What is Microdosing?
Microdosing is the regular intake of tiny, sub-perceptual doses of magic fungi.
Yes, some people do it with other psychedelic substances - but this is an article about legal, natural microdosing that you can control and if you like, even produce yourself.
The amounts you take are so small that they do not produce any distortion of your perception. You are fully sober and functional - for some people, even more functional than without it.
Microdosing became popular as a natural alternative for combating depression and adhd, lifting the mood and feeling more focused.
If taken right, it makes many people feel happier, healthier, more alert and relaxed
How much is a microdose?
1/10 of an active dose - whatever that means for you. Not everyone is the same, but let's look at a standard dose.
A standard microdose of magic truffles is about 1g of fresh weight.
Alternatively, you can see it as 0.1g of dry magic mushrooms.
So much for standard dosing.
BUT. Many factors can influence how strongly your body reacts to magic fungi and consequently, one person's microdose can have another person seeing colors and patterns, while a third person will soon complain they don't notice ANY difference.
For most people, the standard dose will work.
Still, it is a good idea for you to do your first microdose on a weekend, when you don't have to drive or operate heavy machinery and see how it acts on you.
Why Microdose Magic Truffles?
Microdosing seems to help many people live more happily and deliberately, but there is some rock hard science beneath that flowery language.
Psilocybin actually helps the body create new nerve cells, as well as new synapses - neuronal connections. This is huge for learning, combating nerve-degenerative disease and even re-programming a mind that is stuck in a rut.
The problem with afflictions like depression is, that one is not able to "break out of" negative thought loops and so they become tighter and tighter every day. By feeding the brain nutrients at regular intervals, microdosing makes it possible to escape these loops.
It is also believed to have potential benefits such as increased creativity, improved focus and productivity, enhanced mood and well-being, reduced anxiety and depression symptoms, and increased empathy and openness.
How does Microdosing feel?
The direct, perceived impact of microdosing can be a wide array of effects.
In general, think of microdoses of psilocybin fungi as a small window opening in your mind that will let in light and air.
Most people agree on certain impressions, such as that it makes you feel less "stuck inside your own head". Microdosing can lift your spirit gently and naturally and shift your focus from abstract worrying to the present moment.
(More about why and how that works further down)
There are however some people who discover that as soon as they open a little window in their mind, all sorts of things try to climb inside: Suppressed emotions, thoughts and memories can sometimes substract from the feeling of immediate wellbeing and make the experience feel undesirable.
This makes the important destinction between a microdose and say, a shot of morphium. Mushrooms or truffles in tiny doses will not allow you to feel happy "no matter what" and will rather allow signals from your unconscious and your surroundings to indicate to you how you're living.
As alertness goes up, so does your ability to notice what parts of your life need attention.
Microdosing for Health Benefits
Pain is undoubtedly the primary driving force for individuals to try microdosing. Despite numerous online testimonials about the effectiveness of mushrooms in treating depression, scientific research is proceeding at a slower rate. However, the significant success of the microdosing trend cannot be ignored. Below are some of the issues and conditions that people are tackling through microdosing:
- Inflammation-related pain such as arthritis
- Chronic muscle pain
Psychological & Mental Conditions
- ADHD symptoms
- Addictions to both substances and entertainment
The broad range of applications makes sense when considering the underlying mechanisms of microdosing: reducing stress levels by loosening our hold on our sense of self.
Microdosing for Performance
"Microdosing can better individuals who are already well."
This highlights the significance of microdosing in the transformation of psychedelics. Improving oneself is for everyone. There's nothing strange about striving for better feelings, better learning, and better performance.
Microdosing can improve you on two levels.
- Lower inflammation levels (and therefore less pain)
- Deep tissue relaxation
- Higher energy from added serotonin
- Better body perception
- Improved moods
- Enhanced learning (BDNF increasing neuroplasticity)
- Greater empathy
- Creative boost of new perspectives
How does microdosing work?
