5 Reasons why big cannabis won't have to compete with psilocybin

Published May 20, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / eskymaks

Now that we as a society are becoming much more comfortable with the idea of legalizing new, more exotic substances for both medicinal and recreational use, questions are beginning to arise, and one of them is how this shift might impact the cannabis industry. One of the hottest drugs garnering media attention right now is psilocybin because it’s such a commonly used black market substance, and we now know that it has medicinal benefits, but we don’t think that this new drug is going to adversely impact cannabis businesses.

So if you’re concerned about the future of the cannabis industry based on slight changes within our current legal systems like legalizing magic mushrooms, then you are definitely want to check out these top five reasons why it’s not likely to cause a crisis, or even competition for those who are just starting out in this young, new, and exciting market.

1. For many, the effects of magic mushrooms are far too intense

Cannabis and psilocybin are widely viewed in a similar category when it comes to the seriousness of the substances, but the truth is that magic mushrooms are so much different than cannabis in several different ways, and one of the most important lies in the strength of the powerful fungi. In fact, it is so strong that it can cause side effects like hallucinations in larger doses, which isn’t ideal for most full-time cannabis consumers, who like to toke and stay functional.

2. Psilocybin will likely be legalized for medicine before recreational use

As it is with most things, for any kind of approval from either government or people, there needs to be solid evidence to suggest that it will do more good than harm. This is an understandable measure put in place in hopes of protecting the people from potentially bad decisions, but it’s also something that works against fast sweeping legalization. That is why psilocybin is still a few years off from an elevation of legal status, and when it is finally approved, it is highly likely that just like with cannabis, it will first be legalized for medical patients who need it the most.

3. Most cannabis consumers enjoy the act of smoking and vaping

Mushrooms offer some pretty spectacular benefits no matter what kind of consumer you may be, but most cannabis users still prefer a good old fashioned joint or bong hit, which means that they enjoy the physical act of smoking, and that’s something that you can’t get with psilocybin. Though technically, you can smoke magic mushrooms, the spores can cause issues in the lungs and throat, and the effects are minimal at best. This alone makes them nearly useless to cannabis consumers, which is a large part of why they aren’t likely to be competition for cannabis businesses.


4. Psilocybin is still largely misunderstood

People don’t often feel comfortable with consuming something if they aren’t equipped with a complete understanding of what to expect from it, and that is true with anything that we put in our bodies. It is entirely reasonable to question something that might impact your health or state of mind, and mushrooms are still surrounded by a shroud of secrecy and myths that leave some of the most important information undiscovered by the average person.

This lack of comfortability and trust is going to have a significant impact on the number of consumers that might be interested in magic mushrooms, which isn’t likely to result in large volumes of sales like those that we see daily with cannabis. So, while psilocybin might be enough to draw in the numbers that are necessary to support a small market, it’s highly unlikely to compete much with dispensaries or other cannabis businesses.

5. Overdose is possible with psilocybin

As we all know, cannabis is an entirely safe substance that has never, in all of its decades of use, caused the death of a human, and that is because you would need to use so much, for the cannabinoids to become toxic and it is physically impossible to do so. Magic mushrooms, on the other hand, are filled with highly toxic poison, which means that it doesn’t take much more than ingesting an improperly dried cap to overdose, and that is a risk that most cannabis consumers just won’t be comfortable with taking.

Cannabis versus magic mushrooms


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