Micro-Dosing Guide For Beginners: Psilocybin Mushrooms

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Psilocybin mushrooms are slowly becoming “mainstream” in Western cultures, but ancient cultures have been using psychedelic plants in ‘coming of age’ ceremonies and in medicine dating back thousands of years.

Psychedelic substances are powerful tools, that when used correctly can transform lives. But for beginners, understanding the correct dosage can be nerve racking.

This is why micro-dosing has become so popular amongst those looking to ‘dip their toes’ into the waters of self discovery and metal wellness.

Mysterious, 100% natural, and packed with unlimited and untapped potential, micro-dosing psilocybin mushrooms may leading the charge into a new medical frontier.

Psilocybin mushrooms have recently been legalized in multiple US cities, supported by Congress, and are currently being researched under ‘fast track’ FDA designation for depression.

In this article we’ll look to medical experts, academics, and at the latest scientific research as we explore the benefits, inter-workings, and a guide to micro-dosing psilocybin mushrooms

Why Are “Magic” Mushrooms so Magic ?

The Psilocybin Mushroom: Better known on the streets as, Magic Mushrooms or Shrooms.

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Where does the magic come from? The ‘magic’ in magic mushrooms comes from the organic chemical compound known as psilocybin.

Similar to other organic mushroom compounds, like the ones found in Lions Mane mushrooms, psilocybin is rare in its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Psilocybin’s ability to reach the brain is responsible for the powerful mental wellness effects.

There are over 50 species of mushrooms that contain psilocybin and the scientific molecular name for psilocybin is …(and this is a doozy..)  4-phosphoryloxy-N N Dimethyltryptamine … Say that 10x fast !

Medical Benefits of Psilocybin Mushrooms

According to Harvard Medical ….

Researchers have recommended that the federal government reclassify these substances in order to facilitate future efforts”

Psilocybin was at the forefront of medical research until the ‘war on drugs’ in the 70’s made medical research more & more difficult. 

But, a resurgence in interest has sparked loosened laws and increased research of psilocybin as of the late 2000’s.

1. Psilocybin vs. Depression

Depression is the most researched condition for psilocybin treatment.

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In 2018 the mental health care company “Compass” was awarded “breakthrough therapy” designation (a fast track review) by the FDA for studies in psilocybin treatment of depression.

According to a 2017 study published by ScienceDirect.com…,

Psilocybin appears to be safe, rapid, and enduring in its antidepressant action. 

It is important to note the study considered psilocybin’s abuse potential to be  “low”.

More research is needed, but early results from the study, would suggest psilocybin as an alternative to SSRI antidepressants such as Zoloft, Prozac or Xanax.

““I felt so much lighter, like something had been released, it was an emotional purging, the weight and anxiety and depression had been lifted.” – Psilocybin Study Participant

2. Psilocybin vs. Anxiety

Anxiety & depression often go ‘hand in hand’, but the effects of both, although similar, can be felt quite differently.

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In 2017, a study on Psilocybin vs. Anxiety was published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal “The Mental Health Clinician”….

The study did “clinical research on psilocybin studied in treating anxiety symptoms in patients with cancer.”

The researchers found that “Anxiety significantly decreased at 1 and 3 months post-treatment”

I personally have used micro-dosing, and found that it helps me see a clearer picture of the changes I need to make to improve my future. This “clarity” absolutely reduces my anxiety for weeks if not months from a single dose.

3. Psilocybin vs. Addiction

Psilocybin vs Cigarette Addiction

In a study by Johns Hopkins, researchers tested nicotine addiction in cigarettes vs. psilocybin treatments.

Participants who took psilocybin achieved an 80% abstinence rate over six months, compared to a 35% success rate for patients taking ‘Verenicline’,  (which has been widely considered the best drug to quit smoking).

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“When administered after careful preparation and in a therapeutic context, psilocybin can lead to deep reflection about one’s life and spark motivation to change,” says Matthew Johnson, Ph.D., an author on the study.

Cigarettes aren’t the only epidemic in America right now. Opiate deaths are at an all time ‘high’ (no pun intended)

Psilocybin vs Opiate Addiction

In a study published by Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2017…,

Researchers found that psilocybin mushrooms were  “associated with decreased risk of opioid abuse and dependence.”

These findings suggest that psychedelics are associated with positive mental health, and are consistent with prior reports and studies suggesting psilocybin for treatment of substance use disorders.

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4. Psilocybin & Creativity

A new study published by the scientific “Journal of Psychoactive Drugs” in 2018 found that…

“The most fundamental takeaway is the insight into how changes to creative thinking could play a major role in explaining why psychedelic compounds are proving useful in treating a variety of mental health conditions.”

“These findings highlight the possible underlying role of enhanced creativity and empathy in the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.”

It is well known that the key to overcoming an unknown mental block is first, awareness, but then creative thinking to overcome your obstacle.

5. Psilocybin & Connection

“I have felt a sense of acceptance; more acceptance of agony, boredom, loneliness. [A] willingness to try to accept the negative times – but also an appreciation of the wonderful times.” – Psilocybin Research Participant

The “Journal of PsychoPharmacology” published a study in 2018 that found psilocybin generally increased connectivity to ones self, nature & ones surroundings.

Micro-Dosing: What Is It & What Are The Benefits

Micro-dosing is exactly what it sounds like.

