With the rise of CBD oil, hemp products and micro-dosing, the future of medicine is under the spotlight as to whether conventional medication is always the best option.
And now a trial is taking place in Canada to see whether the use of psychedelic mushrooms can help terminally-ill cancer patients.
While the treatment is not said to ‘cure’ the cancer, it is being used as an aid to ease distress that inevitably comes with end-of-life anxiety.
Four patients are taking part in the programme, known as psilocybin therapy, which uses the drug found in magic mushrooms to see what impact it has on their wellbeing.
Speaking about the landmark decision from the Canadian Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, patient Laurie Brooks said she was feeling “emotional” at the verdict.
Laurie, who had campaigned for 100 days for the government to give the green-light, said: “The acknowledgment of the pain and anxiety that I have been suffering with means a lot to me, and I am feeling quite emotional today as a result.
“I hope this is just the beginning and that soon all Canadians will be able to access psilocybin, for therapeutic use, to help with the pain they are experiencing, without having to petition the government for months to gain permission.”
Meanwhile, fellow patient Thomas Hartle revealed why the decision was so crucial in helping reduce the physical affects that the mental anxiety gives him.
Talking to local TV network, CTV News, Thomas explained: “It gives you a rapid heart rate. It makes you feel terrible.”
The government’s approval is a significant move as the drug has been illegal in Canada for nearly 50 years, after research continues to show that psilocybin significantly relieves anxiety and depression in patients with advanced cancer.
In the UK, magic mushrooms were openly sold in shops and Camden Market until 2005 when both fresh and prepared (dried, cooked or made into a tea) psilocybin mushrooms became illegal – and they are now considered a Class A drug.
As the world continues to evolve and adapt with natural remedies, Jamaica, Brazil and the Netherlands are already leading the way by granting psilocybin legal status.