Health Officials Say Mushroom Candies Sold in Oregon Stores Were Poisonous

Cases of seizures, vomiting and other side effects have been reported in 27 states.

Psilocybin mushrooms. (Serrgey75/Shutterstock)

Across the country, people are being poisoned by consuming a popular “microdose” candy. Diamond Shruumz chocolate bars, cones and gummies were distributed online and to vape stores across the country by a California company.

It boasted the candies were “filled with our primo proprietary blend of nootropic and functional mushrooms.” But according to health officials, some of the mushrooms were poisonous.

The Oregon Health Authority stated in a press release on July 9 that Oregon was among 27 states with a reported case of severe illness after consuming the candy. The culprit: muscimol, a chemical found in the mushrooms used for Diamond Shruumz products. According to the National Library of Medicine, muscimol is a psychotropic drug, which means it affects how the brain works and can affect mood and behavior. It also binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors in the brain and acts as a sedative. However, it is not considered psychedelic.

“Reported symptoms that may be related to the recalled products have included seizures, agitation, involuntary muscle contractions, loss of consciousness, confusion, sleepiness, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rates, and hyper/hypotension,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Oregon has only had one case reported, but there have been 58 cases across the country with 30 hospitalizations and one death that is being investigated.

The products are not regulated for consumer safety, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the products should no longer be available for sale. Because muscimol isn’t scheduled under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, it is legal. However, an article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine states that muscimol and its biosynthetic precursor, ibotenic acid, are “highly toxic and can be fatal at high enough doses.”

Oregon is the odd one out and is the only state where there’s a legal system to buy and use psilocybin thanks to the passage of Measure 109 in 2020. However, as WW previously reported, the legal market is just a small percentage of the mushroom industry, and legalization spurred an even greater expansion of the illegal market.

OHA and FDA are recommending that people not buy, sell or serve any Diamond Shruumz product and that since these types of products often appeal to children and teenagers, “parents and caregivers should consider discussing the information in this advisory with their children and take extra care to prevent children from eating them.”

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