Psychedelics, such as magic mushrooms, are making waves when treating complex mental illnesses like major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Approximately 9 percent of Canadians have experienced PTSD in their lifetime, with men being more likely to experience trauma but women more likely to develop PTSD symptoms. Here we will discuss using psychedelics to treat PTSD and what the research says, so far. But first, let’s define what post-traumatic stress disorder is.

Description of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that results from having experienced or witnessed trauma. Though it is important to note that not everyone who experiences trauma develops PTSD and what is considered traumatic differs between people.

People who have experienced trauma often have intense, disturbing thoughts or feelings related to that experience long after the trauma event(s) have passed.

Woman crying with PTSD

PTSD symptoms fall into four categories:

  1. Intrusive thoughts. Repeated, involuntary memories, frightening dreams, or flashbacks of the traumatic event. For some, flashbacks may feel like they are reliving the traumatic experience.
  2. Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event. This may include avoiding people, places, activities, objects, and situations that bring distressing memories. They may also resist talking about what happened or how they feel about it.
  3. Negative thoughts and feelings. This may include distorted beliefs about oneself or others (ex., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted”), ongoing fear, horror, anger, guilt, shame, significantly less interest in activities previously enjoyed, or feeling detached from others.
  4. Reactive symptoms may include being irritable and having angry outbursts, behaving recklessly or self-destructively, being easily startled, or having problems concentrating or sleeping. (source)

Traditional Treatment for PTSD

Mental health professionals, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, use various methods to help people with PTSD recover. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one evidence-based treatment that is often used in combination with medication.

A young woman who looks like Zendaya lying in bed depressed due to trauma

While these treatment methods are effective, many people find that psychedelics provide additional benefits for treating PTSD, particularly since treatment can be fairly complex.

Psychedelics to Treat PTSD – What the Research Says

Psychedelics have shown promise in treatment for psychological disorders and received breakthrough therapy status in 2019 for major depression. In Canada, psilocybin has now been approved for end-of-life care use by a limited number of health professionals.

Does the research support the use of psychedelics to treat PTSD?

A 2013 study found psilocybin stimulates neurogenesis (the growth and repair of brain cells) in the hippocampus, the brain’s centre for emotion and memory. In the study, mice given psilocybin overcame fear conditioning far better than mice given a placebo. These results support the hypothesis that psilocybin can help break the traumatic cycle in patients with PTSD.

Stephen Ross, MD, a psychiatrist at NYU Langone, conducted a study on terminally ill cancer patients and found that one-time treatment with psilocybin quickly brought relief from distress.

Other acute effects that substantiate their potential therapeutic role in the treatment of PTSD include:

a woman feeling peaceful sitting by a lake

A 2020 study provided psilocybin therapy and group therapy sessions to survivors of the AIDS pandemic who reported feeling demoralized. At 3 months, researchers saw significant reductions in participants’ symptoms of demoralization.

Using Psychedelics to Treat PTSD

Psychedelics are not an alternative to traditional treatment methods for PTSD. Those diagnosed with PTSD or experiencing similar symptoms should speak to a mental health professional.

If you decide to use psychedelics to treat PTSD with or without the support and guidance of your mental health professional, please use them responsibly and take the time to prepare for the experience.

Since psychedelics can bring up a lot of feelings, they can leave people feeling vulnerable. Because of this, we stress the importance of taking care of yourself psychologically after the experience. For some, this may mean seeking support from their mental health professional. For others, this may mean seeking support from friends and loved ones and engaging in therapeutic activities such as journaling.

Learn more about integration after a psychedelic experience.

Psychedelic Dose or Microdose for PTSD?

Research has focused on a psychedelic dose of magic mushrooms, but that doesn’t mean that microdosing won’t have similar therapeutic benefits.

Until we know more about using psychedelics to treat PTSD, it’s up to your personal choice if you want to microdose or try a psychedelic dose.

A psychedelic dose may lead you to experience ego death, which can be healing but also may be overwhelming. A microdose may provide therapeutic benefits with less intensity.

Image credits:

Photo by M. on Unsplash

Photo by Gadiel Lazcano on Unsplash

Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

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People ask this question a lot, in terms of how long mushrooms last in storage, in their system, and the length of the high and aftereffects. So, here we plan to demystify the mysterious mushroom and answer all questions around timings.

