What exactly makes magic mushrooms psychedelic? How psychedelic are they? Are there any undiscovered psychedelic molecules hidden inside those freaky fungi?
These questions will be the focus of the world’s first research center focused on these psychedelic lifeforms, launching this year in the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica. The research is wholly funded by a Canadian psychedelic company, Field Trip Ventures, which plans to put the findings to profitable use.
The announcement comes just weeks after Johns Hopkins became the largest psychedelic research center in the world. But whereas Johns Hopkins and other US research on psychedelics often focuses on the effects of chemically-produced psilocybin (a synthetic version of the main psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms), the University of West Indies research is dedicated to the fungi themselves.
The research center will study everything from the genetics of magic mushrooms to how best to extract their psychedelic compounds. These goals have both scientific and financial value.
Ronan Levy, co-founder of Field Trip Ventures, has identified two potential business targets: First, the research could establish methods to quantify magic mushrooms’ psychedelic properties, so that people have clearer expectations of their effects. Second, it could identify patentable intellectual property; the company will maintain the rights to all discoveries made at the center. Levy did not respond to questions about how much the company is investing. “There is no specified limit to the amount of funds we will invest in our Jamaican operations provided they continue to generate a positive return on investment,” he said.
Published: September 19, 2019