Prepare your minds and souls to witness the self-transforming machine elves hiding past the material veil because scientists have finally unlocked the key to creating artificial psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms.”
According to Science Alert, German researchers at Friedrich Schiller University Jena have finally identified the four enzymes that create the psilocybin compound responsible for so many psychedelic breakthroughs. Scientists have known about the existence and effects of psilocybin since the late 1950s, but only now have they concretely figured out how it is created.
Now that the chemistry behind psilocybin is better understood, the hope is that it can be produced in safe, replicable, industrial amounts, just like other drugs. The psychoactive agent has a number of uses beyond opening one’s third eye, including treatment of depression and addiction. But testing of psilocybin has so far proved difficult both because the amount and quality varies in natural samples; it’s also, in many places, a controlled substance.
All of which means we’re probably a long way from over-the-counter recreational psychedelics, but now, at least, the benefits of mushrooms can be more easily studied outside of college dorms.