How Long Do Dry Mushrooms Last in Storage?

The most efficient way to store dried mushrooms is in a sealed jar with some food-grade silica gel packets. You can buy these online. Keep the jar sealed tight and place it somewhere dark, always out of direct sunlight. This is the best and simplest way to store dried shrooms and will keep them edible for up to a year. It works for weed too.

dried magic mushrooms stored in a jar to make the shrooms last longer

How to Store Shrooms in Honey

Storing your dried shrooms in honey is another tasty solution. This is sometimes called blue honey or shroom honey. You just need enough liquid honey to cover your shrooms and you’re good to go. It’s best to use this method with dried shrooms rather than fresh.

Making Shroom Honey:

  • Chop your shrooms up small.
  • Put them into a mason jar, Tupperware, or other sealable container.
  • Pour liquid honey over the shrooms and stir for an even covering.
  • Seal and store in a cool, dark spot for up to four months.
  • Check back often for signs of moulding.

How to Store Shrooms in Tea

Once you’ve brewed up some trippy tea, you can store it like iced tea in a sealer pitcher in the refrigerator. It should be fine for up to a week.

How to Store Shrooms in Chocolate

You can buy a number of different shroom chocolates these days. However, it’s fairly simple to make your own. Shrooms aren’t known for their flavour, so it’s easy to see why coating them in delicious chocolate has become popular. However, they don’t last as long as other storage methods.

blue goba magic mushroom 6 gram chocolate bar

Store your shroom chocolates in a sealed contained in the fridge. You can line the container with unbleached baking paper to stop them from sticking. They should last in the fridge for a month or so, if you can keep from indulging in them for that long.

How to Store Shroom Capsules

Shroom capsules are a great way to get the effects you want without the unfortunate taste. You can manage your dosage better when microdosing and swallow the shrooms in an easy tasteless cap.

We’re starting to repeat ourselves now, but you guessed it: store your caps in an airtight container in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, with silica gel packets for a longer shelf life. They should be good for up to a year, but naturally you want to check on them from time to time and make sure they aren’t moulding.  

Storing Fresh Shrooms in the Fridge 

It’s recommended to dry fresh mushrooms as soon as possible to ensure they don’t rot. If you can’t, place them on a sheet of unbleached paper towel in a paper bag, fold the opening of the bag to seal it, then put it in the fridge. If the mushrooms are fresh and whole, they should last 5-10 days. They will then need to be consumed or dried to store for longer without rotting. Monitor these mushrooms for mould in the meantime.

How Long Does a Magic Mushroom High Last?

If you eat magic mushrooms raw, you’ll start to feel the come up about 30 minutes to an hour later. If you crush the shrooms first, take ground mushrooms or mix them with lemon juice (called lemon tekking) then the effects can kick in faster, as soon as 10-15 minutes.

You will usually hit your peak at around an hour to an hour and a half. The effects usually last around four to six hours.

You may want to take note of the time you consumed the mushrooms as you can lose your sense of time while on them. However, as long as you’re in a good mindset and setting, it should all be chill, and you won’t have a care about the time.

You’ll know you’re feeling the effects when a sense of euphoria overtakes you. You’ll start to feel yourself open up and the colours of the world will become more vivid. This could be accompanied by some visual hallucinations, such as objects appearing to breathe, morph, or have fractal patterns on them.

The intensity of your trip can vary based on: 

How much you consume: The quantity of mushrooms you consume will naturally affect the intensity of the high. More mushrooms equal more psychedelic compounds in your system.

If you ate recently. Eating the shrooms on an empty stomach will make your trip more intense and reduce the chances of feeling nauseous.

The potency of the mushrooms. The potency of the mushrooms, like with cannabis or alcohol, can affect the speed and intensity of effects.

Past experience with psychedelics. Your first time taking shrooms will likely be quite intense, but if you’re a regular user you can develop a tolerance to the effects. This means the same amount won’t get you as high.

Expectations. It’s possible that due to the power of the mind, having positive expectations going into a trip will raise your chances of prolonged positive psychological effects during and after a trip. 

Afterglow

Many medicinal mushroom users have described an afterglow: a better mood lasting anywhere from hours to days after a macrodose of shrooms.

How Long Do Shrooms Stay in Your System?

