The world’s first psilocybin “magic mushroom” nasal spray has been developed. Welcome to the future, or the "shroom boom," to quote the spray's creators.
A "Spore to Door" psychedelic therapy company out of Oregon called Silo Wellness is behind the latest innovation in psychedelics consumption. The vertically-integrated company claims its nasal spray users see the benefit of psilocybin with a faster onset time. The product is also unique in its ability to deliver a consistent, metered microdose with each spray.
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“Our research is focusing on uptake speed and bioavailability at this point, although data is also being collected regarding efficacy,” Silo Wellness founder Mike Arnold told MERRY JANE. According to the company’s research, “some bioavailability [of psilocybin] is lost through digestion in the gut, which is avoided by going directly through the nasal membranes.”
In other words, when inhaled in vapor form, psilocybin is absorbed into your bloodstream through the nasal membrane, and not through the liver and stomach. Taking a traditional oral-dose of psilocybin often induces nausea — it is technically a poison after all. Additionally, consuming psilocybin orally has a relatively long onset time, too: within 30 to 60 minutes, while "peaking" takes place within two to three hours. The nasal spray’s effect, however, is said to be felt within minutes and without the complications of an upset stomach.
Dosing with the nasal spray won’t cause a massive, life-altering psychedelic trip, however. Rather, the spray is a microdose meant to aid with depression, PTSD, and anxiety.
“One dose in each nostril has the biomass equivalent of no more than 0.1 grams (of biomass; not API),” said Arnold. He explained this method gets more of the API or Active Principal Ingredient, psilocybin, into the bloodstream. “We are targeting a sub-psychedelic dose right now,” Arnold told MERRY JANE.
But he did say that “a small psychedelic dose” is coming soon.
The company formulated the product in Jamaica where psilocybin is legal. Missouri pharmacologist Parag Bhatt led the research team alongside Silo Wellness COO and Marine veteran Scott Slay. The team’s focus is on medical use for veterans, trauma victims, and those suffering from anxiety and depression.
“With products like ours normalizing the conversation, we hope they will feel more comfortable sharing their stories regarding the role psychedelics played in their healing and wellness,” said Arnold.
Using nasal spray dosing technology has become an increasingly popular delivery method for depression and anxiety drugs. A perfect example is this year's FDA approved ketamine nasal spray. Could mushrooms be next?
Psilocybin’s effects on depression have been studied extensively. One 2016 study found psilocybin to reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients. Another study, funded by the Medical Research Council, found that psilocybin doses of 10 milligrams and 25 milligrams help with depression, anxiety, and anhedonia, or “loss of interest.” The “Right to Try Act” passed by President Trump in May of 2019 officially lists psilocybin as a therapeutic option for terminally ill.
“Legalization is inevitable," Arnold said. "We expect the states to fall like dominoes thereafter, much like cannabis but with a more compressed timeline. There is nothing to be afraid of in a medical rollout of mushrooms.”
Silo’s research into psychedelics stems back many years with roots in cannabis technology. Its team member Michael Hartman developed the cannabis and hemp Mystabis inhaler that launched in 2015.
Mushroom reform across the world has taken on new life in 2019. Denver decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms and Oakland made all entheogenic plants, including magic fungi, the lowest priority for police to pursue. Oregon is on track to pass its psilocybin initiative in the fall of 2020 for which polling recently indicated approval in the lead with 47 percent. One company called Cannabotech based out of Israel is also researching the medical benefits of psilocybin in clinical trials.
“The industry is moving fast and the public opinion is moving faster, largely in part due to people telling their stories,” said Arnold. “Prohibition kills. There are countless lives that could have been saved if mushrooms and other psychedelics were widely available to trauma victims.”