Way out man! Scientists can now mass produce psilocybin

Researchers from Germany have identified the four key enzymes involved in making psilocybin, the hallucinogen responsible for the  'magic' in magic mushrooms, opening the door(s of perception — sorry) for the mass production of a promising pharmaceutical. First identified by the Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann in 1959, scientists have long known about the chemical responsible for magic mushrooms' psychedelic reputation, but little was known about its biochemical pathway. Recently, however, psilocybin has emerged as as a safe way to treat conditions related to anxiety, depression, and addiction. So a team of researchers from Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany sequenced the genomes of the species Psilocybe cubensis and Psilocybe cyanescens to look for the biochemical components responsible for constructing this mind-bending molecule. Identifying these enzymes are as well as the genes that encode them will allow for the mass production psilocybin, and could lead to the recipe that could be tweaked to suit particular needs. To find out more check out Enzymatic synthesis of psilocybin.