A Brave New World

A Brave New World

When Oregon voters passed Proposition 109 in 2020, it paved the way for greater access to therapeutic uses for psilocybin mushrooms and products containing their active compounds. A ballot measure approved by over 55% of the vote creates a program for the Oregon Department of Health (OHA) to allow licensed service providers to produce and administer psilocybin-producing mushroom products to adults 21 and older. I have allowed you to

A model for progressive drug policy reform, Prop. 109 also laid the groundwork for a new industry in Oregon. The OHA’s Psilocybin Services Section is responsible for drafting regulations to authorize and regulate the manufacture, transportation, distribution, sale and purchase of psilocybin products and the provision of psilocybin services, mandating the program to be operational in 2023. increase. Agencies are already accepting applications for psilocybin business licenses, and savvy entrepreneurs are launching new companies to serve emerging industries.

new business is born

said George Selhorn, founder and chief scientist of Flourish Lab I am one of the business owners preparing to launch legal psilocybin in Oregon. He has had a personal relationship with hallucinogens, including psilocybin his mushrooms, since his teenage years, and admits that hallucinogens have had a “huge impact” on his life. He is also an avid cannabis enthusiast and has been cultivating his own plants since 1993 with tips and encouragement from his High Times. He received his doctorate in plant biochemistry from the University of Washington in 2006.

At the time, the U.S. legal cannabis industry was in its infancy and had little professional status. Selhorn turned to biotechnology to begin his career, working on cancer treatments and his HIV vaccine. But eventually friends with companies in the emerging industry encouraged him to open a cannabis testing lab. Curious to see where the path he chose would lead him, he stopped starting his own business, but dabbled in the industry a bit, helping a few friends to set up a research institute. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do for Selhorn, but it didn’t take long for him to wish he had made a different decision.

“Years later, I was saying to myself, ‘I should have started a lab. I would be happier than I am now,'” he said in a phone interview.

After Proposition 109 passed, things came full circle. Again, a soon-to-be-entered-in-law friend encouraged him to open a lab. The ballot measure includes provisions directing the OHA’s regulation to test psilocybin products for contamination. Additionally, therapists will want to know the dosage of active compounds they are administering, necessitating potency data throughout the supply chain.

Selhorn remembers thinking, “I’ve taken this path before,” and decided this time that she wouldn’t regret it later. He will begin ordering the lab equipment and supplies needed to begin operations in September 2021, and by early 2022, Flourish Labs will be ready to begin taking samples and running tests. I’m ready.

Selhorn says testing mushrooms is very similar to lab analysis of cannabis, with one key difference. Like many cannabis laboratories, Sellhorn uses high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with ultraviolet spectroscopy (HPLC-UV) to separate molecules in a given sample and determine their composition. However, unlike cannabinoids, which are fat-soluble (hydrophobic), alkaloids in mushrooms are water-soluble (hydrophilic), so you’ll need to modify your approach to make them work. The chemistry is the exact opposite,” sums up Cellhorn.

Laboratory tests of psilocybin, etc.

Much of the time Cellphone spends in testing is related to determining the amount, or potency, of psychoactive alkaloids in a particular sample. Over 50 species of mushrooms produce psilocybin. Psilocybin is expressed at varying levels determined by factors such as genetics and cultivation practices.

“The most potent mushroom I’ve seen from different people is the Albino Penis Envy or APE,” Selhorn says. “Eve tested alkaloids from 0.1% to 2.3%, which is the best she’s ever tested. So there’s a lot of variation. On average, about 0.5% She is 0.7% alkaloid. [by dry weight]”

Initially, Sellhorn’s business plan primarily involved the analysis of mushrooms containing psilocybin and related alkaloids, including psilocin, psilocybin, northyrosine, beocystin, and norvaeocystine. Since opening Flourish Labs, he has also developed his protocol for testing other products made with his mushrooms for psilocybin. These products may become part of Oregon’s upcoming regulated market.

“Fruit bodies and gummies, chocolates, extracts can also be done, whether liquid or dry extracts,” he explains. “So for now, I have protocols for all the products that I am aware of that could potentially be manufactured.”

high times magazineFebruary 2023

Dosage is Key

Sellhorn notes that renewed interest in psilocybin’s reported health and wellness benefits has fostered a new culture of microdosing, which Sellhorn has practiced for more than four years. To microdosage, Sellhorn suggests, he takes only a small portion of the psychedelic dose of psilocybin, perhaps 0.1 to 0.2 milligrams. Using average potency mushrooms (rounded up to 1% of total alkaloids) equates to approximately 1/10 to 1/2 of 1 gram of mushroom biomass. “It’s like a really nice microdose that you can adjust based on your weight,” he says. .”

At the other end of the spectrum is macrodosing. This involves ingesting enough psilocybin to produce a powerful psychedelic effect. This can be a fun trip or a space of life-changing spiritual or psychological breakthroughs, depending on your intentions. medicine is taken. For a high dose, a dose of 30 milligrams to 50 milligrams of psilocybin (about 5 grams of mushroom biomass) is suitable for intense travel, says Selhorn. “There’s a dose in between for what you’re looking for.”

In addition to potency, Sellhorn says the form of psilocybin taken can also affect the drug’s effectiveness. Eating dried mushrooms is a classic method of consumption, but extracted psilocybin and products made from it can alter the effects of the drug.

“It is now very clear that the mushroom biomass itself acts like a time-release capsule. he explains. “And it takes a certain amount of time to attack you. But with gummy or chocolate he gets 5 milligrams and he’s much faster, much stronger and heals faster.”

Studying cellphone in the lab also provided an opportunity to increase our knowledge of other psilocybin best practices. He states that proper storage is very effective in maintaining the potency of his psilocybin mushrooms. When a client was looking for data on potency loss, an in-house study found that mushrooms stored in vacuum-sealed bags and stored in the dark at 60 degrees Fahrenheit retained 98% of their potency after four months. It was determined that

Expanding scientific field

He sees a strong market for analyzing psilocybin-containing mushrooms coming to Oregon, but realizes that demand for lab tests may be limited until the industry becomes more established and profitable. State regulations may eventually include requirements to test for microbial contamination and the presence of heavy metals in addition to potency, but there is not much demand for such tests yet. So, to complement his business plan, Flourish Labs began lab testing so-called functional mushrooms such as cordyceps, reishi mushrooms, and amanita muscaria (famous in folklore and pop culture) to improve health and wellness. We looked for compounds that might have wellness benefits. Additional species that will be tested in the lab in the coming months include lion’s mane, chaga, maitake, tremella, and turkey tail.

The start of regulated production and administration of therapeutic psilocybin in Oregon later this year will launch a new industry in the state and mark a milestone in the continued evolution of drug policy reform. Leading the way is a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, including Cellphone Flourish Lab.

This article was originally published in the February 2023 issue. high times magazine.

Alexandra Solorio
Introducing Alexandra, an accomplished cannabis writer who has passionately pursued her craft for a decade. Through a decade-long journey, Alexandra has cultivated a profound connection with the cannabis world, translating her expertise into captivating prose. From unraveling the plant's rich history to exploring its therapeutic marvels and legal evolution, she has adeptly catered to both connoisseurs and newcomers. An unwavering advocate, Alexandra's words not only enlighten but also advocate responsible cannabis use, establishing her as an indispensable industry voice over the past ten years.

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