Are Functional Mushrooms The New CBD? (Hint: Yes!)


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We first dabbled in the functional mushroom craze a mere four months after being influenced by beauty content creator Foyin Og. At the time, she had tweeted how the capsules left her with such a high level of brain clarity and productivity that she ‘actually couldn’t sleep.’ Obviously, after reading this, we were immediately intrigued, especially as year-end fatigue was slowly creeping up. Prior to this, we’d seen a few articles here and there on the endless benefits of functional mushrooms. However, we wanted to experience the power of these efficiency-fueling fungi ourselves.

Last year, Goodleaf, A-Beautys leading CBD wellness brand, launched a premium functional mushroom label called GOODMIND. Their product offerings include sachets and daily capsules (we began with the latter!) designed to feed the mind and enhance well-being. But before we delve into their effects, lets first chat about the history of functional mushrooms and provide clarity on what they are.


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The Origins of Functional Mushrooms

Functional mushrooms arent a new-age wellness remedy. The earliest records of their use trace back to Ancient East Asian medicine. And no, these arent the magic mushroom kind. As the GOODMIND brand clears up on their socials, although functional mushrooms have many life-altering benefits, theyre not to be confused with psychedelic mushrooms. Theyre legal and safe to use and dont contain psychoactive chemical psilocybin, therefore are not hallucinogenic.

Dr. Clive Ward-Able, Medical Director of Psyence Group in Canada, describes functional mushrooms as “types of fungi heralded for their health benefits beyond their nutritional compositions.” Tony Budden, the co-founder and director of Hemporium, expands on this, highlighting that “theyre most well-known for their adaptogenic qualities, which help our systems adapt and respond to the chemical, biological and physical strains of our modern lifestyles.”

What are the benefits of functional mushrooms?

First and foremost, theyre “immune system boosting foods,” says Dr. Ward-Able, “and they offer other perks beyond nutrients such as improved physical, immune and cognitive health, as well as stress support.” In addition, these superhero mushrooms work wonders for “energy levels and aid in boosting gut health and digestion.”

There are many forms of functional mushrooms in the market, but as Budden highlights, what makes GOODMINDs curated blends so unique is that they offer “a crossover of benefits by combining [different types of adaptogenic] mushrooms for a more holistic approach.” As the Goodleaf brand displays on its website, the dynamic trio included in their capsules is:

1. Reishi, which helps support the immune system, improve the body’s natural response to stress and stabilizes and calms the body, [resulting] in better sleep.
2. Cordyceps, which is an anti-inflammatory fungus that reduces fatigue, optimizes energy, and speeds up muscle recovery, hence why its praised for its natural support in athletic performance.
3. And last but not least, Lions Mane, aka the ‘smart mushroom, which is known to alleviate brain fog and promote sustained focus and concentration.’

How long does it take to feel positive effects?

Goodleafs recommended dose is two capsules daily, but we chose to ease into them, taking one every morning. After just over one month, we noticed a huge shift in our energy levels, productivity, and sleep quality (I honestly slept like a newborn!). But as Budden stresses, “as with most supplements, everyone has different health needs, which results in different responses. Some people feel an immediate sense of concentration with the sachets. But the capsules are designed slightly differently with a more accumulative effect (as part of a healthy lifestyle choice) where you take them daily to feel the optimal benefits and see gradual improvement over time.” However, if you require specifics, Dr. Ward-Able says many will observe changes within a few days or two to six weeks.

So how do functional mushroom sachets differ from capsules?

If the capsules were a cup of coffee, the sachets are an espresso shot! Theyre a whole lot more potent with five additional types of adaptogenic mushrooms. This is why we (and many) experience heightened focus and energy immediately after taking these. Budden reveals, “because the sachets were designed to be water-soluble (so that you can consume them in smoothies and hot beverages), we removed the Reishi as it has quite a bitter taste. We then proceeded to replace it with other functional mushrooms to make up the immuno-support that the Reishi provides in the capsules. And because we took away the Reishi, we then upped the doses of Lions Mane and Cordyceps,” hence why its effects are more perceptible, and you feel as if you can concur the world after one sachet.

How are functional mushrooms different from CBD?

Dr. Ward-Able notes that “while there is a lot of overlap in their benefits, generally CBD is used more for a specific indication to be treated, whereas mushrooms support wellness and improve or prevent certain ailments.”

Who can use functional mushrooms?

“All of us!” says Budden. “Again, these products are not panaceas theyre part of a choice to become more healthy and give our immune system general support so we can handle the stresses, pressure, and strains of modern living without getting sick.”

Have you dipped in the adaptogenic mushroom pool? Tell us all about your experience in the comments below.

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