Studies show the number of people using psychedelics increases over the summer months. Additionally, people are more likely to try psychedelics for the first time during the summertime. This is likely a result of summer activities where psychedelic use is common, such as festivals and outdoor concerts. Further, psychedelics, like magic mushrooms, also pair well with outdoor activities and can help folks connect with nature.

Thinking about trying psychedelics for the first time this summer? Let’s talk about the safe use of magic mushrooms.

Using Psychedelics Safely

First, know that magic mushrooms are considered relatively safe. While you can have a negative experience, there is very little risk of overdose. However, you can do a few things to stay safe and make the most of your psychedelic experience.

Determine the best dose for you

You can use a dosage calculator to figure out a good starting point. For beginners, we recommend starting with a low dose. You can increase the dose slightly after an hour if you’re feeling good.

Use psychedelics this summer in a safe and comfortable environment

Take the time to think about your environment and whether or not you will feel comfortable and safe. If you’re planning to use in a large social environment, such as a festival, ensure you have an isolated space you can escape to if you need it. You may also want to consider exploring magic mushrooms for the first time before the event in a more relaxed environment, like at home.

Take the time to think about who you are with and your level of comfort and trust with them. Also consider other parties’ experience with psychedelics and whether or not someone you know will be sober in case of an emergency.

Consider a trip sitter

A trip sitter can be a trusted friend who is sober and there to support you while tripping this summer. They will make sure you stay safe. It should ideally be someone with experience in psychedelics, but that isn’t required. They can make sure you drink some water, bring you your comfort items, or help you get back to your safe space if needed.

Cultivate a positive mindset

Set intentions and use them to create a pleasant mindset to set yourself up for a positive experience. Some nervousness is normal, but you should feel optimistic about the experience overall and that it will enhance your life somehow.

Other things to consider

Don’t consume other substances while tripping, including alcohol.

Mushrooms can cause temporary increases in heart rate and blood pressure, making them potentially unsuitable for those with cardiovascular conditions.

Learn more about how to prepare for a psychedelic trip.

What If I Have a Bad Experience?

Psychedelics can bring up thoughts and feelings you may feel unprepared to deal with. Know this is normal and that you will get through it. If you can, allow yourself to give in to the journey and remember that no matter what happens, it will end. Learn more about how long mushrooms last. Also, remember that there is little risk of overdose.

Setting intentions can help create positive energy around your experience and provide you with a goal or mantra to return to if you begin feeling uneasy.

Setting Intentions

Setting trip intentions is when you state what you intend to accomplish through your actions; in this case, the psychedelic experience. It’s a commitment to what you want from the journey or what you want it to be about. These intentions can be used to guide you on your trip.

This doesn’t mean every time you try magic mushrooms you need to be doing deep work on yourself. If you’re planning to use mushrooms at a festival, your intention could be as simple as allowing yourself to let go of stress and enjoy the experience.

Learn more about setting intentions.

Additionally, being prepared to manage potential anxiety or negative feelings can help you get through those potentially rocky moments during your trip.

Managing Negative Feelings During a Trip

Negative feelings can sway how your trip goes, but if you have skills to manage these they can help you to return to a good place.

There are numerous ways of managing anxiety or negative feelings during a psychedelic trip so take the time to consider what might work best for you.

  1. Remember that having a good or bad experience is not like a light switch. It’s not pass/fail. If you start to feel a bit off, you can always shift the experience in a happier direction.
  2. Have comfort items on hand. For many people, these are sensory items that make them feel good, like a soft blanket, pillows, stuffed animals, etc.
  3. Change your environment. Negative feelings may be triggered by something in your environment. Changing location can remove those potential triggers and give your brain space to reset, refocus, and find calm.
  4. Turn on soothing music you’re familiar with. Music can distract our brains and trigger positive emotions. Don’t listen to music that reminds you of specific bad experiences.
  5. Talk to someone you trust.

Final Thoughts

Stay safe this festival season and use responsibly. If you’re feeling nervous, consider microdosing the first time. Learn more about microdosing.

