| Catherine Anise

Functional Mushroom Gummies vs Magic Mushroom Gummies

Mushrooms – these fascinating objects are the hot topic of discussion on everyone’s lips. The growing scientific interest in mushrooms, the ever-expanding list of mushroom supplements on the market, and of course, the internet, have made mushroom supplements hugely popular among the masses.

When it comes to mushroom supplements, it appears that people know everything and, at the same time, nothing about this natural superfood. Before you raise any objections, let us explain the statement.

The world of mushrooms can be classified into two categories: Functional Mushrooms and Magic (Psilocybin) Mushrooms. These two mushroom categories have gained a lot of attention and interest. While there might be some overlapping of properties and benefits, these two categories are vastly different.

It’s important to understand the difference between the two before you pop your first mushroom gummy into your mouth. So let’s get started.

Why Are Mushroom Gummies so Popular?

The renaissance of mushrooms is fueled by the growing demand from the public. There are more mushroom supplements available now than ever before. Additionally, supplement brands are introducing new varieties and formats of mushroom supplements to maintain public interest in their products. One particularly popular format is mushroom gummies.

Mushroom gummies are delightful, chewable supplements crafted from one or more mushroom extracts. Alongside the mushroom essence, these gummies contain fruit flavors, gelatin, and a hint of sweeteners to enhance palatability.

Each piece of these candy-like supplements harbors a plethora of therapeutic properties and offers several potential health benefits. The popularity of mushroom gummies has surged in recent years because:

  • Gummies are offered in a wide range of formulations, including functional mushrooms and magic mushrooms.
  • Some traditional forms of mushroom supplements leave a bitter aftertaste. Supplements in gummy form are soft, chewy, and delicious, making compliance easy.
  • Supplement gummies are immensely popular among both children and adults. They ensure that even children and the elderly can benefit from the therapeutic properties of mushrooms.
  • With supplement gummies, there’s no need to prepare or mix the supplement into your beverage or meal.

What Are Functional Mushrooms?

It is well known that mushrooms are rich in multiple nutrients. In addition to nutrients, mushrooms also contain several bioactive compounds that offer health benefits and are often used for therapeutic purposes. Such beneficial fungi are referred to as functional mushrooms, and the term ‘medicinal mushrooms’ is also sometimes used interchangeably.

For centuries, ancient cultures and practitioners of traditional medicine have utilized functional mushrooms to treat various ailments. While modern science has been somewhat slow to recognize the potential benefits of these fungi, there is now genuine interest within the scientific community to uncover their fascinating properties and potential benefits.

Functional mushrooms have garnered attention from researchers and the general public due to their bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides, lectins, polyphenols, ergothioneine, and more. These beneficial compounds are known to enhance energy levels, strengthen the immune system, improve cognition, reduce inflammation, and alleviate stress and anxiety.1

There are hundreds of functional mushrooms, with the most popular ones including Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps, Shiitake, Maitake, and Turkey Tail.

Functional mushroom gummies are consumed as part of a healthy diet, although the majority of people who incorporate functional mushrooms into their routine do so in the form of supplements.

Furthermore, it is important to note that medicinal mushrooms (functional mushrooms) should not replace medical treatment for any health condition.

However, functional mushrooms can help reduce the risk of developing certain medical conditions and they can be used effectively as adjuncts to support certain medical treatments.

What Are Magic Mushrooms?

Magic mushroom supplements are made using psilocybin mushrooms. Like other mushrooms, these psilocybin mushrooms also contain various nutrients and compounds. In addition to nutrients, they contain compounds such as psilocin and psilocybin, known for their hallucinogenic properties.

Most magic mushrooms contain psilocybin or other hallucinogenic compounds that alter consciousness when ingested. These mushrooms were widely used in ancient cultures for rituals and medicinal purposes and are now used recreationally worldwide.

A few decades ago, psilocybin mushrooms caught the attention of the scientific community, leading to several studies exploring their beneficial effects on mental health. There is growing scientific evidence showing that magic mushrooms are effective in treating anxiety, depression, and PTSD.2

The most common magic mushrooms belong to the genus Psilocybe. Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe semilanceata, and Psilocybe cubensis are the most common species used in making magic mushroom gummies.

Other mushroom species, apart from Psilocybe, also contain hallucinogenic properties. For example, Amanita muscaria contains ibotenic acid and muscimol. In several ancient European cultures, Amanita was used by indigenous people to induce intoxication.

Difference between Functional and Magic Mushrooms Gummies

The supplement space is abuzz with these two names: Functional Mushroom Gummies and Magic Mushroom Gummies.

The increasing need to find natural options to enhance health, prevent various health conditions, and support mental well-being has led people to consider functional mushrooms and magic mushrooms (not for recreational use but for health improvement).

While both of these mushroom gummy supplements offer health benefits, it’s crucial to have all the facts about them before making a choice. This is because both types of mushroom gummies function differently, serve different purposes, and impact the body differently.

