Category Archives: Cubensis

Psilocybin Molecule: The Agent of Transfiguration

Anyone who’s went through a well-thought-out serious dose of mushrooms can tell you that psilocybin is a truly life-changing compound.

This molecule first emerged 10 to 20 million years ago, and its primary function was to repel predators from feasting on the mushrooms.

In the millions of years that followed creatures with superior sentience gradually evolved, and in humans the effects produced by psilocybin are completely different from the original purpose of this molecule.

How come some mushrooms have psilocybin?

Over two hundred species of mushrooms (which grow in almost every corner of the world) have developed psilocybin, and what’s fascinating is that this molecule seems to have evolved “separately” in each of them.

This unusual process where the beneficial genetic material jumps from species to species is called the horizontal gene transfer. This specific type of gene transfer is usually a result of a specific threat or opportunity in the environment.

It is speculated that the psilocybin-carrying genetic material “jumped” from one species to another because a great number of differing mushrooms grow on manure and rotten wood, but more importantly because in this fungi-friendly environment there’s also a lot of insects, who are the mushroom’s natural enemies.

Science has figured out (1) that unlike with humans (whose consciousness distorts in profound ways when psilocybin is introduced), psilocybin causes insects to perceive that they are full, which prevents them from eating the mushroom in question.

This sensation in the insects’ mind makes psilocybin a very sophisticated defense mechanism, because it doesn’t poison or kill them, but instead deters predatory insects from continuing to eat the mushroom.

How does psilocybin induce psychedelic effects?

Firstly, when we consume psilocybin mushrooms, the presence of water molecules in the body causes a phosphate group to detach from the psilocybin molecule.

This process is called dephosphorylation, and it converts psilocybin into psilocin, which is responsible for the mind-altering effects.

Once psilocybin is converted to psilocin, this molecule is now able to attach to specific receptors in the brain.

Because it is structurally quite similar to serotonin, psilocin prevents the reuptake (reabsorption) of serotonin on these serotonin receptors sites.

This means that psilocin temporarily “hijacks” serotonin receptors from serotonin, and stimulate them throughout numerous important regions of the brain.

This ability to stimulate serotonin receptors means that psilocin is a serotonin receptor agonist.

Serotonin is an immensely important neurotransmitter, with an extremely wide set of functions within the human body.

It’s frequently called the “happy chemical” as it’s essential for our feelings of wellbeing and happiness, but it is also intricately connected with numerous other functions such as mood, appetite, sleep cyclessexual desire, memory and learning. Low levels of the serotonin molecule is also tightly tied with depression.

Similar to serotonin, but not the same

Psilocin molecules are capable of stimulating serotonin receptors because they are structurally similar to serotonin, and a very similar thing happens with cannabinoids from cannabis, which are able to stimulate the cellular receptors of the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid receptors have evolved to be stimulated by our endogenous endocannabinoids like anandamide. But, because cannabinoids like THC and CBD are structurally similar to our body-made endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid receptors also respond to the simulation of cannabinoids.

Just like endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are different, psilocin and serotonin are different. They don’t produce the same effects, even though they are similar in structure and fit onto the same receptors.

Since psilocybin (and subsequently psilocin) still remains a Schedule 1 substance, science is still having a hard time uncovering all of its mysteries, because the illegality cripples both the funding and volume of research.

What we know so far

Research has shown that psilocin stimulates serotonin receptors differently than serotonin, and the main difference is that psilocin activates phospholipase A2 enzymes, unlike serotonin which activates phospholipase C enzymes.

This basically means that psilocin and serotonin produce different effects when they stimulate these receptors, and other psychedelic compounds like DMT and LSD also activate phospholipase A2.

This kind of receptor activation is produces a cascading domino effect, affecting numerous regions in the brain – most importantly the default mode network.

