While magic mushrooms do open a doorway to a psychedelic world, many people take them in order to enter the elusive flow state: a period of feeling present, creative, clear-headed and energized. This is commonly achieved through microdosing, but now there is a new way to feel these effects without psilocybin. Mojo, a product from Gwella (an organization dedicated to exploring mushrooms), is the world’s first legal microdose alternative. With their original micro formula and newly launched macro strength recipe, Mojo reverse-engineers a psychedelic microdose to harness its wellness benefits for everyday use.
The non-hallucinogenic gummies took shape a decade ago, when Gwella co-founder Daniel Sanders was in school researching the potential of lion’s mane as an alternative to Adderall. In 2020, Gwella’s other co-founders Peter Reitano and Stefany Nieto came across Sanders’ study and saw the opportunity to complete and tweak the formula to enhance its health benefits. They conducted research on the motivations behind microdosing, releasing their report in conjunction with DoubleBlind Magazine, and used these answers to inform their product. After nearly two years, the team distilled Mojo’s dynamic blend of 14 bioactive ingredients into zesty, fruity chews.
“Pete and I met like two and a half to three years ago, and the beginning of it was wanting to bring accessible psychedelics to the world,” Nieto tells us. The dream, she continues, is “to offer it to communities to be able to dip their toes into the psychedelic space without actually having to go the illegal route.”
Reitano adds, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we can make something that mimics some of those reported benefits of microdosing without the illicit components? We wanted to replicate those effects with fully legal nootropics plants and botanicals and then wrap them all up in a really convenient, gummy format.”
Mojo works in stimulating a flow state by targeting four elements: mood, energy, anxiety and focus. The stimulation stems from Cordyceps, a funky parasitic mushroom traditionally found in Tibet that grows on the back of insects. Gwella uses their own proprietary full-spectrum version, Cordyceps Sinensis (CS-4), which is more eco-friendly as well as the first of its kind in the US to have such strength and purity. With the addition of slow-release caffeine and ginseng, Mojo’s boost of energy feels subtle and organic rather than the jumpy, anxious feeling commonly felt after a cup of coffee.
The subsequent crash commonly associated with energy boosters is also avoided thanks to Mojo’s calming effect, delivered by L-Theanine, Mucuna Pruriens and the team’s patent-pending blend of nootropics—substances commonly found in caffeine, creatine and tea that are believed to improve cognition. Those nootropics, coupled with lion’s mane, then double as focus enhancers, helping to protect neurons and promote the growth of brain cells. SAMe (aka S-Adenosyl-l-methionine), a metabolite that naturally occurs in the body and is said to help decrease depression, rounds out the gummy as a mood stabilizer.
“So we’ve got that stimulant, that calming effect and that mood balancing effect, combined with nootropics that give focus. They all work synergistically to create that overall four- to six-hour experience,” continues Reitano. It’s an impressive, potent blend of powerhouse ingredients but even more so, a complex feat in achieving balance. Combining 14 active ingredients, targeting a slew of functions and accounting for the varying tolerance levels people have, Mojo’s precise makeup is complex—and unique within the functional mushroom space.
Gwella’s balancing act doesn’t stop there—the gummies also merge immediate and longterm effects which the founders learned was a sought-after combination from many who microdose. While the gummies deliver energy, clarity and calmness after the one- to two-hour release period, taking them as a part of a routine (the recommended of which is five days on and two days off) helps improve brain activity and mood going forward.
“The coolest thing is that it increases your baseline with continuous use,” says Nieto. “With our formulas specifically, the lion’s mane, L-Theanine and some of the nootropics really focus on neurogensis—promoting brain cell growth. That can help with anything from your focus to your memory to fixing anything in general that may not be working as quickly as it can be. And when we’re looking at our energizers one of the really cool things is that it works on reducing anxiety. So when you’re taking our gummy over a long period of time, ideally it takes a lot longer for you to get to that anxious level.” A similar process also applies to serotonin, as the gummies help the body get it quicker through extended use.
Since launching, the co-founders have found Mojo’s use cases are just as numerable as the gummies’ effects. “Different customers have really unique use cases to Mojo, anywhere from the midday pick me up (which is the most common) to things like partying, working out or help with sleep,” says Nieto. “Somebody who was dealing with depression and is on SSRIs [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors] for most of their adult life, right now, is using Mojo every day.” While Gwella isn’t making any medical claims as they have yet to do clinical trials, users have reported that Mojo has been beneficial to navigating mood disorders and ADHD.
Through natural ingredients that are almost all sourced in the US, Mojo’s chewable gummies offer an entry point into psychedelics for the uninitiated as well as a feasible and consistent way to enter a flow state as mushroom enthusiasts often seek. Down the line, Mojo aims to be able to incorporate psilocybin into gummies when it is legal to do so, but remain dedicated to meeting people where they are on their hallucinogenic and non-hallucinogenic journeys.
Images courtesy of Mojo