While the high will probably end by the 8-hour point, you can feel some effects for maybe 15 hours afterwards. By 24 hours you should be feeling completely yourself again. These timings vary person to person.

How Long are Mushrooms Detectable By a Drug Test?

This is a tough question. There are a bunch of different tests out there and some are better at picking up trace amounts of chemicals in your system than others. The detection period will vary with each test too. Although, according to Healthline, most routine drug tests can’t detect shrooms.

Your everyday office drug test will be a urine test. Most of the time you’ll have passed any traces of mushrooms within 24 hours. Still, some research suggests that small amounts are detectable even a week later. So, if keeping your job depends on a drug test, lay off the shrooms for at least a week beforehand.

Your body should metabolize magic mushrooms too fast for them to show up in a blood or saliva test unless you’re unfortunate enough to take it on the same day. Hair follicle tests are rare due to their cost, but they can detect shrooms for up to 90 days.

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Psychedelics are substances that can create hallucinogenic effects that result in a change in perception, cognitive function, and mood, generally referred to as tripping. Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has been studied in recent years to improve our understanding of the potential therapeutic benefits.

In Canada, there are currently 16 people—doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals—who were provided with an exemption to use psilocybin with their patients, focusing on end-of-life care. Several organizations across Canada, like TheraPsil in Victoria, BC, continue to advocate for its legal use. These organizations recommend psilocybin be used in conjunction with therapy due to the opening up it can facilitate. Therapy can also support integration of the experience into your life. In the cases where a mental health professional isn’t involved, it’s still important to prepare before tripping to get the most out of the psychedelic experience.

Why Prepare Before Tripping?

Tripping on psychedelics can result in significant changes to perception that can be overwhelming, especially to the first-time user. Some may have heard of others’ negative experiences with psychedelics and feel apprehensive. It’s normal to feel some nerves.

Others are looking for ways in which they can get the most out of the psychedelic experience. Preparation can help to both optimize the psychedelic experience and help to prevent a ‘bad trip.’

Do I Need to Prepare for a Microdose?

We always recommend preparing, especially for a first-time experience or when adjusting doses. While microdosing aims to take sub-perceptible amounts of a psychedelic substance, like psilocybin, and avoid tripping, that does not mean you won’t experience anything. Emotions still may come up that you’re unprepared for.

microdosing tabs on a person's finger with tweezers

It can also be challenging to determine the best dose for microdosing accurately. This can result in experiencing more psychoactive impact than you originally anticipated. If you’re new to microdosing, take the time to consider the best dose to start at and if you’re nervous, er on the side of caution and take slightly less the first time. You can always increase the dose slowly over several hours or several days. Note, if you’re increasing your dose the same day, ensure to wait at least 45 minutes to 1 hour before increasing. Also, take your first dose on a day with no other obligations.

How to Prepare for Tripping on Psychedelics

There are several things to consider before participating in a psychedelic experience to help you make the most of it.

Set and Setting

Consider Your Mindset

Mindset is a crucial aspect of tripping and can affect the psychedelic experience. It’s essential to take the time to prepare your mindset in a way that makes you feel calm and confident going into the experience. Yes, there still may be some nervousness due to not fully knowing what to expect, but understand that powerful emotions may arise, and the goal is to learn from these, not to become overwhelmed by them. If concerns about the experience continue to emerge, it may be helpful to talk to someone who has experience with psychedelics.

Remember that no matter what happens, the experience will end, so enjoy the ride.

During the day leading up to the experience, engage in activities that will help bring you calm and take the time to set your intentions for the experience.

Set Intentions

Take the time to consider your intentions and what you hope to gain from tripping. Doing so can help you go into the experience feeling prepared and help you to get the most benefit from the psychedelic experience.

A guy in a black hat writing intentions before tripping while sitting on a wall

Here are some questions to ask yourself that may help consider and set intentions for a psychedelic experience:

  • What are your preconceptions about tripping and psychedelic experiences?
  • What do you expect to occur during the trip?
  • What do you hope to learn? Experience? Understand? Resolve?
  • What are your goals? Do you have spiritual goals? Psychological goals? Social goals?

Consider Your Dose

After you’ve taken the time to determine your intentions, use this to consider the best dose for you. Your goals can help determine whether or not you want to take a full psychedelic dose or would prefer to microdose.

