Market Health

The Magic Mushroom Revolution Is Here

The global healthcare industry is a juggernaut with a capital “J.”

And I’m not talking about the gem-empowered supervillain who routinely squares off against Deadpool, Hulk, Spider-Man, the X-Men and pretty much everyone in the Marvel Universe who gets in his way.

But the healthcare industry is nonetheless undeniably enormous… and only getting more so.

In 2018, the industry was worth $8.45 trillion. By 2022, thanks to the graying of America and the rapidly aging world population, global healthcare spending is projected to top $10 trillion.

In most developed countries, it accounts for roughly 10% of gross domestic product (GDP). In countries where healthcare is more expensive, like the U.S., it’s closer to 20% of GDP.

Healthcare is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world. And that’s why investors need to sit up and pay attention, because it is about to get disrupted.

The Other 21st-Century Solution

Over the years, I’ve discussed how new technologies are going to create massive opportunities in healthcare.

These disrupters are creating waves as we speak.

For example, the Internet of Things is poised to reduce healthcare costs and inefficiencies by as much as $100 billion per year.

Precision medicine is on the path to topping $119 billion as we enter a new era of personalized treatment.

Telemedicine is skyrocketing. Artificial intelligence and surgical robots are here.

These are sci-fi, 21st-century solutions to healthcare.

But the technological advancements over the last few decades have allowed another set of disrupters to emerge from the shadows.

These are things humanity has turned to for millennia, though we’re only now beginning to scratch the surface of how and why they work. And what potential they ultimately have.

Take cannabis for instance…

Five thousand years ago, the fabled Chinese emperor Shen Nung prescribed cannabis for a laundry list of ailments.

In ancient India, it was seen as a gift from the gods.

And in De Materia Medica, published in A.D. 70, the Roman physician Pedanius Dioscorides recommended cannabis for earaches and diminished libido.

We know it has a wide range of medical uses.

Doctors prescribe it to treat chronic pain, sleep disorders, eating disorders, PTSD, anxiety and depression. You name it – marijuana has the potential to help.

And up until the 1930s and the rise of “Reefer Madness,” cannabis was a valued medicine.

But it wasn’t until the 1990s that scientists discovered humans had an endocannabinoid system.

There is an entire system throughout our bodies hardwired to react to cannabis, which impacts our appetite, memory, energy, stress responses, immune functions, sleep and more.

In the couple of decades since, attitudes toward cannabis have started to shift.

Though only very recently has cannabis moved from being seen as a dangerous drug to being recognized as a potential miracle worker. In turn, countries have started legalizing marijuana, as we’re witnessing here in the U.S. And we know on election night, the number of states greenlighting cannabis use will continue to grow.

But there’s another nascent pharmaceutical development I believe investors must open their eyes to. Just as they did with cannabis.

The $100 Billion Psychedelic Breakthrough

Mushrooms have been consumed by humans for eons.

Thousands of years ago, The Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica – one of the foundational texts of Chinese wellness practices – described the health benefits of fungi.

But beyond button, chanterelle, linghzi, porcini and portobello, we all know there’s a “magic mushroom” variety as well.

The psychedelic kind.

These are so ingrained in our collective psyche that I bet we all picture the same image when hearing the words “magic mushrooms” – white stalks with red caps and white spots.

The infamous fly agaric, the pedestal for fairies and pixies, is pictured in everything from Alice in Wonderland to The Smurfs.

The Celtic druids referred to these mushrooms as the “flesh of the gods” because of their mind-boosting attributes.

The Aztecs had their own “flesh of the gods,” the teonanácatl mushroom.

And it’s believed humans have been chomping on hallucinogenic mushrooms since roughly 9000 B.C.

But they offer more than just “trips.” They are actually a living medicine.

Unfortunately, like cannabis, mushrooms were demonized. But like the opinions on cannabis, those attitudes are changing, with states leading the charge on decriminalization, as we rediscover that these mushrooms – and their active compound psilocybin – could be pivotal in treating various mental illnesses.

In October 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the thumbs-up to research the use of mushrooms to combat treatment-resistant depression. And it fast-tracked a second psilocybin treatment for depression a year later.

In September 2019, Johns Hopkins University unveiled its Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. This will explore using psilocybin to treat opioid addiction, alcohol and nicotine dependency, Lyme disease, PTSD, and more.

Last year, Denver, Colorado, and Oakland, California, decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms. This year, Santa Cruz, California, followed suit. And in November, Oregon and Washington, D.C., will vote on measures to do the same.

It’s now estimated the global market for psilocybin and psychedelic medicine will top $100 billion. And our long history of consuming has real monetary benefits.

Typically, it takes a decade and $2.6 billion to develop a prescription drug. But treatments using psilocybin and mushrooms – because of the decades and decades of consumption already documented – could take a lot less time.

And right now, there are more than a dozen psychedelic clinical trials underway in the U.S.

We are on the cusp of a nascent industry that will tackle some of the most devastating diseases and mental health issues on the planet. And it’s disrupting one of the largest and fastest-growing industries on Earth – an $8.5 trillion juggernaut.

And Silicon Valley legends, billionaire financiers, huge hedge funds, Wall Street and Big Pharma are all taking notice. That means investors must do the same.

Here’s to high returns,

Matthew