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  • Oregon Is The First US State To Legalise Magic Mushrooms. Here's Why That's Important.

    17th November 2020

    17th November 2020

    By Shivraj Bassi

    More than one history-defining vote took place in America in November. As well as Joe Biden being elected the new president of the United States, the northwestern state of Oregon decided to legalise magic mushrooms

    Oregon now allows legal access to psilocybin, the mind-altering compound in ‘shrooms, for mental health treatment in supervised settings, as well as decriminalising personal possession of the substance. More than two million votes were cast on the issue, and the measure was passed with a 55.8% approval rating. 

    In the world of mental health treatment, this is big news. Everyone has a friend who went to Glastonbury, did mushrooms and returned home more in touch with the universe and at peace with themselves. Studies have found that psilocybin can help to treat trauma, depression and anxiety, and this move will make the drug far more accessible to those who need it to overcome mental ill health and past traumas. 

    Justin Townsend is the CEO of MycoMeditations, a legal magic mushrooms retreat in Jamaica. He’s a huge proponent of mushrooms as a force for good. As well as running the business, he guides clients though their mushroom trips and helps them to process their emotions and realisations afterwards. Speaking to Innermost, Justin said: ‘Mushrooms are an incredible tool. We’ve administered thousands of does of psilocybin medicine to many hundreds of guests over the years. They come here to work - and it really is work. 

    ‘The people who come to us have often experienced years of depression and anxiety, or have repressed traumas. Mushrooms bring out whatever has the most emotional charge within you to the surface for processing. This can take the form of cognitive insights, emotional breakthrough and mystical experiences. Others will go through a very deep cathartic process

    ‘Afterwards, integration is very important. We talk as a group about the revelations and realisations you’ve had. It’s a profound experience, with lots of unpacking and processing.’

    Oregon’s law change means you’ll only be able to take the drug in a controlled setting under the guidance of a therapist or other licensed facilitator, who will administer the correct dosage and set the mood and surroundings of your trip, as well as help and guide you during and after the experience. 

    Justin said: ‘I’m 100% behind the law change and the increased access it will give the public to this medicine. But I do worry that mushrooms will become overly regulated. The last thing you want to do while tripping is to face down someone in a white coat with a clipboard. 

    ‘Magic mushrooms aren’t a magic wand that you can wave over someone to solve all their problems. They’re one part of a process of transformation, and the work continues after the trip. If you continue with the transformation process, you can come to a whole new version of yourself.’ 

    A 2016 study backs up the many anecdotal tales of magic mushrooms being a tool for good. Researchers found that when participants took psilocybin over the course of six months, 60-80% of them experienced significant reductions in depression or anxiety. In a recent follow up study, a huge 70% of participants said that magic mushroom-assisted therapy brought long-term positive changes to their lives and rated it as one of the most meaningful and spiritually significant things they had ever experienced. 

    How psilocybin works is not yet fully understood, but researchers at New York University Grossman School of Medicine think that it makes the brain more flexible and accepting of fresh thought patterns and ideas. 

    Excitingly, these benefits can also be felt by people with no history of mental ill health, and can raise life satisfaction levels. Psychedelics can help combat the universal problems of lack of concentration and loneliness, bringing a sense of peace, mindfulness and stillness, as well as helping with processing life events and past hurts. 

    While the exact procedure for screening people and administering the drug to potential patients has yet to be established, this legal milestone is a huge step towards widening and improving treatment for mental health issues the world over. And we can all raise a mug of mushroom-laced tea to that.

    If you're fascinated with everything to do with mushrooms, check out our The Health Protein and The Relax Capsules. They both contain Japanese medicinal mushrooms which have antioxidant properties and help to support brain health.

