We’re Not the Only Ones: Animal Friends that Get High

Mother nature creates her share of wonders, and animals are not ones to shy away from her offerings. Since life has been sprouting out of the ground, magic mushrooms and other natural psychedelics have found themselves in the bellies of some of our animal friends.

Whether they’ve stumbled upon it by accident, or have sought it out intentionally, it might be safe to say that our earth counterparts like to get a little silly and insightful sometimes, just like us.

Bears

Whether your perception of a bear is ferocious and dangerous, or cute and cuddly (either way, please don’t go approaching a bear), this bear cub eating an Amanita Muscaria and having a special experience is undeniable (mind the added effects).

Jaguars

Known to chew on Yage root, otherwise known as Ayahuasca, these feline creatures aren’t shy of a deeper journey. For ages, Jaguars have been held in high esteem in the domain of Shamans who have also used psilocybin, ayahuasca and other psychedelics as means of exploration and ritual. Perhaps it’s through the connection of the Yage root, where Indigenous cultures in the Amazon have come to see the Jaguar as an ally, guardian and presence that dispels darks forces and invites transformation.

Cats

Cat-nip, the scooby snack for your in-house kitten, need we say more?

Reindeer

Ah, sweet antlered shroom heads. With how this species tends to eat all sorts of things on the ground, magic mushrooms are on the list. And what about this holiday theory of ‘flying’ reindeer, where did it come from? It’s said in Nordic culture, magic mushrooms (Amanita Muscaria specifically) were an enduring symbol of the festive period, and were involved in the tradition of gifting during the winter solstice.

Dolphins

If you’ve found yourself deep enough in a reddit thread, it’s probably not news to you that dolphins can play some pretty wicked games with other animals. One horrific but recreational activity is to get high off of pufferfish. Pufferfish, when afraid, emit a toxin that seems to get the dolphins stoned. In this video, as you see the pod passing the pufferfish back and forth, you’ll notice that the dolphins begin to get sillier and more playful as they go, eventually ascending to the water’s surface with one another.

The Magic of Magic Mushrooms: Benefits of Dosing

Maybe the stereotype of dosing on shrooms is a post-grad trip where you met your soul mate at a full-moon party, but we all know the history, depth and benefits of a shroom trip go beyond a giggly and ‘far-out’ time.

Psilocybin has long been a tool for sacred journeys, self-awareness and discovery. Almost every country worldwide has a had a sacred relationship with the magic of magic mushrooms. Ranging from Sharan Indigenous Tribes in North Africa to Aztec history, magic mushrooms have played a pivotal role as a spiritual and cultural foundation for many.

Whether you’re biting into some Scooby Snacks, or sipping on shroom tea to have a few giggles, or embark on a revealing journey of spiritual insights, here are some reasons, of why many have turned towards the magic of magic mushrooms.

Increasing Openness and Experiencing Long-Lasting Positive Shifts

So why has humankind always incorporated the use of psychedelics? It’s simple to say that as we navigate our way through life, our hearts and minds can become closed off due to the series of knocks, bumps and traumas we undergo along the way.

In a 2011 John Hopkins University conducted a study to assess the effect of shrooms on changes in the five broad domains of personality – Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness.

Coming out on top, researchers found the measure of ‘Openness’, which is a broad range of traits covering someone’s permeability to new ideas and experiences, and awareness of feelings in self and others, remained significantly higher than the original baseline more than one year after the session.

Kick that Addiction

Shrooms have been shown to help treat addiction to habit-forming drugs like nicotine and cocaine.

Continuing to be on the forefront of psychedelic studies, John Hopkins University paired with The Beckley Foundation on a pilot study that would investigate magic mushroom assisted psychotherapy to overcome nicotine addiction. Researchers reported that participants taking magic mushrooms paired with counselling achieved an 80% abstinence rate over six months.

Lower Depression

Modern research has been conducted to show how psilocybin works with serotonin receptors in the brain in order to create a large range of effects.

A definitive study conducted by the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme, provided the first clinical proof for the effectiveness of magic mushrooms on treating depression. Using an fMRI to look at the neural signature of psilocybin in participants, it was discovered that shrooms may actually ‘reset’ the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression.

