Psilocybin A.K.A. “magic mushrooms” are another great plant medicine. These magical mushrooms can be beneficial in both a macrodose and microdose. Simply put, psilocybin mushrooms can be helpful at both larger and smaller doses.
Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms
Microdosing psilocybin has gained popularity in the last 5 to 10 years. Many people report increased creativity, more energy, and increased focus. Some enthusiasts even report increased spiritual awareness and enhanced senses. It can also aid in treating addiction. In a study, 80% of smokers were able to completely quit smoking using psilocybin as part of their cognitive behavioral therapy. There’s research that suggests it can even be effective in treating migraines & cluster headaches. It was also found to be helpful in treatment-resistant patients who suffer from depression.
Microdosing is the act of taking unnoticeable amounts of psychedelics (in this case, psilocybin) for therapeutic effects.
Why Psilocybin Works
Psilocybin has a similar molecular structure to serotonion and mimic its effects. Serotonin is a very important neurotransmitter. It aids in almost all of our brains processes. Serotonin is very important to mood stabilization. This is why psilocybin is so helpful in treating depression and anxiety. Serotonin also helps with sleep, eating, digestion, bowel movements and blood clotting.
Benefits of Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms
Most people usually start microdosing for one of two reasons:
- To increase the frequency & intensity of desired states
- To decrease the frequency & intensity of undesired states
Desired States of Being
- Development of a new perspective
- Heightened creativity
- Increased energy
- Getting into flow states more frequently
- Increased focus & productivity
- Heightened Spiritual awareness
- Ideal athletic performance
- Improved social interaction skills
- Increased empathy for others
Undesired States of Being
- A.D.D/A.D.H.D symptoms
- P.T.S.D. symptoms
- Mood disorders (Bipolar disorder, Seasonal affective disorder, Major depressive disorder, etc.)
I also found microdosing to be very helpful when doing shadow work. Shadow work is simply examining the parts of yourself that you’ve pushed away as “negative”. Learning to accept those “negative” aspects of yourself can have many benefits. The increase in empathy from psilocybin helps you to have more empathy for yourself when doing shadow work. It also helped me to tune into my inner child more effectively when playing with my four year old son.
Risks of Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms
The biggest risk when it comes to microdosing is legality. In most countries, it is still very much illegal to possess and consume psilocybin. It can carry a harsh penalty as well. Be sure to check out your local laws surrounding psilocybin before starting. For example, in Canada, it is illegal to possess psilocybin mushrooms but it is perfectly legal to order and possess psilocybin mushrooms spores. This is why many Canadians will choose to grow their own mushrooms.
Psilocybin also has the effect of amplifying what you’re already feeling, rather than numbing it. It can be very helpful in shadow work because it makes you face things rather than numbing them. This is why it’s important to assess your mental state before microdosing. If you have any worry or anxiety surrounding microdosing, I would suggest researching more until you feel confident in starting your microdose journey. It is recommended that you talk to your doctor before beginning microdosing if you suffer from schizophrenia, psychosis or severe anxiety. It can worsen these conditions if you microdose too often or too much.
Common Negative Interactions
Psilocybin can have negative interactions with substances, just like anything else. So be sure to discuss possible interactions with your doctor or a naturopathic doctor. Some common compounds known to interact negatively with psilocybin are:
- St. John’s wort
- SSRI anti-depressants (New research suggests it’s now safe to take SSRI in combination with microdosing psilocybin)
- SNRI anti-depressants
- Tricyclic anti-depressants
- MAO inhibitors
- Anti-psychotic medications
Psilocybin is shown to be one of the safest substances both biochemically and socially. It was ranked much safer than alcohol, which is the one of the most widely accepted intoxicants, second to caffeine.
Although microdosing psilocybin mushrooms is generally safe to do, everything has risks. It is not recommended to microdose for periods longer than a few months. It is shown that taking too many larger doses of psychedelics can increase risks of heart damage. Microdosing may not have any adverse effects on your heart, but it is worth mentioning.
Choose Your Microdose Schedule
There are a couple different regimens for microdosing that are recommended. They are the James Fadiman schedule of one day on, two days off. So, essentially in the month you would dose on about 10 or 11 days depending on the month you choose.
The other regimen for microdosing is the Paul Stamets method. He “stacked” his microdoses with other beneficial mushrooms (500mg to 1000mg of lion’s mane powder and 75mg to 200mg of niacin/B3). To decrease the chances of a ‘niacin flush’, gradually increase the amount of niacin that you take. Also, take niacin with a vitamin B complex and a vitamin C supplement. Lion’s mane is shown to help with neuroplasticity and general wellness. He recommends dosing 4 days in a row and then taking off 3 days. This would have you dosing about 18 to 19 days in a month.
*Niacin isn’t recommended if you have liver diseases, ulcer of the stomach and/or duodenum, gout, alcoholism, decreased kidney function, very low blood pressure, hypersensitivity to vitamin B3, or diabetes (max. 1.5g niacin/day)*
This is why I always suggest starting with the Fadiman’s regimen first. You can still stack your doses with lion’s mane and niacin when following Fadiman’s schedule, if you wanted. Regardless of the schedule you choose, you should always take your microdose in the morning. This will reduce the likelihood of the psilocybin interfering with your sleep.
Preparing Your Microdoses
Like any other medication, you want to start out low and work your way up, if necessary. I recommend starting out with 0.1g in each capsule or dose. You’ll need to acquire your psilocybin from a trusted source or grow your own. Take your dried mushrooms and grind them into a powder. You can use the powder to fill your capsules or to measure out your doses for tea. Once you have measured out all your doses for the month long schedule, you’re all set.
Journal Your Journey
It can be really helpful to journal your experience. This way you can track effects, dosage, and any shadow work that may come up. You don’t have to write down a lot but just anything that sticks out to you that day.