Everyone’s been talking about Cannabis and CBD but there’s a promising new up-and-comer making exciting waves – microdosing! As more research emerges about promising effects, more people are exploring how to microdose psilocybin mushrooms and LSD!
Microdosing involves taking a sub-perceptual dose of a psychedelic, most commonly psilocybin mushrooms or LSD. The goal is to create changes in how we think, improve health issues, and enhance spirituality or connection, among other things.
If you’re interested in digging deeper into the subject, Jim Fadiman and Ayelet Waldman are both excellent resources for microdosing and a great talk by them discussing microdosing risks, benefits, and unknowns can be found on Youtube here. Third Wave is also a great resource for learning more. Their Essential Guide to Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms, as well as their Essential Guide to Microdosing LSD, are both excellent overviews.
Read on to see some personal experiences of people who microdose psilocybin mushrooms! Our microdosers asked to remain anonymous so meet Microdoser #1 and Microdoser #2.
For my experience, I’ve had a really rough year and was prescribed an anti-depressant. There’s been some promising research suggesting that if you microdose psilocybin mushrooms, it can help with depression. Herbs weren’t adding as much support as I needed so I was looking for another option to try because I wasn’t happy with the side-effects of my anti-depressant. I decided to give it a try and microdose psilocybin mushrooms! (Note: never discontinue medications unless under the guidance of your Doctor. James Fadiman’s microdosing website lists medications people tried with microdosing)
I’m an anxious person and I was worried about how my body would respond so I put off taking my first microdose of mushrooms until I felt like I’d read enough about how it went for other people (check out the Microdosing Reddit). From what I’ve read from other people’s experiences, sometimes microdosing may enhance anxiety so I wasn’t sure if it would be right for me. I find that I’m pretty aware of and in touch with my stressors or what’s causing my anxiety and those thoughts and feelings aren’t compartmentalized or hidden from me. I think maybe because of this, I personally didn’t have any issues with anxiety beyond when the dose first starts to kick in. It was totally manageable though. Just had to remind myself that it was normal and to breathe through it!
I can definitely say that overall my depression and anxiety have improved after completing one 30 day cycle. The way I think about things has changed which in turn also changes how I feel and how I respond. There’s a perspective shift where things I used to worry about or let have power over me don’t seem as important as they did before. I found that I had distance from my usual emotional reactions and patterns and that being more detached gave me freedom to think, feel, or respond in different ways than I usually would.
I also found that microdosing helped me handle grief better. I was still really sad and missed my person deeply but my loss didn’t feel as paralyzing and terrifying. I felt that sadness but now there was also room for processing and remembering. Not handling grief or other difficult life circumstances well was part of what led my doctor to prescribe me an anti-depressant so for me, this was a good personal test for the effectiveness of microdosing.
As well, sometimes there was a stillness in my mind that reminded me of the moments in meditation where I’m in the zone. The depressed or anxious background chatter wasn’t there in the same way it was before. I was much better able to live in the moment and be present because of this. I had more energy overall and was way more productive than I had been able to be in the past year. It felt like how my brain worked was being changed for the better. It’s like I was able to skip over the Ego part of myself and as a result, I wasn’t holding myself back anymore and was instead free to explore endless possibilities. I was able to trust myself and my instincts more. But also because of skipping over Ego more, I was able to feel more interconnectedness to everything.
I took a break after doing my first cycle and now if I feel my brain is falling back into old patterns, I’ll take another microdose. I find I don’t have to do this often. Only like 2 or 3 times a month. I also tried microdosing the day before a wedding because I tend to get in my head about social events and I was pretty anxiety free for the event. It was awesome that I got to just enjoy it!
My ideal dose ended up being lower than what’s often recommended so listen to your body about what’s best for you to gain the effects and results you want. I actually signed up for Third Wave’s Microdosing course and really enjoy the journaling resources and suggestions for setting and intent as an important part of the experience.
Microdosing psilocybin piqued my interest after hearing it mentioned on a few podcasts, and as I had already had some beneficial experiences with mushrooms in my teenage years I was excited to add this into my life.
Much like other’s experiences with microdosing I found a quietness and stillness of my mind, a sense of peace that can also be achieved through other things like yoga or meditation practice, except this stillness lasted for days. Not only did microdosing help reduce and remove the constant and often negative mind chatter. It gave me more patience and more empathy at home with my family and my reactions to difficult situations improved greatly. My ability to problem-solve and come up with creative solutions to these challenges also improved and although I would say I am generally a positive person; my glass is now always half-full!
At work, microdosing would allow me to see a different side of a project or someone else’s point of view. I was also able to think creatively and I found I could push myself more to complete tasks I normally would have resisted finishing. It was also intriguing to see where the mind did wander once the negative thought patterns stopped; I saw things that I would normally overlook like patterns on tree bark and heard things like bird song and rainfall with more clarity. Most importantly I sensed a greater connection to the world around me more intensely than ever before. I feel that this increased sense of connection is why psychedelics are helpful in folks with anxiety – if the world is no longer a hostile place then we have no need to be anxious.
One consideration is dosage; which I find is really on an individual basis. Larger doses can make you feel a little spacey (which sometimes may be the desired effect and other times not!) and can also make you feel nauseous. I found that taking capsules with food decreased any nausea, as well as decreasing the dose slightly. After completing a few cycles, I find now that I can just maintain the positive effects by microdosing one day a week or as needed. My experience of microdosing has been extremely beneficial in my life in general and I no longer feel stressed or worried on a daily basis, that’s not to say I no longer have any problems in my life, but in my experience psilocybin enables me to deal with these problems by trusting my intuition and letting go of judgement of myself and others.
Our microdosers found thier experience to be very beneficial for them! Some research suggests that the changes our microdosers felt could be from psychedelics causing the Default Mode Network in our brains to be less engaged, freeing us from ego. You can read more about the Default Mode Network from Third Wave over here. There is still a lot more to learn about how it works and what the long-term effects could be, however.
There’s lots of other interesting areas that microdosing could help with and exciting research continues to emerge so our understanding will only deepen as more researchers explore this promising area. One area that may gain traction in Canada soon is microdosing in end of life care.
Overall, the 2 people we asked to write about the experiences with microdosing mushrooms found it to be very positive and worthwhile for them. However, much like Cannabis was (or still is depending on where you live), LSD and Mushrooms are both illegal so if you’re interested, we can’t help you source some. If you’re curious, make sure you do lots and lots of research, and then research some more, to come to your own conclusions about risks and suitability as every one is different (for example, there are some potential concerns when it comes to schizophrenia and psychosis). We are not giving health advice, we’re not encouraging you to break laws, and we’re not encouraging you to try microdosing. We’re only sharing research and experiences about an emerging trend. Anything you choose to do is your own responsibility and at your own risk. Scroll down to see some ideas for resources you can start exploring if you’d like to learn more.
Share your thoughts on microdosing or your favourite resources with us in the comments!
Resources to Explore:
Pioneer of Microdosing James Fadiman’s Microdosing Website with protocols
Michael Pollen – How to Change Your Mind (Book)
James Fadiman – The Psychadelic Explorers Guide (Book)
Microdose Study Mobile App (Apple App Store version available currently with Android version to follow)
Mushrooms References Website (psilocybin section)