What Is Microdosing Mushrooms?Microdosing is the practice of consuming small, sub-perpetual (relatively unnoticeable) amounts of a psychedelic substance (e.g., psilocybin magic mushrooms) a few times per week. Because the dosage is sub-perpetual, it doesn’t cause any significant changes in consciousness or ‘psychedelic effects’, but it does provide a host of amazing benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Microdosing Shrooms?Microdosing can increase focus, creativity, productivity, empathy and sociability. Microdosing enables changes in perspective (which aids in problem solving and critical thinking) and creates a positive shift in overall mood and outlook on life. Many people who microdose also report more energy and an improvement in social and relationship skills. In clinical situations, microdosing can help with the following conditions:
- Mood disorders
- Severe headaches
Microdosing ProtocolsYour body develops a tolerance to psychedelics such as magic mushrooms very quickly, even after just one dose, which is why it’s always recommended to follow either the “Fadiman” or “Stamets” protocol (or something similar) when microdosing. The Fadiman protocol is named after Dr. James Fadiman, one of the world’s leading researchers on psychedelics. The Fadiman protocol has users taking a microdose every 3 to 4 days—so one day on, 2 to 3 days off, then repeat. The Stamets protocol is named after Paul Stamets, the world’s top mycologist and number one authority on everything related to mushrooms and fungi. The Stamets protocol has users taking a microdose for 4 to 5 consecutive days, followed by 2 to 3 days off (4-5 on, 2-3 off, then repeat). If you take a psychedelic like magic mushrooms every day, the effects and benefits will diminish.
|FADIMAN Protocol||DAY 1||DAY 2||DAY 3||Back to Day 1 Repeat|
|Microdose Day 75-125 mg Capsule of Psilocybin Magic Mushroom||No dose||No dose|
|STAMETS Protocol||DAY 1||DAY 2||DAY 3||DAY 4||DAY 5||DAY 6||DAY 7|
|Microdose Day 75-125 mg Capsule of Psilocybin Magic Mushroom||Microdose Day 75-125 mg Capsule of Psilocybin Magic Mushroom||Microdose Day 75-125 mg Capsule of Psilocybin Magic Mushroom||Microdose Day 75-125 mg Capsule of Psilocybin Magic Mushroom||Microdose Day 75-125 mg Capsule of Psilocybin Magic Mushroom||No dose||No dose|
Mechanisms of Action: How Does Microdosing Work?The mechanisms of action aren’t completely clear, but it’s known that psychedelics (such as psilocybin magic mushrooms) are agonists for the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor and glutamate and dopamine receptors. These compounds also activate the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), which is also known as tyrosine receptor kinase B.
Resets the Default Mode Network in the BrainPsilocybin magic mushrooms have the ability to reset the typical control systems of cognition in the brain. Research shows that these compounds have an effect on the default mode network (DMN) in the brain, which is a large-scale brain network of interacting brain regions. The DMN is known to be overactive in people with depression. Microdosing can reset this system and help regulate it in a positive way, which allows for a clearer thought process and better creativity and mood.
Anti-Aging for the BrainMicrodosing of psychedelic compounds and magic mushrooms promotes both structural and functional neural plasticity by activating the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Neural plasticity is the ability of neurons to change in form and function in response to alterations in their environment. And psychedelics (e.g., magic mushrooms) that bind to the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor are capable of robustly increasing neuritogenesis and spinogenesis. Neuritogenesis is the process by which nervous system cells form new neurites (which develop into axons and dendrites) which extend from the cell body. Spinogenesis is the development of dendritic spines in neurons. These changes in neuronal structure are accompanied by increased synapse number and function. Microdosing also promotes neurogenesis, which is the process by which new neurons are formed in the brain. In other words, microdosing lights up your brain, in a very good way. It rebuilds and regenerates brain cells and improves the connections between brain cells. Microdosing can counteract the negative effects that normal aging has on the brain and its function. Research even shows that microdosing can help reduce neuroinflammation (inflammation of brain cells) associated with neurodegenerative disease such as dementia.
Addresses the Root Problem for a Long-Term SolutionBreakdown of neurons in the prefrontal cortex of the brain is believed to be a major factor in the pathophysiology of depression and related mood and anxiety disorders and is amplified by stress. Structural changes, such as the retraction of neurites, loss of dendritic spines and elimination of synapses, can be counteracted by microdosing psilocybin magic mushrooms because they promote structural and functional neural plasticity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
New Mushroom Study Published in the journal PsychopharmacologyNew research from Leiden University in the Netherlands shows that microdosing psilocybin magic mushrooms can improve both convergent and divergent thinking in ways that promote cognitive flexibility, creativity and single-solution problem solving. Convergent thinking is the process of figuring out a concrete solution to any problem. Divergent thinking is the process of thinking that explores multiple possible solutions in order to generate creative ideas. It’s a straightforward process that focuses on figuring out the most effective answer to a problem. Now, couldn’t this be useful to just about everyone on the planet? The lead researcher concluded that the results of the open-label natural setting study suggest that microdosing psychedelic compounds allowed study participants to create more out-of-the-box alternative solutions to a problem, and this provides preliminary support for the assumption that microdosing improves divergent thinking.
