As anecdotal evidence continues to grow for the beneficial effects of microdosing mushrooms, Canadian medical experts are pushing for special dispensation.
All over the world, health care providers and researchers have pushed for better access to psychedelics. No, not because they want to be lit up at a festival this weekend – but because they think it could be the next breakthrough treatment for the millions of people with mental health worldwide. Canadian health care workers resign. Lobbying Health Canada widely to review outdated restrictions placed on psychedelic drugs. Although the country became one of the first to legalize recreational marijuana use nationwide in 2018, many believe that legalizing psychedelics could be the next step in creating a kinder and more balanced world.
Last August, Canada’s Prime Minister of Health authorized the treatment of four terminally ill cancer patients with psychedelic therapy, with some incredibly positive results. Leads to further outrage for a more relaxed policy of practice and resource use. Microdosing, Canada has yet to legalize, but it is being practiced frequently, with more users trying this DIY hack every day. The authorities seemed baffled at this point, with little negative enforcement of the substance long favored by religious ceremonies and those seeking better mental fitness. To the point where researchers are now starting to hone governments because the results seem too good to ignore.
A growing body of evidence
While psychedelic research seemed to gain momentum at the beginning of the 20th century, the brakes were firmly applied in the 1970s. While many tend to attribute this study discontinuation to the cold and often outdated regulations enforced by the government at the time, there is also significant evidence that outdated psychedelic research is being conducted in an unethical manner – resulting in extremely negative and long-term harm to some patients who received these substances without informed consent. Early researchers also applied the use of psychoactive substances to participants with underlying psychosis or other types of mental illness where psychedelic use is considered contraindicated.
However, almost in the 2020s, psychedelic research began to gain favor with the public again. As new, stricter, ethical guidelines were applied and researchers seemed to have a more focused approach to potential therapeutic applications, coupled with better pre-screening protocols. These more rigorous research methods have led to very positive results. Research shows that psychedelics such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and DMT can have far-reaching potential in treating historically persistent mental problems such as addiction, depression, trauma and anxiety.
In 2018, the US, Canada, and the UK all started psychedelic research over again, specifically aimed at alleviating the pain of terminal illnesses such as cancer and treating otherwise resistant addictions to alcohol.
Usage Scenarios for Psilocybin, Microdose, Canada End of Life Care
Driven by a public subculture that self-reported the tremendous mental benefits of mushroom microdosing, Canada has once again been asked to re-evaluate their bans on the medicinal and recreational use of psychedelics. Especially since the new coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the mental health of its citizens, with little infrastructure of the support needed to meet such widespread demand.
Both the UK and the US have published studies describing the therapeutic benefits of psychopharmacology, despite the fact that psilocybin is still illegal in both countries. However, many legislators and citizens expect these restrictions to ease, both in Canada and abroad – especially since many psychedelics have an extremely high therapeutic index – meaning the potential for both abuse potential and side effects (such as overdose) is extremely rare, or incredibly low.
Global pressure is mounting as more microdoses – Canada and beyond
Even less likely when patients are microdosing. Canadian forums devoted to microdosing psilocybin are full of the positive experiences and purported benefits of using psilocybin in this way. Microdosing is the taking of small subhallucinogenic doses of the substance on a routine schedule. So small, in fact, that these microdoses not only allow users to function normally, but most say that while the result is incredibly beneficial, the treatment is virtually unnoticeable.
This is largely because psychedelics, even in small amounts, have been found to promote neuroplasticity and the growth of brain tissue. Types of psychedelics have been shown to bind to the serotonergic system, something many common antidepressants strive for but fail to do. They are also believed to contribute to “ego dissolution,” a phenomenon best described as “making people get out of their own way,” by interacting with the dopaminergic system to calm radical and self-sabotaged thoughts and feelings.
Microdosing has become the next popular wave in the brain teaser movement. With an overwhelming number of users reporting high levels of motivation, physical energy, improved cognition and more stable emotional balance. And all without having to set aside time for a full psychedelic “trip”. The idea that small amounts of the popular recreational psychedelics can reasonably yield very large benefits is a new gateway to equitable access to mental health support systems. Since the benefits far outweigh the risk, it’s time we wondered why these substances were ever banned at all.
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