Taking shrooms, also known as psilocybin, has long been associated with magical highs and spiritual awakenings. Psilocybin is chemically similar to serotonin, which makes you feel great. However, for some, taking shrooms on a daily basis just isn’t an option. So what happens when you want the benefits of the shrooms, but in a way that you can still go about your daily life?
Welcome to microdosing.
What is Microdosing?
For those with schedules that don’t permit daily hallucinations and trips, microdosing is the logical choice to take instead of ingesting magic mushrooms to gain a full high.
Parents with children, workers at the office, more and more people are turning to microdosing after seeing how regulated amounts of shrooms can give you the best balance between daily life and feeling increased awareness (and all the other therapeutic benefits!).
Instead of eating (or drinking) enough shrooms to gain a full experience, microdosers will only consume a tiny amount at spaced out intervals. This means they won’t have to stop functioning and performing every day activities. Many believe that this has all the benefits of taking shrooms, without the intense effects such as mood changes and hallucinations. As the side effects are mild, users can integrate microdosing into their schedules with little disruption to how they function and complete their daily tasks.
The Benefits of Microdosing
There are many benefits to consuming psilocybin. Users report feeling more spiritually connected to the world, open minded and feelings of euphoria. There also comes the trip that will accompany these feelings, which is what microdosers are trying to avoid.
Studies have shown that psilocybin had positive effects on patients suffering with anxiety and depression. A study conducted by researchers at New York University alongside John Hopkins found that 80% of cancer patients in the trial displayed reductions in depression, anxiety and psychological stress. This was after just one dose of magic mushrooms.
Other benefits include using psilocybin to help smokers cut their addiction. When taking the drug in controlled amounts, the trial found that after a long term follow up, 60% of the patients had abstained from smoking.
Users of the microdosing method have reported:
- Enhanced senses
- More energy
- Better relational and communicative skills
- Higher levels of creativity
- Increased spiritual awareness
The accounts of people who have taken to microdosing as a form of mental healthcare or life enhancing treatment are a growing number. One mother spoke about her experience dealing with depression. Although she found that traditional means such as therapy helped, when she started microdosing she found herself entering a whole new world. She felt more aware and alert, and believed that since microdosing, her parenting skills had improved. It brought her a release from her depression that she hadn’t experienced before.
A recent study into microdosing found that participants reported low levels of stress and depression, and while they found no long lasting improvements to the quality of life, ailments such as mind wandering were reduced. There are few studies into microdosing, therefore most research is based on people’s experiences.
There is no exact guide, because psilocybin affects everyone differently, and like with consuming mushrooms to get high, microdosing will need to be trial and error at the beginning. Different strains of mushroom will also play a part in how you need to adjust your doses and timings.
Dr Fadiman, a psychologist who works in the field of psychedelics, suggests that only those with experience with psychedelics should experiment with microdosing. He advises starting off with 3/10ths of a gram every three days. Leaving a few days in between allows your body to become accustomed to the doses.
He advises that the effects should be along the lines of feeling happier, having quicker reaction times and feeling more focused. Anything more than this and you have probably taken too much.
This advice is not set in stone, however, as other users recount starting with as little as 1/10th of a gram and then adjusting according to how their body responded.
Because it can take time to know how much is the right amount, some users suggest keeping a diary. Make daily notes about how much you’ve consumed, and how you have felt. Make sure to be precise in this, noting every detail and measuring exactly how much you’ve consumed. By doing this you can work out how much suits you and your schedule.
Can you overdose on shrooms?
It is extremely difficult to overdose on shrooms. You would need to consume the equivalent of three pounds worth of mushrooms for it to have fatal consequences. Taking this into account, it would be highly unlikely that someone could consume that much in one sitting without throwing up in the process.
There is, however, reason to take caution when eating magic mushrooms. Whilst they are not famous for overdoses, they can be easily mixed up and confused with other types of mushrooms which are extremely poisonous for humans. Autumn Galerina, for example, is a mushroom that is commonly mistaken for magic mushrooms however it is extremely dangerous when ingested. Coma and death can follow if the correct treatment isn’t administered.
Another way in which magic mushrooms can be fatal is if someone experiences extreme paranoia or panic, and causes harm to themselves accidentally. Having a bad trip can be especially dangerous if the user has mental health issues and they consume.
Although there is a lack of opportunity to overdose on shrooms, for those who are worried about consumption or bad side effects, microdosing can also serve as a ‘weaker’ alternative to having a full magic mushroom experience.
For some people, microdosing is a part of their everyday schedule and routine. For others, it is a remedy they turn to when they require it. The day of a big meeting at work, having the in-laws over or needing a creative boost are just some of the reasons why people choose to microdose.