms of treatment-resistant depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Cacao can produce mild MAOI effects (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors) which can also boost levels of serotonin, which can help explain the synergy between cacao and shrooms. With this in mind, it’s worth noting that if you are consuming shrooms and chocolate together, your best bet is to not add another other MAOIs to the mix, as the high levels of caffeine can make for an unpleasant experience. Additionally, cacao is rich in natural fats which can help increase the absorption rate of psilocybin in the body.
It’s fun, delicious, and discreet… but is it legal?
Short answer, no. Longer answer, it depends where your company is based out of. In the United States, psilocybin is still listed as a schedule 1 narcotic, just like cannabis. But unlike cannabis, no states have yet legalized adult recreational use of psilocybin mushrooms. So the US psilocybin edibles market is 100% underground. The workaround to this issue is… companies basing their business out of Canada, which is primed to become a global leader in the psychedelics industry – both the medical and recreational sectors.
Although psilocybin is technically still illegal for recreational use in Canada as well, it’s much less harshly regulated, and in Vancouver, British Columbia, one of Canada’s more populated and well-known cities, all drugs have been decriminalized for adults over the age of 21, which means more cities and provinces are likely to follow suit.
“STEM is very fortunate to be based in Vancouver, Canada, which seems to be leading this industry by allowing these activities to continue without fear of legal repercussions,” commented Dehier. “Vancouver seems to have a trend of pushing these industries forward as it was the same with cannabis a few years ago, prior to legalization. Today, several mushroom-only dispensaries are operating within Vancouver that offer a variety of mushroom-specific products.”
Where Canada also has a real upper hand on the United States, is in research and development. Earlier this year, Health Canada made some amendments to the special access programme (SAP) that calls for more research on various psychedelic compounds, and allows health care practitioners to request access to restricted drugs if they feel it would be beneficial for certain treatment plans.
Where can you find them?
A quick google search will yield some results as well, such as shroomiez (a popular underground brand, they do have a website but you can’t buy anything through it yet) and STEM chocolate (previously mentioned and based out of Canada). But since shroom edibles are prohibited in the US, and a large number of global operators won’t ship to the states because of this, Americans are left with a few different options for finding products like this (all of which are illegal, for the record).
Typically, people will take to the internet to find what they need. Social media and Reddit forums that cater to psychonaut communities will sometimes provide a list of operators from which a person can find most anything they need. It can be sketchy buying stuff from strangers on the internet (especially drugs), but within these established online communities, you can generally find some pretty decent and reliable recommendations.
If you’re not interested in scouring the world wide web, you can either ask your local plug if they know where to find any (even if shrooms are not part of usual inventory, they may surprise you with a good connection), or you can make your own. A lot of people opt for going homemade, for the simple facts that they know what will be in the final product (real psilocybin as opposed to synthetic psilacetin, preservatives, allergens, etc.), and they can dose it according to their own personal needs.
Psilocybin edibles, and chocolate in particular, is the fun and modern new way to trip on shrooms. If dosing is an issue, and the taste of dried mushrooms is something you simply cannot tolerate, then you might want to look into pre-dosed shroomy treats… or you could try making your own. Either way, we can expect to see this trend continue to proliferate in the psychedelics market.
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