Imagine you’re at a dinner party. Someone down the table screams down at you (the known truffle guy), “What is ‘psycho-helen’ or anyway?”
Do you go the self-righteous route and say, “well, actually, it’s pronounced psilocybin and it’s a dihydrogen phosphate compound” or do you go the dismissive route and say, “it’s the stuff in magic mushrooms that gets you messed up“?
Maybe you are not a dinner party person, but we’re willing to bet that someone is going to ask you what Psilocybin is at some point. So we gathered up a definition, a brief history of magic mushrooms, and a similar context to get a good understanding of the active constituent in magic mushrooms. Read more!
Psilocybin is a natural psychedelic compound that is generated by hundreds of species of fungus. There is a difference between Psilocybin and Psilocin, which we will address in a future post, but for now, just know that both were first isolated and named by the famous Swiss chemist, Albert Hofmann, the discoverer of LSD.
On His note, LSD does NOT contain any psilocybin.
In laymen’s terms:
psilocybin is naturally occurring in some mushrooms and the effects from it cause things like euphoria, hallucinations, and more. It is the reason why “magic” mushrooms are “magic.”
Psychedelics Weren’t As Common in Ancient Cultures As We Think attempts to expose this. However, there are multiple sculptures found in Mesoamerica from about 500 B.C.-900 A.D. in present-day Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador that depict mushrooms. At the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, there is a statue of Xochipilli, the Aztec god of flowers, which has teonanacatl (hallucinogenic) mushrooms on his knees and earlobes.
After years of ostracization, psilocybin mushrooms are increasingly being studied and measured for their worth in mental health.
Numerous studies are being published on utilizing psilocybin mushrooms as a way to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. John Hopkins recently opened a facility for studying psychedelics.
In terms of legality, psilocybin mushrooms are increasingly becoming decriminalized in cities throughout the United States as we discuss in our recent post, Is It Illegal To Buy Mushroom Spores?
Note: decriminalization does NOT mean legal. Decriminalization means that criminal sanctions will not be taken if caught (though fines and tickets might).
At present, possession and sale of psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in every state. On February 1st, 2021, Oregon will be the first state to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for mental health treatment.
Also of note, especially to us, mushroom grows kits and psilocybe cubensis spores are LEGAL to purchase and possess in most U.S. states for microscopy research.
If you want the quick notes on what to say when someone asks you what psilocybin mushrooms are, here are the cliff notes:
1) Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound that makes “magic” mushrooms “magic.”
2) Humans have probably used psilocybin mushrooms for thousands of years, most notably used by the Aztecs, Mayans, and other ancient Mesoamerican cultures.
3) Possession and selling of Psilocybin Mushrooms is illegal, though becoming increasingly decriminalized. The sale of grow kits and spores is LEGAL in most U.S. States. So make sure to check out our mushroom spores in the shop!
Thanks for reading!