Ready to try psychedelics for your first summer trip? Learn about the different consumption methods, then check out our online dispensary

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Studies have demonstrated the neuroprotective properties of cannabis can help with traumatic brain injury by reducing secondary damage after the initial trauma, which has contributed to the interest in exploring alternative treatments like psychedelics for traumatic brain injuries.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. In Canada, 2% of the population lives with a traumatic brain injury. There are 18,000 hospitalizations each year, and traumatic brain injury typically occurs in 500 out of every 100,000 individuals annually. That is approximately 165,000 people in Canada impacted by traumatic brain injury every day. This equals 452 people every day, or one person every 3 minutes.

Here we will look at psychedelics for traumatic brain injuries, mainly where the research is headed and its promise for treatment.

Description of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a disruption in the brain’s normal function caused by trauma to the head. This trauma can be experienced in numerous ways, typically described as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head.

Children and older adults are at higher risk of experiencing a traumatic brain injury than an average adult—other than adults engaged in contact sports.

Is a concussion a traumatic brain injury?

The term traumatic brain injury sounds scary, and it can be. A concussion is considered a type of traumatic brain injury. Even though concussions are often seen as mild brain injuries (because they are generally not life threatening) the impacts can still be severe. This is important because concussions are common in many contact sports.

Signs of a concussion can be subtle (hard to identify) and may not show up immediately following injury.

The symptoms of a concussion can last for days, weeks, or sometimes even longer. Common symptoms include headache, memory loss (amnesia), and confusion. Amnesia usually involves forgetting the event that caused the concussion.

Physical signs and symptomsOther signs and symptomsSymptoms that may occur days after injury
Headache
Ringing in the ears
Nausea
Vomiting
Fatigue or drowsiness
Blurry vision
Confusion or feeling in a fog
Amnesia surrounding the event
Dizziness
Concentration and memory complaints
Irritability and other personality changes
Sensitivity to light and noise
Sleep disturbances
Psychological adjustment problems and depression
Disorders of taste and smell

Related: Cannabis for Heacaches and Migraines

Treatment for Concussions

It’s essential to speak to a doctor if you think you’ve experienced a traumatic brain injury. Treatment focuses on physical and mental rest. Doctors recommend engaging in relative rest: reducing activities that require mental exertion but not eliminating all activities.

It’s vital to slowly add mental and physical activities back into your life and pay attention to how they impact symptoms. Resuming rigorous physical activity after a traumatic brain injury increases the risk of another brain injury. So, increase activity slowly and listen to your doctor.

Related: Mindfulness and Psychedelics

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head. It can include behavioural problems, mood problems, and issues with cognition. While it can only be diagnosed in an autopsy, a 2017 study showed that 99 percent of former NFL players and 91 percent of college football players studied had CTE.

Some professional athletes experience significant adverse impacts of traumatic brain injury, including depression and suicide ideation. As a result of these symptoms, many athletes have turned to alternative treatment methods, such as psychedelics.

Psychedelics for Traumatic Brain Injury

Several athletes have already turned to psychedelics to manage symptoms related to traumatic brain injury. The research is also underway.

A 2019 review stresses the importance of research into the use of psychedelics, such as psilocybin, for disorders related to consciousness based on previous preliminary studies. A 2021 review looked at historical data about psychedelics’ safety and potential therapeutic uses to outline the areas of interest for traumatic brain injury.

Neuroinflammation

Neuroinflammation specifically refers to inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. Ongoing neuroinflammation can increase damage to the brain.

The 5-HT2A receptor, the one psychedelics like magic mushrooms act on, is well known to have the potential to regulate inflammation in the brain.

Neurogenesis

Neurogenesis is the growth and repair of brain cells which is essential for healing from a traumatic brain injury.

Psilocybin has been shown to support neurogenesis in the hippocampus, which plays a vital role in learning, memory, and mood. Scientists believe the damage to the hippocampus may account for some of the long-term emotional and cognitive problems experienced by those who have experienced a brain injury.

Neurogenesis in the hippocampus also supports recovery from PTSD.

Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and adapt through growth and reorganization. After a traumatic brain injury, the reorganization of neural connections is an integral part of recovery, specifically relearning information and reforming memories.

Studies show that psychedelics promote neural plasticity, speeding up relearning in patients with traumatic brain injury. 

Psychedelics for PTSD and Depression

It’s common for those who have experienced a traumatic brain injury to develop PTSD or depression.

Approximately 25% of people who experience a traumatic brain injury develop symptoms of major depressive disorder.

