The Future is Trippy

First things first, it’s fun-gee not fun-guy, although the mascot for Oklahoma Fungi certainly looks to be a fun guy. The adorable cartoon mushroom dons a giant smile while pitching up a peace sign. His inviting persona is no doubt an extension of his creator, Jacob DeVecchio, owner of the Oklahoma City-based mycology supply store. In 2020, Jacob decided to leave his normie life and launch into entrepreneurship. Not only did he decide to strike out on his own, but he also chose to follow his passion and has since grown Oklahoma Fungi to be a recognizable and reputable resource for the tools, supplies, and knowledge necessary for anyone to inoculate their own mushroom garden. Jacob’s real passion is education. A scientist by trade, his decision to leap into entrepreneurship facilitated him the opportunity to learn while teaching people. As a mushroom guide at the forefront of another psychedelic revolution, Oklahoma Fungi has been presented with many opportunities to teach. He hosts how-to classes for burgeoning mycologists, provides consultation for home cultivators and for discerning entrepreneurs, and maintains a stock of high-quality mycology supplies to meet the needs of his clients. Jacob explains that homegrown mushrooms are fairly easy so long as the endeavor is approached with a bit of patience and respect for a clean environment.

Mushrooms are fascinating organisms which are disqualified from being plants because they do not make their own food through photosynthesis. They aren’t a part of the animal kingdom either, although some mushrooms share more DNA with humans than we do with our closest evolutionary predecessor. Mushrooms are fungus and that is one of the five biological kingdoms of living things. In the fungus kingdom exist a number of molds and mildews, including single celled yeasts (yum, bread) or multicellular mushrooms. Fungus are an extraordinary source of nutrition and act as antioxidants. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) recognizes over 130 medicinal benefits of mushrooms and acknowledges that mushrooms have been a part of human medicinal and dietary practice for more than 5,000 years. With such comprehensive data reflecting the dietary benefit of mushrooms, Jacob is hopeful to usher in an era of further understanding for magic mushrooms.

Before getting into the conversation of entheogenic/ hallucinogenic research and therapy, Jacob warns that magic mushrooms are “not a silver bullet” for health conditions like depression or addiction. He goes on to explain though, that the Global Drug Survey deemed psilocyn (the metabolite in magic mushrooms) to be the safest psychedelic on record, exceeding even the safety rating for cannabis. This determination is the result of the low incidence of emergency treatment as compared to other commonly used psychedelics. Another mitigating risk factor in favor of mushrooms are their low likelihood to be laced with another more potent hallucinogenic, opiate or amphetamine which allows consumers relative peace of mind when acquiring the fantastic funguses.

One of the winning arguments in favor of magic mushrooms is that even a “bad trip” can result in monumentally positive outcomes. A bad trip often is characterized by feelings of dysphoria rather than euphoria. During a bad trip, consumers may feel nauseous, anxious, deeply sad, or remorseful. A bad trip is nothing more than the user’s already existing emotions being amplified by the hallucinogenic experience. For proponents of mushroom therapy, “bad trips” can be wildly enlightening. A bad trip is often attributed with emotional breakthroughs or what is commonly referred to as “ego death”. The death of ego is a sought-after outcome from macro-dosing mushrooms. Outside of tripping for fun (bright visuals, heightened senses), modern medicine recognizes the benefit of hallucinogenic therapy.

With a low probability for poor outcome or addiction, magic mushrooms can be an enticing party drug or at-home therapy solution. Jacob, and pretty much every medical professional ever, strongly recommend not utilizing mushrooms in place of therapy but rather in conjunction with therapy. While most doctors are still unable to pursue their interests in administering psilocybin and psilocin due to its listing as a Schedule I narcotic, many practitioners eager to see more research. Fortunately, Oklahoma may be at the forefront of the next psychedelic revolution with H.B. 3414, a House of Representatives initiative to allow Oklahoma’s universities to participate in the cultivation, manufacture, and clinical trial administration of these two compounds to patients in order to determine their efficacy in treating depression, suicidality, alcohol and drug abuse, and more. As a leader in Oklahoma’s mycology industry, Jacob is most excited to see research opportunities on our horizon and continues to provide learning opportunities. On February 23rd, Oklahoma Fungi is hosting a policy update at Flora Bodega in the Paseo District in Oklahoma City.