Do you know the difference between natural and synthetic psilocybin?
Our relationship with psychedelic mushrooms is complicated and goes back to the dawn of humankind. In modern times, these ancient fungi are sometimes labeled as party drugs and dangerous, leading to them becoming banned.
Further research into psilocybin has contradicted many of these negative beliefs and revived the idea that it could provide healing. The increasing demand for this psychedelic compound has even led to people growing artificial mushrooms.
But are these fabricated fruiting bodies safe, and are they better than the full-spectrum version?
Here we investigate the difference between synthetic and natural mushrooms to determine which is the better option. You’ll also learn about how this artificial chemical is created and its future in medicine.
Let’s get started.
The History of Psilocybin
Before we look at synthetic psilocybin, it helps to understand the history of magic mushrooms.
These hallucinogenic fungi have been consumed for over 100,000 years, influencing every civilization before us. There is even evidence to suggest they played a part in the evolution of our species.
Psilocybin was introduced to the Western world in 1955 by Robert Gordon Wasson. The American author and his wife experienced the power of magic mushrooms while documenting fungi in Mexico.
It was also at this time that LSD was discovered, which in some ways was a precursor to synthetic psilocybin. Some saw the two hallucinogenic compounds as a threat, which ultimately led to them both being banned in 1970.
Luckily, studies into the medicinal benefits of magic mushrooms continued, convincing the FDA to permit research in 2018.
Since then, the demand for these therapeutic fungi has skyrocketed, forcing medical companies to a more effective means of production. Not only are synthetic shrooms cheaper to cultivate in a lab on a massive scale, but they also grow faster.
What’s the Difference Between Synthetic and Natural Psilocybin?
What are synthetic mushrooms, and how are they different from other fungi?
Natural psilocybin, sometimes called full-spectrum, refers to fruiting bodies that grow in the wild. Humans have not manipulated them through any type of chemical extraction, and they contain hundreds of different compounds.
Synthetic mushrooms are the opposite, as they’ve been manufactured in a laboratory using a variety of methods. Artificial psilocybin is also a concentrated version, as all other compounds, like tryptamines, are stripped away.
When it comes to treating patients, it’s difficult to maintain accurate doses of this hallucinogenic substance in its natural form. The synthetic version removes this issue and makes it easier for therapists to offer reliable treatments.
Another difference between the two compounds is their expected effects. It’s hard to predict what a mental health patient experiences when using full-spectrum shrooms. Whereas consuming artificial mushrooms reduces the chances of a “bad trip.”
Some researchers believe this compound in synthetic form is less effective despite its higher potency. This belief is due to artificial versions not containing any tryptamines. As a result, patients lose out on the entourage effect.
One of the most noticeable differences between natural and synthetic psilocybin is their appearance. Full-spectrum versions are mushrooms that are dried and then consumed or brewed into a tea. In contrast, artificial compounds come in either liquid or powder form.
Artificial psilocybin can also be adulterated with dangerous chemicals to increase overall volume. These additives remain unchecked due to the laws surrounding magic mushrooms and can potentially harm the end user.
How is Synthetic Psilocybin Made?
The process of creating synthetic psilocybin has changed over the years as researchers find better ways to manufacture this molecule.
One of the oldest methods to produce this therapeutic compound is to utilize a series of chemical reactions. In layman’s terms, this type of synthesis involves taking a complex molecule and breaking it down into its simplest form.
The biggest issue with making synthetic psilocybin using the chemical route is the byproducts created. These undesirable compounds lower the purity of the final product and reduce its effectiveness.
A more recent method, known as biosynthesis, involves adding genetically altered yeast to sugar. As the two products begin to ferment, they create artificial psilocybin.
Not only is the second manufacturing technique easier, but it also eliminates the need to use non-renewable fuels for chemical reactions. Many researchers also believe that yeast is more adaptable to the requirements of this molecule.
Today, the majority of synthetic psilocybin producers favor the biosynthesis method as it’s more cost-effective and efficient. As the laws change towards magic mushrooms, further regulations should also improve these processes.
Overall, artificial psilocybin is a safe alternative to psychedelic mushrooms as long as a trusted source produces it. While some believe the synthetic option is better for medical treatment, others argue it isn’t as beneficial as natural varieties.
The Lowdown on Synthetic Psilocybin
We still have plenty to learn about the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic mushrooms and synthetic psilocybin.
It’s strange to think humans have lived with these hallucinogenic fungi for so long yet know little about them.
By manufacturing this magic molecule in a lab, we’ve slowly started to unravel its mysteries and how it could heal us. While there are drawbacks to using artificial versions over natural ones, they do offer some advantages.
Would you choose synthetic psilocybin instead of full-spectrum mushrooms?
Remember that consuming these psychedelic fungi remains illegal in many US states, but you’re allowed to study them.
Head over to our online store and order magic mushroom spores for research purposes and learn more about these strains.