Ensure that you take time into account when determining your dose. Allow yourself enough time to prepare for the experience, 4 to 6 hours for the experience, and time for integration.

Set Your Setting Before Tripping

The setting in which you consume psychedelics is important in facilitating a positive experience when tripping. While the ideal environment can vary for different individuals, there are a few things to consider when picking the setting.

  1. It should be a familiar environment where you feel safe and comfortable.
  2. Have easy access to water for drinking and a bathroom.
  3. Have access to comfort items like blankets and pillows and a place where you can lay down.

It can also be helpful to consider the ambient sounds and other external stimuli. This could include choosing calm and soothing music; for many people, this is classical music or something else without lyrics and removing any potential interruptions.

Consider a Trip Sitter

Those engaging in a full psychedelic experience, particularly for the first time, may want to have a trip sitter. In some settings, this may be a trained psychedelic-assisted therapist or other trained professional. Otherwise, it can be a trusted friend who is sober and there to support you while you’re tripping. Ideally, they have experience with psychedelics, but that isn’t required.

Integration

After a psychedelic experience, it’s important to take the time to integrate the things you’ve experienced or learned into your life. Some people like to visit a regular mental health professional after to unpack the emotions that came up, while others engage in a journaling practice.

Final Thoughts

Remember that tripping is named as such because it is a journey: it may be weird, challenging, or overwhelming at times, but you’re along for the ride, so don’t fight the experience. Allow it to flow and know that no matter what happens, it will end.

Psychedelics can be healing and therapeutic. Taking the time to prepare before tripping can help you get the most from the psychedelic experience and decrease the likelihood of a negative outcome. Take the time to prepare your mindset and your setting, and don’t forget to allow time for integration.

To gain an understanding from first-hand users on their tripping experiences, see our 50 quotes on psychedelics.

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At the start of a new year, many people are thinking about New Year’s Resolutions, and even if you aren’t thinking about resolutions, it’s natural to be in the mindset of ‘new year, fresh start.’ But making changes in our lives, especially the big ones where we are attempting to create new habits, is very challenging, particularly in January. But microdosing can help.

January is a difficult time of the year. Not only is it dark, gray, and cold in many areas of the world, but the time following the holidays can be challenging for numerous other reasons. Have you been thinking about microdosing? Microdosing could help you keep your New Year’s resolutions or be a resolution in itself.

magic mushrooms being picked fresh in the woods

What is Microdosing?

A microdose is a small dose of a psychedelic substance, such as LSD or magic mushrooms. Microdosing is the process of regularly consuming a small quantity to experience the therapeutic benefits without the hallucinogenic experience.

Why Microdose?

As we mentioned, January is a difficult time of year; microdosing can help get your brain back on track and manage symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.

Psychedelics, Seasonal Affective Disorder and Winter Blues

Because of the numerous benefits associated with microdosing you may want to consider making microdosing your New Year’s resolution. It can help with your mental wellness, provide a boost in creativity, focus and so much more.

Learn more about why people microdose and the ways of consuming psilobyin to kick your year off right.

new year's resolutions on a piece of jotting paper

How Microdosing Can Help You Keep New Year’s Resolutions

First, what do we aim to do when we set New Year’s Resolutions?

Typically we are trying to make a change in our lives in some manner. Build new habits or develop new skills for example.

Doing so can be challenging, so we typically have to overcome some resistance and move past some discomfort when it comes to change.

How can microdosing help?

Psilocybin gives us a euphoric and energizing feeling which can help with motivation and optimism. It provides creative energy and opens our neural pathways to new experiences. Others also believe that it can help us to focus.

Additionally, a 2018 study found that a microdose of psilocybin has cognitive-enhancing properties particularly related to divergent thinking and creative problem solving.

These benefits can help us feel inspired, motivated, and focused on the task at hand while also creating an openness to building new habits. It can help you adapt, be more flexible and bring the new thing into your life with more ease.

What’s Next – How to Use Microdosing to Support New Habits

Use the first 30 minutes when the microdose hits to your benefit. This is when you feel the most enthusiastic and open, and neural networks are the most plastic.

Take your regular microdose and when it starts to take effect (approximately 30-45 minutes after consumption) do the new activity you are attempting to build into your life – like journaling, meditating, meal planning, etc.

Do the new activity every time you microdose for at least two weeks. See how it impacts your motivation and supports building the new activity into your routine.

