Magic mushroom is a fungus that is psilocybin and contains psilocin that is a hallucinogen. This does not mean that it causes visual or auditory hallucinations, but causes changes in sensual perception of the environment. Mushrooms are natural products and active substances can be very different per species. In the Netherlands, the use of truffles is permitted and is therefore sold in smart shops. Truffle is a confusing name because truffle is an underground fungus that is not hallucinogenic. The product that you buy at a smart shop is sclerotia or thickening of the fungus thread. This is also called a travel bulb. Like the magic mushroom, it contains psilocin and psilocybin and is freely available. Starting in 2008, the truffles for sale that contain this substance is prohibited. Sclerotia, however, is not covered by the Opium Act.
It is still difficult to reclassify ‘magic mushrooms’ out of dangerous substances that are considered harmful. It is estimated that the new magic mushroom is medically recognized in three to ten years. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, United States, assess it is time we change the classification of ‘magic mushroom’ is no longer a dangerous narcotic without any medical value. The fungus that triggers hallucinations is considered suitable to be one option to overcome depression. This means that magic mushrooms have the potential to be misused and their medical uses are almost zero. According to the researchers – who must have been full of research on all kinds of mushrooms – the two assumptions have no basis whatsoever.
In an article published in the October issue of the journal Neuropharmacology, four researchers — Matthew Johnson, Roland Griffiths, Peter Hendricks, and Jack Henningfield — proposed that it was time for the Food and Drug Administration to change the classification of magic mushrooms from Schedule I to Schedule IV. Thus, these researchers consider magic mushrooms to be of low potential to be misused and not addictive. If the researchers’ requests are followed, doctors in the US, followed by other countries, can begin to prescribe magic mushrooms for depressed patients in certain conditions.