Last week, the TGA announced that the prescription of Psilocybin by authorised psychiatrists for medical use will be legal from July. Here, we take a look at the Golden Teacher vs. Mazatapec mushrooms, and explain which medicinal mushrooms are available for use in Australia.
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Published: November 2022
Drugs that affect the brain are often approached with caution — and rightly so. Taking the wrong product or dosage of mind-altering substances can be very harmful.
However, there are a number of psychedelic substances that can be beneficial in various ways, provided they are consumed safely and as intended. Mushrooms are one of these substances.
Psychedelics have been in the news in Australia following the announcement by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) that the use of Psilocybin, along with MDMA, will be legalised for restricted medical use from July 2023 in the treatment of mental illness.
Following the rescheduling of these substances from Schedule 9 (Poisons Standard) to Schedule 8 (Controlled Substance), authorised psychiatrists will be able to prescribe psilocybin for patients with "treatment-resistant depression"— Mind Medicine Australia.
The TGA said in their announcement that, at present, there remain no approved products containing psilocybin or MDMA that the TGA has evaluated for quality, safety and efficacy, "However, this amendment will allow authorised psychiatrists to access and legally supply a specified ’unapproved’ medicine containing these substances to patients under their care for these specific uses".
Whether you’re a newcomer to the psychedelic space or you’re looking to expand your education in the space, you may be wondering what the difference is between the common Golden Teacher and Mazatec varieties.
These substances sit on different ends of the fungus spectrum in terms of size, colour, colonisation speed, and resistance to infection.
Here, we take a look at the Golden Teacher vs. Mazatapec, as Australia takes a small step closer to bringing psychedelic-assisted therapies to the mainstream.
Living up to its name, The Golden Teacher is one of the most highly sought-after psychedelic mushroom strain.
Little is known about its origin, though anecdotal evidence claims the mushrooms first appeared in the 1980s. It is part of the Psilocybe Cubensis species.
Gold at the top and dotted with yellow, The Golden Teacher mycelium is not only aesthetically pleasing but known for gently introducing people into the world of psychedelics. The Golden Teacher invites people to dip their toes into psychedelic waters, so to speak.
Other names for The Golden Teacher include shrooms, magic mushrooms, gold caps, cubes, or the ethereal sounding "golden halos".
Originating in Southern Mexico, the Mazatapec mushroom is resilient and is commonly used as it’s a way of connecting people to their spiritual selves.
Anecdotally, the Mazatapec mushroom is recommended for people with prior shroom experience, as opposed to mushroom newbies. It is known for delivering a sense of euphoria, and people who consume Mazatapec mushrooms report experiencing heightened senses and visual effects.
So, what’s the main difference between Mazatapec mushrooms and The Golden Teacher?
The Mazatapec mushroom strain is very easy to cultivate, but grows slower than other strains. This shroom can assist people seeking to tap into their more spiritual side, and aid practices such as solo meditation. They’re also purple and black when they mature and have long stems with bulbous caps.
The Golden Teacher strain is easy to grow due to its higher tolerance to a range of growing environments. It also grows fast and can carry a higher potency than the mazatapec.
Both mushroom strains are said to boost creativity and a sense of self-awareness.
The stigma and taboo surrounding psychedelic mushrooms is lasting, however there is growing evidence to support the health benefits of mushrooms.
Research has proven that some psychedelic mushroom varieties, including The Golden Teacher and Mazatapec, are anti-bacterial and contain antioxidant, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory properties.
They have also been shown to boost the body’s immune system, foster overall brain health, lower cholesterol levels, and restore gut-health.
The Golden Teacher has an ‘average potency’, and its effects may last anywhere between 2 and 4 hours, depending on the user.
It is said to foster a sense of calmness and an overall body high, and users often experience mild visual effects, too.
As with any drug, effects may be physical, mental, visual, or a hybrid. The effects will depend on your individual body, as well as the type of drug, the quality and quantity of it, and how you’re using it.
The Golden Teacher is known for bringing on hallucinations and euphoria, but in some cases it can cause unfavourable side effects such as nausea and anxiety. The effects will differ from person to person.
Psilocybin and all strains of magic mushrooms remain in most countries, outside of the restricted authorised use outlined by the TGA from July 2023.
In the treatment of severe treatment-resistant depression, authorised psychiatrists will be able to prescribe the substances in an extremely limited capacity, and the supply chain will be tightly controlled, with medicines available only through licensed pharmacists.
The demand for these therapies is growing as there is a continued movement toward decriminalising around the world, and their rescheduling in Australia is a huge win for those campaigning for mental health sufferers.
On behalf of Mind Medicine Australia, Professor David Nutt, Head of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, commented: “I am delighted that Australia is continuing to lead the way in psychedelic treatment research after the earlier AMRC research grant initiative.
"This new scheduling decision gives hope to the many tens thousands of patients with depression and PTSD for whom current treatments fail. The data collection plan will provide Real World Evidence of the value of these treatments that is likely to change medical practice around the world."
While mind-altering strains of mushrooms remain highly restricted, there is still a range of other medicinal mushrooms that are not only legal, but proven to be beneficial your health and wellbeing in a multitude of ways.
Lion´s Mane is said to boost brain function and regulate the nervous system, while Cordyceps is used to enhance general health and wellbeing and aid recovery. Reishi supports immune function and promotes a healthy stress response, and Tremella is a potent hydration stimulator and supports healing.