What is microdosing?
What is microdosing? Many people are exploring the world of microdosing medicinal mushrooms, sometimes referred to as “magic mushrooms.” Medicinal mushrooms and other substances with psychoactive components are believed to support health and wellness in body, mind, emotion and spirit.
Evidence suggests that human beings have been using mushrooms and other psychedelics for hundreds if not thousands of years, to gain mystical experiences, increase consciousness, connect with nature and to heal. Microdosing is the act of taking a much smaller dosage of a psychedelic, in the case of this post, psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in the Psilocybe genus of mushrooms. Typically, a microdose is 5% – 10% of a typical dose.
Many researchers, including those in the fields of chemistry, psychology, oncology, naturopathy, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and general medicine, are seeking ways to research how microdosing benefits us, because every country has different ethics, regulations and laws about psychedelics. There are currently many studies being done to understand the wonderful long term benefits of using psychedelics, such as psilocybe mushrooms, and the findings so far are incredible.
Some common reasons to microdose include:
- Relief from the symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, pain
- Improved focus and cognitive functioning
- Increased productivity
There are several substances that can be used to provide relief for a variety of symptoms and conditions. In this post, we will use the term ‘microdosing’ to refer to psilocybe mushrooms.
While there is much preliminary and growing research-based evidence that supports the stated benefits of microdosing, there is still a personal piece to explore. Every person’s body chemistry is different. Every mind is different. Every person is different. It is important to consult your healthcare professional prior to microdosing to discover what is right for you and to ensure there are no contraindications that would make the experience less than beneficial to your well-being.
Microdosing, while safe, should still be done with precaution. In this post “What is Microdosing,” you will find information to help you more deeply understand what microdosing is:
- Definitions to help you understand the language used with microdosing
- How to microdose medicinal mushrooms
- Benefits of microdosing
Definitions to help you understand the language used with microdosing
Hallucinogen: a hallucinogen is a psychoactive substance that alters a person’s awareness, perceptions and feelings. Throughout history, hallucinogens, such as psilocybin mushrooms, have been used for spiritual, religious or healing ceremonies.
Hericenones + Erinacines: Hericenones and erinacines are two natural products isolated from the fruiting body and mycelium of H. erinaceus. Hericium erinaceus known by many names including lion’s mane, is a medicinal mushroom believed to promote nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis.
Medicinal mushrooms: medicinal mushrooms are mushrooms that have incredible healing capabilities and are not limited to those with a psychoactive component. In the case of this post, we are referring to the Psilocybe mushrooms Amazonian Cubensis, Golden Teacher, or Penis Envy. Other medicinal mushrooms, sometimes referred to as superfoods include: reishi, chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane. Mushrooms are fungi so they are neither plant nor animal.
Microdosing: A “microdose” is usually about 5% to 10% of a typical “psychedelic” level dose. This offers an experience that reduces stress or anxiety while offering several psychological benefits without the psychoactive or perception altering experience of a typical dose. The dose is typically taken orally and there are recommended ways to microdose to prevent building a tolerance. Grassroots Medicinal offers a microdose blend with other medicinal mushrooms.
Mycology: mycology is the biological study of fungi, which includes molds, yeasts, and mushrooms. Mycologists study the genetic and biochemical properties of fungi, taxonomy, and use to humans as a source for tinder, traditional medicine, food, and entheogens, as well as their dangers, such as toxicity or infection.
Neurogenesis: neurogenesis is the development of new neural (nervous system) cells in the brain
Psilocybin: psilocybin is the principal psychoactive component in the Psilocybe genus of mushrooms
Psychedelic: the term psychedelic relates to substances that produce hallucinations, reported expansion of consciousness, and specific psychological, visual and auditory changes. Psychedelic substances believed to have therapeutic benefits include psilocybin, LSD, and mescaline.
Psychoactive: a psychoactive drug is a chemical substance that primarily affects the central nervous system (CNS). It affects the brain by creating temporary changes in perception, mood, consciousness and behaviour. The 3 classes of psychoactive drugs are: stimulants such as caffeine, depressants such as anti-anxiety medications, and hallucinogens such as psilocybin.
Benefits of microdosing
Reported benefits from microdosing include:
- relief from symptoms of a variety of conditions such as PTSD, depression, anxiety
- support for sleep issues
- relief from stress and anxiety from chronic illness
- headache, migraine, and cluster headache symptom relief
- help with creativity and problem solving and increased productivity
Because psychoactive substances alter the mind, a microdose offers the opportunity to alter the mind without a shift in ability to function or think clearly. There is much anecdotal evidence supporting the healing benefits of microdosing medicinal mushrooms. Growing interest and research in scientific communities is suggesting that we have much more to learn.
Studies done on patients taking higher doses (not microdoses) of psychedelics have shown great promise. For some patients suffering from depression, for example, 1 or 2 doses have given lasting benefit. This is important because those taking medication for depression means take pills every day. Lasting benefits of 1 -2 doses suggests that these psychedelics are addressing the root cause of these issues. More research is needed to know for sure.
Overall, some common benefits from microdosing are clarity, decisiveness, contentment and joy, and many people experience much more.
Continue to learn more about microdosing in our future posts and in the meanwhile, stay safe and healthy.
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The information shared here is not meant in any way to replace the advice of a certified and licensed medical professional.