Our society is going through a psychedelic rebirth. Over the last 60 years, humans have been increasingly indulgent in the world of entheogens and how they affect our physical and mental well-being. Alongside societal intrigue, psychedelic drugs have also caught the attention of doctors and scientists who are studying the effects that psychadelics may have on us and how we can use them medicinally.
Microdosing is the act of taking a very small amount of a drug to reap certain benefits without inducing psychoactivity, or what most of us understand as ‘tripping’. A normal microdose is about 1/10th of a normal psychedelic dose and aims to increase productivity, boost mental health and clarity, and/or indulge in deeper consciousness while avoiding a full psychedelic experience.
It should be noted that micro doses are different from low doses of entheogens and are meant to be taken daily while going about normal life, the same way you may take your one-a-day vitamins.
What Are Entheogens?
Since the 1960s and the criminalization of psychedelics, many scholars, doctors and scientists have started referring to plants or drugs that alter our state of mind as entheogens because of the negative connotations that are linked to “psychedelics” in America’s past.
The word entheogens is derived from the Greek language, meaning “creating the divine within”, which really sums up the modern day meaning as well. Entheogens are often referred to as any plants, drugs, or types of medicine which can induce a spiritual or mind altering experience.
Indiginous people have used entheogens to cure a variety of mental and physical ailments throughout history, from grief to depression to chronic pain, but only recently has modern Western science started to acknowledge the incredible possibilities that entheogenic plants have to offer.
Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms
Psilocybin mushrooms, or psychedelic mushrooms often referred to as “shrooms” or “magic mushrooms”, account for over 100 varieties of mushrooms used as entheogens.
Of all psilocybin mushrooms, psilocybe cubensis is the most popular, mostly because it grows extremely easily and abundantly. Quite obviously, the primary psychedelic compound found in psilocybin mushrooms is psilocybin, however psilocybin itself isn’t actually psychoactive.
When we ingest psilocybin, the compound becomes psychoactive when it is processed by our liver. Here, psilocybin turns into psilocin, which results in mind-altering and visual effects to the brain.
Microdosing psilocybin mushrooms has been researched and shown to help depression in some patients. Moreover, “subtle positive effects on cognitive and affective processes that are dysfunctional in depressed patients”, have been shown when psilocybin is taken in microdoses, avoiding psychoactive experiences altogether. These kinds of studies are changing the way people view entheogens and ultimately altering the reputation of psychedelics in general.
How to Microdose Psilocybin Mushrooms
The most common way to microdose psilocybin mushrooms is by ingesting them after they are dried. Recently with the decriminalization of psilocybin mushrooms in some places, shroom capsules have increased in popularity.
Often, these capsules will contain between 0.1 and 0.2 grams of mushrooms, however the perfect microdose amount will differ from user to user depending on body weight, the specific type of mushroom and the intended side effect.
To reach the desired effects and benefits from microdosing, is it usually suggested to take a dose everyday. The results? Many people say they feel like themselves, only slightly better.
Some of the most common self-reported benefits of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms is improved mental state and mood, better eating habits, regulated sleeping habits, decreased need for caffeine and increased empathy.
Complications With Microdosing
Microdosing entheogens is becoming more and more popular, however the amount of academic studies and research done on the immediate and long-term effects is dismal. If not taken correctly, these drugs can have serious risks on your mental and physical health.
One study found that microdosing psilocybin resulted in negative effects immediately after taking the substance, however the main reason people stopped microdosing was because they found microdosing to not be very effective.
Microdosing can also negatively affect people who already experience extreme anxiety or depression.
How Other Species of Mushrooms Can Help
In most places, psilocybin is still very illegal, so starting a microdosing journey can prove to be impossible. However, the world of mushrooms is vast and expansive.
Other mushrooms outside of psilocybin mushrooms can provide users with results similar to those of psychedelic mushrooms. Some of these benefits include increased mental health and well-being, physical endurance and strength and so much more.
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