Formulating New “Magic Mushroom” Compositions

Formulating New Compositions Using Molecules in Magic Mushrooms

Mother nature provides the world with magic mushrooms.  In some countries, cultivated mushrooms are available for sale.  At one point, so-called “smart shops” in Amsterdam sold containers of fresh mushrooms.  Those cultivated mushrooms were true “products of nature.”

Fresh magic mushrooms available for sale. These unaltered products of nature can be taken as-is or used to make refined products.

Naturally occurring psychoactive mushrooms are known to provide numerous benefits when taken in their unaltered form such as eating fresh or dried mushroom fruiting bodies.  Additionally, naturally occurring mushrooms can be processed into products of human ingenuity.  The illustration below shows a high-level process for extracting and isolating molecules from magic mushrooms.

Naturally occurring psychoactive mushrooms can be extracted with a solvent to eliminated the insoluble structural material of the mushroom. That extract can be further processed, to separate out the molecules present in the extract — resulting in a collection of isolated individual molecules.

Extracting Components from Mushrooms

Mushroom extracts can be made as follows: (1) treating the mushroom material with a suitable solvent,  (2) filtering away the insoluble mushroom material, and (3) optionally evaporating the solvent to concentrate the extract.

The first two steps (adding a solvent and then filtering the insoluble material) are familiar to anyone who has made a mushroom tea or tincture.  In the case of making mushroom tea, the mushrooms are extracted with hot water, then filtered (e.g., with a coffee filter) to remove the insoluble material.  The resulting tea is a mushroom extract.

Mushroom tea is one example of a mushroom extract.

Separating Individual Molecules from Mushroom Extract

Typically, extracting a mushroom with a solvent provides an extract having many different molecules.  The common property of those molecules is that they are soluble in the extraction solvent.  For example, the mushroom tea described above has many different molecules and all of them are soluble in hot water.  The extraction step serves to separate molecules that are soluble from molecules that are not soluble.

Extracts can be further purified using a variety of techniques.  For example, the extract can be further extracted with different solvents to afford additional selectivity based on solubility.  Or, the components of the extract can be separated by distillation, chromatography, or crystallization.  With each subsequent step, some components are removed from the extract.  As a result, the material extracted from the mushrooms becomes increasingly pure–until only one molecule is present.

Individual purified molecules can either be used alone– or in combination with other molecules to make formulated combination products.  See also Psilocybin Chemistry.

Formulating New Magic Mushroom Compositions

New compositions are created by formulating purified molecules into stable products or new combinations.  For example, formulating precise amounts of purified psilocybin with stabilizers and/or antioxidants could provide products having clean, stable, and consistent ingredients.

Purposely formulating products would eliminate existing problems with contamination, degradation, variable concentrations of active ingredients, and variable effects. This advance would also probably eliminate side effects (e.g., Wood Lover Paralysis). In addition, precisely formulated products would  improve “microdosing” by providing access to accurate doses of specific components.  See Microdosing.

Furthermore, the different psilocybin derivatives could be purposefully chosen to provide particular effects.  For example, maybe adding unusually high amounts of aeruginascin to a psilocybin formulation creates unexpected activity at serotonin receptors.  Or, perhaps a particular combination of baeocystin and psilocin creates a sought after effect for the user.  (We have no idea because the psilocybin arts focus on magic mushrooms instead of magic molecules.)

Lastly, psilocybin derivatives could be combined with other psychoactive molecules to amplify benefits and reduce side effects.  Perhaps existing pharmaceutical drugs for treating mood disorders can be improved by concurrently administering small amounts of psilocybin.

16 thoughts on “Formulating New “Magic Mushroom” Compositions

  1. William Fitzgerald Reply

    I took golden teacher and hairy buffalo and it cured my PTSD depression add by polor addition all the noise is gone

  2. Mike girard Reply

    What solvent is used? Distillation under vacuum? Titration to crystallization? What acid/base is used to drop the crystals? Is this temp sensitive? Thanks.

    • Staff Scientist Post authorReply

      Hi Mike – There are a variety of solvent systems that work well for chromatography (either flash or prep TLC). Likewise, there are a variety of crystallization procedures that provide pure molecules. For psilocybin, the most popular crystallization solvent appears to be methanol or water/methanol mixtures. And for methanol, slow evaporation or cooling saturated solutions seems to provide clean, crystalline material.
      At a high level, everything is temperature sensitive — both in terms of unwanted degradation and also solubility (which would effect your ability to selectively crystalize materials).
      We are explicitly avoiding advocating for particular “manufacturing” procedures. However, we will work to summarize the literature methods soon.

