SA’s “Magic Plant”, Kanna, Predicted to Trend This Year Along With 5 Other Entheogens
ACS started off as a cannabis testing facility in the eastern USA in 2017. It’s journey has now opened the ‘Entheogen era’. Entheogen is a neologism to designate psychoactive substances employed in culturally sanctioned visionary experiences in ritual or religious contexts.
Roger Brown, ACS News
9 January 2024 at 12:00:00
This is reproduced from an ACS blog published on 3 January 2024.
6 Trends to Expect in 2024
We started ACS Laboratory as a medical marijuana testing facility in 2017. Shortly after, we expanded into hemp and derivative products. We thought we were busy then. But the explosive demand for entheogens across diverse categories has again propelled our reinvention. In the past two years, we’ve added kratom, psilocybin mushrooms, functional mushrooms, and Amanita muscaria to our testing repertoire. We’ve also grown our cannabis program to include 30 cannabinoids and 38 terpenes.
As a leading third-party laboratory, we speak directly with entheogen brands at the forefront of the latest trends. These conversations are the source of our testing evolution. And we are so excited to continue expanding our program in 2024 to meet their needs.
Here, we reveal six entheogen trends to expect in 2024 across hemp, cannabis, kratom, mushrooms, and more.
01. Kratom Specialization
Kratom is definitely not a new entheogen. The Southeast Asian population has been consuming this coffee plant cousin and opioid activator for generations. But kratom is undoubtedly having a moment in the West driven by the legal psychoactive plant trend.
Kratom’s powerful stimulating and pain-relieving effects are not without safety concerns. However, the American Kratom Association (AKA) is proactive against regulatory overreach. The AKA has successfully supported legislation in 11 states, including Colorado, Georgia, and Nevada, to keep kratom legal while implementing common-sense rules like consumption age limits and labeling standards. Florida’s 2023 Kratom Consumer Protection Act is the most recent example.
Kratom products are already available in various forms, from vapes and powders to drinks and tinctures. But 2024 will be a year of product specialization, sparking consumers to seek specific kratom colors, blends, and dosages to meet their wellness goals. Some products will focus on full-spectrum kratom benefits, while others may concentrate on mitragynine–its key psychoactive compound.
As products become more specialized, kratom lab testing will be essential for multiple reasons. Brands that test for potency and purity will gain an edge over less reputable competitors. Lab testing will also reassure regulators and consumers that they’re receiving safe, effective, unadulterated formulations.
02. Hemp & Functional Mushroom Union
Hemp and functional mushroom blends in beverages, edibles, and tinctures will see a banner year in 2024. These products offer incredible synergy, combining hemp’s anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety powers with mushrooms’ gut, energy, and immune-boosting benefits. Medicinal mushrooms provide endless formula possibilities with various adaptogenic species like Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi to complement hemp’s CBD, CBN, and CBG compounds.
Most consumers will ingest these products as standalone supplements for daily health, stress, and focus needs. Others will use these blends as stacking formulas to complement their psilocybin microdosing routine.
We predict hemp and mushroom beverages will grow most substantially due to this administration method's higher bioavailability, faster onset, and flavor diversity. However, this largely untapped wellness space has incredible growth potential across verticals.
03. Potent Alternatives to Delta-8
Alternative cannabinoids with psychoactive prowess will continue encroaching into Delta-8’s market share in 2024. HHCP, THCH, and THCP, in particular, could see a notable rise due to their potency far exceeding Delta-9 THC. Additionally, non-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp derivatives like HHC will continue their trajectory due to avoiding regulatory hurdles related to THC potency limits.
Alongside the power players, various alternative cannabinoids will continue appearing in psychoactive hemp blends, including:
Inevitably, the exotic cannabinoid trend will accompany FDA warning letters issued to brands with questionable-quality products. Some ingredients won’t match label claims, and formulas will be adulterated with dangerous compounds.
This unfortunate reality will cause some reputational harm to the industry. However, respectable brands that conduct full-panel hemp testing for potency and purity will prevail. These brands will publish lab reports, known as Certificates of Analysis, to engender consumer and regulatory trust.
