First Canadian to legally consume psilocybin shares his experience

Earlier this month, we wrote about a landmark approval from the Canadian government to allow four terminally ill cancer patients to use psilocybin to treat end-of-life distress. In a follow up to that story, one of those four patients, Thomas Hartle, received his first psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy session and was willing to share his experience. 

Guided by Dr. Bruce Tobin, a psychotherapist at the University of Victoria, Hartle spent the day in the guest bedroom of his Saskatoon home participating in a landmark experience. While Hartle expressed positive feelings about the experience itself, the benefits afterward are far more interesting.

According to Hartle, he enjoyed the best sleep he’s had since receiving his terminal cancer diagnosis four years ago after the treatment. In the week that has passed since that dose, Hartle hasn’t had a single anxiety attack, a personal record.

Hartle, a father of two and an IT professional, had never taken psilocybin — a psychedelic drug derived from magic mushrooms — in his life. He previously told The GrowthOp that he was interested in pursuing psilocybin therapy as a means to address the existential anxiety that accompanies living with a terminal diagnosis, something that traditional anti-anxiety medications don’t treat. To best learn how the process would work and to form a relationship with the doctors involved, Hartle went through several preparatory sessions before consuming the dose. 

“Before this experience, I had some ideas about what I thought I would get out of this, but the actual feelings and experience of it are so much better,” he said during a webinar with TheraPsil, the organization that arranged the treatment. “I would highly recommend that Canadians consider it as an option.”

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