The default mode network

Psylocibin vs placebo
image source: pnas.org

When scientists first began taking brain scans of people under the influence of psilocybin, they expected to see a great increase in brain activity, corresponding with the intense sensations that people regularly report.

But unexpectedly, they saw a significant decrease of cerebral blood flow (CBF) in a specific network that is essential to our perception of self.

The default mode network (DMN) is a set of structures located in the midline of the brain, which connects structures of the frontal cortex (the most recently evolved part, home to our executive functions like planning, reasoning and problem solving), with older and deeper structures of the brain that are involved with emotions and memory.

All of this entails that the DMN is a crucial hub in the brain, involved with self-criticism, self-reflection and negative ruminating thoughts. It is also connected with our ability to think about both the past and the future, which is considered crucial for a well-developed sense of identity.

The DMN also plays a part in the theory of mind, which is the ability of humans to imagine various mental states (desires, intents, emotions and beliefs) in other people.

The ability of this molecule to temporary silence the default mode network is theorized to be responsible for the sensations of ego dissolution that many people experience on psilocybin.

This brief disconnect from the DMN results in a reconnection to everything, and the current research with psilocybin is showing astonishing results for people suffering from depression and addiction, as they are most afflicted with ruminating negative thought-patterns.

While the DMN is shut down, new neural connections are being formed, which brings us to the second important effect of psilocybin.

Novel brain connections

2014 study was performing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans on 15 participants who all had previous experiences with psychedelics, while they were on psilocybin.

The scans showed a significant decrease in activity in the default mode network, but more importantly, the data showed that the brain under the influence of psilocybin was creating a lot of new biologically stable neural connections.

Neural connections
Image source: volteface.me

Because the regular functioning of the default mode network is temporarily inhibited, structures within the brain that otherwise don’t directly communicate are able to connect.

This momentary rearrangement is thought to be responsible for the dramatically positive shifts in perspective that so many people experience with psilocybin, because it allows an otherwise-constricted and loop-driven brain to develop brand new insights and perspectives.

Even though these novel connections are only temporary and the functions of the brain are normalized after the psilocybin session, the study showed that the ego-dissolution in combination with new insights produces positive long-lasting neurological changes.

This occurs because the consciousness has had a chance to “experience” a different and less-constricted form of functioning, and this effect is something that isn’t easily forgotten.

Changes in the visual cortex

One of the most captivating effects of psilocybin are the vivid visual hallucinations, and scientists are currently trying to unravel how they occur.

Even though the 2019 study dealing with this correlation was performed on mice, it provided the research team with a lot of tangible insights.

A compound called DOI (2,5-Dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine) was used in this research, which is just like psilocybin activates phospholipase A2 enzymes.

This type of stimulation of the serotonin receptors caused the visual cortex to behave in a very disorganized fashion.

In normal states, exposure to a visual stimuli would result in an instant burst of neural activity, but for mice on DOI, this initial response was significantly obstructed.

Neurons fired with decreased intensity, and the timing of the firing was atypical. The main hypothesis is that hallucinations occur because the brain is trying to compensate for the lack of data it’s getting from the visual cortex.

The diminished input received from the main visual processing regions is possibly causing the brain to counterbalance the lack of information, which results in strange visual distortions.

This hypothesis coincides with the sensations experienced on a psilocybin trip, because the user is intellectually aware of the experienced hallucinations.

Conclusion

Humans have been utilizing psilocybin mushrooms for spiritual purposes for millenia, but the resurgence of interest within the scientific community for psilocybin is showing that a responsible and educated use of this molecule is extremely beneficial for both our psyche and our spirit.
Contemporary research is currently verifying with factual evidence that psilocybin therapy provides a multitude of benefits for numerous disorders of the mind, including treatment-resistant depression, end-of-life depression and anxiety, and alcohol and nicotine addiction.

