Yield Growth subsidiary Flourish Mushroom Labs appears to have discovered a fundamentally new use for the active compounds in magic mushrooms, i.e. psilocin and its prodrug psilocybin.
On December 10, 2019, Yield Growth Corporation announced that its subsidiary Flourish Mushroom Labs filed a U.S. provisional patent application relating to “methods of using serotonin antagonists, in particular, psychedelic mushroom actives, for weight loss. See Yahoo Finance (emphasis added).
This development is exciting for at least two reasons:
- Using active compounds from magic mushrooms as serotonin-2a (i.e., 5HT-2a antagonists) represents an entire new area in psychedelic research.
- This departure from the accepted knowledge about psilocybin/psilocin suggests that Flourish Mushroom’s new use of these compounds as 5HT-2a antagonists will likely result in patentable subject matter. (Inventions that represent a major departure from accepted knowledge are usually considered “non-obvious” during examination at the patent office.)
According to the press release, the Flourish Mushroom Labs patent application pertains to administering psilocin and/or psilocybin to provide an overall weight loss in individuals. The weight loss is achieved by reducing food cravings, counteracting compulsive overeating, and aiding in improving quality of diet by altering food choices. The application also attempts to claim methods of administering “microdoses” of psilocin/psilocybin to provide weight loss by “increasing metabolism, which, combined with a decrease in food cravings or compulsive overeating, or altering food choices to less calorie dense foods, could result in substantial and beneficial weight loss.” Yield Growth also claims that “the Flourish Mushroom Labs pending patent also covers the use of psilocin/psilocybin in treatment or regulation of diabetes, and regulation of blood glucose and to reduce susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and other illnesses associated with obesity.”
Yield Growth’s New Approach to Psychedelics as Serotonin Receptor Antagonists.
According to Yield Growth’s press release about Flourish Mushroom Labs Provisional Patent Application, “Psilocin/psilocybin is known as 5-HT2A agonists or partial agonists.”
Psilocin is a known 5HT-2A agonist. Psilocybin is recognized as an inactive prodrug of psilocin, i.e., neither an agonist or an antagonist.
Yield Growth’s description of Flourish Mushroom’s patent application is as follows: “U.S. PATENT TO USE SEROTONIN ANTAGONISTS FROM PSYCHEDELIC MUSHROOMS FOR WEIGHT LOSS.”
Although neither Yield Growth’s website nor the press release provides detailed information about the technology, the use fo psilocybin/psilocin as a 5HT-2A antagonist represents a significant departure from previous approaches. To date, all other research has focused on using psilocybin as a prodrug of psilocin, thereby providing psilocin as a 5HT-2A agonist with an increasing number of applications.
This development highlights the tremendous opportunities for making new fundamental breakthroughs in the space. It will be fascinating to follow Yield Growth and Flourish Mushrooms as they develop this new technology, which seems to defy accepted wisdom about psilocin’s method of action.