09 Mar 2023
In the last month, magic mushroom chocolate bar recipes have experienced a 2650% search interest growth across the UK, alongside a 140% growth in searches looking to find out how to make magic mushroom tea. But the normalisation of “nootropic” lifestyle products could be fuelling a new surge in psychotropic substance addictions, with young people particularly at risk.
Non-psychedelic mushroom products, which claim to offer health benefits like reduced anxiety and improved focus, have become all the rage in recent years. Brands like Holland & Barrett and John Lewis stock ‘functional’ Lion’s Mane mushroom coffees and other products, with Google Search data highlighting the strong connection shoppers now make between mushrooms and mental health.
Some of the top 5 most common related search questions include “Which mushroom is best for depression?”, “Which mushroom is good for mental health?” and “What edible should I take for anxiety?”. However, alongside this there are new patterns emerging. In the last month the UK has seen:
- +2,650% search growth for ‘magic mushroom chocolate bar recipe’
- +110% search growth for ‘magic mushroom chocolate uk’ and +70% search growth for ‘magic mushroom chocolate’
- +140% growth for ‘how to make magic mushroom tea’
- +250% ‘magic mushrooms legal uk’
“Magic mushroom grow kit UK” is listed as a ‘breakout’ trending term in Google Trends. Historic worldwide data also shows that though interest may be spiking again currently, it has been on a steady incline for several years - with global data from Exploding Topics noting:
- +235% search growth for ‘magic mushroom chocolate’ in the last 2 years
- +400% spike in searches for ‘psilocybin edibles’ in the last 2 years
“While there is plenty of research still to be done around how magic mushrooms and other mushrooms can affect someone who consumes them, what we already know is that psychedelic varieties come with many of the same dangers associated with any other mood-altering substances.” Lester Morse, founder and director of Rehabs UK, says.
“The things people are searching for online suggest evidence of the same issue now arising with psilocybin mushrooms that already exists around marijuana - which is that people consider these things to be ‘minor’ drugs and as a result, they don’t take the risks seriously.
“For some people they may be able to be used in a ‘minor’ way but for a growing part of the population these things can destroy their minds and their lives. When people start making drugs look more innocent by adding them to lollipops, gummies, chocolate, brownies and all the things that appeal to children, then more young people who have accepted that other things are not good for you are going to try these substances. For some, they are going to end up experiencing paranoia, massive anxiety and loss of control.
“Ultimately, this is just another route to addiction for many people.”
Here to help
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, Rehabs UK is here to help. Rehabs UK is committed to continuing to support those battling alcoholism, drug addictions and behavioural addictions. To access free assessments with trained treatment advisors, contact Rehabs UK here, or find out more about us here.