With growing consumer interest in psychedelic travel, mainstream brands are marketing pseudo-psychedelics


Mainstream brands are appropriating the hype around psychedelic medicine to market products that don’t contain any psychedelics, while cashing in on the buzz around terms like “psychedelics” and “microdosing.”

The global mental health crisis has brought substances back into the center of the discussion in what is called “the psychedelic rebirth.” As traditional medicines and conventional therapies have been unable to provide effective treatment for many, psychedelics are being tested in clinical trials for their therapeutic ability to help cure various mental health conditions.

Still, there is something to keep in mind for those eager to have a psychedelic experience or delve further into creative states: While clinical studies are advancing rapidly, the setting for virtually all psychedelics is, at this day, again federal illegal. The only exception so far, are therapeutic parameters governed by state-wide measures, as in Oregon.

If not, there is no way to legally obtain a psychedelic – psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, or DMT – to use in everyday life.

The current supply of the microdose market

As david hodes reports in his recent Green Market Report article, many mushroom products are beginning to flood the market, also targeting the audience for microdosing psychedelics.

Hodes’ research 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 feeling of euphoria for a hangover-free experience”, while containing no psychedelic substances.

Several companies promise a “magical” experience with their mushroom blends, when there is nothing in these products that will induce a true psychedelic trip. Simply put, they don’t have hallucinogenic properties.

Their constitution is the result of a mixture of mycelium, fruiting bodies, masala chai, chaga, reishi, cordyceps, lion’s mane, cocoa, turmeric, cinnamon, sea salt and even caffeine. On the bright side, many of these non-psychedelic mushrooms have health benefits, such as relieving stomach pain or boosting the immune system.

Nevertheless, according to user reviews, some of the products achieve results similar to those produced by psychedelics: energy, focus, calming moments, relaxation or euphoria. A kind of cerebral stimulant without the tense effect usually found in coffee.

Psychedelic experience from natural plants

According to Hodes, true natural springs provide a true psychedelic experience: the “herbal highs,” most still legal with differences in safety and effectiveness. The list includes mad darlingan intoxicating drug from Nepal used as an aphrodisiac; lysergamide (LSA), a seed producing effects similar to those of LSD; and amanita muscaria mushroomswhich can cause hallucinations as well as coma and death.

This shows an existing legal variant of psychedelic experiences for those researching, while the most popular psychedelics currently in clinical trials (MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, DMT) are showing positive results in research.

Photo courtesy of Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.

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