      • Gordo Reply

        Regarding real psilocybin extraction, I’ve done lots of research on this and have come to the conclusion that it’s just not worth it (which is why you don’t find much about it in online forums). You’d have to use hazardous chemicals including methanol and chloroform, and you end up with an unstable product that quickly breaks down so you’d have to use it right after the extraction. The rhodium archives describe “Acetic acid extraction, then basified and extracted with ether, then recrystallized with chloroform/heptane, filtered under a stream of nitrogen gas. Stored in Methanol at low temp.” – yea, no. There are also some nonsense / debunked TEKs out there like “Crystals of the Gods” complete with pictures and even testimonials from Alexander Shulgin but these only extract mushroom proteins which are not psychoactive by themselves (these are not psilocybin crystals), all they really produce is a tincture. Yes, it is psychoactive, but if a person wanted a tincture, it can easily be done with just hot water (strained mushroom tea) or simple alcohol extraction, Lemon TEK is another alternative.

  3. Nicholas Reply

    Would it be prudent to hot water extract then methanol extract and combine the two for evaporation?

    • Staff Scientist Post authorReply

      Here, it would probably depend on the compositions of those fractions. It’s conceivable that you could discriminate between derivatives. But, chromatography to separate pure molecules for recombination would appear to be the best route.

  4. Nicholas Reply

    So basically, from everything I’ve gathered thus far, a simple methanol extraction is the proverbial bang for the buck: the juice isnt worth the squeeze in getting lab/analysis equipment?

    Would a soxhlet be worth looking into for “serious-at-home microscope research”?

  5. Greg Reply

    This is a highly interesting area of research, with enormous potential to develop new psychatric medications.

    The obvious targets are anxiety, depression, PTSD, and complex PTSD. But each newly-isolated molecule will also require to go through FDA approval, which is going to cost serious money. I’ll be keeping an eye open for developments in this area.

  6. theSix Reply

    Are there any companies working on formulations? I would be interested in investing in this research.

    • Staff Scientist Post authorReply

      It’s hard to say for sure.
      According to their patent applications, CaaMTech appears to be working on formulations of multiple psilocybin derivatives. But, CaaMTech’s webpage is pretty uninformative and there hasn’t been a lot of reporting on them.
      Compass Pathways and other researchers appear to be focusing on synthetic psilocybin.
      Paul Stamets appears to be focusing on something similar to “formulations” but they seem narrowly tailored to methods of neurogenesis.

  7. brian Reply

    i have a way of extracting and protecting the full spectrum using hot water and filtering but then adding honey and simmering of all the water just try it you’ll be amazed it stabilizes everything and would probably last forever

    • Staff Scientist Post authorReply

      Thanks for your comment. How do you know that your method “stabilizes everything and would probably last forever”? What sort of characterization or chemical analysis did you perform?

  8. Kindred Spirit Reply

    Mushrooms are legal where I live now, but pretty hard to come about. If anyone knows a legal source of them or pure psilocybin please email me. I can attest to mental relief of serious depression and overall mental health. May God bless the minds of all who seek happiness from mental despair. Thank U whoever. My email is [email protected]

  9. dave pekarek Reply

    Is there any research on micodosing extracts of amanita muscaria where the extract is first adjusted to pH 3 and refluxed for 3 hours at 95-100C in order to decarboxylate ibotenic acid to muscimol? Only about 30% of the ibotenic acid in raw aminata’s decarboxylates to muscimol during the best drying conditions. So, they will still have a lot of unwanted side effects that are reduced when a aqueous extract that has gone through the above procedure is consumed.

    I know of some people who use amanita muscaria for treating depression or the pain from lime disease. In siberia, an amanita tincture is made from vodka for rubbing on sore joints to relive pain. My soviet granny neighbor in our apartment building gave some to my visiting mother for her sore joints. It worked.

    Your work with psilocybin is fascinating.

  10. Noah Smith Reply

    Much research is needed before the benefits can be fully understood but it remains a particularly interesting field. There’s a lot of research still needed to truly understand how this incredible molecule works, and how we may apply it to medical and supplemental regimens to better our lives and stave off depression.

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