Why Magic Mushrooms Are the Next Big Legal Drug Market

First it was cannabis, now it’s magic mushrooms going mainstream. Touted as the next big natural drug discovery, psilocybin – the key compound in magic mushrooms – is under research for its application in treating mental health problems, like depression and anxiety, among other issues, like an addiction.

Experts in the field suggest that evidence supporting the therapeutic use of magic mushrooms is becoming too compelling to ignore. While psychedelics are typically used recreationally, many people are interested in their therapeutic potential.

Data Bridge Market Research shows that the psychedelic drug market is expected to grow from $2 billion in 2020 to $6.9 billion by 2027 – a 16.3% compound annual growth rate.

There is growing interest and demand for psychedelics, with many people even wondering how to grow magic mushrooms since obtaining them in the U.S. isn’t always easy. While some states have decriminalized magic mushrooms and others are easing laws, they remain illegal throughout most of America. 

However, that could change soon, especially if the rapidly changing cannabis market is anything to go by. 

What Are Magic Mushrooms?

Psilocybin mushrooms, known as magic mushrooms, are wild or cultivated mushrooms containing the hallucinogenic compound psilocybin. Psilocybin is one of the most well-known psychedelics.

There are believed to be around 180 different species of psilocybin mushrooms that grow around the world. Many contain a unique subset of strains that often look, feel, and taste different from one another.

The effects of psilocybin are likened to those of LSD. Psilocybin is hallucinogenic and can produce feelings of euphoria and sensory distortion, changing the way you see, smell, hear, taste, and touch. For instance, you might think you can hear colors or see music. 

However, the effects don’t end there, and when used in a controlled setting, it could be very beneficial for mental health issues. 

The Legality of Magic Mushrooms in the U.S.

In most places in the U.S., magic mushrooms are still illegal. Psilocybin, the key component of magic mushrooms, is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule 1 drugs are thought to have a high potential for misuse and have no currently accepted medical use in the U.S.

However, that is starting to change. The movement to decriminalize psilocybin in America started in the late 2010s. In May 2019, Denver, Colorado, was the first city to decriminalize the substance. Oakland and Santa Cruz, cities in California, followed suit decriminalizing psilocybin in June 2019 and January 2020, respectfully.

Washington, D.C., Somerville, Cambridge, and Northampton in Massachusetts and Seattle are some other cities that have decriminalized psilocybin.

In 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize magic mushrooms. 

Despite its status as a schedule 1 substance, many cities and states have passed laws regarding the use of magic mushrooms or psilocybin in certain areas. 

This move is linked mainly to growing scientific and anecdotal evidence supporting the therapeutic potential of magic mushrooms.

What Are the Therapeutic Benefits of Magic Mushrooms?

The therapeutic value of magic mushrooms is largely linked to their mental health benefits. 

Over the last decade, increasing research has shown that psilocybin may help treat symptoms of treatment-resistant depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and other mental health disorders.

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted breakthrough therapy status to Compass Passways to study psilocybin, particularly for parents battling Major Depressive Disorder. This move accelerated the clinical study process for the organization. Since then, the FDA has embraced the drug and granted similar designation to other organizations to research psilocybin.

Researchers and recently formed companies are scrambling to study and patent the use of psychedelics, like magic mushrooms, not only for anxiety, depression, and PTSD but also for fibromyalgia, headaches, traumatic brain injuries, cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia, and more.

There is a huge opioid epidemic at play, and the fight is on to find a more natural and holistic approach to managing such conditions. 

If future studies continue to support claims that magic mushrooms can help manage mental health problems, there is no doubt that this could be the next big legal drug market. 

Final Thoughts

Society is becoming more aware of the importance of caring for mental health, and magic mushrooms may be the natural remedy we’ve all been waiting for. Research is ongoing, but preliminary evidence is promising, suggesting that psilocybin may help treat depression, PTSD, and other mental health disorders.

Slowly but surely, the laws surrounding magic mushrooms are changing. As we learn more about this hallucinogenic substance and how it can benefit our health, more states are likely to legalize its use. Many believe that magic mushrooms are the next big legal drug market.