Psychedelic-Free Magic Mushroom Blends

Psychedelic-Free Magic Mushroom Blends
These legal “Magic Mushroom” products contain a proprietary blend of liposomes and nootropics that activate the same receptors in the brain as traditional psychedelic mushrooms. Brands claim they’re crafted to promote cognitive function and overall wellbeing; but what are the “magic” ingredients?


Chocolate blends from brands such as TreHouse contain a combination of ingredients that produce similar psychotropic effects to psilocybin, by combining “safe and natural ingredients that work together synergistically to optimise brain function.” The stack includes ingredients like lion’s mane mushroom, 5-HTP, Rhodiola Rosea and PEA (Phenylethylamine Hydrochloride). Collectively, these substances are considered nootropics for their effects on brain function, and they are mixed with a proprietary blend of liposomes to enhance delivery and absorption.

TreHouse explains that “The reason why mushroom products, like our shroom bars, yield a positive psychotropic effect is that many of these ‘serotonin agonists’ can individually yield a psychotropic effect, if the user consumes enough of these ingredients at one time. However, the body is unable to process these ingredients all at once, in their normal state. With our proprietary formula and delivery system, they’re able to hit the receptor sites all at once, which triggers an optimal effect. The ingredients are first converted into a smaller, evenly homogenised particle size to trick the user’s body into feeling like they’re consuming much more than they actually are. All those ingredients hitting the receptor site at the same time triggers a highly bioavailable and effective blend – yielding pleasant effects.”

The TreHouse medical disclaimer mentions that their products should not be used without the advice of a qualified physician, under the age of 21, when pregnant or breastfeeding, or in the advent of any existing health conditions. A full list of their active ingredients includes: 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), Rhodiola Rosea, Lion’s Mane, Mimosa Hostilis Root, Phenylethylamine Hydrochloride, and Cyanocobalamin (B12).


5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)

5-HTP is an amino acid – substances that build proteins in your body. 5-HTP is related to serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood, sleep, and pain. It is available as a supplement and is generally considered safe, although some contaminated supplements have caused dangerous side effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does regulate cosmetics and dietary supplements; however these regulations are often much less stringent than for foods or medication. It is predominantly up to the manufacturer to ensure safety and correct labelling.

5-HTP is not a naturally available dietary ingredient. Although your body makes 5-HTP from tryptophan, another amino acid which is found in many foods, eating more of these foods doesn’t seem to have much effect on 5-HTP levels. There’s no standard dose for 5-HTP. For depression, typical dosages range from 150 to 300 milligrams a day, or sometimes even higher. However it’s important to note that you should not use 5-HTP supplements if you are already prescribed antidepressants, as it could cause a serious interaction. Check with a doctor first if you take any other drugs, especially cough medicines, painkillers, or treatments for Parkinson’s disease.


Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola is a plant that grows in cold parts of Europe and Asia, and the root has a long history of use in traditional medicine. Rhodiola is considered an adaptogen, which are a class of natural substances that are believed to stimulate the body’s resistance to physical, environmental, and emotional stressors. Rhodiola extract has most often been used by adults in doses of 100-600 mg by mouth daily for up to 12 weeks, and might also help protect cells from damage and regulate heartbeat, however the medical evidence base is limited. It should not be taken while using diabetes or blood pressure medication as it can further lower blood glucose and blood pressure levels. It can also increase the activity of the immune system, and interacts with medication that works on P-Glycoprotein Substrates and CP450 liver enzymes.


Lion’s Mane

Lion’s mane mushrooms are big, white mushrooms that resemble a lion’s mane. Although they’re generally thought of as a single type of mushroom, there are three different species. Hericium erinaceus is the one that’s most widely available. They are extensively used in countries such as Korea, Japan, India, and China. Lion’s mane mushrooms have a flavour that many describe as similar to seafood, and they can be eaten raw, dried, or cooked. As a supplement, the mushroom comes in powders, liquids, and capsules.

