Mushrooms are finally mainstream.
Not the psilocybin varieties (well, not yet anyway), but the use of fungi, such as lion’s mane, cordyceps and reishi, as cognitive enhancers or smart drugs is on the rise. And the trend doesn’t stop at ‘shrooms. A fun new cannabis ingestible fad is the inclusion of a variety of nootropics—any synthetic or natural substance that may have a positive effect on cognition. It’s an easy trend to endorse, whether you’re a health-and-wellness cannathusiast or a “get high till I die” stoner.
Enter Junk Worldwide’s Functional Magic Gummies, sugar-dusted jellies that contain a thoughtful blend of cannabinoids, vitamins and functional AF mushrooms. Each variety uses a specific formulation to serve a specific need, ranging from mellow focus to sleep support.
As a connoisseur of fungi, cannabis and corner-store candy, I felt it necessary to review Junk’s entire Functional Magic line while navigating through a quick series of heat wave-inspired road trips to the Oregon Coast. Here are the highlights:
Junk’s CEO, Carrie Solomon, is also the mind behind the brand’s eye-catching packaging, which has thoughtfully composed, hypercolorful labels that reflect the vibe each candy will deliver—from the cool, violet tones of Dreamboat to the playful sapphire and teal hues of Field Trip to the feverish shades of red for Tiger Blood. Every pack contains 10 gummies with 10 mg of THC apiece in addition to nootropics and minor cannabinoids.
I had a terrific plan to audition these cranberry-cherry-flavored gummies with cordyceps and vitamin B12: I would take a shuttle from Union Station to Astoria. The three-hour ride would deposit me in downtown Astoria ideally just as the onset arrived, and I would walk the riverfront for a few hours before meeting pals in Long Beach, Wash.
My shuttle departed at 10 am, but by 9:30 am, temperatures had already begun to creep past 80 degrees. I boarded the bus and took a seat, and as we headed toward Highway 30, it began to dawn on me: The driver was not waiting until we reached the highway to turn on the A/C; the A/C didn’t work.
I ate the gummy as the bus crawled into town—much of the last 5 miles spent at a torturous standstill. I figured if I died on this bus, at least I could vibe while I perished. By the time we arrived in Astoria, I was soaked in sweat, weak-kneed, dizzy from the heat, and ready to fight everyone at the shuttle company. When the gummy kicked in 20-plus minutes later, the high hit a bit harder than it would have were I in a more equanimous state.
Once on the waterfront, though, the onset delivered a smooth, silky energy and a restorative kind of pep that transported me from furious, half-dead traveler to brave adventurer with a thrilling hot-bus anecdote. High marks all around.
After surviving the blazing ride to Astoria, I wanted a do-over, so I packed up the family, settled into the navigator seat, and headed out to Seaside. For this day trip, I packed the lemon-flavored Field Trip gummies, fortified by CBD and L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea as well as some mushrooms, which can improve mood and cognition while reducing stress. The candies have a tart, citrusy kick that lingers on the palate not unlike a Lemonhead, and the texture is soft and cushiony rather than Haribo stiff. I popped my dose about 30 minutes into our ride, and by the time we arrived at the Seaside Promenade’s Lewis and Clark statue, my high was in full effect.
Field Trip resulted in a much glassier high than Tiger Blood. I felt a serene mood lift, a satiny ribbon of focused energy, and a cool, contemplative quiet that replaced my typical manic-mom inner monologue. When we got to the beach, we spent a few hours splashing in the waves and lounging in the sand, and while my fam frolicked, I stared meditatively into the horizon and let all my built-up hot weather discomfort evaporate in the cool ocean breeze. In three to four hours, the high dissipated but left a sense of calm in its wake that made the ride home a romantic, scenic cruise.
As I get older, and the world gets objectively worse, sleep becomes more and more elusive. Thankfully, CBN, otherwise known as the sleep cannabinoid, has been a panacea. And Junk’s Dreamboat blackberry gummies are formulated not just with a 2-to-1 THC-to-CBN ratio but also contain the calming functional fungus reishi.
These deep-violet gummies delivered precisely what I expected. Rather than acting as some type of knockout pill, Dreamboat softly eases a user into a smooth-flowing high that winds down into deep, restorative sleep. I auditioned mine after a tumultuous week of 90-plus degree temps, hard deadlines and extreme parenting. Two of these gummies were the nightcap I needed to slough off all the rough edges of existence and actually sleep through the night. Waking up refreshed is a treasure not afforded to folks who can’t escape garbage sleep, which makes this confection all the more valuable as a therapeutic aid.