The fifth episode of our webinar series features Paul Stamets – a renowned mycologist, medical researcher, lecturer and author. Paul will discuss psilocybin, psilocin, and the potential to discover new psychoactive compounds in psychedelic mushrooms. He will also examine their efficacy to treat mental illness and explore human consciousness.
Date: Tuesday, June 23rd
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM PST (6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EST)
About Paul Stamets
Paul Stamets’ infatuation with mushrooms began at an early age. As a child he was often shy, as a result of a speech impediment, and would look down to avoid making contact with others. It was during this period of gazing at the ground, that Paul became fascinated by fungi.
Paul had his first psychedelic experience with psilocybin mushrooms at the age of 18. At the peak of the journey, as he climbed a tree, a storm quickly broke around him. Trapped to his perilous position and clinging on for dear life, Paul confronted his mortality as he stared death in the face. At this terrifying moment, a wave of calm spread through him alongside a sense of oneness with the universe. Petrified, but empowered, Paul seized this inner strength to look within and challenge his stammer and insecurities.
The next day he crossed paths with a woman he liked, but who he had never dared speak to. However rather than averting his gaze in his habitual fashion, this time he looked her straight in the eyes and greeted her. After that day, his speech impediment never returned. This proved to be a defining moment in the career of one of the world’s most celebrated mycologists.
As an ode to his devotion to mycology, Paul went on to study Biology and Electron Microscopy at Evergreen State College in Washington – where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1979. A year after his graduation Paul founded Fungi Perfecti, a company to grow and sell exotic fungi and conduct mycological research to discover new medical applications for compounds unique to mushrooms.
This research has led to the discovery of numerous new species of psychoactive mushrooms, as well as breakthroughs on their therapeutic and ecological benefits. As a result of his findings Paul has been awarded over 40 patents, on the use of fungi in organic pest control, mycoremediation and antiviral compounds for humans and bees. Paul has also written extensively on his research in a series of books, including Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World and Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World – both of which are essential for fungi fanatics.
As we learn more about mycology and psychoactive mushrooms in particular, speculation increases that secondary metabolites could modify the effects of psilocybin and psilocin – in an entourage effect similar to within cannabis. These lesser known compounds, such as baeocystin and aeruginascin, while not psychoactive on their own could hold tremendous potential in psychotherapy and cognitive health. It is his unprecedented research into this topic that Paul will discuss in his installment of Examining the Psychedelic Renaissance, in which he will also discuss the future of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.
You can read more Paul Stamets and Fungi Perfecti here.
MAPS Canada has priced the Examining the Psychedelic Renaissance webinar series at an affordable $111 for the full 14 episodes. Single episodes are available for $22 each, with discounted rates for students, seniors and those affected by COVID-19. Tickets can be purchased online at www.mapscanada.org/webinar