Here before any tree, before any human, before other signs of life on Earth; were mushrooms. New studies on mushrooms suggest that they have been growing through Earth and on Earth for 300 million years. Mushrooms are smarter than any human, they have more wisdom than all mammals combined, and they carry more information than Google. Even the mushrooms that don’t take us on trips, contribute to an easy journey.
Humans are becoming more receptive to the healing power and the benefits of nature. With the legalization of cannabis and the plethora of information being published about the power of the plant, nature is getting more attention. By way of that attention, mushrooms are becoming more popular, especially on the topic of human health.
As we continue to get informed, we continue to pay attention to, and support psychedelic and medicinal mushrooms; so much so that mushrooms that were once prohibited at all levels, are now legal/decriminalized to source and consume, and research can continue to confirm what nature has already proven.
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Research on the Benefits of Psychedelic Mushrooms and Medicinal Mushrooms
Studies on the benefits of psychedelic mushrooms are showing:
- Controlled studies have not suggested that use of psychedelics lead to long-term mental health problems.
- In a 2017 study of psilocybin (psychedelic mushrooms) and depression, researchers at Imperial College London gave psilocybin therapy to 20 patients with treatment-resistant depression, who reported benefits as long as five weeks after treatment. The study found that psilocybin decreased activity in the amygdala, which processes emotions like fear and anxiety.
- A 2019 survey of more than 1,000 people from across the world who microdosed on LSD found that repeated microdoses were followed by “improvements in negative moods, especially depression” as well as increased positive moods and energy levels.
Studies on the benefits of medicinal mushrooms are showing:
- Harvard School of Public Health reports that two epidemiological studies found that higher mushroom intake had protective effects on the brain in older adults.
- In a study reported by Frontiers in Pharmacology, it is reported that beneficial effects of medicinal mushrooms, particularly quality of life and reduction of adverse effects of conventional therapies.
- The National Library of Medicine reports that various studies report mushrooms/mushroom compounds have beneficial effects in the treatment of cancer, as it acts as an immunoenhancer able to alleviate the adverse effects of chemotherapy.
Like cannabis, mushrooms have hundreds of strains/cultivars and compounds. We are starting to see more insight and information on the over 200 cannabinoids/compounds found in cannabis; mushrooms aren’t that different. They too have a variety of strains and compounds, over 200 and more being discovered, that contribute towards their healing powers.
Psychedelic mushrooms strains/cultivars include:
- Liberty Caps
- Flying Saucers
- Psilocybe Cubensis
- Golden Teacher
- Penis Envy
Medicinal mushrooms strains/cultivars include:
- Lion's mane
- Turkey tail
Many create delicious meals using lion’s mane, turkey tails, and shiitake; maybe not knowing that they are created with some of nature's finest, most healing fruiting bodies.
Compounds Found In Mushrooms
Like cannabis, terpenes, flavonoids, and terpenoids are found in mushrooms, all of them (medicinal and psychedelic). Additional compounds found in mushrooms are lectins, D-glucans, and fungal immunomodulatory proteins.
Some of the bioactive compounds found in mushrooms are essential to human health:
- Protein: protein found in mushrooms contains the 9 amino acids
- Polysaccharides: natural polymers (molecules)
- PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids, the bond between carbon atoms)
- Vitamins (E, D, B)
- Minerals (potassium, selenium, iron)
The bioactive compounds contribute to some of the bio medicinal activities of mushrooms such as:
Most plants have phenolic compounds, and since there is fungus before plants, it's easy to see where plants get these compounds from. These compounds are secondary metabolites (small organic molecules):
- P-hydroxybenzoic (fights against spoilage)
- Cinnamic (acid inhibitor)
- Salicylic (inhibits oxidation- free radicals)
- Caffeic (micronutrients)
- Chlorogenic (phytochemical- bioactive nutrient)
- Flavonoid (the anti compound)
What Else Should You Know About Mushrooms?
It looks pretty safe to assume that mushrooms can give all forms of life on earth, the vitamins, minerals, and compounds essential to living and healing. Paul Stamets, the world's leading Mycologist says that: “Mushrooms have potential to do more for the planet than any other life form, humans included.” We will continue to discover proof of this.
Special Thanks to Cannabis Business Sponsor Weedgets
Huge thank you to article sponsor: Weedgets, a company making accessories designed to eliminate the harshness of smoke. Check out the link and discount code HS420 for Honeysuckle Magazine readers to get 20% off their purchase.
Veronica Castillo is the Traveling Cannabis Writer from Miami, with a pre-cannabis and psychedelics background in insurance and human resources. Currently, she is a resident of the road covering cannabis, psychedelics, and plant-based lifestyles all over the U.S and soon abroad. Follow her journey on IG at @vee_travelingvegcannawriter and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vee-traveling-veg-canna-writer/
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Featured image: (C) Veronica Castillo @vee_travelingvegcannawriter