Health Benefits of Microdosing Magic Mushroom: How Far Canada Is From Legalization
VANCOUVER, BC, Aug. 22, 2020
Microdosing's rising popularity — taking the tiny amounts of recreational drugs to improve mood and mental acuity — is focused on anecdotal accounts of its benefits. Now, a study by researchers from the University of California in rats, Davis indicates that microdosing may provide relief for depression and anxiety disorders, but may also have found adverse effects.
Significant evidence of the effects of psilocybin found the naturally psychedelic compound developed by multiple species of mushrooms. Used to diagnose anxiety and depression, has prompted advocates to sue the federal court next month to permit its use to treat patients who are terminally ill.
Bruce Tobin, psychotherapist and research professor of Victoria University, has been at the forefront of those promoting lifting the drug prohibition – highlighting the benefits for cancer patients who often suffer from what doctors identify as "end of life depression."
End of life suffering is a "nasty combination of discomfort, depression helplessness and demoralization that often follows the diagnosis of a terminal disease such as cancer," Tobin said in an interview with Avis Favaro, medical correspondent for CTV News. "My goal is to bring the medication to those people who need it right now."
Psilocybin, what is identified as "magic mushroom" is not new in Canada and Health Canada is still working on the legality. Still, Tobin said he saw patients receiving psychotherapy feel more relaxed and less depressed using the compound.
Tobin says Health Canada has taken three years to respond to various applications for compassionate use of psilocybin in terminally ill patients.
His campaign is sponsored by a group he founded, entitled "TheraPsil: Therapeutic Psilocybin for Canadians," which lists the medical, moral, and legal reasons the group believes the compounds should be legalized for cases of "end of life distress."
After more than a year of legalizing recreational weed, psilocybin's therapeutic uses have been exponentially rising.
A least two centers in Canada are conducting psilocybin research. The Mississauga University of Toronto has opened a Psychedelic Studies Centre, leading the world's first medical research on microdosing psilocybin. Further related work is expected at the School of Population and Public Health of the University of British Columbia.
"I think we're entering an era of mental health care," Griffiths said.
"Psilocybin and all these compounds have mechanisms which are unlike anything we have seen in our usual medical care choices," he said. "The ability is truly remarkable ... to have effectiveness across a variety of conditions. We don't yet understand their mechanisms.' And in the year after cannabis became legal for medical use in Canada, the psychedelics field has also attracted several cannabis investors who see it as the next medical innovation frontier.
Meanwhile, opposing movements are developing around the world, divided between those willing to break the law providing access to psychedelics, and those seeing legal channels as the best path forward.