Microdosing magic mushrooms has been growing in popularity since the beginning of the Coronavirus lockdowns. More and more people have been realizing that microdosing is easy, has little to no side effects, and is effective in treating a huge range of mental health issues. It also aids in general self-improvement and tends to improve people’s outlook on life in the long term, even if they are not dealing with any specific issues. 2022 is an excellent time to start microdosing, because the practice has gained more legitimacy through several credible studies.
This article will discuss why both the public and the medical community of 2022 is embracing the mental health revolution created by microdosing, and it will even take a look at the future of microdosing magic mushrooms.
Who Benefits from Microdosing Magic Mushrooms?
Microdosing magic mushrooms is beneficial to everyone. The small doses of psilocybin and psilocin, the active ingredients in magic mushrooms, tend to increase empathy and cognitive skills without causing the “high” of a full dose, and those effects usually stick around to some degree for weeks.
The practice is also extremely useful for treating a wide range of mental health conditions. Most notably, the conditions include:
- Social Anxiety
- Extreme Stress
Is Microdosing Magic Mushrooms Legal?
Magic mushrooms are still illegal in much of the world, although the restrictions are not really enforced in most places as long as people are not too open about their use. Magic mushrooms have been decriminalized in certain American cities, including:
- Seattle, Washington
- Oakland, California
- Denver, Colorado
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Santa Cruz, California
- Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Somerville, Massachusetts
- Washington, D.C., which is especially significant since D.C. is often the “testing grounds” for policies later written into national law.
Still, the illegality and resulting negative associations with magic mushrooms in many places remain the largest obstacles to the widespread acceptance of microdosing in the therapeutic community. The good news is that the tide is turning, especially in the past few years. Some places, like California, Oregon, The Netherlands, Brazil, Jamaica, and The Bahamas, have decriminalized psilocybin-containing drugs for therapeutic use in a controlled setting. Of course, even in those countries you should check with a professional to ensure you’re microdosing in a legal way. Other states and countries are expected to follow soon.
Large organizations like the FDA have issued statements that magic mushrooms are not addictive or dangerous, and many experts believe that before long they will experience the same gradual legalization process that cannabis is currently going through.
Pros and Cons of Microdosing Magic Mushrooms
Microdosing psilocybin has a wide range of positive effects for nearly anyone who does it. It doesn’t carry with it the risk of having a “bad trip” like a full dose of mushrooms does, since the dosage is too small to cause feelings that are overwhelmingly negative. Of course, it does have its downsides, too. Let’s look at some of the most notable pros and cons.
The list of pros is so long that it seems too good to be true, but be assured that it’s accurate. Pros include:
- Enhanced cognitive function
- Increased creativity levels
- Sharper focus when studying, working, etc.
- Reduction in depression and anxiety
- Increased self-confidence
- Improved mood and outlook on life
- Promotes healthier habits and routines
- Enhanced self-insight and mindfulness
- Heightened perception and awareness
- Improved interpersonal relationships
- Easy to administer, although measuring the dosage can be a hassle.
- Not habit-forming, a sentiment reflected by the FDA.
- Lack of any notable side effects (usually; see below)
All the positive effects of microdosing magic mushrooms are responsible for making it the treatment at the cutting edge of pharmaceutical treatments for this decade.
The cons list is shorter than the list of pros, but some of the cons may be deal-breakers for some people. Also, remember that some of the cons may be non-existent for certain individuals while they pose larger problems for others. They include:
- Adverse physical effects, such as heightened heart rate.
- Problems with measuring out the correct dosage – using a precision scale helps with this.
- Anxiety about acquiring an illegal substance, especially in regards to sourcing or quality.
- Increased anxiety
- Residual tiredness
- Concern about developing dependence
Most of these cons are either unfounded or can be mitigated by microdosing magic mushrooms in the presence of a licensed therapist that specializes in psilocybin, especially your first few times. And, best of all, the cons will more than likely be corrected in the commercially available microdosing options we are sure to see in the future.