Increase Creativity

Cycling back to the cultivation of openness, magic mushrooms allows us to states where we are no longer attached to the materialistic, and ego-based concerns of the world/existence. These experiences open the door to lead us beyond our current frame of mind and can greet us with new and inspired perspectives.

Shroom Recipes for your Quarantine Test Kitchen

First it was banana bread, then every other loaf of bread that you could name under the sun. Your hunger for the mastery of new cooking and baking skills transformed into meticulously re-watching all of ‘Chefs Table’ and now you’re itching to try on something more adventurous. So, here you are, on a shroom blog titled ‘Shroom Recipes for your Quarantine Test Kitchen’, and we’re going to take a guess that you’re curious about where to take your culinary adventures next (featuring magic mushrooms).

Here’s a quick guide on culinary expeditions with psilocybin and a few recipes that won’t compromise the potency of your shrooms.

Mind Your Dose

Come to your prep station with a good understanding of what dosage is right for you and your dining companions. The last thing you want after snacking on some delicious shroom pesto is to find yourself tripping beyond your comfort level. Keep your dosage low, remember you can always add/take more later.

Make it Easy On Your Stomach

It’s no news that ingesting magic mushrooms can onset some nausea. Cook with ingredients like ginger and mint or keep a cup of ginger or mint nearby to consume with your meal. Making a smoothie? Up on the bananas, as they’ll offer a healthy dose of potassium that will keep your stomach happy.

Now Onto the Recipes

Magic Mushroom Pesto

Ingredients
  • Sabinas Children Mushrooms
  • 2 cups fresh herbs to taste (parsley, basil, coriander, etc.)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (vegan sub: nutritional yeast)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Pita bread, carrot sticks, tortilla chips, etc. for dipping
  • Himalayan pink salt (or regular) to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients and process until just a little chunky.
  2. You’re all set! Place your shroom pesto into a bowl and happy snacking!

Shroom-sotto

Ingredients
  • Penis Envy Mushrooms
  • ¾ cup rice
  • 1 ½ cup stock
  • ½ tablespoon garlic
  • ½ small red onion
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup fresh chopped basil
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of tarragon
  • pinch of salt
  • ⅛ cup tomato paste
Instructions
  1. Warm ½ cup of stock until lukewarm and steep shrooms in it for 30 minutes. Take magic mushrooms out of the stock and put it aside. Over medium heat, mix the rice with psilocybin-infused stock and the rest of the regular stock. Stir regularly for about 30 minutes until mixture becomes thick and creamy.
  2. In a skillet, sauté garlic, red onion, basil, black pepper, tarragon, salt, and tomato paste over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste mixture to rice and stock mixture. Add shrooms and grated cheese. Garnish with fresh basil if you like.

Magic Mushroom Energy Balls

Ingredients
  • Golden Teacher Mushrooms
  • 150g quality chocolate with high (80%+) cocoa content
  • Extra ingredients: dried fruit pieces, crushed nuts, marshmallows, cornflakes etc
  • Salt
  • 100g organic, cold-pressed coconut coil
Instructions
  1. Chop shrooms into tiny pieces
  2. Chop up extra ingredients and mix in a bowl with the magic mushrooms
  3. Fill a saucepan partially with water and fitting a heat-safe bowl on top. Melt your coconut oil in the bowl as the water simmers below. Don’t let it boil.
  4. Gently stir in the chocolate until it’s completely melted and your mix is smooth.
  5. Wait for the mix to cool, then stir in shrooms and other ingredients. Keep stirring so that everything is evenly distributed in the mix.
  6. As soon as the mix starts to become solid, shape it into bite-sized balls. Place your energy balls on a tray covered with non-stick paper.
  7. Place in the fridge for several hours.

Don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen? Seremoni and Dreamland have some great chocolate bars where someone’s already done the work, or you if you’d prefer a non-chocolate option, Room 920 has an assortment of jellies that you can enjoy.

