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Rising Interest in Harmful "Magic Mushrooms"

Beginning last fall, our lab observed an increase in online vape shops selling "magic mushroom" products. We want to inform you about two categories in particular.

The first involves products made with Amanita muscaria mushrooms. These mushrooms contain muscimol, a central nervous system depressant that can mimic some effects of classical psychedelics but can be fatal at lower doses than fentanyl, cocaine, and PCP. Despite the risks, vapes, smokes, gummies, and chocolates containing muscimol are marketed with health claims, such as reducing anxiety and depression, often vaguely referencing studies on psilocybin mushrooms. Unlike psilocybin, Amanita muscaria and muscimol are not listed as controlled substances, leading manufacturers to argue their legality. We disagree. More details and our research are available in the UC San Diego feature.

The second concern is products labeled as "magic mushrooms" without disclosing their active ingredients. Notably, Diamond Shruumz, based in Santa Ana, CA, sells gummies, chocolates, and ice cream cones, claiming they contain a proprietary blend of nootropic and functional mushrooms. However, they also provide dosing recommendations for a psychedelic experience without specifying the active ingredient. The FDA has issued a consumer warning after 12 individuals sought medical attention and 10 were hospitalized after consuming Diamond Shruumz products. Some experts suspect these products may contain 4-AcO-DMT, a synthetic compound similar to psilocybin, with limited safety data. More information on the ongoing investigation is available on the FDA website.

Please watch for these products, as they are widely sold at tobacco retailers and may pose a growing public health risk.

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