     

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    Everything You Need To Know About England’s Newly Relaxed Genetically Modified Food Laws
    The latest guidance around genetically modified foods and genetically modified food laws are changing. Farming regulations have been eased, and this means that costs of production and rules around the creation of genetically modified foods have been altered to make the production of these foods easier… and this has major implications for the food market. So far, the relaxation of these rules and regulations only relates to England, but it’s rumoured that these changes are not far behind for the rest of the United Kingdom. Genetically modified food laws in the United Kingdom With the recent announcement of the relaxation of genetically modified food laws in England, here at Innermost, we felt it was important to dive into the facts, gain all the information and evaluate what this means for our food produce in the United Kingdom and on our supermarket shelves. These changes have sparked wide-spread debate and discussion around the pros and cons and genetically modified foods, so as a brand that produces our products with non-genetically modified ingredients, our interest in the progression of genetically modified food laws and the pros and cons of genetically modified foods is a key priority. First, let’s get the basics out of the way. What are genetically modified foods, what are the current genetically modified food laws in the UK, and how are they changing? Here we go… What are genetically modified foods? Genetically modified foods are foods that have been defined as those that have had their genetic material (aka, their DNA) altered in a way that natural development would not include. This modification is commonly achieved through the addition of genetic information from another organism (simply, another living thing) and can have drastic consequences for the production and longevity of food products such as fruits and vegetables. What does this mean for food production? Genetically modified foods can lead to greater quantities of production and a reduction in food prices. Not only this, but genetic modification can lead to a greater reliability of high-quality food produce due to the decrease in risk from disease. Winning! The story so far: genetically modified food laws in the United Kingdom The current (pre-relaxed) rules and regulations around genetically modified foods in the United Kingdom are pretty complex, we’re not going to lie. Broken down simply, though, the laws state that any genetically modified foods cannot be farmed without prior approval from regulatory agencies such as The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (or DEFRA, for short). It’s not easy to be approved, either, as since 1992, only 2024 applications have been approved. And after this, any foods that have been approved, that may contain a genetically modified organism (or, as it’s often abbreviated to, a GMO), must be accompanied by written documentation. Not to mention, this process is incredibly expensive, with a £5,000 application fee. As the rules currently stand, thousands of crops have to be thrown away due to their susception to disease such as Blight’s Disease. Whilst genetic modification could easily eradicate this issue and bring thousands more crops to our supermarket shelves, the rules around this method make it so that these foods go unapproved. And therefore, to waste. The proposed genetically modified food law change Whilst a change to these rules looks to be tricky, it’s doable. Scientists are backing the change, with reports stating that a relaxation of these rules would be a welcome change from EU laws, and allow greater, healthier production of crops for our consumption. This change would allow production of GMO foods to be in line with our American counterparts. The pros and cons of genetically modified foods To many, the ideology of genetically modified foods is hailed as fantastic scientific advancement. With the ground-breaking growth in technology that allows us to create a surplus of food to consumers at a low cost, high-yield outcome, many would argue, “why wouldn’t we take advantage of these abilities?” We could go on all day about this debate, but to sum up years of back-and-forth between scientists, farmers, the law and everyday consumers, here’s some of the main arguments towards integrating genetically modified foods into our lives. The pros of genetically modified foods Reduced use of potentially harmful pesticides The creation of drought-resistant foods Accelerated growth speed Better tasting food Less food waste Longer shelf life for food Now, looking at the above list, you’re wondering how anyone can object to the introduction of genetically modified foods. Lower food prices, greater taste, a drop in food waste and a longer shelf life? Sign me up! Well, not everyone feels that way… The cons of genetically modified foods The potential of allergic reactions Genetic modification is a relatively new process The potential for resistance against illness Could lead to the production of harmful toxin Potential loss of nutritional value Summary In light of this proposed relaxation, we thought it was important to mention that all of our products are non-genetically modified, as we prioritise natural, effective ingredients. More information around genetically modified food laws and the current changes are a hot topic at the moment, and something we are keeping a close eye on here at Innermost. We’re big believers in trusting the science. It’s something we’ve always done, are doing, and will continue to do, and keeping you (and ourselves) in the loop when it comes to big changes like this is something we feel super strongly about. Read more
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