Potential Benefits of Functional and Magic Mushrooms

Functional Mushroom Gummies

People realize they need a little outside support to optimize their performance and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Although they have different needs, they believe functional mushroom gummies can support most of them. Let’s find out the benefits one can expect from functional mushroom gummies.

  • Functional mushroom gummies are rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Hence, they are a valuable addition to our healthy diet.
  • Maitake, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Shiitake, and Reishi contain compounds that may strengthen our immune system. The beta-glucans and other polysaccharides in functional mushrooms boost immune function and help fight harmful pathogens.
  • Functional mushrooms also contain compounds well known for their adaptogenic properties. The adaptogens in these gummies help the body fight stress and support the body’s natural stress response.
  • Functional mushrooms may make you smarter. Consumption of these gummies stimulates the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) that supports brain health. Moreover, the compounds in these mushrooms promote neurogenesis and support neuroprotection, resulting in optimal cognitive health and performance.
  • These mushroom gummies can compensate for the shortage of energy and stamina that most people feel nowadays. More particularly, Cordyceps is known to boost ATP production and increase oxygen utilization, leading to less fatigue, more energy, and better endurance.3
  • The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in functional mushrooms reduce rapid wear and tear that’s responsible for aging. While the antioxidants flush out free radicals that cause oxidative stress, leading to anti-aging and disease-fighting effects, the anti-inflammatory properties ease the symptoms of inflammation in the body.
  • All functional mushrooms are rich in fiber, but Turkey Tail needs special mention for its impact on gut health. The probiotic fiber in mushrooms promotes the growth of a healthy microbiome, leading to better digestion, nutrient absorption, and a healthier and stronger gastrointestinal tract.
  • Functional mushrooms such as Maitake, Reishi, Oyster, and Shiitake contain compounds that may improve insulin sensitivity.4 These mushrooms also help regulate cholesterol absorption. Taking functional mushroom gummies can regulate blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.5

Magic Mushroom Gummies

The widespread recreational use had earned magic mushrooms a bad name with authorities and legislators. However, growing evidence of potential health benefits has led to a changing perception among the public and authorities. The following are the benefits that can ensue from taking magic mushroom gummies.

  • Magic mushrooms have shown promise in treating anxiety and depression. Treatments involving psychedelic substances, particularly mushrooms, have provided long-lasting relief from several symptoms associated with depression.6
  • Mental health professionals haven’t had great success in effectively treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with traditional medication and methods. Magic mushrooms provide a ray of hope to individuals suffering from PTSD. The use of Psilocybin substances has helped individuals cope with traumatic experiences and reduce damage to mental health and well-being.
  • Psilocybin mushrooms have been effective in providing relief from cluster headaches, which are extremely painful. These types of headaches are quite difficult to cure, as most conventional treatment methods have proved ineffective. Psilocybin treatment has reduced both the severity and frequency of headaches.
  • Psilocybin’s ability to alter consciousness and behavior is proving invaluable in treating various forms of addictions. Researchers believe magic mushrooms help reduce dependence on opioids, tobacco, alcohol, etc., by increasing self-awareness and supporting better control over one’s behavior.
  • Magic mushrooms help users relax and forget the troubles of the real world. Healthcare professionals use this property of psilocybin substances to help individuals suffering from terminal illnesses. People suffering from untreatable cancer or any other terminal illness are often prone to anxiety and depression triggered by the fear of death. Psilocybin therapy helps such individuals relax and live in peace during the remaining days of their lives.
  • One advantage of using magic mushroom gummies is that it makes micro-dosing easier. Furthermore, experts believe that micro-dosing spurs creativity, problem-solving skills, cognitive reasoning, and flexibility. Instead of altering consciousness, micro-dosing magic mushrooms improves mood and focus in users.7

The Legal Status of Functional and Magic Mushrooms

Functional mushroom supplements without any psychedelic substances are legal to manufacture, sell, and purchase in most regions around the world.

Gummies containing Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Cordyceps, Shiitake, Maitake, Turkey Tail, and Oyster mushrooms are classified as dietary supplements and are not considered controlled substances.

However, many countries, including the United States, have regulations governing the manufacturing of supplements. The FDA regularly releases documents with non-binding recommendations for the supplement industry to uphold optimal safety and quality standards.

In the United States, authorities have begun regulating the use of psychedelic substances. Magic mushrooms and similar substances that cause psychotropic effects are still classified as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act.

Nevertheless, restrictions on psilocybin mushrooms have recently been easing in several states in the US. For example, Oregon permits psilocybin therapy under strict medical supervision. Therefore, before consuming magic mushroom gummies, it is advisable to consult an expert to determine the legal status of such supplements in your state or country.

The Safety of Functional and Magic Mushrooms

Functional mushroom gummies, available in various forms, boast of millions of users worldwide. Mushrooms such as cordyceps, lion’s mane, and reishi have undergone extensive study for their potential health benefits.

However, the response of individuals to functional mushroom gummies depends on several factors, including the source of ingredients, the formula used in the supplement, the purity of the extracts, and the location and process of manufacturing.

