Client Stories: Carolina Mom

People come to The Good Lab for a variety of reasons. A farmer who wants to make sure his hemp is compliant. A doctor who wants to tell her patient how to dose a homemade tincture. A dad who moved here from another state to treat his son’s inoperable brain cancer. An extractor who wants help dialing in the efficiency of his process. A product developer who wants to be sure her formulation is right.

Every client has a story. Some are funny. Some are educational. Some are tragic. All of them illustrate the need for a lab that can test for everyone. It’s harm reduction. It’s information. Knowledge is power.

Greg answered the Lab phone only to hear a frantic woman with a southern accent on the other end. She explained that she and her husband had flown to Colorado from North Carolina because their son had been put under a 72-hour hold for observation. He’d been found on the neighbor’s front porch alone, naked and babbling incoherently.  Frightened, they immediately flew here to help him, but didn’t know where to start. She was terrified, thinking her son had suddenly developed a serious mental illness.

The mom told Greg they had searched her son’s room looking for anything that might give them a clue about what was going on. They found some plant material they assumed was marijuana, but had no way of knowing for sure. They were afraid it was too potent or contaminated. They’d called around to several industry labs but they all said they couldn’t help. Finally one of them referred her to us at The Good Lab. We told her we would test it right away if she could bring it to us.

While her husband stayed with their son, she drove to Colorado Springs from Denver with her little bag of plant material in her purse, hoping for an answer.

When she arrived, she pulled the little plastic bag with crumbled plant material in it out of her purse and handed it to Greg. He took one look at it and smiled, then handed it to me asking, “Does that look like weed to you?”

I opened the bag and opened it, immediately recognizing what I saw. “Nope,” I replied, handing it back. Now I was smiling.

He took a closer look, still smiling, then looked up at the worried mom and said, “That’s not marijuana.”


“It’s not? What is it?” she asked, perplexed.

“Those are mushrooms.” he told her.

“Mushrooms?” she said. “Are you sure?”

Greg picked off a tiny piece and put it in his mouth. “Yep, mushrooms. Not marijuana. Those are psilocybin mushrooms. They’re psychedelic.”

Greg gave her a quick explanation of “magic mushrooms” and the variety of effects people can experience, especially if they’re novice users.

She thought for a moment. “Could those have caused my son’s break?” she asked.

“Absolutely.” Greg told her.

She thought for another moment as the information began to sink in. “You mean my son’s not crazy?”

“I’m not a psychiatrist, but probably not,” he replied.

Now she was smiling too. “Yes!” she shouted, ecstatically waving her hands in the air. “My son’s not crazy!”

After spending time educating her on psilocybin mushrooms and discussing how to talk to her son about them, we gave her back the mushrooms and sent her on her way. She was so relieved, thanking us over and over again.

Before she left, she insisted on paying us, although we told her there was no charge. We didn’t need to test her sample. And we were happy to give her some information to put her mind at ease.

So she made a donation to Access Hope instead, to help us educate others like her she said. And we will.

Access Hope is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing Hope to those in need of healing through plant medicines, alternative therapies, spiritual enrichment, and community engagement.