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.”
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.
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.
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.