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By: Jordan Conway 

Psychedelic Compounds

Muscimol and ibotenic acid are the psychoactive compounds found in certain mushroom species, including Amanita Muscaria, Amanita Pantherina, and Galerina Marginata. In fresh mushrooms, ibotenic acid is the most present of the two active ingredients. Ibotenic acid and muscimol are very closely related in their chemical make-up. However, ibotenic acid is a precursor to muscimol, meaning that it can be converted into muscimol through a process of decarboxylation. Once ibotenic acid is transformed through that process, it becomes the safer and more potent substance known as Muscimol. Muscimol is already present in this species of mushroom, though only at low levels, and yet has a ten-fold greater potency than ibotenic acid, thus making it the more desirable compound.

Metabolizing without Proper Preparation 

When ibotenic acid is ingested on its own, without being decarboxylated, the body will still metabolize it. This happens as it begins to break it down into smaller molecules through the liver, subsequently converting the compound into metabolites, which are then passed through the kidneys and eliminated in the form of waste by our bodies. As a result of this, there are often unpleasant side effects, such as nausea and other problems associated with the gastrointestinal tract. However, due to modern technology and the results of many studies conducted, we are finally able to better understand the two compounds and, therefore, hold the ability to harness the additionally safer and more potent compound, Muscimol, through a process called  decarboxylation. 

The Process of Decarboxylation

Decarboxylation is a chemical process that removes a carboxyl group (-COOH) from a molecule, usually through heating or other forms of thermal or chemical treatment, resulting in the formation of a new compound with a different chemical structure and properties that do not have the same adverse side effects on our bodies. This ultimately creates a more psychoactive and potent compound, Muscimol. While decarboxylating the mushroom converts most of the ibotenic acid, it is worth noting that the conversion of ibotenic acid to muscimol is not always complete and the levels can vary greatly, therefore resulting in unpredictable levels of muscimol per extraction batch. This is all depending on a number of factors such as preparations, species, and genetic factors.

Neurological Look at Muscimol

Muscimol works by binding to the GABA-A receptor in the brain. This receptor is a member of the ligand-gated ion channel family and is involved in regulating the movement of neurons in the brain, enhancing the inhibitory signals sent between neurons. As a result, this leads to a decrease in overall brain activity. The effects differ from person to person, but neurologically speaking, this decrease in brain activity causes changes in perception, including altered visual and auditory experiences, in what many have described as “trippy”. While acute color sensitivity and overall appreciation of all optical stimulation is enjoyable for many, the real benefit lies in its ability to cause feelings of extreme relaxation, euphoria, and an altered sense of self or state. Many consumers scour the internet for products that allow them a safe and natural way to unwind and escape the complications of their daily routines, and that do so in a way that benefits their overall mental health and sense of wellbeing. The discovery of ways to increase its safety has been cause for its recent popularity and availability in the United States.

Usage throughout History

While safety and understanding of Muscimol has increased, the usage of Muscimol is not new to humans by any means. In fact, the classic red with white polka-dot mushroom, Amanita Muscaria (the most popular of the species containing Muscimol) has been noted throughout decades and decades of cultures around the world. Historically, there is evidence of its applications that can be traced back to traditional Siberian shamanism. They utilized it for centuries because of its hallucinogenic properties. Additionally, Native American tribes relied on it heavily when performing spiritual rituals. Often, they would ingest the muscimol via the drinking of another’s urine, where the side effects were mitigated as a result of the previous body’s metabolization and elimination of it. Only within the last couple years has it become more widely understood and available to people because of its new age process for consumption safety and legality. Many wellness brands have recognized its beneficial applications, contributing to the exponential increase of Muscimol-based products on the market today.

Practical Applications & Studies

While Muscimol has been extensively studied, it is still in its infancy as far as its full understanding of medical applications. There is continued research that suggests it has potential for use as a treatment for specific mental health conditions, a few of which are anxiety, depression, PTSD, alcoholism, and other drug or behavior-related addictions. Furthermore, academic universities, medical institutions, and independent laboratories are conducting more research. Scientists and mycologists admit that we have a ways to go before we are able to complete our comprehension, but can agree that there are medical benefits shown in several areas and that there is room for many more discoveries that will potentially aid in healthier lives led by humans around the globe.

Dosing

The dosing levels of Muscimol can vary widely depending on the individual and the form of the compound being ingested. A typical dose of Muscimol from Amanita mushrooms is around 10–30 mg, although this can vary depending on the potency of the mushrooms and the quality of the facility and its processes for decarboxylating the substance. 

Importance of Consumer Due Diligence

 As a consumer, it is pertinent to do your research before purchasing muscimol-based products due to the fact it can be dangerous if misused and not properly treated prior to ingestion.

Here are some factors that can contribute to a good quality Muscimol product:

  1. Purity: A high-quality Muscimol product should be as pure as possible, without any impurities or contaminants that could affect the user’s health or the overall experience.
  2. Potency: The potency of Muscimol can vary depending on the source, so it’s important to choose a product with a consistent and reliable potency. This can help users avoid accidentally taking too much or too little, which could affect the overall experience.
  3. Source: Muscimol can be extracted from various species of mushrooms, so it’s important to choose a product that comes from a reputable and reliable source. This can help ensure that the product is free from any unwanted compounds or contaminants.
  4. Dosage and instructions: A good quality Muscimol product should come with clear instructions for use, including recommended dosage levels and any precautions or warnings that users should be aware of.
  5. Safety and testing: Since Muscimol is a psychoactive compound, it’s important to choose a product that has been tested for safety and quality. Look for products that have been third-party tested for purity and potency, and that come from companies that have a good reputation for producing safe and reliable products.

Reputable Source

Overall, a good quality Muscimol product should be pure, potent, and reliable, with clear instructions for use and a commitment to safety and quality. It’s important to do your research and choose a product that comes from a reputable and reliable source, and that has been tested for safety and quality. After doing their due diligence, many online consumers trust and  continue to do business with SporesMD. The brand has a reputation for producing top-shelf mushroom related products and has the proper certification, lab work, documentation, extraction methods, a state-of-the art laboratory, and expert scientists and staff available to do so. Anyone who finds themselves foraging the internet for a safe and legal psychedelic product containing Muscimol is sure to find what they need at sporesmd.com.