Mushrooms are a type of fungus that can be found all over the world. There are many different varieties of mushrooms, and some are more well-known than others. However, when most people think of mushrooms, they think of the psychedelic variety or food mushrooms like portobello or shiitake.
However, there is another category of mushrooms called functional mushrooms. Functional mushrooms offer immense health benefits and have been used for centuries to treat various ailments.
Let’s go over the main differences between magic and functional mushrooms.
Functional mushrooms are legal and provide a host of benefits. The most commonly used functional mushrooms include Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail, and Chaga.
Used for centuries for their medicinal properties, many people use these mushrooms for their health-promoting benefits.
These mushrooms are safe to use and are often found in tinctures and other wellness products. Functional mushrooms are also not hallucinogenic, meaning they will not produce the “trip” associated with psychedelic mushrooms.
The Benefits of Functional Mushrooms
Functional mushrooms offer a variety of potential benefits, including:
- Boosting energy levels
- Supporting cognitive function
- Enhancing immune system function
- Reducing inflammation
- Supporting cardiovascular health
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Here are the most popular functional mushrooms and what they’re commonly used for.
With dementia and other neurological diseases on the rise, Lion’s Mane has become a popular functional mushroom. This mushroom is known for supporting cognitive function and reducing inflammation.
These anti-inflammatory properties are also why Lion’s Mane is popular with those who have mental conditions like depression and anxiety. These mushrooms may help to improve mood and alleviate some of the symptoms and inflammation associated with these conditions.
Reishi mushrooms are one of the most admired functional mushrooms due to their wide range of benefits. These mushrooms potentially boost energy levels, enhance immune system function, reduce inflammation, and support cardiovascular health.
People with illnesses have used Reishi mushrooms for centuries to help fight infection and disease and improve their overall health.
Popular in the beauty industry, the Cordyceps mushroom provides potential anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
These mushrooms are also known for boosting exercise performance, supporting cognitive function, and having anti-aging properties.
It’s also a popular supplement for those looking to manage Type 2 Diabetes since it may help control blood sugar levels.
Although less popular than its other functional mushroom counterparts, this immune-boosting fungi is slowly gaining traction. Turkey Tail is celebrated for its ability to potentially fight off infection, improve gut health, and reduce inflammation.
Polysaccharopeptides are also found in Turkey Tail, making them a powerful anti-inflammatory that protects the body from harmful bacteria and substances.
Recent research also suggests that it may act as an anti-cancer agent, making it a promising supplement for cancer patients.
Chaga mushrooms are a potent, natural source of antioxidants and have many medicinal qualities. For years, people have used it as a potential natural remedy for arthritis, high blood pressure, and preventing cancer.
Plus, it’s a nutrient-rich source of many powerful antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamin D, potassium, zinc, selenium, calcium, and copper.
Although bitter, many people enjoy this functional mushroom in tincture or capsule form.
Psychedelic mushrooms are used to induce a state of altered consciousness and can cause hallucinations. The main active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms is psilocybin, which is responsible for the “trip” effect.
Psilocybin is often used as medicine by indigenous cultures and can offer a different set of benefits than functional mushrooms.
People often use magic mushrooms for:
- Increased creativity
- Improved mental health
- Better spiritual experiences
- Increased empathy and compassion
However, these benefits are not always guaranteed, and “trips” can often be unpredictable.
These mushrooms offer a different experience than functional mushrooms and are not legal in all states. Since they are illegal, they are often associated with negative connotations. However, many people believe that these mushrooms offer immense benefits and should be used therapeutically.
How Do Functional and Magic Mushrooms Make You Feel?
Functional mushrooms are typically non-intoxicating and will not make you feel “high.” Instead, they offer a wide range of benefits that can support your overall health with few side effects. A common side effect is an upset stomach, which can be alleviated by taking mushrooms with food.
On the other hand, psychedelic mushrooms can cause hallucinations and altered states of consciousness and should be used with caution. Some of the potential side effects of psychedelic mushrooms include paranoia and anxiety.
Both psychedelic and functional mushrooms are potent tools that can offer immense benefits. However, it’s crucial to do your research and understand the risks before taking either type of mushroom.
Using Functional and Magic Mushrooms
Unlike psychedelic mushrooms, functional mushrooms are safe to use on a daily basis. Many people take them in tincture form or add them to their coffee or smoothies.
You can also find many functional mushroom powders and capsules online or at your local health food store.
To use functional mushrooms, start by incorporating a small amount into your diet and increase the dosage as needed. Then, after they have become a regular part of your routine, you can experiment with different ways of taking them to find what works best for you.
Since psychedelic mushrooms are federally illegal and intoxicating, they should only be used under the supervision of an experienced professional. If you are interested in using psychedelic mushrooms, it’s important to do your research and understand the risks involved.
Are Functional Mushrooms Safe?
Functional mushrooms are among the safest supplements you can take. They have been ingested for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and have a long history of safety.
Most people tolerate functional mushrooms very well. As mentioned before, eating food can usually remedy any adverse side effects.
Other potential side effects are typically mild and include:
As with any supplement, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking functional mushrooms. This is particularly critical if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, have a medical condition or are taking medications.
If you experience any of the side effects above and food doesn’t help, consider altering your dosage or ingesting functional mushrooms at night.
Functional Mushrooms and Phytocannabinoids
Functional mushrooms can be used in conjunction with phytocannabinoids, which are compounds found in the cannabis plant.
Phytocannabinoids are thought to increase the efficacy of functional mushrooms by promoting numerous potential health benefits, including:
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved cognitive function
- Pain relief
- Stress relief
Plus, most phytocannabinoids and functional mushrooms are legal in many states, so you can easily find them online.
The Bottom Line
Functional and magic mushrooms offer a wide range of potential benefits. However, it’s important to recognize the risks before taking either type of mushroom. So do your research and start with a small dose to see how your body reacts.
To summarize the differences, functional mushrooms are safe to use, legal, and offer a wide range of benefits. On the other hand, Psychedelic mushrooms are federally illegal, can cause hallucinations, and should only be used under the supervision of a skilled professional.
At Wellbeing Farms, we offer a variety of functional mushroom products that can be added to your diet. Shop our selection of mushroom and phytocannabinoid products today and get started on your journey to better health!