mushrooms canada

Whether you’re an expert forager or just getting started, autumn is the prime season to search for wild mushrooms. Cooler temperatures, heavier rainfall and increased humidity can trigger the fruiting of big, charismatic fungi like chicken of the woods or giant puffballs. Mushroom hunting can be a fun and rewarding pastime, but it can also be dangerous. The right knowledge and the right conditions are key, but even experienced foragers can get it wrong.

The most common mushroom Canada in the fall is the chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius complex). These mushrooms can be found throughout Canada, but are especially abundant in the mountains of B.C. and Alberta. They’re recognizable by their bright yellow or orange-yellow color and funnel-shaped stem that has gill-like ridges. The ridges help distinguish chanterelles from inedible lookalikes with flat-topped caps.

Magic in Canada: Exploring the World of Mushrooms

It is illegal to grow, sell or possess magic mushrooms (also called shrooms) in Canada because they contain the hallucinogenic chemicals psilocybin and psilocin. These substances can cause you to see, hear or feel things that aren’t there (hallucinations). People can legally take these psychedelic mushrooms in research studies or with special permission from Health Canada from their doctors.

But what if those same psilocybin-containing fungi could be used to treat debilitating mental health conditions? That’s what Burnaby-based startup Filament Health is aiming to do. They’re working with Health Canada to study the effects of psilocybin on depression and other mental illness, reports Vice. They want to turn those mushrooms into pills that people can consume as a way to treat their depression or anxiety.

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