- Canadian company Psyched Wellness is working with the legal mushroom compound muscimol for mental health benefits.
- Amanita muscaria shows potential benefits for mental health treatments.
- Psyched Wellness CEO Jeffrey Stevens shares details of the on-going study on Amanita muscaria with Truffle Report.
Psyched Wellness, a Canadian health supplements company, is one of the first to work with Amanita muscaria and its principle psychoactive compound muscimol in developing mental healthcare and wellness products.
The company completed its first extraction from the legal on December 15. Unlike psilocybin, Amanita muscaria is not a controlled substance in Canada and most parts of the U.S., giving more freedom to researchers in developing viable medicines and supplements.
“I think we kind of have a unique opportunity in that the mushroom that we are working with has never been classified as a Schedule I drug [under U.S. drug laws],” Jeffrey Stevens, CEO and Director of Psyched Wellness says. He continues, “I think the big value-added and the unique part is that it’s a legal compound and we don’t have those restrictions and challenges [faced by other clinical researchers studying restricted psychedelics].”
Amanita muscaria has a low incidence of recreational use and the substance is not listed in international drug laws or North American drug policies. Unlike psilocybin, it is less hallucinogenic or euphoric but still an entheogenic plant, capable of amplifying emotional experiences and heightened sensory awareness. It is also known or ‘mislabeled’ for its high level of toxicity, which is the main reason why many researchers have refrained from developing an Amanita muscaria-based medicinal substance.
In recent months, Psyched Wellness carried out toxicology tests showing no red flags or poisonous content in Amanita muscaria when the substance is clinically processed. It is, however, not advisable to ingest the substance in its raw form. Amanita muscaria has also shown potential benefits in dealing with mental health issues, similar to the effects of psilocybin and LSD, Stevens shares.
“Most people have bypassed it. They don’t want to roll up the sleeves and do the work. We did that. We identified no red flags. We did everything scientifically. We were bulletproof to that effect,” Stevens says, crediting the COO of the Psyched Wellness David Shishel for identifying the substance.
The Amanita Muscaria Research Process
The recent extraction protocols carried out on Amanita muscaria mushrooms were conducted on samples accessed from five different geographical locations, including Washington State and Siberia, in order to filter out the less suitable specifications and focus on the compounds needed for the research.
“We’ve done the testing ourselves and sent the samples to a third-party lab for reevaluation. Once that’s done, we will send a larger extraction to our partnered lab in India which would take nine to ten months,” Stevens tells Truffle Report.
The whole process will take at least a year and a half to get a marketable product available for consumers. Stevens shares that after the extracts are developed with the partnered lab, it will require at least three months for FDA clearance and six months for Canadian approval as a new dietary ingredient in the market.
Future of Muscimol, the Legal Psychedelic Compound
Stevens was optimistic, sharing that Psyched Wellness is looking forward to leading the space in studying A. muscaria mushrooms. “It’s our goal in the next year to identify what mental health challenge muscimol can best address, and set pre-clinical and clinical work to go down that path,” he says.
In capturing the interest of the market in the psychedelic space, Stevens believes there’s a big opportunity for developing natural products. “We’re really focused on proving on the clinical side and moving more in science to identify muscimol as a substance to resolve issues. I think it’s a massive global opportunity,” he says.
Psyched Wellness is fairly new in the market, “trading for just two months,” Stevens says, adding, “We’re just getting the story told. I expect that we get a lot of attention when that starts to resonate.”
Ritika is a Toronto-based reporter. She writes about drug policies and developments in psychedelics.