It’s no secret that America is undergoing a crisis of mental health as more and more people are living with chronic depression and anxiety. We are even starting to see cases of PTSD that are triggered by having chronic anxiety or depression without experiencing a major trauma like war or abuse. There is a new and powerful movement nationwide to legalize psilocybin mushrooms. Many popular articles have been published recently, such as this one in 'thecut' and quite a few great minds are getting with the idea, even Harvard University
What Are Psilocybin (Magic) Mushrooms?
There are 180 species of mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound. Dried or powdered magic ‘shrooms are a schedule 1 drug in America and highly illegal. The mushrooms themselves, interestingly enough, are not scheduled and merely growing them is most often not considered a crime.
When you use magic mushrooms recreationally it’s called tripping and people who have done it describe it as a life altering hallucinogenic experience. You will experience a profound sense of euphoria and a shifting sense of reality. Most people also report audio-visual crossovers like “seeing sounds or hearing colors.” This is generally an all-day experience.
Health Benefits Of Microdosing
Microdosing is the act of taking a tiny amount of dried and powdered mushrooms on a regular basis. For mushrooms the generally accepted microdose is 0.1g - 0.5g every three days. You can drink it like a tea or consume it as a gelatin pill or as an oil based drop on the tongue, depending on how it is prepared or sold. As each person is different the same dosage might not be right for all people. Keep a journal to help you record the effects of microdosing you experience to fine tune your dose. Self medication is a delicate balance and due to legal issues your doctor will not be able to help guide you even if they believe in the health benefits of microdosing.
Plant based medicine, extremely common in the East, is growing in popularity with the western population. Other cultures have used ancient plants and herbs to cure anxiety and depression as well as many typical health ailments for thousands of years. There are legal plants that contain adaptogens that can help with stress, depression and anxiety and they are; ajmoda, boa vine, wild rose, golden root, and ayahuasca. Some people even microdose caffeine, the world’s most popular stimulant. Microdosing can help you lessen your dependency on pharmaceuticals for those that prefer natural or holistic medicine. You can find microdosing supplies of legal organic material online easily. Microdosing mushrooms will be a little bit trickier since you will need to find a trustworthy source. Growing your own mushrooms is always safer and much easier than connecting with drug dealers and trying to buy mushrooms. Our Simplified Grow Kit is a great source for growing your own mushrooms.
The health benefits of microdosing have not yet been widely studied clinically but you can read reviews and experiences from real people online. Online forums provide a place for people to talk about their experiences and many report benefits such as improvements in:
- Management of stress
- Spiritual awareness
- Language capabilities
- And relationships
The psychedelic effects are pretty much undetectable at this dosage allowing you to feel health benefits without altering your mental state. Microdosing can be seen as both homeopathic remedy and experimental biohacking. Fans of micro dosing propose that it has massive healing abilities especially for mental health.
The mushrooms work on a part of the brain known as the parahippocampal retrosplenial cortical network, which is thought to play a role in controlling our sense of self. When the “ego” is loosened we are able to more freely connect with other people and the environment surrounding us. It affects creativity and problem solving centers of the brain which is why many artists of all types use it as well. Because they work on the serotonergic system, the effects are similar to that of SSRI medications used to treat depression and anxiety.
The Risks and Controversies Surrounding Micro Dosing
Because psilocybin mushrooms are illegal, there have only been a few restrictive studies done on their effects. This lack of scientific research is what has kept micro dosing from going mainstream. There have been a few recent studies conducted:
“A very recent study funded by the Medical Research Council and published in the Lancet demonstrated that after administering mushroom to 12 patients suffering with severe depression, all twelve participants saw their depression lifted, with sustained effect for up to three months.” - What To Know About Micro Dosing For Depression. Allure Magazine. April 2019.
While there are no known health related negative side effects of microdosing mushrooms, there is an inherent risk in obtaining illegal substances. Besides fines and jail time, it can be hard to find a reliable source for acquiring this unregulated resource.
The safest and most reliable method is to cultivate your own magic mushrooms.
The number one benefit and fact about psilocybin is that according to the 2019 Global Drug Survey, it is the safest recreational drug that people use. Medically speaking, psilocybin has no tissue toxicity, does not impact or compromise liver function, has little to no drug/drug interactions, and has no lasting physical effects, clearing the body in just a few hours. A recent article from the BBC discusses the current studies into magic mushrooms as a promising treatment of depression
They are not addictive, primarily because repeated, frequent use decreases their effect as the body adjusts, meaning it is very unlikely to cause addiction or abuse. You also cannot overdose on mushrooms as a lethal does would be equivalent to eating 17 kg in one sitting.
Report after report, professional opinions, research results, and government sources all find precisely the same thing. Magic Mushrooms are remarkably safe.