PDEA warns vs ‘magic mushrooms’ 

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) yesterday cautioned the public against the use, sale and distribution of “magic mushrooms,” which are being promoted by social media influencers for their supposed therapeutic benefits.

The PDEA said a key ingredient in magic mushrooms is psilocybin, a psychedelic drug classified as an illegal substance under the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB)’s updated list of scheduled controlled substances. It is in the list of Schedule I of the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic substances.

“When ingested, psilocybin turns into psilocin, which can produce psychedelic effects similar to the hallucinogenic drug lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD,” the PDEA said in a statement.

The PDEA issued the warning after seven people, including an American, were arrested at a beach resort in Bacnotan, La Union on May 18 while in possession of candies and chocolate bars infused with magic mushrooms.

The suspects were also caught with marijuana, cocaine and tablets of the party drug ecstasy worth P145,000 when they were arrested in Barangay Galongen at around 9:20 p.m.

Based on its investigation, the PDEA said the foreigner and his seven Filipino companions are growing the mushrooms and actively promoting microdosing, a technique of taking a fraction of a regular dose for medicinal purposes.

“They reportedly advertise the alleged therapeutic benefits of the mushrooms through social media and are promoted by known influencers and personalities as a form of soul therapy during yoga sessions,” the PDEA said.

The PDEA said it has strengthened its intelligence monitoring of psychedelic mushrooms in the market.

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