Previously Taboo Drugs Presenting New (and Ancient) Solutions to Rising Depression, Anxiety Cases

Facing a rising tide of despair, and waves of anxiety and depression cases, new solutions are being sought in the mental health field—including some that until recently were seen as taboo and illicit. While Prozac from Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) continues to reign among the top-prescribed options to fight depression, even the New York Times is beginning to discuss a shift away from the Prozac era of antidepressant drugs.

This shift includes new medicinal options derived from previously illicit ingredients, such as the ketamine-based Spravato from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and other more natural solutions involving psilocybin mushrooms or cannabis such as those from innovators like The Yield Growth Corp. (CSE:BOSS) (OTC:BOSQF) and Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE:CGC) (TSX:WEED).

Vancouver-based trendsetters The Yield Growth Corp. (CSE:BOSS) (OTC:BOSQF) have been leading the way as of late, with a series of moves in the direction of medicinal mushrooms. The latest announcement from the company was regarding it’s newly created subsidiary Flourish Mushroom Labs Inc., and its acquisition of 9 new recipes that include powerful mushrooms as key ingredients for potential use with psychedelic mushrooms.

The acquisition closely follows Yield Growth’s recent purchase of a 20% stake in Absolem Health Corp., which owns 100% of One Up Pure Energy Inc. The group currently manufactures mushroom-based power pellets called "The Reishi Relax" and "Cordyceps Power Up", both of which have been approved for sale by Health Canada and the Vancouver Health Authority.

The trend is growing, while the space remains relatively uncrowded—for now.

From the cannabis space, Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE:CGC) (TSX:WEED) does have a product in the works designed as a mental health solution, but it’s not for humans—It’s for pets.

But it’s the potential from mushrooms that’s getting the bulk of the study from researchers today. While psilocybin mushrooms are steal illegal in most western markets, that may be soon coming to an end, as even the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently gave breakthrough therapy designation to a psilocybin-based drug in testing phase.


Recent studies are strongly pointing towards the efficacy of psilocybin mushrooms to lower effects of depression. The medicinal strengths of mushrooms have been utilized dating back to at least 5000 BC, leaving open their potential for a major comeback into the mainstream.

Under the banner of The Yield Growth Corp. (CSE:BOSS) (OTC:BOSQF) and its skilled marketing and branding team, a lot more attention to the mushroom space will be given with the creation of Flourish Mushroom Labs.

With the acquisition, Yield Growth is taking on a series of formulas and a brain trust that may be used to create ready-to-eat packaged food products or packaged food products that may be mixed with mushroom varietals of the consumer’s choice. The formulations are:

1) Chai latte green tea flavor mushroom tea;
2) Lemon grass, lemon and hibiscus lemon mushroom tea,
3) Veggie mix for mushroom soup;
4) Miso dehydrated seaweed mix for mushroom soup;
5) Hot cocoa, coconut sugar and vanilla flavoured mushroom elixir;
6) Pumpkin spice mushroom elixir;
7) White chocolate truffle relaxing formula;
8) Dark chocolate truffle energy formula; and
9) Wild mushroom bliss ball with coco and dried fruits

“These healthy edible mushroom formulations have the potential to be made with psilocybin mushrooms in jurisdictions where magic mushrooms are legal,” says Penny White, President and CEO of The Yield Growth Corp. (CSE:BOSS) (OTC:BOSQF), “We are pleased to add mushroom formulas to our extensive catalogue of cannabis formulas which are at various stages of commercialization.”

Moving forward, Flourish Mushroom Labs will continue as a wholly-owned subsidiary for Yield. Under the banner, as part of the acquisition, the Consortium developed a description of various wild mushrooms that could be used in the formulations and various health benefits that can accrue to people eating those mushrooms. These were determined by researching data published from clinical trials and from knowledge of Chinese, Tibetan and Ayurvedic medicine. The varieties of mushrooms to be used in the formulations include Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Shitake, Chagas, Cordyceps and other wild varietals. The research and data on health benefits was included in the purchase by Flourish.

“Our research indicates that edible mushrooms are in a period of high growth,” said Yield Growth CEO Penny White. “Edible Mushrooms, like hemp, may experience hyper-growth as the movement to decriminalize psilocybin (magic mushrooms) grows. Of great interest to us is the potential for legal research and clinical trials of psilocybin ‘magic mushrooms’. We intend to use our partial acquisition and alliance with Absolem as a launch pad for activity in the exciting world of psychedelic medicine.”

Both the additions of Flourish Mushroom Labs and One Up Pure Energy add to Yield’s growing portfolio of wellness assets. Beyond the mushroom push, Yield Growth has made significant momentum with its popular hemp-root based brands Urban Juve Wellness, and Wright & Well, as well as other white-label agreements. To date, the company has acquired or developed more than 200 cannabis beauty, wellness, and beverage formulas for commercialization.

“We continue to negotiate more licensing and distribution agreements, and we plan on signing several new deals before year end,” said Penny White, CEO of Yield Growth in a recent press release. “Our continued development of our catalogue of hemp formulas for CBD and THC infusion supports our international licensing strategy.”


Psilocybin mushrooms (also known as magic mushrooms), have already been decriminalized in several European markets, including Austria, Portugal, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Italy and Spain. In Brazil, Jamaica, and Peru there are no laws preventing the sale, distribution, or use of psilocybin. In the U.S., the cities of Denver and Oakland have decriminalized magic mushrooms, while in Canada, the city council for Vancouver struck down a motion to deter and prevent the sale of psilocybin mushrooms. There is clearly widespread momentum showing signs of political support for legalization.

Mainstream outlets, such as The Guardian, are highlighting new trials showing psilocybin’s efficacy in treating depression. According to The New York Times, Johns Hopkins Medicine announced the launch of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, established with $17 million in commitments from wealthy private donors and a foundation. The center is the first of its kind in the country to study compounds like LSD and psilocybin for a range of mental health problems, including anorexia, addiction and depression.

The economic potential is definitely there. Allied Market Research projects the global antidepressant market will be worth nearly $16 billion by 2023. Research and Markets projects the global edible mushrooms market to grow at a CAGR of 7.95% from US$42 billion in 2018 to US$62 billion by 2023.


As new studies look at the risks and efficacy of anti-depressants such as the popular Prozac from Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), new solutions are being sought by the marketplace. Discussion over the addictiveness of many of the industry’s most popular antidepressants continues to spark debate, and urge alternatives.

Back in March, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) made headlines when the US FDA approved its ketamine-derived drug for treatment-resistant depression. Dubbed Spravato, the nasal spray containing its proprietary eskatamine (a molecular mirror-image of ketamine) can be given at a controlled lower dose.

Moving away from the pharmaceutical route, The Yield Growth Corp. (CSE:BOSS) (OTC:BOSQF) is marketing mushroom-based formulas for health. Yield has indicated that this is a direction they will be going.

Recently Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE:CGC) (TSX:WEED) added Dr. Danial Schecter as its Director of Global Medical Services. Dr. Schecter is the co-founder of a network of cannabis-based medicine clinics that have served over 60,000 patients in Canada, and has been advocating for the use of CBD for seniors. As well, the company is teaming up with National Hockey League Alumni to study the effect of CBD on brain injuries.

As the wave of depression and anxiety grows, the potential of removal of taboos over taboo ingredients such as ketamine, cannabis, and mushrooms are truly being looked at to supplant the current options.

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