Learn how to Microdose Mushrooms With our Guide to Microdosing

Microdosing refers to taking Psilocybin mushrooms in a dose so small as to be below the perceptual threshold. Such small doses allow you to receive the physical, psychological and spiritual benefits of Psilocybin mushrooms while continuing to go about your daily activities without significant changes in perception. 

What is microdosing mushrooms?

Microdosing refers to the practice of ingesting Psilocybin mushrooms in doses so minute that they fall below the perceptual threshold. Such modest dosages enable you to experience the physical, psychological, and spiritual advantages of Psilocybin mushrooms while maintaining your normal perspective. Personal testimonies from individuals all around the world show that microdosing mushrooms may aid in a general rebalancing of the physical and emotional body, allowing you to become more aware of your own needs and better equipped to address them in a healthy manner.

Due to the fact that microdosing involves the intake of sub-perceptual doses of psychedelic mushrooms, it does not impair your ability to carry out your daily duties and routine. In reality, the objective is to incorporate the practice and its consequences into your daily life. The majority of microdosers indicate that not only are they able to do all of their normal responsibilities, but they are also able to do it with greater concentration and energy, increased creativity, and enhanced mood.

What is Psilocybin?

Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical found in more than 200 kinds of mushrooms, which are commonly referred to as Psilocybin mushrooms or magic mushrooms. The body converts psilocybin to psilocin, which has mind-expanding effects. Psilocybin mushrooms are present everywhere in the globe (excluding Antarctica) and have been utilized medicinally, religiously, and spiritually by various tribes and faiths. Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe semilanceata, Psilocybe cyanescens, Panaeolus or Copelandia cyanescens, and Psilocybe azurescens are some of the most well-known species of hallucinogenic mushrooms found in the wild.

How does it work?

Small or heavy dosages of Psilocybin mushrooms enable the brain to become hyperconnected, resulting in enhanced communication across neuronal circuits. Upon ingesting psilocybin, previously disconnected areas of the brain are able to develop ordered and stable linkages, allowing for enhanced communication throughout the whole brain, according to research.

While establishing previously nonexistent brain connections, microdosing with magic mushrooms prompts a rethinking of deeply established mental patterns connected to anxiety, sadness, and addiction. Many individuals have been able to overcome obsessive habits and mental patterns as a consequence of working with mushrooms, enabling them to live happier, healthier, and more productive lives.

The effect of magic mushrooms on the mind is fundamentally different from that of prescription antidepressants. In the simplest words, you might argue that pharmaceutical medications numb the emotions, providing users with a temporary reprieve from despair and anxiety. Psilocybin microdosing, on the other hand, appears to offer individuals the opportunity to actively confront their most difficult thoughts and emotions and, through the practice of intentional, scheduled microdosing, rewrite their patterns or responses to them, resulting in long-lasting shifts in mindset.

Psychedelics such as magic mushrooms have structural similarities with serotonin, the mood regulator in our brain. Psilocybin mimics serotonin and activates the 5-H2A receptor, leading to an increase in Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) synthesis and glutamate transmission. Together, BDNF and Glutamate govern perception and mood, as well as abstract cognition and cognitive analysis.

Mushroom microdosing can not only stimulate the 5-H2A receptor and improve mood and cognitive function, but it can also inhibit the Default Mode Network (DMN), which, when overactive, has been linked to depression, anxiety, and an inability to be in the present. There is also evidence that psilocybin may assist produce flow state, which is the difficult-to-describe sensation of being in focused, effortless harmony with our thoughts and activities.

Traditional use of Psilocybin mushrooms

It is impossible to know with certainty when this potent entheogen was first discovered by humans; however, rock paintings discovered in North Africa and Australia suggest that indigenous cultures may have used mushrooms as early as 10,000 BCE. As early as 1,500 BCE, Mayan and Aztec ruins provide substantial evidence that shrooms were an integral part of spiritual and religious rituals for healing and divination.

Beginning in the early 1900s, ethnobotanists and anthropologists traveled to Central and South America to study and collect psilocybin mushrooms. However, it wasn’t until a Life magazine article was published in the 1950s that magic mushrooms truly captured the attention of the Western public. In the 1960s, Harvard University conducted research that yielded promising results, reducing recidivism rates among prisoners and leading to a significant increase in spiritual experiences among graduate divinity students. The United States federally banned psilocybin in 1968, classifying it as a schedule I drug and contributing to the creation of a negative stigma surrounding its use, which led the uneducated and inexperienced public to view psilocybin use as dangerous and irresponsible.

