Coffee with Psilocybin?

Based on newfound benefits of magic mushrooms and the changing cultural (and legal) climate, some early movers have started working on psilocybin containing consumer products, like foods and beverages.

On July 29, 2019, Strava Craft Coffee announced its plans for introducing coffees and teas that include microdoses of psilocybin from magic mushrooms.  See New Atlas article by Rich Haridy.

Strava already produces “a Full-Spectrum CBD-Rich Hemp Infused Coffee line called “Peace & Wellness.”  According to Strava’s CEO, Andrew Aamot, moving into the magic mushroom space fits the company’s mission: “the company’s vision is to bring consumers amazing beverages infused with promising natural compounds.”
Mr. Aamot further explains that Strava’s goal “in the case of psilocybin, [is] to seek physical, mental and spiritual therapeutic benefits without triggering psychedelic “trips,” which can occur when psilocybin is consumed in high doses.”

“Strava doesn’t anticipate selling the beverages until 2020 at the earliest, banking on a more favorable regulatory environment emerging within the new few years.”

Strava CEO Andrew Aamot says in a statement announcing the new product: “As research is proving, with measured consumption, cannabis and psilocybin can both promote physiological, mental and spiritual health.”

According to their press release, Strava plans on infusing coffee and tea with “microdoses of psilocybin.” Stave’s statements also make clear that they intend to us“psilocybin from mushrooms,” aka “magic mushrooms,” as opposed to synthetic psilocybin.

Strava already has some experience making with naturally derived products. Strava was one of the first coffee roasters to sell CBD-infused coffee in 2017. 

Other logical fits for making psilocybin containing coffee include Four Sigmatic and Bulletproof.   Four Sigmatic is a “functional mushroom company,” which makes a line of mushroom based beverage formulations. Although Four Sigmatic has not made any formal announcements about making psilocybin containing products, its founder, Tero Isokauppila has discussed possibilities in the space.  See Maxim Oct. 14, 2018.

Bulletproof makes a line of “science-based” products. Bulletproof’s founder and CEO, Dave Asprey describes himself as the “Father of Biohacking,” which speaks to the companies mission: “take control of your own biology.”  Clearly psychedelics, like magic mushrooms have potential within the context of biohacking.  Nevertheless, Mr. Asprey explains in his blog that he has no intentions of including mushrooms in their coffee products. “In the early days of Bulletproof, we experimented with developing mushrooms and herbs to put in coffee. We put the kibosh on that for a few reasons, the main one being that mushrooms in coffee tastes like crap. Why ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee with the taste of mushrooms? Some types of mushrooms can be pretty earthy — that’s a coffee snob’s way of saying it tastes like dirt.”  Mr. Asprey appears to agree with the potential biohacking benefits of magic mushrooms by opposes the idea of including mushrooms in coffee: “With a little research, expert guidance, and self-experimentation, mushrooms can be a valuable addition to your supplement stack, without making your coffee taste mega gross.”

The Future of Psychedelic Beverages

On account of their newly appreciated health benefits and safety profile, magic mushrooms could become the next cannabis.  See Cannabis and Magic Mushrooms – a Near Perfect Analogy.  Such development will necessarily give rise to a variety of consumer products that provide users with options aside from eating mushroom fruiting bodies.  Beverages, like coffee and tea, are one logical product category.  But, it remains to be seen whether companies like Strava can develop products that don’t “taste like crap.”

Another lingering question is how manufacturers will control the does and chemical composition of the active ingredients.  Presently available cannabis coffees, like Strava’s “Peace & Wellness” line clearly articulate the precise amount of CBD contained in each serving.  Given the substantial chemical variability in magic mushrooms, any company using them within a formulation will need to control for both the different active ingredients in the mushrooms and the concentration of those ingredients. (Simply adding magic mushrooms to coffee or tea would result in considerable variability in both the identity and quantity of active psilocybin derivatives.). Arguably, the future of magic mushroom coffee and tea will adopt the precise and reliable dosing practices now standard in cannabis products.  This could be accomplished by using magic mushroom formulations having precisely dosed amounts of select ingredients.

3 thoughts on “Coffee with Psilocybin?

  1. Tom Welsh Reply

    Great story, thanks. Asprey, like any opportunistic capitalist, will be on board if mushrooms in coffee are profitable. Give me a break….

  2. Tetje vanderwoude Reply

    No comment till I have tried it. A cup of tea sounds good. Need to experiment first.

  3. GordoTEK Reply

    It seems a bit premature to talk about retail psilocybin products (at least in the US). We might see FDA approval of psilocybin to treat depression with a very elaborate protocol involving therapist guides and a prescription, but that is light years away from retail products. Even the very progressive Oregon proposal up for vote next year, would not allow for psilocybin retail products.

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