Time to Put On That Apron

There are plenty of fun ways to incorporate magic mushroom into your recipes that go beyond what we’ve shown you here. Start with a low dose, get out your favourite cookbook or lead with instinct, and you’ll be well on your way to a psychedelic culinary adventure.

Safe and Sound Journeys : Curating your Shroom Trip Playlist

Photo by Ilyuza Mingazova on Unsplash

Any seasoned traveler will tell you that setting the tone when it comes to planning a trip is essential. And when it comes to planning your trip with magic mushrooms, music is a powerful tool for creating the right space for safe and happy travels, or whatever it is you’re looking for. Through all of music’s nuances, textures, layers and emotions, it can act as a supportive and steady foundation as you move through your journey with psilocybin.  

Just as you would plan a playlist for a party or road trip, the sequence of your songs are key to creating the right environment for you and your Scooby Snack companions. As you prepare to navigate your way through the different phases of your trip, you might want to ask what types of music can add to each stage of the journey.

Ultimately, if in the deepest of your heart you want to trip on psilocybin to Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit’ on repeat or use shrooms to amplify your experience of the entire Blink-182 discography, we say, go for it. But since we’re here to explore music’s contribution to your trip a littler further than what we may already know, here are some suggestions for what to look for when curating your magic mushroom playlist.

Phase 1: The Onset

A tune that is supportive and unfolding, a mood that is nurturing and safe much like Harmony Microdose Caps. Consider this your transcendental invitation into the shroomosphere.

Manufactured Art – Vincent Adara

Tunnels and Planes – Nick Leng

Envelopes (Chapter VI) – Leon Vynehall

Cool Bananas – Tell

Phase 2: The Peak

Something layered, hypnotic, cleansing and powerful like Golden Teacher Cubensis. This is the place of breakthrough, and where music becomes a mirror for oneself but also a steady foundation should one need grounding.

Memory Lane – Angara

Departures – David Scott

Love is Not a Losing Game – Waxlife

U – DJ Seinfeld

Phase 3: The Post-Peak

Grounding, restful, integrative, or perhaps something familiar and positive to bring you back into this world.

Till Dig – HNNY

LA4 – Moby

It All Feels Right – Washed Out

Just a Cloud – Lusine, Vilja Larjosto

Want a Professional Opinion?

Psychologist Bill Richards, Ph D., a researcher at Roland Griffith’s lab at John Hopkins University and expert in the field of hallucinogens understands the importance of setting a comfortable and safe environment whenever partaking in magic mushrooms.

After years of studies and sessions with patients, Richards has created and shared his “Psilocybin Research” playlist online. Not your stereotypical magic mushroom playlist, you’ll find classical masterpieces by the likes of Mozart, Vivaldi and Brahms that will support you through your unravelling journeys, and then a familiar and warm favourite, “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong to conclude the trip. What a way to come back.

Richards’ choice for the majority of the playlist being orchestral music was intentional as it he mentioned it is less distracting and less likely to give room for a person to fall back on normal patterns of thinking, with the exception of the final stage where hearing the human voice can be very supportive, even maternal.

Time to Set the Stage

So what songs will you choose to support you on your shroom journey? Are you searching for a breakthrough, an uplifting and fun time, quiet introspection, or maybe all of them? Music is the safe container for your journey, a quiet guide in the background, and a place where you can steady your feet as you explore your personal consciousness. Now that you’ve got some guidelines for your playlist, what musical landscape will you be curating for your next trip?

Magic Mushrooms – Helping Us Transfer to the Next Plane

Photo by Florian van Duyn on Unsplash

2020 has held its share of atrocities, but this is not one of them. On August 4th, 2020, exemptions for end-of-life treatment using psilocybin was approved by the federal Health Minister’s office for 4 individuals. This marks the first time magic mushrooms have been legal for people since its prohibition in 1974.

Where some may partake in the occasional dabble with scooby snacks on a cloudless, star-filled evening, others have more serious motivations for using nature’s medicine. Take participant Laurie Brooks for example. Facing and battling the constant dread and anxiety from terminal colon cancer, Laurie has decided to try psilocybin therapy in an attempt to achieve peace of mind so that she may enjoy her remaining days with her four children.

