December 15, 2022

Does Microdosing Mushrooms Improve Mental Health?

Does Microdosing Mushrooms Improve Mental Health?

microdosing mushrooms
Microdosing Mushrooms by Mycology Men

What is Microdosing Mushrooms?

If you are reading this article, chances are that you have at least heard of microdosing mushrooms or have had experience with hallucinogens like psilocybin (magic mushrooms), LSD, or ketamine. A microdose, as you may have guessed, is much smaller than a regular dose. It is taken for the mental health benefits of the substance while not being a high enough dose to produce a hallucinogenic “trip”.

Generally, a sub-hallucinogenic microdose is 1/10th the amount you would take for a standard hallucinogenic “trip”, but this amount can vary slightly. A microdose usually refers to psychedelic substances such as psilocybin (magic mushrooms), LSD, ketamine, and MDMA.

This article is going to specifically focus on microdosing with magic mushrooms (psilocybin). The practice of microdosing mushrooms is actually more common than you may think. One study questioned over 2100 people and found that over 50% had heard of microdosing mushrooms and close to 20% have practiced microdosing.* 

What Are the Effects of Microdosing Mushrooms?

Benefits of Microdosing Mushrooms

People have been reporting mental wellness benefits from taking microdoses of psilocybin for years. Studies have even confirmed that they can indeed improve your mental well being. Most people report an improved mood and an increase in creativity, focus, confidence, and energy. Other benefits like reduced anxiety, improved social interactions, and increased thought clarity were less reported, but still prevalent.*

A recent study released June 2022 found microdosing psilocybin can have positive effects on your mood and symptoms of depression, primarily stress and anxiety.* Microdosing psilocybin could also help you cut back on the consumption of other substances like caffeine and cannabis. It might also help you get more sleep (which we all need).*

There is some question as to whether these benefits can be attributed to the placebo effect or expectancy of positive results.* Some studies saw improvements for mental wellness for both the microdose and the placebo group. The proper steps were taken to make the study blind to the participants so they did not know whether they were taking placebo and a microdose of psilocybin.

This does not mean that microdosing mushrooms cannot help to improve your mental health. Even if the benefits are caused by the placebo effect, they are still improvements! 

Benefits of Microdosing Mushrooms
Benefits of Microdosing Mushrooms by Mycology Men

Drawbacks of Microdosing Mushrooms

There are some potential downsides to microdosing with psilocybin. For one, it may be hard to keep up a routine because psilocybin is an illegal substance. The risk associated with illegality also deters some people.* Other potential negative side effects include anxiety or paranoia, impaired energy mood, and focus, bodily discomfort, and reduced cognitive functions.

Commonly Asked Questions

How Much Should I Take to Microdose Mushrooms?

Some suggest that a microdose is 1/10th (10%) of a standard dose. For magic mushrooms, this could mean just ¼ of a gram of dried mushrooms. User reports suggest that many do not accurately measure their dosages.* This could be a reason that studies have been finding mixed results when it comes to the benefits from microdosing psilocybin.

The active ingredient in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, usually hovers at about 10 mg per gram of dried magic mushrooms. The potency can vary from species to species and even within mushrooms from the same grow. The way each of our body’s processes psilocybin can also alter how a particular dose affects you.*

To find the perfect microdose for you, we suggest starting with a very low dose, like ¼ of a gram of dried mushrooms. This will equate to about 2.5 mg of psilocybin. Wait at least 8 hours before taking any more. It is also best practice to take your first dose when you are at home or somewhere else comfortable.

You do not want to accidentally take too much and then be “tripping” (hallucinating) in public or at work. A microdose should be just enough to give you an mentally healthy feeling, while still allowing you to go about your day. See our guide below for some general dosing tips.

microdosing psilocybin dosing chart
microdosing psilocybin dosing chart by Mycology Men

How Often Should I Microdose Psilocybin?

There is no set formula for how often it is recommended to microdose psilocybin. User reports suggest many take the “1 on, two off” approach in which one day is a microdose day and the next two days are off days. Then repeat. This helps you to avoid any tolerance build up. Psilocybin, taken habitually, will build a tolerance in your body.

This means you will need a higher dose to achieve the same effects as the previous dose. It is important to listen to your body and if you feel any unwanted changes, you should probably take some time away from microdosing mushrooms. After taking a dose of psilocybin, wait at least 2 hours before deciding if you want to take any more.

How Long Does a Psilocybin Microdose Last?

Effects from a dose of psilocybin, micro or not, last around 6-10 hours after setting in. It usually takes about 45 minutes or longer for the effects to begin taking place after ingesting psilocybin. It is important to wait at least 2 hours before taking another dose. The common mistake people make is taking a dose and then taking more before the effects of the first dose fully kick in. This can lead to an uncomfortable level of effects. 

Is Microdosing Psilocybin Legal?

Psilocybin and the magic mushrooms that contain it are federally illegal in the United States. They are considered a schedule 1 drug. Several cities and towns around the country including Denver, Washington D.COakland, Santa Cruz, Ann Arbor, Cambridge, and Seattle have chosen to decriminalize psilocybin so law enforcement does not target it. The state of Oregon has legalized magic mushroom use for medical purposes.  

Where Can I Find Psilocybin Microdoses?

You cannot legally purchase magic mushrooms anywhere in the United States. There are some parts of the country where they grow in the wild. They are most popularly found in the Pacific NorthWest (PNW) in their wet forests. They can also be grown at home, but this is an illegal practice.

Mycology Men
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