Scientists have long studied the positive effects of magic mushrooms. There are multiple studies, past and present, showcasing the benefits of dried magic mushrooms in treating mental health.

Prestigious educational centers like the John Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research are continually exploring innovative treatments using psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms.

As scientists continue to discover the positive medical impact of magic mushrooms, more people are interested in them. Why is this so?

With millions of Canadians suffering from depression, anxiety, and addiction, there is no doubt that people want to have access to possible solutions to aid them in their mental struggles. The more scientists prove the benefits of this compound, the easier it will be for people to access magic mushrooms in Canada or anywhere else.

What are Magic Mushrooms?

For thousands of years, indigenous groups have used magic mushroom edibles in ceremonies and for medical purposes. There are over 200 different varieties of magic mushrooms, and it is difficult to distinguish between other mushroom species since most of them look alike. However, it becomes easier as there is the availability of magic mushroom shops knowledgeable about dosages, types, and usages of mushrooms.

What interests scientists in studying magic mushrooms is the active ingredients psilocybin and psilocin. These psychoactive substances have hallucinogenic effects that are similar to LSD. Users of magic mushrooms experience a short effect from 15 to 45 minutes or can last longer for four to six hours.

Since the magic mushroom’s active ingredient can alter the state of consciousness leading to hallucinations, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CSDA) in Canada has declared the selling, production, and possession of such drugs is illegal. However, only dispensaries with licenses by Health Canada can sell magic mushrooms.

Studies on Its Mental Health Effects

Mental health affects over 450 million people globally, making it the most significant cause of disability. More than 6.7 million people in Canada are affected. By the time they reach the age of 40, one out of every two Canadians has or has had a mental disorder.

The growing number of people with mental disorders proves a need for better solutions or effective treatment.

Journal of Psychopharmacology Study

The published Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2016 stated that psilocybin could produce immediate and sustained improvements in cancer patients who suffer from anxiety and depression. Moreover, scientists have noticed a sudden improvement in the subjects’ well-being and quality of life. Sixty to eighty percent of their participants showed a clinically significant reduction in depression and anxiety.

The latest study conducted by the same journal, after a long-term follow-up, shows that after 3 to 4.5 years of single-dose psilocybin, participants still have a significant reduction in anxiety and depression.

At the 4.5-year follow-up, 60 to 80 percent of patients fulfilled the clinically meaningful antidepressant or anti-anxiety effects criteria. 71 to 100 percent of participants credited the psilocybin-assisted therapy experience with positive life changes and ranked it among the most personally important and spiritually significant experiences.

Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at John Hopkins University School of Medicine

Adults with a long-term history of depression were given two doses of psilocybin with a combination of supportive therapy. After 12 months, three-quarters of the participants had a response, and half were in remission.

The founding director of the center, Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., said that “Psilocybin not only produces significant and immediate effects, it also has a long duration, which suggests that it may be a uniquely useful new treatment for depression.”

In addition, he compared the effects of psilocybin to current antidepressant drugs. In the study, psilocybin effects are faster and last longer than antidepressants, which take time to work, and the dosage needs adjustment for each patient.

Journals Scientific Reports from Imperial College London

The researchers used psilocybin to treat a small number of patients resistant to conventional treatment for depression. Their findings described the benefits patients reported after their five-week treatment with the psychedelic compound.

Images of patients’ brains taken before and after the drug therapy indicated brain activity changes linked to significant and long-lasting decreases in depression symptoms.

Another research in the Imperial College London shows that magic mushrooms can revive brain activity by reconnecting patients with depression with their emotions. The results were compared to antidepressant drugs that dampen the brain from processing solid emotions.

However, taking psilocybin to help with depression and anxiety treatment requires the help of a physician and therapist. The drug is frequently used in conjunction with other treatments for depression and anxiety. Furthermore, most of these studies provide their participants with a micro dosage of psilocybin.

Microdosing is the practice of consuming low amounts of a psychedelic substance. The dosage is too low to cause hallucinogenic effects experienced by those who take the normal part of the substance. The practice of microdosing has a positive effect on mental health; however, studies are minimal.

Other Beneficial Effects of Magic Mushroom

Aside from promising studies that show psilocybin as an effective treatment for anxiety and depression, some scientists have discovered other positive effects of taking magic mushrooms.

Increase “Open-ness”

Research at the John Hopkins University of Medicine shows that participants experienced measurable personality changes after taking a single high dose of psilocybin.

Participants became more open after the psilocybin session. Those who have a mystical experience become more open to ideas and changes. It also helps in increasing a person’s creativity and imagination.

For Smoking Cessation and Other Addictions

Magic mushrooms have been demonstrated to aid in treating addiction to substances such as cocaine and nicotine.

Amanda Feilding piloted research at the John Hopkins University in 2008 to look into psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to help people quit smoking. The continuous study improves the case for psilocybin as a novel treatment for substance misuse problems.

Stimulates the Growth of Neural Connection

Researchers at Yale show that a single dose of psilocybin given to mice has produced an immediate and long-lasting increase in neuronal connection. The compound increases the density of dendritic spines, which aid in transmitting information between neurons. Individuals who suffer from depression and chronic stress have a reduced number of neuronal connections. 


Psilocybin, found in magic mushrooms, has gained more interest in modern research and therapy than other psychedelic compounds. This can be due to the promising results it has shown in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

As researchers continue to show the breakthrough effects and benefits of magic mushrooms, it can aid in the treatment of multiple mental illnesses that almost half of the world population is suffering from.