Health Canada has stated that purified versions of magic mushrooms are being studied in clinical and supervised settings to treat various conditions. Studies on the benefits of shrooms in end-of-life therapy and palliative care have been occurring for years but this recent decision by the Canadian Minister of Health is a huge defining moment for a world that’s beginning to see that psilocybin can be powerfully effective in treating depression, addiction, anxiety and emotional traumas.

Since Laurie’s session, she quotes “After my trip I was able to see my cancer as being in a box on the floor beside me and to this day that’s still where I see it,”. “Sometimes it comes out and I have to let it out, but for the most part it’s been in the box instead of looming over me all the time, and that was a massive change for me.” When reflecting on her experience before therapy she mentions, “Before that, I was just thinking about dying and leaving my husband and kids.”

The shift in perspective facilitated by psilocybin can greatly reduce the anxiety and depression within those who are terminally ill. Pam Sakuda, 55 at the time, was given 6 to 14 months to live after hearing the dreaded words ‘Stage 4; metastatic’. After passing the 14-month mark to everyone’s surprise, she found herself in the deep depths of anxiety and depression. Normally upbeat and determined, the surmounting fear of ‘when’ caused her to shrink further and further. In an act of serendipity, she heard of a study being conducted by Charles Grob, psychiatrist and researcher at Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center who was administering psilocybin to 12 end-stage cancer patients to see if it could decrease fears about death and dying.

In January 2005, Grob and his team conducted multiple psychological tests with Sakuda before proceeding with psilocybin therapy to ensure that the foundational measures of her mental state were healthy, and to rule out any psychiatric illness. We wanted psychologically healthy people,” Grob says, “people whose depressions and anxieties are not the result of mental illness” but rather, he explained, a response to a devastating disease.”

Two weeks after Sakuda took a supervised, and minimal dose of magic mushrooms, and two weeks after tears and breakthroughs in her sessions, Grob ran the depression and anxiety assessments once again. Throughout all 12 subjects it was noted that even at the 1 and 3 month mark, each individual showed a sustained reduction in anxiety.

Dr. John Halpern, colleague of Charles Grob, and head of the Laboratory for Integrative Psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont MA pondered in an interview with the New York Times that “the thinking is that with the aid of the psychedelic, you may come to see the object in a different light. It may help bring back memories; it promotes introspection, it can be a touchstone, it can be grounding.”

“On psychedelics,” Halpern says, “you have an experience in which you feel there is something you are a part of, something else is out there that’s bigger than you, that there is a dazzling unity you belong to, that love is possible and all these realizations are imbued with deep meaning. I’m telling you that you’re not going to forget that six months from now. The experience gives you, just when you’re on the edge of death, hope for something more.”

Current day efforts in Canada are led by Dr. Bruce Tobin, a psychotherapist and founder of TheraPsil, and Spencer Hawkswell, executive director at TheraPsil. With previous failed efforts to advocate for Canadians to gain the right to psilocybin use, Tobin shifted to the purpose of helping individuals with terminal diagnoses to submit their own personal exemptions with the support of TheraPsil.

Meet Thomas Hartle, who is one of those exemptions. Hartle has been struggling with terminal cancer since 2016, and now is able to legally partake in psilocybin therapy for end-of-life distress. In an interview with National Post Hartle mentions that pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications come with unpleasant side effects and bring no comfort or ease to the deeper anxiety that comes with death and leaving a family behind. Based off of existing research, he believes that by taking shrooms, that could help ease that pain.

And he’s right, multiple studies have proven time and time again that magic mushrooms are more than just a trip. Findings have showed that not only are anxiety and depression reduced greatly after the first session, but that shrooms produce significant and long-lasting improvements in one’s mental state. The acknowledgement of our mortality can come with hopelessness and demoralization, but with the assistance of psilocybin therapy and the support of government bodies, there’s the ability to find healing and peace of mind through a different lens.

Chocolate Hearts, Harmony Micro Capsules, and Penis Envy Magic Mushrooms are just a few options that can be a part of your transformative and healing path. Read more about the products to see if they’re the right fit for you.