Microdosing works akin to a key-and-lock system: It provides the brain and body with nutrients that "unlock" functions that are already built into our system.
So it is not really microdosing that performs such a stunningly wide range of positive effects - but the body itself. To understand the effects of microdosing, it is useful to remember how tightly linked the mind and body work. As one feels and functions better, so does the other in many occasions.
Feeling good physically makes us feel good emotionally and vice versa.
But what about the addiction potential - can you get hooked on feeling good through microdosing?
Is microdosing addictive?
To those who are already familiar with the effects of magic fungi, the answer will be quite obviously no. The day after a mushroom experience, you tend to feel like the last thing you would want right now is more mushrooms.
This is because they are inherently anti-addictive.
They can even be used in conjuncition with proper intention and preparation to break addictions to substances as powerful as nicotin (cigarettes).
On the flip side, it is rather difficult to maintain a regular microdosing habit. Taking your tiny dose every morning or every second morning over an extended preiod of time requires a fair bit of discipline, because there is always going to be that little bit of resistance that says "not today".
The brain chemistry of microdosing
Both magic mushrooms and truffles contain substances that are chemically extremely similar to serotonin. This is a substance that our brain produces naturally and that governs many functions in the body, including
Typically, higher levels of serotonin are found in happy, successful people, while lower-than-normal levels are a hallmark sign of depression. The receptors for serotonin can be tricked by chemically similar molecules that dock onto them and excite them into action.
Magic fungi contain psilocybin, a substance that is metabolized into psilocin when ingested.
Can you combine microdosing and alcohol?
Usually, yes! Tiny doses of magic fungi don't pose a problem when it comes to drinking.
This is especially true for people who are content and comfortable with their attitude towards alcohol (e.g. "social drinking").
Although microdoses are normally so small that they can be easily brushed off while drinking, this is not a guarantee. First of all, you should be VERY certain that the amount taken will actually act as a microdose on you, so it is best not to drink on the first day you are trying it.
Secondly, if alcohol works as a coping mechanism for you, rather than a social lubricant, this points to deeper underlying issue. Microdosing has a habit of opening people up to their innermost emotions, so if you are aware that you are suffering mental afflictions, it is advised for you to first get very familiar with how it affects you before combining the two.
Can you combine microdosing and anti-depressants?
The official answer is that you should consult with your psychiatrist before even attempting such a maneouver.
In reality, it is often difficult to find a doctor who knows about microdosing, while there are also tons of anecdotal accounts of people who found their way out of depression using microdosing.
Please note that the author is not a psychiatrist and that the goal of the article is not to give medical advice, but to help you make a more educated decision by providing insights from years of layman's experience. If you have an expert you can consult, definitely do that.
What you need to realize is, that microdosing and anti-depressants, especially of the SSRI type, can interfere with each other in several ways. Both have to do with how much excitation reaches the serotonin receptors, but while microdosing supplements the brain with serotonin-look-alikes, SSRI medication keeps the brain from getting rid of the serotonin already present.
So in theory, antidepressants should make microdosing stronger and more noticeable, right?
In theory, yes. However, over the years we have had plenty of correspondence with people using microdosing to combat their depression and even taper off medication that they felt was no longer serving them.
In many cases, it was actually the other way around; Years of antidepressants had made people more tolerant and less sensitive, so that they needed higher dosages in order to achieve the desired feeling of openness and clarity.
Can you drink coffee and also microdose?
If you are a hardened coffeedrinker, go for it!
If coffee is more of an occasional pleasure to you, or makes you skittish, sweaty or gives you a noticeably accelerated pulse, you may find the combination with microdosing unpleasant.
A note on the state of research on microdosing
Science provides valuable insights, but it is limited in its exploration of psilocybin due to persistent stigma and legal barriers. One thing that's certain is that microdosing is most effective if the individual has positive expectations. Studies suggest that high expectations lead to better outcomes.***
Although microdosing's effects are partially rooted in its chemical impact on the brain, there is also a significant psychological component.Shortly: Attitude matters. Who would have thought?