Even when sourced from reputable suppliers, it is advisable to adhere strictly to the recommended doses. Functional mushrooms are generally considered safe for most people.

No prescription is necessary to consume functional mushroom gummies. Nonetheless, individuals allergic to mushrooms or those with any medical conditions should exercise caution and consult a healthcare professional before integrating functional mushroom supplements into their daily regimen.

Magic mushrooms contain psychoactive substances such as psilocybin, which alter behavior and consciousness. Some supplements also include muscimol, ibotenic acid, and other hallucinogenic compounds, leading to psychedelic experiences and hallucinations.

Psilocybin mushrooms have a longstanding traditional use for both spiritual and therapeutic purposes. Nevertheless, magic mushrooms pose different safety considerations compared to functional mushrooms.

The safety of magic mushrooms depends on several factors, including the psychedelic substances present in the gummies, the dosage, the user’s mental state, and individual sensitivity and medical history.

Even in jurisdictions where the sale and purchase of magic mushrooms are decriminalized, strict regulations govern their therapeutic use. Therefore, seek guidance from a knowledgeable practitioner to mitigate the risks associated with psilocybin mushrooms.

Common Risks and Side Effects of Functional and Magic Mushrooms

Even under the worst-case scenario, the use of functional mushrooms can only lead to mild side effects. Each person reacts differently to supplements.

Some users may experience bloating, diarrhea, gas, digestive issues, nausea, and vomiting because they have a sensitive stomach. Some people may experience allergic reactions such as itching, hives, and mild breathing problems. However, adverse reactions after taking the recommended dose of functional mushroom gummies are rare.

Users can prevent or mitigate them by taking mushroom supplements with food and following the recommended dosage. If the side effects persist for more than 2-3 days, seek help from a healthcare professional.

Magic mushrooms or any supplements that contain hallucination-causing psilocybin have the potential to cause side effects. The most common side effects users of magic mushroom gummies may experience are reduced or heightened auditory and visual experiences, hallucinations, confusion, anxiety, paranoia, mood swings, fatigue, drowsiness, and excitability.

These mushroom supplements can also cause physiological side effects such as nausea, vomiting, poor vision, stomach upset, blood pressure fluctuations, increased heart rate, and, in extreme cases, loss of consciousness. Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience any of these side effects that last for hours.

Who Can Take Functional Mushrooms

Functional mushroom gummies are suitable for anyone looking to enhance their immune system, cognitive function, stress management, or overall well-being. They can easily integrate functional mushrooms in gummy form into their daily routine.

However, individuals with any medical condition or specific allergies to mushrooms should consult a healthcare professional before incorporating functional mushroom gummies into their diet.

Who Can Take Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms induce hallucinogenic experiences, making them unsuitable for everyone. Considering their legal status and potential to exacerbate symptoms or trigger adverse reactions, magic mushroom gummies should only be consumed after consulting a healthcare provider.

Typically, individuals with a history of mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe anxiety should refrain from consuming magic mushrooms.

Final Thoughts

Gummies — these delightful candies have transcended our childhood and have now become bearers of medicinal properties.

For adults, the sight of supplement gummies is so appetizing and inviting. However, it’s important to distinguish between functional mushroom gummies and magic mushroom gummies. While these gummies may look similar, their properties and effects on the body and mind are vastly different.


  1. Venturella, Giuseppe, et al. “Medicinal Mushrooms: Bioactive Compounds, Use, and Clinical Trials.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 22, no. 2, 10 Jan. 2021, p. 634, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020634
  2. Lowe, Henry, et al. “The Therapeutic Potential of Psilocybin.” Molecules, vol. 26, no. 10, 1 Jan. 2021, p. 2948, https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26102948
  3. Xu, Yan-Feng. “Effect of Polysaccharide from Cordyceps Militaris (Ascomycetes) on Physical Fatigue Induced by Forced Swimming.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, vol. 18, no. 12, 2016, pp. 1083–1092, https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v18.i12.30
  4. Liu, Xiaofei, et al. “Mushroom Polysaccharides with Potential in Anti-Diabetes: Biological Mechanisms, Extraction, and Future Perspectives: A Review.” Frontiers in Nutrition, vol. 9, 14 Dec. 2022, p. 1087826, https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.1087826
  5. Sima, Petr, et al. “β-Glucans and Cholesterol (Review).” International Journal of Molecular Medicine, vol. 41, no. 4, 22 Jan. 2018, https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2018.3411
  6. Ling, Susan, et al. “Molecular Mechanisms of Psilocybin and Implications for the Treatment of Depression.” CNS Drugs, vol. 36, no. 1, 17 Nov. 2021, https://doi.org/10.1007/s40263-021-00877-y
  7. Cavanna, Federico, et al. “Microdosing with Psilocybin Mushrooms: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study.” Translational Psychiatry, vol. 12, no. 1, 2 Aug. 2022, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-022-02039-0