Note, it’s likely that you are only microdosing 3-4 times a week, but if you are trying to build a daily habit, engage in the new activity on your non-microdosing days as well to strengthen the habit. But do take note of how microdosing days impact your practice.

What About Breaking Habits?

Sometimes New Year’s resolutions are focused on breaking habits rather than building them. Microdosing may be able to help with this too.

Preliminary studies suggest that microdosing psilocybin can help break habits associated with addictions, specifically tobacco and alcohol.

Researchers believe psilocybin doesn’t simply support addiction recovery due to a physiological deterrent. Dr. Johnson says, “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.”

The same motivation that helps us build new habits may also help us break old ones if we take the time microdosing to reflect.

How to Start Microdosing

Want to try microdosing this year but not sure where to start? There are a few things to consider when microdosing for the first time.

The first thing to consider is your starting dose. Typically, this dose is described as 1/10th of a dose, but if you’ve never consumed psychedelics, this itself isn’t likely helpful. The goal is to feel the therapeutic benefits without experiencing the hallucinogenic effects.

We recommend starting with a conservative dose and increasing slowly over several days or weeks. Note: on your first day, ensure you don’t have any responsibilities so you can monitor your experience.

It can be beneficial to keep a microdosing journal to track your doses and record your experience easier. We recommend starting by recording your goals and what you hope to get out of the experience so you can reflect on it after several weeks. Then record the date, time and size of your dose (those experienced with psychedelics recommend dosing every three days). After taking the dose, take a few moments at various points throughout the day to record how you’re feeling.

Learn more about microdosing and the different consumption methods for magic mushrooms.

Ready to get started? Check out our microdosing products. You can begin with predosed caps or buy ground mushrooms to measure the dose yourself.

While ground mushrooms have more flexibility in dose, it will be essential to have a scale to ensure you are taking an accurate and consistent amount. You can either put your dose into your capsules or be a bit more creative, such as blending it into a morning smoothie. 

Further Reading

Consider bringing psychedelics and mindfulness together this new year.

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When the weather starts to get dark and grey as the winter months approach, it’s easy for the lack of sunlight and colour to affect our mood. Many people feel lethargic, tired, hopeless and many display signs of depression. Psychedelic (magic mushrooms) therapy can help manage feelings of depression and improve those winter blues.

Psychedelics for Seasonal Depression

When we talk about the winter blues, what we are typically describing is seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder. However, when we refer to these symptoms as the winter blues, it takes away from the experience and discourages many people from taking tangible steps to treat them.

Seasonal depression is a type of depression related to the changing of the seasons. It typically begins in fall, leads into the winter months and then ends in the spring when the days get brighter and the weather warmer and clearer.

Symptoms typically include,

  • Feeling depressed often
  • Losing interest in activities you previously enjoyed
  • Low energy
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty

Typically, seasonal depression is treated with light therapy, lifestyle changes, medication (like SSRIs), or psychotherapy. However, many people are turning to psychedelic therapy for managing symptoms of depression, not just in the winter months but all year long.

woman suffering from seasonal depression

Magic Mushrooms and Depression

Many people are turning to magic mushrooms for treating depression. While the research supports psilocybin treatment for depression, it’s primarily focused on depression related to end-of-life care, as this is where the legal exemptions have been made. However, the research continues to expand and support the use of psilocybin therapy for managing symptoms of depression in the broader population.

We are beginning to see the most significant result in comparing psilocybin therapy to treatment with SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which are one of the most common treatments for depression.

Psilocybin vs SSRIs

A 2021 study comparing psilocybin to SSRIs, particularly escitalopram, found no significant difference between psilocybin and the SSRIs when compared on the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology–Self-Report (QIDS-sR), which means psilocybin was as effective as escitalopram in managing symptoms of depression during the study.

However, one of the researchers, Robin Carhart-Harris, notes that there were some significant differences within the 16 items in the QIDS-sR. These differences include:

  • 70% of the participants in the psilocybin group responded to treatment compared to 48% in the SSRI group.
  • The rate of remission was 57% in the psilocybin group compared to 28% in the SSRI group.
  • The psilocybin group showed larger reductions in suicidality and anhedonia (the lack of ability to feel pleasure).

Of course, because this is new research, more clinical data is necessary to understand the differences between psilocybin therapy and SSRI treatment fully.