Source – GreenCamp

Santa Cruz California Decriminalizes Wide Range of Psychedelics

 

The measure—which was originally sponsored by then-Vice Mayor Justin Cummings (D), who’s since become mayor—says the city shouldn’t expend “resources in the investigation and arrest of persons twenty-one (21) years of age and older solely for the personal use and personal possession of Entheogenic Plants and Fungi” such as psilocybin, ayahuasca and ibogaine.

It further stipulates that possession and use of psychedelics by adults “should be considered among the lowest law enforcement priorities for the City of Santa Cruz.”

This is the latest in a series of local policy victories for the psychedelics reform movement, which kicked off with a successful ballot measure vote in Denver to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms last May. Oakland’s City Council then unanimously approved a measure to make a broad range of plant- and fungi-derived psychedelics among the city’s lowest law enforcement priorities.

Now activists across the country are hoping to replicate that resolution, with organizers in roughly 100 cities aiming to decriminalize certain psychedelic substances through ballot initiatives and legislative action at the local level.

In November, Santa Cruz’s City Council heard testimony from the group behind the resolution, Decriminalize Santa Cruz. It was then referred to the Public Safety Committee and was amended prior to returning to the full body for a final vote.

Councilmembers revised the original measure in order to “to recognize the need for harm reduction and education for youth and families about drug prevention.” A provision was also inserted to clarify that “the sale, use and cultivation of Entheogenic Plants and Fungi to and by minors should be considered an exception that should require appropriate investigation by the Santa Cruz City Police Department.”

The word “cultivation” was also removed from provisions specifying the measure’s scope. But before the full Council vote on Tuesday, several advocates used the public comment portion of the meeting to urge that it be added back in, and members adopted that request before approving the final resolution.

“With possession and use being inserted without cultivation, that actually encourages the black market because there’s nowhere else to go,” Cummings, the mayor, said. “If people are are cultivating at themselves they know exactly what they’re producing.”

Activists celebrated their city becoming the third in the U.S. in less than a year to decriminalize certain psychedelic substances.

“These eight months we’ve been working on the resolution, I’ve met so many people whose lives were saved by entheogenic plants and fungi,” Julian Hodge, a founder of Decriminalize Santa Cruz and a member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, told Marijuana Moment. “The Santa Cruz City Council took a great step to help those people today. I am incredibly proud to be part of this movement, and can’t wait to see the change we continue to make in the future.”

Another provision of the measure instructs the city’s state and federal lobbyists to “work in support of decriminalizing all entheogenic psychoactive plants, and plant and fungi-based compounds listed in the Federal Controlled Substances Act.”

Beyond Decriminalize Santa Cruz, a newly formed group called Project New Day also advocated for the reform move. The organization, which is focused on promoting research into psychedelics for the treatment of addiction and other mental health conditions, sent a press release on Tuesday highlighting comments from a military veteran who overcame addiction with the help of medically supervised psychedelics treatment.

“Psychedelic-assisted therapy saved my life,” Dylan Jouras said. “It’s important that people know there is an effective way to get better from addiction and deep mental health issues.”

While the local Santa Cruz resolution wouldn’t allow legal sales of psychedelics, another group of advocates is currently collecting signatures toward placing a broad statewide psilocybin legalization initiative before California voters on the November ballot.

In Oregon, organizers are hoping to put a proposal before voters that would legalize psilocybin for therapeutic use. Separately, a campaign in that state is pushing a measure to decriminalize possession of all drugs with a focus on funding substance misuse treatment.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said at an Iowa campaign stop last week that he wants to legalize psilocybin for military veterans.

Jamaica to Open First Cubensis Lab

While many Americans are familiar with the current decriminalization of marijuana, few are familiar with the decriminalization news of “magic mushrooms”. This year both Denver and Oakland decriminalized the magical plant due to it’s very low toxicity rating and positive health benefits (particularly for it’s natural anti-depressant and anti-anxiety purposes). In fact, in recent news man countries have begun to globally accept this fungal plant as a benign spiritual healer.

