Cannabidiol, the second most researched compound extracted from the cannabis plant second only to THC. Over the years research has been done on CBD for potential therapeutic applications for anxiety, stress, sleep, pain, and a plethora of additional possibilities. CBD offers this possibility by stimulating and balancing the endocannabinoid system that we are all born with. How does this fit in with a mushroom narrative? Let’s dive into it.

A vial of CBD
Photo by CRYSTALWEED cannabis on Unsplash

Adaptogens: Mushrooms and CBD

Mushrooms are in a category called adaptogens. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants or fungi that protect the body from the negative effects of stress as well as improve the body’s reaction to stress over time. How does this have anything to do with CBD which technology itself is not an adaptogen? Without a doubt, CBD acts in a very similar manner, some say even working on the same processes such as the HPA-axis. CBD works with various biological systems by helping them work more efficiently. In a nutshell, this means our bodies and brains become more receptive to the naturally occurring neurochemical GABA which is one of the body’s and brain’s natural sedatives.

A Match Made in Heaven

The two mushrooms to highlight alongside CBD are lion’s mane and reishi. Just as CBD has shown to potentially positive allosteric modulation capabilities of certain receptors lion’s mane mushroom may have this same effect. Meaning, CBD potentially allows the body to utilize neurochemicals such as GABA as well as other neurochemicals that play roles in focus and attention more efficiently.

Lion’s mane has undergone research because it may assist the body in utilizing CBD more efficiently. This is why the use of lion’s mane in conjunction with CBD would make it a great partner to produce naturally occurring compounds.

Lion's Mane Mushroom
Photo by Damir Omerović on Unsplash

Reishi mushroom has been studied for its mood-boosting capabilities. Undoubtedly, It has the potential ability to contain precursors to neurochemicals such as endorphins. CBD continues to undergo research for its ability to interact with the 5-HT receptors in the brain. This ability plays a role in the production and absorption of serotonin. The one-two punch of improving the body’s receptiveness to endorphins and serotonin may offer a host of applications for stress, mood, as well as anxiety.

Dried reishi mushroom
Photo by Bluebird Provisions on Unsplash

Reishi and lion’s mane mushrooms go on to show that there is a lot of potential in the therapeutic and synergistic use of medicinal mushrooms and cannabinoids. Along with the advances in sciences in both chemistry and agricultural fields, I look forward to learning about new ways to sustainably harvest mushrooms and cannabis/CBD and the multitudes of benefits of introducing them to our everyday routine.

Jason Erdan

Jason is a clinical herbalist who completed his certification in Traditional Chinese Medicine from The Institute of Herbal Medicine and Nutrition. His educational background is in both Western and Eastern Herbalism, Botany, Psychology, Chemistry and Food Science. Additionally, Jason has his Certification in Mental Health Integrative Medicine(CMHIMP).

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