Psychedelics can also support the treatment of PTSD and depression, which, in turn, can support the overall recovery for those with a TBI.

Learn more about using psychedelics for PTSD and Depression.

Final Thoughts on Psychedelics for Traumatic Brain Injury

Psychedelics are being used by many athletes to manage the long-term impacts of traumatic brain injury. Research is underway to develop a deeper understanding of how psychedelics help heal the brain.

Preliminary evidence suggests that psychedelics could help restore some of the damage and improve psychological symptoms associated with injury. However, it’s important to note that this research is still pre-clinical, but more people are investing in it.

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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.

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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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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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With more and more people opening their minds to mushrooms’ healing and therapeutic properties, there is more interest in various ways of taking them. There are, of course, many ways that you can choose to indulge in mushrooms, but a popular method is making mushroom tea. It’s nearly as simple as it sounds, but for those of you wondering how to make mushroom tea, we’ve got the whole process below.

Magic Mushroom Tea Recipe

What you’ll need:

  • Scale
  • Kettle
  • Ingredient bowl
  • Coffee grinder (or anything that will allow you to chop up the mushrooms finely)
  • Strainer or coffee filter
  • Your favourite mug

Ingredients:

  • Your preferred dose of mushrooms (ground mushrooms can help here)
  • At least 2 cups of hot water, more if you’d like
  • Tea (optional)
  • Honey (optional)
  • Chopped, raw ginger (optional)

Steps:

  1. Weigh your dose. Be very careful with this step, especially if you’re a first-time magic mushroom tea maker. You’ll want to take the same dose you usually do, or perhaps a few grams less, as the tea allows the mushrooms to be absorbed faster.
  2. Grind up your shrooms. You can do this using a coffee grinder (make sure the coffee is all cleaned out!), a mortar and pestle, or you can chop them by hand but remember, they have to be very fine.
  3. Chop up your ginger and add it to your mushroom powder. Ginger is optional but is very helpful with calming the stomach and covering the taste of the mushrooms in the tea.
  4. Bring your water to a boil. Once it has boiled, allow the water to sit for about 20 seconds.
  5. Add half of the water to the mushroom and ginger mix in a cup or container. If you’re adding a teabag, you can do so here. Allow to steep for about 10 minutes.
  6. Strain the tea into a mug.
  7. Bring the second half of your water to a boil, and once again, let rest for about 20 seconds once it has boiled.
  8. Pour the water over the mushrooms, ginger and teabag mixture allowing it to steep for another 10 minutes.
  9. Strain the tea into the same mug as the first batch.
  10. Add honey to taste if desired.
  11. Throw away the remaining mushrooms.
  12. Enjoy!

And that’s how to make mushroom tea! You can use it as a method to microdose or macrodose. Once you’ve made it a few times, you may want to make some adjustments to the ingredients and process. If you find that double steeping the mushrooms doesn’t work for you, steeping them only once is absolutely an option. You can also play with additives and other flavour options you can add to your mushroom tea. Green tea, chamomile, or lemon tea are all popular flavours that compliment the earthy taste of mushrooms. Magic mushroom tea can make your trip come on faster, as the mushrooms are finely ground, and it can also lessen the time of your trip. If you experience nausea when taking mushrooms, learning how to make mushroom tea is an excellent alternative as the tea and ginger combination can lessen feelings of nausea. For many, the ritual of making the mushroom tea is the perfect lead-in to the trip itself. Drying your shrooms into tea is also a good way to make them last longer.

If you’re looking for more in-depth explanation about the effects of shrooms click here.

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The earliest evidence of shroom usage has been traced back to aboriginal tribes from North Africa around 9000 BC, and nearly 11,000 years later, human beings are still fascinated by the use and effects of shrooms. People often write shrooms off as a 60s drug that brings out the “crazy,” making you act unbalanced and erratic. But, in reality, the effects of shrooms are proving very beneficial for almost anyone who takes them. However, as shrooms are not legalized, there is a lot of confusion and questions about the effects of shrooms for those looking to indulge.

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I recently read about Canadian biomed firm Numinus Wellness conducting legal extractions of psilocybe mushrooms [i.e. “cubensis”], an exciting project if you consider the current “microdosing” trend associated with hallucinogens like the workhorse psilocybin cubensis, commonly known as “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms.” (more…)

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