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Microdosing is a technique used for taking psilocybin (and other psychedelic substances) in doses so low (known as “sub-therapeutic”) that they do not produce intense whole-body effects.

However, the micro-dose is still enough to allow for very mild effects to take hold subconsciously and accumulate over time.

Benefits of micro-Dosing Psilocybin: Rosie’s Story

‘It makes me enjoy playing with the kids even more’

Rosie is a typical working mom with 2 kids and by all means lives a normal life….But behind her facade was a person drinking to cope with stress.

Not a black-out alcoholic, but someone struggling for control and drinking too much for her own comfort. After hearing a friend talk about her experience micro-dosing with psilocybin mushrooms, Rosie gave it a try….

After a series of micro-doses, she ended up giving up booze completely and found reduced anxiety with an increased piece-of-mind. As Rosie says, “You don’t feel high, just… better.”

The benefits of micro-dosing are the same benefits of taking a full dose, only with-out the full visual effects typically associated with ‘tripping’.

In the Netherlands, psilocybin is 100% legal and Dennis van der Meijden, a graphic designer & music producer, reports to ScientificAmerican.com that micro-dosing “sharpens all the senses… as if being slightly more conscious,”

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“A representation of that is seen in the image above.

Micro-Dosing Schedule: How Often Should You micro-Dose ?

For beginners, there’s a lot of questions surrounding micro-dosing. How mush is a micro-dose ? How often do you take a micro-dose? How long does a micro-dose last ?

When it comes to psilocybin dosing, Dr. James Fadiman who wrote the Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide recommends a cautious approach: 

Psilocybin Dosage Amounts 

  • Micro-dose: 0.15–0.3 grams
  • Creative dose: 0.5–1 grams
  • Macro dose: 2–3.5 grams

Psilocybin Duration

How long does psilocybin last? The effects of psilocybin last between 4 – 8 hours depending on the dose amount. Closer to 4 hours for a micro-dose, and closer to 8 hours for a macro-dose.

Psilocybin micro-Dose Schedule 

Psilocybin should be respected, and micro-dosing isn’t something you do every day. Ideally, micro-dosing is taken on a schedule, once every 3 days. 

Micro-Dosing Guide For Beginners: Psilocybin Mushrooms
  1. The first day is dose day.
    You take the micro-dose and let the psilocybin go to work. base don my own experience you may not feel or notice anything, or you may notice a slight “lift” as if you’re seeing things slightly more clearly. 
  2. The second day, is reflect day.
    Take a moment during the day and reflect on your experiences from the day before. Do you notice anything different ? Any life epiphanies ? And feelings of heightened self-awareness ?

    If not, that’s OK.

    Micro-dosing is supposed to be subtle. It may take a few does for you to notice any effects.

    If you want deeper more dramatic effects you can try taking a larger dose on your next dose day. But it’s recommended to increase yoru dose slowly.

  3. The third day is for rest.
    Even though the psilocybin micro-dose was small, give your body an extra day to rest and reflect on what it is you want to achieve with micro-dosing.
  4. Retake and repeat.
    I personally have followed this schedule two separate times for a month straight each time. The ‘psilocybin feeling’ was sometimes barely noticeable, and sometimes not noticeable at all. But I kept a journal to document my experience and after 30 days its a lot of fun to look back on your feelings, thoughts, and ideas during the micro-dose period.

Reviews on Micro-Dosing Psilocybin

 “I found that it helped with my Depression and Anxiety alot. I was more understanding of situations. I became aware of triggers and routine behavior in myself.”  -Amore

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“I micro-dosed psilocybin every 3 days for a month (total of 11 times) and absolutely loved it. I was nervous at first, but found myself barely affected but noticed a higher level of self-awareness and heightened appreciation for myself and those around me” – Nelson H.

“The effects were like an espresso for the mind. My connection and empathy with other people enhanced tremendously. I found on my reflect days i had a most clear state of mind. I couldn’t stand to see my own clutter and was more apt to get old projects finished. I looked forward to change. “
– K. Christine

Are Psilocybin Mushrooms legal?

As of 2021,  Oregon is the only state to legalize psilocybin. But two major American cities have decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms.

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Psilocybin is legal in Denver and in Oakland.

Psilocybin is also legal in Canada.

In July of 2022 the united states congress voted to increase access to psychedelic treatments for both veterans and active-duty service members to assist with mental health conditions.

However, despite a large body of medical evidence, psilocybin, along with marijuana are both considered federally illegal, and both remain classified as a schedule 1 drug.  

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agnecy (DEA) Schedule 1 drugs have both:

-High Abuse Potential

-No Medicinal Use

For both medical cannabis and psilocybin these factors have been proven to be politically motivated false characterizations.

Psilocybin has also been called a “breakthrough therapy:” by the FDA.

Conclusion

As metal health awareness continues to grow, our collective ability as a society to treat mental health needs to expand.

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Psilocybin and other psychedelics are now being openly discussed, researched, and even traded as stocks on the public markets.

Every single human is capable of getting stuck in routines, mindsets and perspectives. Both good and bad. While not everyone is up for a full psychedelic experience, micro-dosing psilocybin might be the happy medium to experience all the benefits, maintain full functionality, and not have to worry about loosing control.

Conclusively,  Mushrooms may have the potential to change the future of mental health for good.

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