What’s Happening with Magic Mushroom Therapy? – A Psychedelics Industry Update

Some mushrooms, but the Smurfs remain hidden

Over the last several years, an increasing amount of research appears to be supporting psychedelics benefits. The number of mental health conditions that seemingly respond to magic mushroom therapy are indeed several. These include conditions like PTSD, depression, eating disorders and a variety of substance addictions. In fact, some of the studies have shown astounding results in terms of percent response rates. The duration of effect has similarly been impressive among study participants who have a positive response. All of this has led to great excitement about the potential of psychedelics benefits. And naturally, many startups and companies are exploring this burgeoning new field of therapeutics.

While this is indeed good news for millions suffering from these mental health disorders, much remains in question. Recent evidence suggests that magic mushroom therapy and other psychedelics have unique effects within the brain. But there is debate as to whether a “psychedelic trip” is required as part of psychedelics benefits. And companies also differ in how they are approaching these new types of agents. Some are inclined to provide a range of natural-type products while others prefer streamlined pills and patents. Others see the current state of affairs as simply the start of a completely new approach to mental health. Given this, the following offers an update on where the psychedelics industry stands today.

“We’ve now got out to 100 days after a single treatment [of magic mushroom therapy], and we see really no decrease in outcome measures.” – Charles Nichols, Pharmacologist at Louisiana State University

Current Understandings of Magic Mushroom Therapy

Whether talking about psilocybin or other psychedelic compounds, all appear to have some similar features in common. These substances appear to work primarily at brain’s serotonin receptors. Interestingly, other antidepressants also work by increasing the brain’s levels of serotonin. However, psychedelics benefits have additional effects in both response rates and duration of effects. Several studies involving PTSD, depression and alcoholism show extended response times to magic mushroom therapy. Active research is ongoing in tobacco addiction as well. And in many cases, these responses are seen after a handful of treatments. Clearly, the mechanism of action of these drugs are different from traditional pharmaceuticals.

(Dig into Bold’s exploration of psilocybin as a tool to combat tobacco addiction in this story!)

As it turns out, recent research suggests that psychedelics and magic mushroom therapy may have a few different effects. Significant research now indicates these compounds “reset” our brain’s default mode network or DMN. Our DMN is what guides us in the same patterns of thinking based on learned experiences. By temporarily disrupting the DMN, psychedelics offer new ways of thinking that can cure a variety of mental health conditions. In addition, other research now shows that psychedelics benefits also result from nerve cell healing effects. Specifically, these substances seem to heal connections between nerves, which may also explain their lasting benefits. All of this offers further evidence as to why psychedelics have significant mental healthcare potential.

“What we’re seeing right now is only the first generation of these drugs. The third generation [of psychedelics] will be completely new compounds.” – David Olson, Neuro-chemist at the University of California at Davis

Major Industry Shifts in Funding Supports

At the current time, there are over 50 psychedelics companies that are publicly traded on the market already. This does not even include a number of startups that are similarly interested in magic mushroom therapy. These figures have led some analysts to suggest the entire industry will be worth $6.9 billion by 2027. Given the difficulty that advocates claiming psychedelics benefits had in gaining momentum previously, these figures are astounding. But the FDA has recently labeled both psilocybin and MDMA psychedelics as breakthrough drugs, facilitating their investigation. This has certainly fueled the growth of magic mushroom therapy research and other psychedelics studies.

A baggie and a bowl of shrooms
Magic mushroom therapy is gaining in acceptance–are you ready to take a trip?

Given these changes, it is worth noting that significant shifts in research funding have occurred. Prior to these developments, most researchers raised support through philanthropic efforts and donations. But with FDA encouragement, there are fewer individuals and organizations willing to lend such supports. Instead, these same entities would rather invest, now seeing the potential for a profitable industry in the future. As such, researchers have had to shift gears by creating special purpose investment vehicles to receive financial support. Companies like Vine Ventures, Palo Santo, and PsyMed have partnered with researchers in these efforts. In contrast, larger pharmaceutical companies involved in psychedelics research are attracting investors in a more traditional manner. In both cases, these shifts from donations to investing further show how rapid this industry is evolving.

“The concern that I have is that if we’re too quick to just open up access, knowing human beings and the way that we operate, we could miss the therapeutic opportunity.” – Payton Nyquvest, Co-founder and CEO of Numinus Wellness Inc

A Mental Healthcare Evolution

In addition to a growing field of competitors involved in magic mushroom therapy, there’s also a range of approaches. On the one hand, some companies are taking a more naturalistic approach and trying to simply develop high-quality products. Numinus Wellness is one such company as they embark on tedious efforts to cultivate a process that creates high-quality products. Their vision is that people should be able to choose which product they want to optimize psychedelics benefits. Other companies, however, like Compass Pathways Plc. believe in a more structured strategy. Specifically, they are pursuing product as well as therapy process patents in an effort to safeguard their investments. These reflect opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to how the psychedelics industry may evolve.

While it is yet unclear how products and psychedelics benefits may be offered, one thing is clear. All forms of psychedelics and magic mushroom therapy approaches will involve therapy-assisted guidance. Even in existing studies evaluating psychedelics benefits, those receiving therapy with placebo did show some response over baseline. Thus, it will be critical for all potential patients to have increased access to therapists within this industry. Notably, this does not exist currently as many lack health insurance that covers such care. Given the incredible health benefits that appear to exist, this will be the more challenging pursuit in the coming years. But while these obstacles remain, it’s evident the psychedelics industry is moving ahead full force. Everything continues to indicate these therapies will play an important role in healthcare’s future.


Want to control your cost efficiency and protect your bottom line? Bold Business can help.

Don't miss out!

The Bold Wire delivers our latest global news, exclusive top stories, career
opportunities and more.

Thank you for subscribing!