Psilocybin use today

In the late 1990s, a renaissance in study into the medical effects of psilocybin mushrooms revealed once again the possibility for significant physical, psychological, and spiritual advancements. Dr. James Fadiman’s The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys was published in 2011 and included information regarding the hitherto unknown domain of microdosing.

The investigations of Fadiman and the experiences and reports of psychonauts from across the globe served as a stimulus for study into the advantages and prospective applications of microdosing mushrooms. In 2016, Fadiman’s self-published study suggested that microdosers were better able to overcome addictions, deal with severe emotional issues, and feel more connected to and at peace with others. A 2015 podcast featuring the well-known American author Tim Ferriss raised the profile of microdosing, leading to increased interest, experimentation, and healing among people and researchers worldwide.

A recent Norwegian research examined the experiences of 21 males, the vast majority of whom indicated that microdosing improved their mood, cognition, and creativity. A double-blind, placebo-controlled research published in Psychopharmacology at the end of 2018 shown that microdosing increases creativity. The immense potential for healing and reawakening via entheogenic treatments, such as microdosing psilocybin, expands as knowledge and experience develop globally.

How to microdose Psilocybin mushrooms.

Dosage

Although microdosing varies from person to person, the typical microdose is between 1/20 and 1/10 of a “regular” dose. This fluctuates based on numerous variables, such as nutrition, weight, and metabolism. We recommend beginning with 50mg (1 Neuro Botanicals pill) and increasing as necessary.

When to dose

One or two capsules should be consumed within the first half of the day. For example, one after breakfast and one after lunch. We recommend that beginners follow a microdosing schedule for a few months. After that, take a break for about a month and then begin a new schedule or simply dose as needed, such as before a major event or project.

Dosing schedule

The Fadiman protocol of dosing every third day has proven to be the most effective for our patients. However, there are other viable options, such as the five-on, two-off schedule proposed by Paul Stamets. Both Stamets and Fadiman recommend leaving a few days between doses to prevent tolerance from developing. In addition, they advise adhering to the microdosing protocol for several weeks and recording any effects on mood, behavior, social interactions, etc.

Fadiman microdose schedule illustrated

Tracking your results 

In order to understand the various ways in which microdosing can impact your health and wellbeing, tracking changes in your mood, thoughts and behaviours can be quite helpful. Changes can be subtle and regularly reviewing the following checklist can help you understand how medicinal mushrooms are working with you.

  • Thoughts: Does your mind feel clearer or more cluttered than usual? What kinds of thoughts are you experiencing? Are you focused and sharp or is your thinking dulled and muddled?
  • Emotions: Are you having more or fewer feelings than usual? Have your feelings taken on new meaning or significance? Has sexual intimacy changed?
  • Creativity: Are you viewing things from a different perspective? Do you notice new qualities in things you hadn’t thought of before? Do you have more ideas? Do solutions flow more easily?
  • Social: Has the way you express yourself changed? Do you notice changes in speech patterns? Facial expressions? Are you smiling more? Are you more agreeable or argumentative than usual? How are you speaking to and interacting with friends, family, coworkers and strangers?
  • Physical: How aware of your body are you feeling? Close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly. Are there any physical sensations being brought into your awareness?
  • Outlook: Do you feel positive or negative? Is your view hopeful or doubtful? Are you feeling fearful? Guarded? Do you feel connection? Love? Peace?

Potential benefits of microdosing

Almost anyone can gain from microdosing mushrooms. The potential benefits of microdosing are boundless. The following are just a handful of reported benefits from microdosers — this list is by no means exhaustive.

Exercise: Microdosing might help you maintain motivation and concentration. While you may not ordinarily like spending an hour exercising, many individuals report increased willpower and a better, more in-depth grasp of the many advantages of exercise, which provides motivation and incentive to go farther with ease. Many individuals believe that microdosing enhances performance.

Migraines and cluster headaches: Migraines and cluster headaches are often persistent, episodic, and debilitating. Patients indicate that headaches influence not just their quality of life, but also their ability to sustain rewarding work and relationships. Numerous individuals suffering from migraines or cluster headaches have tried all of the available pharmaceutical treatments, typically reporting only temporary or unsatisfactory relief and frequently discovering that the side effects and prohibitive costs have prompted them to seek out alternative treatments. Psilocybin, which is ingested, is a member of the tryptamine family, which contains several migraine treatments including triptans and ergots. It operates on the same receptors as these prescription medications, but without the harmful or unpleasant side effects.