Scientifically known as Psilocybe Cubensis , this type of mushroom has been known to be used in early African and South American civilizations. For example, the Aztecas were known to use psilocybin for religious and celebratory purposes. With hundreds of years of research and knowledge of how our predecessors used magic mushrooms it’s long overdue that countries begin putting more money into research and teaching of this fungal species.

In recent news, botanical research firm of psychedelics Field Trip disclosed that they were building a 3,000 sq. ft. center at the University of West Indies (Mona, Jamaica) dedicated to magical mushroom research. According to reports, this would make Jamaica home of the first center solely dedicated to the benefits of this enigmatic plant.

“A woman harvests magic mushrooms in a grow room at the Procare farm in Hazerswoude, central Netherlands, Friday Aug. 3, 2007. “ (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

[BNNBloomberg Excerpt]:

“One of the goals is to build a library of psychoactive fungi and developing scalable commercialization options,” said Jafferi. “We know of a few alkaloids based in these mushrooms but there’s a lot we don’t know yet.” 

Aside from developing its research lab, Field Trip also plans to open a series of clinics in Toronto, New York, London and Los Angeles where doctors will be able to prescribe ketamine and monitor patients seeking mental health treatment, Jafferi said. 

He added that unlike cannabis, which can be used as medicine in an “as-needed” basis, there is already documented research from the 1970s that suggest psychedelics are an effective treatment for mental health when they are prescribed in a controlled and safe setting. 

“It’s not that far out for us to see doctors prescribing some psychedelics for a particular mental health disorder,” Jafferi said. “

 

Source – productofsociety.org

Introducing the Cube 001 : Blessons From The Pope

Introducing the Cube: “Blessons” From The Pope

In this episode we visit the Pope! Somehow some way I came across Pope on instagram and her magnetic personality would always have me laughing so I made sure our paths would cross with a touch of effort. Fast forward a year or so and here we are!

We planned to link up, roll up, and paint up some canvases. I didnt plan on talking about mushrooms or any psychedelics it just happened to unfold in that manner. Pope remembered she had some mushrooms in the back of her closet she had been reluctant to eat so we decided to make a little tea while we paint.

This episode I placed the audience in more of a fly on the wall atmosphere.  It goes in and out of conversation, giggles and paint strokes so listen close or click around. The time stamps are below if you would like to listen directly to the conversational parts below.
Enjoy Peace

3:00 Difference between LSD & Mushrooms?
8:22  Pope has mushrooms
20:20 Making Tea / Tea Complete
23:10 Liquid vs Eating
25:02 Long term effects of eating mushrooms
26:15 Problem Solving & Decision Certainty
32:19 When Do you feel it?
42:21 ??? Sound Ringing ( Phone Rings Loud)
54:00 Painting
1:00:07  The Health Benefits of Eating Mushrooms ?
1:10:00  How it all started…. The Juice
1:26:57  What is your best  mushroom memory
1:46:33  Why are you a mushroom advocate?
1:48:18  What changes have you seen in yourself?
1:55:33 Mushroom Tour 2019 ?
1:55:00 Impromptu Mushroom Meets / Black Friends vs White Friends | Sober Demons
2:03:00 How many freak outs have you had? Weed Moment
2:07:00 Mushroom Freak out
2:12:35 Sex On Mushrooms / Mushroom Head
2:16:56 What is your advice for first time mushroom takers?

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Introducing the cube. We are working on a project titled Introducing the cube. This will be a documentary exploring the idea of simply introducing people to the Cubensis mushroom and documenting their experience. There has been a mis-perception built around the “magic” mushrooms. We will be focused on showing show that this particular mushroom is not dangerous and can teach you much more than you will ever know.

Look forward to How to Grow workshops, Yoga and meditation sessions based around Cubensis. Each T-shirt purchase helps us funds the goals we have set to see this vision become a reality! Thank you, Support the project & Grab a Spore Print T Shirt Below

     

 

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