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Exploring Psilocybin and Psilocin (Magic Mushrooms) in Canada: What You Need to Know

September 7th 2023

Psilocybin in Canada

Magic mushrooms and often called “shrooms,” are a type of mushroom that packs a punch with hallucinogenic stuff, mainly psilocybin and psilocin. These things can make you see, hear, or feel stuff that’s not really there, and they’ve got some folks all curious – some just for fun, others for serious therapy. In this article, we’re going to dig into the science of psilocybin and psilocin, talk about what happens when you gobble ’em down, look at the risks, and even check out their potential as medicine in Canada.

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Getting to Know Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms have been used for ages, and there are a whopping 200+ kinds of 'em. The trouble is, they all look kinda similar, so it's easy to goof up and eat a bad one by accident. Now, let's talk about the active stuff in these shrooms – psilocybin and psilocin. These chemicals are like the "controlled substances" VIPs on the international stage, and in Canada, they're a big no-no under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). They're in the same club as LSD, giving people trippy hallucinations and a weird mind-state that lasts for around 4 to 6 hours, kicking in about 15 to 45 minutes after you munch them. This Wikipedia article

suggests that Psilocybin is illegal but not enforced in Canada.

The Many Faces of Shroom Effects

What happens when you take shrooms can be a bit of a mixed bag. On the positive side, you might feel super happy, creative, and mentally sharp. Laughter and vivid thoughts can be part of the deal. But, there's also a darker side. Shrooms can mess with your mood, make you anxious, confused, paranoid, and give you a mental rollercoaster ride. Physically, your heart might race, your mouth can turn into a desert, your muscles may go weak, and you could break into a sweat. Not exactly a picnic, huh?

The Long-Term Question

Now, let's get into the long-term effects. Thing is, we don't know much about what happens when you gobble down shrooms over and over again. Scientists need to study this more to really get the scoop. News release June 29, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research "In Canada and around the world, there is increasing interest in the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics

to treat substance use and mental health challenges." Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The Not-So-Fun Parts of Shroom Tripping

Here's where it gets real. High doses of shrooms can give you what's known as a "bad trip." That's when things take a nasty turn with paranoia, a messed-up sense of reality, and losing touch with yourself. Bad trips can lead to risky behaviors and even some pretty bad accidents. Some folks might also go through "flashbacks," which is like suddenly reliving a past trippy experience, and it's not always pleasant. Combining shrooms with other stuff like cannabis flower, speed, or booze can turn up the heat on the risks and make things get ugly real quick. If you've got a history of mental health issues or heart problems, shrooms can be a bumpy ride too.

Shroom Habits and Withdrawals

It's not likely you'll get hooked on shrooms like some other drugs, but you can build up a tolerance over time. That means you'll need more and more to feel the same effects. It's a bit of a bummer if you're chasing that high.

Could Shrooms Be Medicine?

Even though they're illegal, some folks are pretty excited about shrooms as potential medicine. They're looking into how shrooms might help with problems like anxiety, depression, OCD, and addiction. But here's the thing – there's no official stamp of approval for shroom treatments in Canada or anywhere else. It's a bit of a gray area. Some early studies are looking good, but we need more proof.

How to Get Shrooms for Therapy

If you're thinking about using shrooms for therapy, there are a few ways to go about it:

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Clinical Trials:

Think of these like science experiments for shrooms. They're safe and monitored studies where researchers check out how shrooms work on certain conditions.

Special Access Program:

This program lets doctors ask for shrooms if they think it's the best bet for a patient, especially if other treatments haven't worked.

Subsection 56(1) Exemptions:

Sometimes, the bigwigs at Health Canada can give special permission for people to use shrooms for science, medicine, or public good. It's a case-by-case thing.

In a Nutshell

So, here's the deal – shrooms can be a wild ride, but they're not toys. They're still illegal for most uses in Canada. If you're struggling with shrooms or your mental health, there's help out there. Wellness Together Canada offers free, private support, including counseling. When it comes to shrooms as medicine, it's a bit of a waiting game. Scientists are working hard to figure it all out, but we're not there yet. So, if you're thinking about trying shrooms for therapy, be smart about it and talk to the experts. Your mental health is worth it!