Magic Truffles and Me: Can Psilocybin Rejuvenate the Brain?

There’s nothing wrong with an old brain, one that has developed expertise, wisdom and skill, but wouldn’t it be nicer to have the best of both worlds? A more flexible brain is less jaded and more resilient, can get rid of suffering more effectively, and gets rid of debilitating habits, addictions, depression, anxiety, and compulsive negative thoughts more easily, which is why Clinical researchers are so excited about the therapeutic potential of entheogens.

Tech bros who yearn for the ability to “think outside the box” turn to entheogens, like Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, an out-of-the-closet ayahuasca fan. Michael Pollan covered the area with authority in his bestselling book How to change your mind, which focuses on their history, as well as their promising present. You can choose between his book or that of Kahlil Gibran The Prophet as a Field Trip parting gift, or you can tune in to Netflix for Alex Gibney and Pollan’s four-part documentary series adaptation of the latter’s book.

Of all the entheogens, psilocybin is the oldest and least toxic. You would have had to consume your body weight in the stuff for it to actually kill you, and you would have vomited it all up multiple times before that. I got the “younger brain” metaphor from Christian Angermayer, a biotech and fintech investor who believes that psilocybin, when properly administered, holds the key to human happiness. He’s referred more friends to Field Trip than he can count, “and they all come back and tell me it’s the most meaningful thing they’ve done in their lives.”

Angermayer is so committed to the potential of psilocybin that he is the lead investor in a company called Compass Pathways, which is synthesizing it for medical purposes – meaning a dose would be administered by a licensed physician, in his office, with the patient supervised throughout the session of more than five hours. Compass is entering phase three trials in late 2022 with the US Food and Drug Administration, and hopes to pass the final hurdle in two to three years.

As legal restrictions begin to fall – Oregon just decriminalized psilocybin – marketing steps in. When I first heard “magic truffles” I thought it was just branding. In fact, truffles are the underground rhizomes that attach themselves to ‘magic mushrooms’, and until synthetics like Angermayer’s are available, they’re preferable because they’re easier to dose consistently, without variable effects. (Due to unusual loopholes in the Netherlands, they are also legal, as they grow underground, unlike mushrooms, which grow above ground and are absolutely not legal there or anywhere else in Europe.)

About Wesley V. Finley

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