Microdosing mushrooms has rapidly become mainstream in the last couple of years. The topic of psychedelics has been around as late as the 1905s, but it was only until 2011 that it gained a newfound interest. Dr. James Fardiman wrote The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys, which link microdosing with various benefits and normalized the practice to the mainstream public. With cities decriminalizing mushrooms, stories on various Silicon Valley tech execs swearing by this practice to boost creativity and productivity, and many other people who have found that it changed their life, it’s not hard to see why it’s gaining popularity.
What is microdosing?
Microdosing is the act of consuming sub-perceptual-unnoticeable-amounts of a psychedelic substance. Since psychedelics like magic mushrooms are known to essentially rewire the brain, taking miniscule amounts aim to have the same effect without the high and trippy effect. Essentially, if taken at the right dosage, it can have a wide range of benefits from treating anxiety to increasing productivity. The active ingredient that allows magic mushrooms to have this effect is psilocybin, which can have the same effect as nootropics if taken as a microdose. Nootropics or “smart drugs” is any “natural or synthetic substance that may have a positive impact on mental skills”. They are known to boost brain performance and they are often called cognitive enhancers or memory enhancing substances. There are natural and synthetic nootropics, ranging from caffeine to prescription nootropics. Other natural types include Lion’s Mane, Panax ginseng, and Creatine.
The Science Behind Microdosing Psilocybin
Psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin share a similar structure to the chemical serotonin. Serotonin is one of the brain’s most important neurotransmitters and it affects almost everything that we do, such as processing emotion and information. Psilocybin works along a similar pathway to serotonin, which results in your brain producing a similar effect to serotonin. The main effect is to stimulate a serotonin receptor called “5-HT2A” which is found in the prefrontal cortex. Stimulating this receptor results in two key results. The first being triggering the production of “Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which stimulates growth, connections, and activity. The second being increased transmission of “Glutamate”, the neurotransmitter most responsible for brain functions like cognition, learning, and memory.
What are the benefits of microdosing magic mushrooms?
The main benefits of microdosing psilocybin on a regular basis report higher levels of creativity, more energy, increased focus, and improved relational skills. Combined, these can positively impact job performance and in some cases help those struggling find a clear career direction and purpose. Other psychological issues that microdosing psilocybin can help with is alleviating mood disorders and anxiety. Medically, it is reported to treat cluster headaches, resulting in extended periods of remission. Lastly, it is known to increase spiritual awareness, attitudes of life, and altruism. Ultimately, microdosing psilocybin results in a more positive life experience when taken at the right dosage.