Facing Death: For people facing death, a daily battle with depression and anxiety can become a crushing reality. Studies out of Johns Hopkins and New York University show that psilocybin can significantly reduce depression and anxiety in patients facing death as well as improve feelings about life, relationships and spirituality. Of those participating in the studies, 80% still had a more positive outlook on life and death 6 months post trial. Researchers believe that this is due to properties found in magic mushrooms that can produce unique changes in thoughts, perceptions, and emotions.

Mushrooms for Depression: Consider the fact that depression is one of the leading causes of disability and poor health around the world. Research indicates that there may be a part of the hippocampus whose electrical pathways are particularly active in depressed patients. Now consider that one unique characteristic of psilocybin is its ability to alter existing brain pathways and create new connections. Could magic mushrooms offer transformative relief for those suffering from depression? Studies indicate that for people suffering from depression, including treatment resistant depression, even a single dose of magic mushrooms can cause immediate and sustained relief from feelings of depression, as these new pathways are stimulated.

Alleviating Anxiety: The extreme fear and worry that come with anxiety can make life for those suffering feel overwhelming. It is estimated that 275 million people around the world suffer from anxiety disorders and some of the most commonly prescribed medications to alleviate anxiety actually lead to paradoxical effects such as increased anxiety, suicidal thoughts and violent behavior. Microdosing mushrooms has shown to not only alleviate anxiety but to also help people look within at the root causes of their fears and anxiety, allowing them to ultimately feel more peaceful. A study published in a 2017 report indicates that mushroom therapy affects two areas of the brain; the amygdala and the default mode network, both of which have been closely linked to how we process emotions including anxiety.

Mushrooms and OCD: It is well known that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is notoriously difficult to treat. Due to the unusual and even morbid nature of the symptoms, those with OCD frequently feel ashamed and stigmatized, which can lead to additional mental health issues. More than half of the participants in a 2005 Arizona and Texas study on the effectiveness of psilocybin mushrooms in treating OCD described their experience as mentally and spiritually enlightening.

Breaking Addiction: The possible benefits of microdosing mushrooms for the treatment of addiction are both preventative and therapeutic. According to research, exposure to psychedelic mushrooms can reduce instances of opioid dependence, indicating a protective effect. While it is commonly believed that drugs cause addiction, many believe that it is a symptom of trauma. Microdosing mushrooms has been shown to help people suffering from addiction reflect on the cause of their trauma and find healthier ways to create connection and meaning.

Relief from Menstrual Pain: Some women have reported relief from menstrual pain, PMS and PMDD, and hormonal fluctuations related to menopause.

Heightened Creativity and intelligence: A recent study on microdosing out of the University of Toronto showed scores higher on measures of wisdom, creativity, open mindedness and problem solving for participants. Another study out of Norway reported similar results with microdosing participants also indicating better mental clarity and relief from pre-existing conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Spiritual Growth: With the proper dosage, environment, and intent, working with magic mushrooms can result in a spiritual experience that can permanently alter one’s perspective. Numerous individuals report experiencing interconnectedness, self-love, spiritual comprehension, and connection to nature. In a Johns Hopkins University study on the long-term psychological effects of psilocybin on adults, two-thirds of participants reported that their experience was among the top five most spiritually significant experiences of their entire lives, and a dozen said it was the most profound spiritual experience they had ever had.

Achieving Flow State: Flow state has been defined as “the optimal state of consciousness in which we feel and perform at our best… when we are completely absorbed in an activity for its own sake.” The ego dissolves. Time passes quickly. As in jazz, every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one. Your whole existence is engaged, and you use your abilities to the fullest.” Flow state is stimulated by microdosing, allowing the user to be more creative, patient, open-minded, and focused. People who microdose have reported feeling more present and able to deliver speeches with precision and ease, as opposed to being distracted by past or future worries.

Microdosing Psilocybin for PTSD: Traditional psychotherapy and medication may not be sufficient to alleviate the pain of many persons with PTSD and the tremendous hurdles they face in healing from trauma. Many have endured not just the mental pain caused by trauma, but also social isolation and rejection, which have only served to exacerbate their misery. The FDA has designated psilocybin as a “breakthrough treatment” because to its promising outcomes in treating a variety of diseases, including PTSD. This allows research into its therapeutic potentials to be expedited.