Microdosing Mushrooms: Clinical Trials
The clinical trials for microdosing mushrooms are generally divided into three main types: naturalistic studies, placebo-controlled studies, and controlled lab studies. Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of each.
|What is it?||Testers seek out people who say they have been microdosing for a while and give them questionnaires to gauge their experiences.||Testers find individuals to do a pre-prepared dosage at home and then call them into a lab for tests to gauge the effects they’ve been experiencing.||Testers call a carefully-selected group of participants into a lab and give them a measured dose at the same time, then observe all participants in a controlled setting.|
|Pros||Very inexpensive; larger sample possible; people can take a personalized dosage amount that is best for them; participants are more at ease.||Participants are at ease, but testers still know exactly what type of microdose they’ve been taking; relatively inexpensive.||Participants are tested for drug use and other conditions; it’s the best way to do repeated tests for things like effects of microdosing at a certain time of day; less “noise.”|
|Cons||Cannot restrict alcohol use or other substances that might interfere with microdosing effects; participants may be untruthful.||The pre-prepared dosage amount may not be just right for everyone (e.g. a large man and a small woman may have different optimal dosages).||Relatively expensive; participants’ experiences may be negatively affected by anxiety from being “under a microscope”|
The effects of microdosing mushrooms have been documented in literally hundreds of studies. Until quite recently, the vast majority of study results were only documented through humanistic methods like surveys and questionnaires, though. Although surveys are still a part of most studies, the methods used to gather data from participants in microdosing studies have grown a lot more quantitative during this decade.
Many modern microdosing studies include cutting-edge methods like EEGs, blood test analyses, and heart rate monitoring. These advanced methods have resulted in a gigantic amount of knowledge gained about the effects of microdosing in the past few years. Small changes in mood or changes in consciousness that would have gone unreported before are now observable. In other words, test-givers are now able to monitor even the smallest effects caused by microdosing, and that allows them to get a better idea of how it can impact you.
This ability to gauge the effects of different types of magic mushroom doses with such precision is a huge leap forward in making microdosing more accessible. One of the biggest issues with microdosing in the past is that even the experts could not pinpoint exactly what effects it might have for different types of people. Thanks to recent developments in the techniques used to gather findings, that issue is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
How to Find Microdosing Studies Near Me
It’s easy to find studies looking at the effects of psilocybin that are recruiting new participants in places where the drug is decriminalized. Most of the participants are volunteers (unpaid), but some studies pay a small amount. Some great resources for finding microdosing studies near you include: John Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research (US) Psychedelic.support (US) Mind Medicine Australia (AUS) MAPS Clinical Trials (Worldwide) Note that these pages also recruit for studies focusing on other psychedelics, like MDMA and LSD, as well as cannabis.
Legitimate microdosing studies are very hard to come by in Europe. In August 2022, Clerkenwell Health, the world’s first commercial firm dedicated to psychedelics research, opened in London. In the future, they plan to conduct lots of large-scale clinical trials that will recruit local volunteers.
If you are unable to find a microdosing study near you online, it cannot hurt to ask your doctor or therapist if they know of any such studies during one of your sessions (where you will be protected by doctor-patient confidentiality, if you’re worried about that).
The Future of Microdosing Magic Mushrooms
There is not much question that magic mushrooms, among other psilocybin-containing drugs, are on a fast-track to wider acceptance and legalization – at least, in a clinical capacity. The world is rapidly waking up to the fact that they are, for all intents and purposes, a wonder drug. The list of psychological and emotional benefits they bring on is large enough to fill an entire pamphlet, and they are better than any other pharmaceutical for treating many mental health issues.
Although taking full doses of psychedelics can be a very intense experience, microdosing is the perfect way to enjoy the huge range of positives with almost imperceptible versions of the negatives to go with them. And as more and more research is done on the precise effects of microdosing different types of magic mushrooms, the experience will become even more streamlined and easier to obtain in convenient-to-administer forms. Eventually, buying and microdosing magic mushrooms will probably be as easy as doing the same thing with antidepressants or painkillers is now.
The bottom line is that 2022 is a very exciting year for the community surrounding psychedelic therapy. This year has seen the biggest clinical trials concerning psilocybin ever conducted, and they have resulted in the drug being taken a lot more seriously by the medical establishment as a whole.
The next few years of psychedelic drug research will look to answer questions like:
- Will people develop a biological tolerance to certain psychedelics after taking them repeatedly for long enough?
- How will microdosing interact with certain traits (e.g. age, sex, weight, personality, sleep receptor binding)?
- How can we continue to fight the negative misconceptions surrounding most psychedelics?
There’s really no reason not to at least give microdosing magic mushrooms a try, whether to address a specific mental health issue or just to unlock an improved version of yourself!
Dustin Kemp · 10/28/2022