Besides the varieties of mushrooms that people hunt for in the wild and include in their favourite recipes, there’s another kind. These mushrooms, along with cannabis, are what people use to experience a euphoric effect or “high,” as well as to possibly help with several health-related issues.
Commonly referred to as “magic mushrooms,” these psilocybin mushrooms aren’t considered a part of conventional medicine. Even so, they do provide the same medicinal benefits in some cases. To better understand how they work, it would help to gather more information about this unique type of mushroom.
What Are Magic Mushrooms?
Similar to the federal stance on marijuana, the Canadian government has long considered selling, buying, and using magic mushrooms illegal. However, even though they contain hallucinogenic compounds, consumers fought back. As a result, some things changed.
Now, Health Canada states it’s legal to use magic mushrooms but only in specific cases and for exempted individuals. For the most part, this includes facilities that provide different kinds of therapies, including psilocybin therapy.
Around the same time, some states in the US also made magic mushrooms legal and without as many limitations. For instance, in Denver, Colorado, officials passed Ordinance 301, which decriminalized the use of these mushrooms by adults. Only a month later, city officials in Oakland, California, as well as those in the state of Oregon, followed suit.
Most people expect the same thing will happen with magic mushrooms as seen with cannabis. Once they’re more understood, particularly the benefits they offer, legalization will spread throughout North America.
As for what magic mushrooms are, again, these are a type of psilocybin mushroom. Sold in legal head shops and dispensaries, most people either make tea from a dried product, buy it in liquid or capsule form, or add it to food. Although individuals can also eat the mushrooms raw, they don’t taste good. If someone ingests the wrong dose, they could become ill.
How Magic Mushrooms Appeared in Canada
Interestingly, the use of magic mushrooms in Canada dates back to the 1960s. It all started when Life magazine published an article written by Robert Gordon Wasson, a novice mycologist. During his travels, he discovered a tribe of indigenous people who used these unique mushrooms for their hallucinogenic effects and medicinal benefits. Of course, he tried them.
It didn’t take long for people around the world to learn about these so-called “magic mushrooms” from the publication. They too wanted to experience the same thing as Wasson. That’s when tourists from British Columbia visited Oaxaca, Mexico. While there, they discovered that locals commonly used these wild-growing mushrooms.
After they returned home, they began to focus on open pastures, fields, and meadows. Sure enough, they found magic mushrooms growing in British Columbia. That started the craze of people picking the plants. This went on for five years until law enforcement seized a relatively large quantity of magic mushrooms from University of British Columbia students. However, that didn’t impact the popularity of this fascinating mushroom.
The Common Effects of Magic Mushrooms
Most often, people use magic mushrooms for their hallucinogenic effects. When under the influence, they experience a broad range of things, including vivid colors, objects, and sounds. They also feel groggy, excited, euphoric, and overall in awe of everything around them. Oftentimes, individuals who try magic mushrooms claim they have a spiritual awakening.
For anyone who wants to try magic mushrooms, it’s important to buy a quality product from a reputable source and to use the appropriate amount. Otherwise, you can feel sick, begin to panic, and become paranoid. As far as the degree of the effects goes, it all depends on the quality of the magic mushrooms, how much someone consumes, a person’s body weight, and any past experience using them.
What About Medicinal Benefits?
People given magic mushrooms in a licensed facility and while under the care of an expert can see significant improvement in health-related issues. Particularly, magic mushrooms promote good mental health. The following are the most common things these mushrooms aid with.
- Cluster Headaches
- Compulsive Obsessive Disorder (OCD)
- Tobacco Use
New studies suggest that magic mushrooms could be the breakthrough that mental health professionals need to effectively treat patients with PTSD. Also, research shows they help people deal with cancer and those going through psychological distress as they near the end of life.
Even though these mushrooms are 100 less potent compared to LSD, they still create an altered perception. That’s what experts tap into when using magic mushrooms to treat people.
There’s another benefit of using magic mushrooms for medicinal purposes. It helps people to open up. Whether this involves an incredibly shy person or someone who’s experienced trauma and shut down, as a result, the mushrooms allow them to become more vulnerable and open. For many, that’s life-changing.
While not a health-related issue, some individuals struggle with creativity. For anyone with a passion for painting, writing books or music, sculpturing, designing fashion, and so on, a lack of creativity can prevent them from pursuing their passion. However, a lot of people find that using magic mushrooms helps them become more creative, which opens new doors of opportunity.
Working to Legalize Magic Mushrooms in North America
Just as in Canada, the United States prohibits the use of magic mushrooms with the exception of psilocybin therapy. At this time, the US Drug Enforcement Administration classifies these mushrooms as a Schedule I drug. That means they aren’t used to treat medical conditions and they have a high risk for abuse.
Even so, several top researchers are coordinating clinical trials in an effort to get magic mushrooms approved by the FDA. Especially as more information comes out about the medicinal benefits, a lot of people support this movement.
What it All Means
The bottom line is that right now, only experts can legally use magic mushrooms as a form of therapy, as well as exempted individuals and those living where its use is legally allowed. However, as consumers fight to make this plant legal, most agree it won’t take long to see it on the market right alongside cannabis.