Lion’s mane mushrooms are rich in vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. They are also a good source of essential minerals such as manganese, zinc, and potassium. The preliminary evidence suggests lion’s mane mushrooms might help in fighting inflammation through its potent antioxidant activity, they are also a good source of hericenones and erinacines, two chemicals that may accelerate the growth of brain cells. Animal studies suggest that these compounds, unlike some experimental treatments, are able to get from the bloodstream into the brain, crossing the so-called blood-brain barrier. For those reasons, there’s growing interest in trying the mushrooms in a long list of ailments. However no type of mushroom has undergone the kind of rigorous trials and studies necessary to show that they are safe, effective treatments for any specific conditions.


Mimosa Hostilis Root Bark Powder

The bark of this plant is known to be rich in tannins, saponins, alkaloids, lipids, phytosterols, and glucosides. It has a variety of other names including Mimosa tenuiflora and MHRB. In order to be harvested in a sustainable way, the bark must be exclusively harvested from the inner root so that it does not endanger the tree. The root bark and the shredded bark has immense value as a dye, as the tannins produce excellent shades of purple and brown.

Mimosa tenuiflora is also ingested as an entheogen, specifically by the Jurema Cult (O Culto da Jurema) in northeastern Brazil. Dried Mexican Mimosa tenuiflora root bark has been shown to have a dimethyltryptamine (DMT) content of about 1-1.7%, however the stem bark has about 0.03% DMT and would need to be mixed with other substances for psychotropic effects. The parts of the tree are traditionally used in northeastern Brazil in a psychoactive decoction also called Jurema or Yurema. Analogously, the traditional Western Amazonian sacrament Ayahuasca is brewed from indigenous ayahuasca vines. However, to date no β-carbolines such as harmala alkaloids have been detected in Mimosa tenuiflora decoctions, yet the Jurema is used in combination with several plants.

This presents challenges to the pharmacological understanding of how DMT from the plant is rendered orally active as an entheogen, because the psychoactivity of ingested DMT requires the presence of a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), such as a β-carboline. If an MAOI is neither present in the plant nor added to the mixture, the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO) will metabolise DMT in the human gut, preventing the active molecule from entering the blood and brain. One explanation may be the isolation of the chemical compound yuremamine from Mimosa tenuiflora as reported in 2005, representing a new class of phytoindoles.


Phenylethylamine Hydrochloride (PEA)

Phenethylamine (PEA) is a chemical with stimulant effects. It’s found naturally in plants, bacteria, fungi, and animals but can also be made synthetically in a lab. Phenethylamine stimulates the body to make certain chemicals that play a role in brain chemistry. It is similar to the drug amphetamine and may cause similar side effects (rapid heart rate, anxiety and agitation).

People use phenethylamine for athletic performance, depression, obesity, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. Taking phenethylamine along with medications that increase serotonin release, such as those used for depression, can cause serious and even fatal side effects, including severe headache, heart problems, shivering, confusion, and anxiety.


Cyanocobalamin (B12)

Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of vitamin B12 which is used to prevent and treat low blood levels of this vitamin. Most people get enough vitamin B12 from their diet, which is necessary to maintain the health of your metabolism, blood cells, and nerves. There are many form available and Cyanocobalamin taken by mouth should only be used if your body can properly absorb it.


The Entourage Effect vs. Serotonin Syndrome

Although compounds can work together to produce synergistic effects, this can have both beneficial and harmful consequences depending on the context. For example cofactors and coenzymes can enhance the absorption and distribution of a substance. However Serotonin Syndrome is a serious drug reaction caused by medications that build up high levels of serotonin in the body.

It’s most often caused by combining medications that contain serotonin agonists, such as migraine medication and antidepressants, but some illicit drugs or legal dietary supplements have also been associated with serotonin syndrome. Milder forms of serotonin syndrome may go away within a day or two of stopping the medications that cause symptoms and, sometimes, after taking drugs that block serotonin.

Some people are more likely to be affected by the drugs and supplements that cause serotonin syndrome than others, but the condition can occur in anyone. Small daily doses of individual nootropics are unlikely to cause a great degree of harm; However any product actively seeking to synergistically boost serotonin levels using “natural” stacks should be used with caution, especially when taking existing medication.