The Difference between Microdosing Mushrooms and Prescription AntidepressantsResearchers believe that psilocybin magic mushrooms help to revive emotional responsiveness in the brain. This mechanism is the opposite effect of antidepressant drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Psilocybin mushroom assisted therapy can mitigate depression by increasing emotional connection. SSRI drugs, on the other hand, are known for creating a general emotional blunting in people (also known as the antidepressant zombie effect). New research published in the journal Neuropharmacology examined patients diagnosed with moderate-to-severe treatment-resistant depression to investigate what kinds of effects psilocybin would have on their brain activity and depressive symptoms. Previous research shows that psilocybin mushrooms can reset brain circuits in depressed people, with benefits lasting up to five weeks after treatment. This new research shows that psilocybin heightens the activity in the right amygdala. The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure located within the anterior portion of the temporal lobes (brain) that is part of the limbic system and is known to play a part in controlling emotion, motivation, and memory. Research shows that the alleviation of depression occurs from emotional receptivity being enhanced, which is the opposite effect of SSRI antidepressants. It has been proposed that decreased amygdala responsiveness to negative emotional stimuli under SSRIs is a key component of their therapeutic action, but new research shows that psilocybin mushrooms have the opposite effect. Patients in the study published in Neuropharmacology reported the following after using psilocybin mushrooms: “a greater willingness to accept all emotions post-treatment (including negative ones)” (original emphasis), whereas they felt their previous depression treatments worked to “reinforce emotional avoidance and disconnection.” “I felt so much lighter, like something had been released, it was an emotional purging, the weight and anxiety and depression had been lifted.” “I have felt a sense of acceptance; more acceptance of agony, boredom, loneliness.” “willingness to try to accept the negative times – but also an appreciation of the wonderful times." Researchers, believe that psychedelics have the potential to cure deep psychological wounds, depression and addiction.
Is Microdosing Addictive?Since microdosing provides such amazing benefits, it makes you wonder—can it be addictive? It has been scientifically proven that psilocybin magic mushrooms aren’t physiologically addictive—this is a proven fact. However, one could argue that psychological dependence on the confidence/benefits that microdosing provides might be a possibility, and this might be an issue for some people. However, your body develops a tolerance to psychedelics such as magic mushrooms very quickly, even after just one dose, which is why it’s always recommended to follow either the “Fadiman” or “Stamets” protocol (or something similar) when microdosing. The Fadiman protocol is named after Dr. James Fadiman, one of the world’s leading researchers on psychedelics. The Fadiman protocol has users taking a microdose every three to four days—so one day on, 2 to 3 days off, then repeat. The Stamets protocol is named after Paul Stamets, the world’s top mycologist and number one authority on everything related to mushrooms and fungi. The Stamets protocol has users taking a microdose for four to five consecutive days, followed by 2 to 3 days off (4-5 on, 2-3 off, then repeat). If you take a psychedelic like magic mushrooms every day, the effects and benefits will diminish, making most people want to stop taking it. Some like to think of it as a nature’s built-in “anti-addiction” mechanism. If you try to repeatedly dose magic mushrooms, you will soon realize they have little to no effects, so there’s no point and no desire to continue. When mushrooms and LSD are used in macro (larger) dosages for full-on trips to overcome mental obstacles and for spiritual purposes, one usually experiences mental and spiritual exhaustion following a session. People usually get a feeling that it has been enough for a while. Most people who use macro amounts of psychedelics usually only do so only once a month, or even just a few times a year, and some people only do it once or twice in a lifetime and gain all the benefits they’re looking for from that one journey. Again, if you try to repeatedly dose psychedelics, you will soon realize they have little to no effects, so there’s no point. Most people realize how sacred these psychedelic substances are and begin to understand that less is better. The majority of people realize that they shouldn’t be abused and don’t have a desire to push the limits past reason. That being said, some people need a little more guidance. This is where discipline, a structured regimen and ongoing support are very helpful so that microdosers can create a long-lasting healthy lifestyle. It’s also a good idea to cycle off microdosing and take break periods.
Precautions to Be Aware of Before You Start MicrodosingSome people under specific circumstances shouldn’t ingest a psychedelic substance without consulting a qualified health-care practitioner beforehand. This includes the following:
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- People who are using lithium
- People who are using tramadol
- People who have been diagnosed as schizophrenic or bipolar I or II
- People who are red/green colour blind (some preliminary research indicates microdosing can lead to visual trails)
- People who are taking antidepressants have special considerations to be aware of. Please read the information below.