by on December 19, 2021

The production, sale and possession of magic mushrooms is illegal in Canada.

There is increasing interest in the potential therapeutic uses of psilocybin. At this time, there are no approved therapeutic products containing psilocybin in Canada. Clinical trials are the most appropriate and effective way to advance research with unapproved drugs such as psilocybin while protecting the best interests of patients.

On this page
About magic mushrooms
Therapeutic uses
Short-term effects of magic mushrooms
Long-term effects of magic mushrooms
Risks related to recreational use of magic mushrooms
Substance use disorders and withdrawal
If you are struggling with your mental health or substance use, Wellness Together Canada offers free and confidential mental health and substance use supports, including counselling.
About magic mushrooms

Magic mushrooms have been used for thousands of years. There are over 200 species of magic mushrooms. Since many species look alike, it can be hard to tell the different species of mushrooms apart. It is possible for people to consume poisonous mushrooms, mistaking them for magic mushrooms.

The active ingredients in magic mushrooms are chemicals called psilocybin and psilocin. Both of these substances are controlled under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), meaning activities such as sale, possession, production, etc. of these substances are illegal unless authorized through, for example, a clinical trial and a licence or an exemption, granted by Health Canada's Office of Controlled Substances. Psilocybin and psilocin are hallucinogens that produce effects similar to LSD. Individuals using magic mushrooms experience hallucinations and an altered state of consciousness. Effects appear within 15-45 minutes and usually last for four to six hours.

The strength of magic mushrooms can vary greatly. One mushroom may have different concentrations of the active ingredients compared to another and consequently the effects of the magic mushroom can depend on the dose and type of mushroom used.

Magic mushrooms may be sold illegally as either dried whole mushrooms or as a powder. People may choose to take the mushrooms in many ways, including:

eaten raw or cooked
ground up and used to make tea or mixed in a beverage
swallowed as capsules
sniffed up the nose (snorted), when in a powder
Magic mushrooms should never be injected intravenously.

Psilocybin and psilocin can also be sold illegally as a powder or in tablets or capsules and can be produced in illegal labs. The content of drugs produced illegally is not tested and may contain other dangerous substances.

Mental effects
Magic mushrooms may cause heightened emotions and senses, and people may feel happy and creative. They may laugh or giggle a lot, and experience a sense of mental and emotional clarity.

Magic mushrooms can also cause hallucinations and affect people by:

distorting their sense of reality (they see and hear things that are not there)
mixing up their senses (they believe they can see music or hear colours)
altering their sense of time
Some of the negative mental effects of taking psilocybin include:

changes in mood
anxiety and panic attacks
confusion and disorientation
fear or paranoia
Physical effects
Taking magic mushrooms can produce:

numbness, particularly in the face
increased heart rate and blood pressure
dry mouth, sometimes leading to nausea and vomiting
muscle weakness and twitching, or convulsions
exaggerated reflexes
sweating and high body temperature, often followed by chills and shivering
loss of urinary control
Long-term effects of magic mushrooms
Currently, no studies have evaluated the long-term effects of repetitive use of magic mushrooms.

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