“The New Cannabis” – the present and future of psilocybin as a medical treatment in Canada


Recent research has shown that psilocybin has the potential to treat a number of mental illnesses. These include suicidality, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, alcohol dependence, smoking cessation, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others. Studies have also shown that psilocybin can empower patients, with the help of trained therapists, to cope with fears and feelings that are otherwise too traumatic. This ongoing research aims to assess the immediate and long-term psychological effects of psilocybin use.

The potential use of psilocybin to relieve end-of-life distress in palliative care patients is a particularly targeted area in Canada. Proponents view psilocybin as relief from mental distress when traditional treatment options fail for terminally ill patients, as they often do. This interest in psilocybin as a treatment also extends to the potential for treating bereaved people.

Considering its potential benefits, why is the use of psilocybin illegal in most cases today?

As awareness of mental health grows, psilocybin has become the focus of increased attention by health authorities and Canadian researchers as a possible treatment for a variety of mental illnesses. However, this has not always been the case.

Psilocybin is a psychedelic. Psychedelics, also known as hallucinogens, are psychoactive substances that produce changes in perception, mood, and cognitive processes. While most people view psychedelics as a recreational drug and often associate them with the 1960s counterculture, psychedelics have a long history of medicinal use. Unfortunately, due to negative public and political perceptions, little research has been done in this area for decades.

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