Mushroom Matters | Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms For Brain and Mental Health
- the action or practice of taking or administering very small amounts of a drug in order to test or benefit from its physiological action while minimizing undesirable side effects. “microdosing would allow tiny amounts of new drugs to be safely given to human volunteers”
Source – Oxford Dictionary
Microdosing substances such as LSD or psilocybin is a growing trend in popular culture, according to recent reports. The latest studies on full-dose psychedelic psychotherapy reveal promising benefits for mental well-being, especially for depression, smoking, and alcohol dependence, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and end-of-life anxiety. While full-dose therapies include mind-bending experiences, microdosing may provide complementary clinical benefits using lower-risk, non-hallucinogenic doses.
The first hallucinogenic experience was recorded after a man fed his family the Liberty Cap mushroom in London, England in 1799. Mushrooms and LSD were made illegal in the United States in the late 1960s, and since then we have lost years of scientific research and potential medical breakthroughs. But lucky for us, we are in the middle of a psychedelic renaissance. Some studies have been published over the last 30 years on the effects of psychedelics on the human psyche but there has been a tidal wave of new information surfacing as humans begin to turn back to more holistic and plant-based medicines.
Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms Versus Macrodosing
I am sure you have heard many stories from friends or have read online about journeys to Mars, figuring out the meaning of life or staring at trees for abnormally long amounts of time while tripping on mushrooms (or maybe it’s just me), but for a lot of the population, nobody has time for that! People have full-time jobs, families to take care of, plus all of the other daily activities that fill up our schedules. Taking hours out of our busy lives to trip on mushrooms becomes very low on the priority list. But have no fear, microdosing is here!
When microdosing only one-twentieth to one-tenth of a gram of mushrooms or just a crumb (6-12 micrograms) of LSD, you remain below the threshold of intoxication, possibly forgetting you took anything altogether. This means you are still able to carry out all of the daily tasks which could include staring at or hugging trees if you are anything like me. People who regularly microdose claim to move into a state of alertness, assurance, and from a place of anxiety to a normal state of confidence, but not overconfidence.
Potential Benefits of Microdosing
- Promotes neurogenesis (cognitive and neurological health)
- Happiness and creativity
- Treatment for tinnitus and cluster headaches
- More physical energy
- Relief from cluster headaches
- Alleviates anxiety and depression
If you suffer from any number of potential mental health or brain health issues, you could possibly benefit from microdosing. Psilocybin mushrooms help repair the brain and grow new cells, creating new paths for information to travel through your brain.
What is Macrodosing?
“It’s taking enough psilocybin mushrooms (or LSD) to feel the colours and smell the sounds,” as quoted by Independant.co.uk. Basically, it’s any dose above the threshold of intoxication where it floods and overwhelms the receptors in the brain.
So how much of a substance is considered a macrodose? Well, it’s really going to be different for everyone but it has been said that 1 gram of psilocybin mushrooms equals “lift-off” and 5 grams of mushrooms is considered a “heroes dose,” as deemed by the late Terence McKenna. While a macrodose of LSD can be one half to one full tab, depending on its strength and your tolerance.
Potential Benefits of Macrodosing
- Helps people with PTSD
- Spiritual enlightenment
- Breaking tobacco and alcohol addiction
- Relieves end-of-life anxiety
- Greater cognitive empathy
These are just some of the many benefits that consumers are claiming to be experiencing and now science is starting to prove a lot of the claims are true.
In one study done at John Hopkins University, 15 tobacco addicted patients were given a heroic dose of psilocybin and when asked 12 months later, 10 had not smoked a single cigarette. This shows huge promise when combating one of the most addictive substances on this planet
John Hopkins has received $17 million from private donors for an ongoing medical trial for fighting Alzheimer’s using psilocybin.
YouTube User: Virtual Moyda – “Psychedelics helped me quit and stay away from heroin for over 3 years now. I trip 1-2 times a year on either Ibogain, DMT, mushrooms or LSD. Each has allowed me to see through other perspectives and reflect. Psychedelics are like little gifts of knowledge from nature. They are humanity’s oldest traditions/religions. They are sacred to me.”
As with most things in life, nothing is for everyone. Your body and brain may not be able to handle the effects of magic mushrooms. Psychedelic drugs can trigger psychosis. Individuals with a family history of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders are at risk of experiencing a psychotic episode.
Other side effects can include but are not limited to: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea • Muscle relaxation, weakness, and twitches • Yawning, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and lack of coordination • Pupil dilation, tearing, dry mouth, and facial flushing • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature • Sweating followed by chills and shivering • Numbness of tongue, lips, or mouth • Feelings of heaviness or lightness and feelings of floating • Heightened sensory experiences and perceptual distortions (i.e. brighter colors, sharper visual definition, increased hearing acuity, more distinguished taste) • Auditory, tactile, and visual hallucinations • Synesthesia (melding of the senses: seeing music or hearing colors) • Difficulty focusing, maintaining attention, concentrating, and thinking • Impaired judgment and preoccupation with trivial thoughts, experiences, or objects • Sense of detachment from body and surroundings and loss of boundaries between the two • Altered perception of space and time • Inability to distinguish fantasy from reality • Melding of past experiences with present • Feelings of unity with the environment • Feelings of involvement with intense spiritual experiences • Tension, anxiety, and restlessness • Highly adverse reactions (“bad trip”), including frightening hallucinations, confusion, disorientation, paranoia, agitation, depression, panic, and/or terror
Top Species of Non-Psychedelic Mushrooms For Brain Health
In my opinion, all edible species of mushrooms are some kind of magic. These are the top species of non-psychedelic mushrooms that are also proving to be good for the ol’ noggin.
- Stimulate neuropeptide nerve growth
- Improve short and photographic memory
- Improve cognition in those suffering from mild cognitive impairment
- Neuroprotective polysaccharides are believed to have positive effects on neurodegenerative diseases.
- Boosts cognitive function
- Neuroprotective properties
- Therapeutic effects on neurodegenerative disease
- Boosts mood
- Protects against age-related memory loss
- Prevents and fights multiple types of cancers including brain cancer
- Fights inflammation and infection
- Reduces cognitive dysfunction by reducing oxidative damage to the brain
Cordyceps (species of fungus)
- Help to prevent the death of neuronal cells which causes memory loss
- Help to reduce the negative effects of stress on the mind and body
- Restore energy and reduce fatigue
- Potentially enhance libido
These mushrooms are not always readily available at the local supermarket but they can be found in various forms such as tinctures, teas, and powders at specialty shops or online. Remember to never eat a wild mushroom unless you are 100% positive it is edible and non-poisonous.