Treating Eating Disorders: In 2019, the Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research Unit initiated a clinical study to examine the effects of psilocybin on individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN). Given the phenomenological parallels between AN and other psychiatric diseases that have responded successfully to psilocybin treatment, researchers are optimistic that mushroom therapy may be utilized to treat eating disorders.
Long-Term Demoralization Assistance for AIDS Survivors: UCSF’s Dr. Brian Anderson is examining the efficacy of psilocybin-assisted group therapy for treating depression in long-term HIV/AIDS survivors. People who were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS before the availability of life-saving antiretroviral medications and to whom it was effectively implied that HIV/AIDS was a death sentence. Most have seen the death of friends and community members, and most have experienced feelings of isolation, rejection, and hopelessness as a result of their diagnosis.

Risks of microdosing

In general, psilocybin mushrooms are physically harmless. The likelihood of addiction or overdose is almost nonexistent. There is a lack of data on the long-term effects of microdosing, which may be cause for worry. For this reason, we only advocate microdosing for brief durations. Minimal psychological hazards are also associated with microdosing. However, although a physical addiction to psilocybin is improbable, any repeated action, including microdosing, carries the risk of psychological addiction. Rarely, some dosers have noticed heightened anxiety on dosing days, however this is often attributable to taking excessive amounts. There have also been complaints of sleep disturbances and stomach problems. If adverse effects are experienced, we suggest a lesser dose.

Danger of drugs risk and addiction psilocybin

Frequently asked questions

Will I be tripping?

No. A microdose is between 1/20 and 1/10 the usual dose. The effects are sub perceptual, which means that you should feel more concentrated and invigorated while being completely conscious and able to carry out everyday activities. Your perspective of reality should not feel warped. If so, your dosage is excessive. We suggest beginning with a modest dose and observing your body’s response as you determine the optimal dosage.

Can I still work and meet my usual responsibilities?

Yes. You incorporate microdosing into your daily routine. It allows you to be more focused and imaginative, but should not hinder your ability to fulfill your usual responsibilities effectively.

Can psilocybin be detected in a blood test?

The majority of standard drug tests do not detect psilocybin. Some studies suggest that traces of psilocybin may be detectable in urine for up to 24 hours and in hair for up to 90 days after psilocybin is no longer detectable in the blood.

Is microdosing mushrooms illegal?

In Canada, psilocybin mushrooms are controlled under Schedule III of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, meaning their sale, possession, production, ect. are prohibited unless authorized for clinical trial or research purposes. Microdosing, however, is strictly therapeutic and its effects are not intoxicating. As studies continue to shed light on the abundance of medical and emotional benefits of psilocybin, there is reason to hope that both medical and legal authorities will soon reconsider the unreasonable and outdated restrictions placed on magic mushrooms.

Is microdosing safe?

While there are no indications that microdosing is anything but beneficial, there is very little research available about the long term impacts of microdosing. Existing long term studies have focused on larger doses of mushrooms and do not show mushrooms to be dangerous even when the trip is “bad.” In fact, difficult trips generally lead to greater breakthroughs and positive outcomes overall. Death or illness from toxicity are unheard of.Are there medications I can’t take with mushrooms? Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed medications for many psychological disorders, including depression, OCD, PTSD, and anxiety.
Some of the most common SSRIs are:

• Citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil)
• Escitalopram (Lexapro, Cipralex)
• Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)
• Fluvoxamine (Luvox, Faverin)
• Paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat)
• Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral)

SSRIs work by temporarily boosting serotonin levels which, in rare cases, can lead to serotonin syndrome, which can be fatal. It is therefore not safe to take psilocybin, even in microdoses, when on a SSRI.

Can I overdose?

A physical overdose is not a danger with psilocybin — you will not die from psilocybin mushrooms. However, if you accidently macrodose there are sometimes undesirable outcomes, usually not serious but can be uncomfortable in the wrong environment. These may include varying degrees of fear, anxiety, panic and feeling out of control. There are some things you can to as you ride out the trip, including:

Breath. Use your breath as an anchor.

Move your body. This can help you get out of your head and start feeling more comfortable.

Eat. This will allow you to feel more grounded and in control.

Get outside. Being in nature often helps to relax people feeling stressed out from a bad mushroom experience.

Listen to music. Something soft and instrumental.

How Do I Get Started with Microdosing?

Reach out to us at Dose Dispensary to learn more about microdosing and what it can do in your life.

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