Health Canada has finally approved the use of psilocybin and magic mushrooms for medical purposes. Recent research has shown that the two psychedelics have significant therapeutic potential that can be harnessed in the treatment of various medical conditions. This new development will make it easier for researchers to unravel the full therapeutic potential of these compounds. It will also allow patients with life-threatening diseases to have access to psilocybin and MDMA products legally.
Psilocybin is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. These mushrooms are common in South America, Mexico, and Europe and they exist in over 200 different species. When ingested, they cause hallucinogenic symptoms; visual and mental hallucinations, disorientation in time and space, euphoria, and perceived spiritual experiences.
Studies into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin are preliminary. Therefore, the compound is yet to get FDA approval for the treatment of any condition. Preliminary evidence suggests potential benefits in the following areas:
- Substance addiction
- Chronic stress related to chronic conditions
MDMA is a synthetic methamphetamine look-alike that causes hallucinogenic effects. It is a popular rave drug where it goes by the moniker “molly” or “ecstasy.” It is also responsible for sending many revelers to the ER. Researchers are currently looking at MDMA-assisted therapy for treatment-resistant addiction. A number of clinical trials have been conducted in this area and currently, a number of psychotherapy clinics are offering this kind of therapy.
This regulatory development in Canada will allow patients with severe mental health conditions to access psychedelics as an alternative therapy. Patients will need to be enrolled in the Special Access Program that was designed to offer access to alternative drugs when conventional therapy fails to offer the needed therapeutic benefits.
Canada was the first G7 nation to legalize cannabis for recreational use. It is now the first to legalize psychedelics for medicinal use, even though Oregon took a similar direction last year. As more scientific evidence is generated, more countries may consider making psychedelics legal.