Why is this significant?

While SSRIs can manage the symptoms of depression for many individuals, there are numerous downsides. Not only do SSRIs have many challenging side effects, but it often takes several tries to find an effective medication, and many people build up a tolerance over time.

The advantage of magic mushrooms over SSRIs is that side effects are minimal, and even though you can build up a tolerance, the effects last much longer, so it is reasonable to leave a significant amount of time between trips or take a month or more break between microdosing.

Psilocybin Therapy and Psychotherapy

It’s important to note that in the study, like most other trials involving psilocybin, participants received approximately 30-40 hours of psychotherapy. However, this does not mean that psychotherapy is necessary as part of psilocybin therapy. Still, some additional work is important ­– this is part of the integration process.

It’s interesting to note that one participant in this study who had been experiencing depression for decades noted, “People describe psychedelic therapy as 25 years of therapy in one afternoon. And it can absolutely feel like that, but it’s not a silver bullet—and it’s just an afternoon,” Schneider says. “The real magic in this is not in the dosing day; it’s in the work that you do afterward.” This quote reinforces the importance of integration.

Microdosing for Depression

For those who don’t want to experience a full psychedelic trip, microdosing can be an excellent solution for managing symptoms of depression.

A microdose is a small dose (often 100mg) of a psychedelic substance, like magic mushrooms, used for a therapeutic purpose without the hallucinogenic experience. Therefore, microdosing is the process of consuming this small dose at regular intervals – typically every three days.

Microdosing is just as effective as macrodosing for most people. It doesn’t disrupt your day because you don’t experience the hallucinogenic effects. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about having a bad trip.

Learn more about the difference between microdosing and macrodosing here and the different ways of consuming magic mushrooms.

Other Ways of Managing Seasonal Depression

While magic mushrooms, particularly microdosing, can effectively manage symptoms of depression, it’s even more beneficial when combined with other treatment methods and lifestyle changes. Here are five small things to consider when you begin experiencing the winter blues.

man using mushrooms and exercise to get through depression
  1. Regular routine. Maintain a normal and structured routine that helps you schedule important healthy activities like exercise and taking your microdose at the same time. This also should include maintaining a regular sleep schedule, which may mean rising earlier to catch more of the daylight in the winter months.
  2. Absorb the light. If possible, expose yourself to natural light shortly after getting out of bed – yes, even if it is cloudy. Natural light helps to signal the start of the day and has many other nurturing benefits. Consider getting out in nature if you can.
  3. Consider Vitamin D. Vitamin D is likely something you’re lacking in the winter months; consider adding vitamin D to your morning routine.
  4. Consider light therapy. A UV Seasonal Affective Disorder lamp mimics sunlight and can help you get all those things you’re missing from the sunlight. Sit in front of it for 20-30 minutes after you’ve taken your microdose to help bring positive energy to your day.
  5. Remember, this will end. Seasonal depression happens every year for many people, so even though it’s challenging, you know it will end.

Consider taking your microdose of mushrooms in the morning alongside your vitamin D and other supplements to combat seasonal depression. Then sit in front of your SAD lamp or get outside for a nice walk before starting your day. A routine like this will go a long way in giving you energy and lifting your mood during the cold, dark winter months.

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Why do people microdose mushrooms and LSD? Microdosing is the practice of consuming low doses of psychedelics to experience the therapeutic effects without the hallucinogenic experience. Where consuming a macrodose used to be seen as recreational and carry a stigma attached to it, microdosing mushrooms has become popular among a wide variety of individuals. Even leaders of major companies have spoken about the benefits of microdosing and a number of people in Silicon Valley have turned to microdosing as a means to boost their career.

What is a Microdose?

A microdose is a small dose of a psychedelic substance. Microdosing is the process of regularly consuming a small quantity to experience the therapeutic benefits without the hallucinogenic experience. Here we are explicitly discussing psilocybin, which is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. However, microdosing can also include other substances, such as LSD and even THC.

How Big is a Microdose?

A microdose is approximately 1/10th of a macrodose. A macrodose is one large enough for the consumer to experience the hallucinogenic impacts and changes in perception.

