Shroom Hub

In a bustling corner of downtown Detroit, a small storefront with no name and nondescript window signage opens the door to a mushroom-nerd’s paradise. Inside, The Mushroom Hub sells fresh varieties like maitake (hen of the woods), porcini and shiitake mushrooms; medicinal mushroom powders and coffee substitutes; and even mushroom chocolate.

The Shroom Hub are grown at the Hub’s flagship farm in Windsor, Canada, and then sent to the Detroit shop for processing and distribution. The storefront is one of many across the country to take advantage of an interest in mushrooms as both a source of food and a mind-expanding drug. It’s a renaissance that’s been fueled by a growing body of medical research suggesting that psilocybin, the psychedelic compound in these mushrooms, may have therapeutic properties for mental health conditions and end-of-life stress.

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While government statistics show that drug use in general has remained flat over the past 10 years, there has been a noticeable surge in magic mushroom consumption among young people. It seems that as our world gets hotter, angrier and more at war with itself, some of us need an emotional jolt.

But there are also concerns about the risks that come with taking mushrooms. The federal regulator, Health Canada, warns that consuming them can cause people to see, hear and feel things that aren’t real, as well as nausea, anxiety, muscle twitches, increased heart rate and blood pressure. In rare cases, psilocybin can lead to a bad trip that is frightening or even life-threatening.

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