Inevitably, the exotic cannabinoid trend will accompany FDA warning letters issued to brands with questionable-quality products. Some ingredients won’t match label claims, and formulas will be adulterated with dangerous compounds. This unfortunate reality will cause some reputational harm to the industry. However, respectable brands that conduct full-panel hemp testing for potency and purity will prevail. These brands will publish lab reports, known as Certificates of Analysis, to engender consumer and regulatory trust.
04. Amanita Goes Mainstream
Amanita muscaria extracts have been picking up speed since Psyched Wellness added its AME-1 formula to Canada’s Natural Health Products Ingredients Database in 2021. Subsequently, Psyched Wellness is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as a bulk ingredient. The successful GRAS certification allows Psyched to legally sell its AME-1 products in the United States and is a key milestone in execution of the Company’s strategy.
Since 2021, Amanita products, including tinctures and gummies, have increasingly appeared nationwide in smoke shops and wellness stores. But Psyched Wellness will be the primary reason this ethereal mushroom goes mainstream in 2024. The brand’s strategic distribution and licensing deals will bring Amanita’s pain-relieving, sleep-promoting powers to a new level of fame.
Psyched Wellness’ flagship Amanita extract, CALM, is already in all Central Market (an HEB brand), Market of Choice, and Erewhon Market locations, as well as on Walmart.com. And in May, the company announced that My Crew Doses will sell AME-1-formulated gummies.
Alongside Amanita’s wellness success, extracts will also rise in the alternative market. Psychedelic consumers looking for legal mind-bending experiences will drive this niche forward.
At ACS Laboratory, our Amanita muscaria testing program is built for all brands selling high-quality products, compliant with federal laws.
05. Psilocybin Research & Development Growth
Psilocybin clinical trials are entering phases II and III for treatment-resistant depression, and FDA approval could come in the next few years. Simultaneously, countless organizations are actively pushing psilocybin research forward for various medical needs, including anorexia, OCD, end-of-life anxiety, and PTSD.
In December, the federal government greenlit a bill to create grants for studying psychedelic treatments for active duty service members. And many states, including Texas and Maryland, have enacted similar legislation.
The burgeoning field of psilocybin research will invariably generate a rise in DEA-licensed mushroom growers and brands, like Rose Hill, the world’s first legal psilocybin exporter. These brands will inevitably require R&D and compliance mushroom testing to ensure safety and quality.
Our ACS Laboratory team recently partnered with Rose Hill to refine our mushroom testing program. The partnership will also elevate Rose Hill’s product line with tested-safe and certified products. Rose Hill will be one of the first psilocybin producers to add QR codes to its products linked to lab test results, highlighting the importance of quality and transparency. We anticipate many more DEA-licensed psilocybin brands will do the same in 2024.
06. Kanna Surge
South Africans have used native-grown kanna plants as an herbal remedy and natural mood-booster for centuries. Today, the Western psychedelic community has embraced and elevated this heart-opening entheogen to new heights.
Psychedelic enthusiasts often refer to the plant as “nature’s MDMA” due to its empathogenic qualities. However, the term is a bit of a misnomer because kanna is entirely distinct. Unlike MDMA, kanna is only mildly psychoactive and contains no speedy amphetamines. Its heart-centered qualities come from mesembrine and mesembrenone, which synergize to boost serotonin levels, improve circulation, and lower blood pressure.
People commonly consume kanna in dried or smokable form, but extracts are rising. In 2024, we predict brands will market kanna for its powerful anti-anxiety potential, similar to CBD, and recommend it for daily use. Others will focus on the psychedelic audience, suggesting kanna alongside psilocybin therapy to help reduce the fear that sometimes arises from high-dose journeys.
We’re reviewing kanna testing methods and look forward to unveiling a comprehensive program in early 2024.
We hope you found this blog informative and saw something that inspired your brand to continue innovating in 2024. Contact us today with questions about our entheogen testing program or to suggest new tests to meet your growing needs.
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