A macrodose is typically between 2 to 4 grams of dried mushrooms. One may assume this means a microdose is 0.2 – 0.4 grams (or 200 – 400 mg), but that isn’t necessarily the case. Microdosing products, like predosed capsules, often are measuring the dose of psilocybin, not dried mushrooms. As a result, a microdose may be less than this for some people.

For many people, 100 mg is a good starting place when it comes to microdosing psilocybin. It’s always recommended to start with a smaller dose and increase slowly to determine each person’s best dose. 

 

Magic mushrooms growing in beautiful pink undergrowth

Microdosing Mushrooms 

Microdosing has been shown to provide people with both short-term and long-term benefits, such as increased creativity, focus, energy, openness and connection.

Many people appear to microdose for one of two reasons;

  1. Increase the frequency and intensity of desirable feelings such as euphoria, creativity, focus and empathy.
  2. Decrease the frequency of undesired experiences, typically associated with mental health, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD and OCD.

Microdose vs Macrodose

With a microdose, the user doesn’t experience the hallucinogenic effects associated with psychedelics. This could be desirable for several reasons.

Some reasons people prefer to microdose

  1. Those who have not used psychedelics previously may be nervous or unsure about the hallucinogenic experience since it can change a person’s perception of reality and even lead to ego dissolution. Ego dissolution, or ‘ego death,’ is the experience of complete loss of self-identity. While this can be a valuable experience, it can also be overwhelming.
  2. A psychedelic experience takes several hours. Depending on the dose, it can take an hour or more for the experience to set in, a few hours to peak, and then several more hours to come down. Therefore, when consuming a macrodose of psychedelics, it’s recommended to set aside an entire day for the experience.
  3. Microdosing can easily become part of a person’s regular health routine. Once a person has determined the best dose for themselves, they can easily follow a regular microdosing schedule, such as every three days.
  4. You can microdose before work. Many people use microdosing for focus and creativity to improve performance at work. It doesn’t tend to cause a problem because the dose is so low. That being said, ensure you know your workplace policies. Also, determine the best microdose for you prior to consuming before work (i.e. your first dose should always be on a day with no other obligations or important presentations).

Macrodosing – Reasons People Macrodose

Even though a macrodose of psychedelics is often referred to as a recreational dose, recreation is not the only purpose for consuming this dose. The use of the word recreational assumes that the sole purpose is for fun. While euphoria, creativity, and an enjoyable social experience can be the primary purpose of a psychedelic experience, it’s not the only purpose.

Most people use a macrodose of psychedelics for healing and therapeutic purposes, such as managing symptoms of depression and anxiety, treatment of addictions, end-of-life care, traumatic brain injury, PTSD and more.

At the end of 2020, some doctors and mental health professionals got permission from Health Canada to provide psilocybin treatment for end of life care. Momentum continues to build toward the use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes such as treatment-resistant depression. 

Many professionals recommend consuming a macrodose in a therapeutic setting. This is because of the importance of intention setting and integration of the psychedelic experience.  

Setting intentions ensures a person takes the time to think about what they want to get out of the experience and helps to guide their focus for the experience. Integration focuses on effectively managing the feelings that come up during the experience. Integration helps the person to make meaning of the experience and provides support on how to incorporate the learning opportunities into their life in a meaningful way. Integration is often done through therapy but can also include a journaling practice. Overall, preparation is crucial when macrodosing.

Some choose to use microdosing as an introduction to the psychedelic experience and may choose to try a macrodose after gaining some more knowledge about psychedelics. Microdosing first and then building up to a macrodose can help a person familiarize themselves with the experience and gain insight into their goals and intentions. 

Final Thoughts

Whether or not you start a new microdosing routine or try a macrodose for the first time, please use responsibly. Take the time to determine the best dose for you by starting small and on a day with no other obligations, prepare the environment ahead of time, and never use alone.

Looking to begin microdosing but don’t know how to start? Gummies can be a simple way of consuming shrooms without measuring doses yourself. If you decide microdosing is for you, many have had success with the James Fadiman schedule. Worried about how to consume mushrooms? Here are 4 ways of consuming magic mushrooms (both for macro and microdosing).

Learn More About Magic Mushrooms

We’ve also written pieces on the effects of magic mushrooms and the history of microdosing magic mushrooms.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Consider speaking to your doctor or mental health professional before choosing to consume any new product for medical purposes. If you’re reading this for information on microdosing and depression, read more on psychedelics and the winter blues.

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