When you hear about magic mushrooms, you’re probably thinking about tie-dye shirts and psychedelic rock music. However, magic mushrooms (also known as psilocybin) are on the fast track towards treating mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety.
Microdosing is the act of taking tiny amounts of psychedelic drugs to achieve a boost of mental and physical energy. In this post, you will learn all about microdosing and whether it’s an effective treatment for anxiety.
What Are Magic Mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms are a group of wild fungi that contain psilocybin, a psychoactive compound with hallucinogenic properties. Psilocybin is one of the most popular psychedelic drugs in circulation.
In the United States, magic mushrooms are a Schedule 1 narcotic. Schedule 1 drugs have the highest possibility of abuse and misuse. Other Schedule 1 drugs include LSD, ecstasy, marijuana, and heroin.
Magic mushrooms have been in our society for centuries, but controlled studies of the psilocybin only started by Dr. Albert Hoffman in 1958.
People typically dry them out and eat them or blend them into smoothies. In some places, wild psilocybin mushrooms are eaten fresh from the ground.
What Do Magic Mushrooms Feel Like?
Since magic mushrooms are hallucinogenic, they may cause you to feel, hear, and see things that aren’t present in reality. Some people may experience more intense side effects than others. Your environment can significantly shape the results of psilocybin.
Magic mushrooms commonly go hand-in-hand with self-discovery and spiritual journeys. Some people claim that natural psychedelics, like magic mushrooms, allow you to see the world from a superior perspective.
However, most people take magic mushrooms to feel a sense of euphoria, connect with their friends, or warp their sense of time.
All these effects mentioned above are when taking a full dose of psilocybin, but what about a microdose?
A microdose is usually one-tenth of a full dose. It rarely produces any hallucinations. The claim is that small amounts of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD or psilocybin, can stimulate the brain without overwhelming side effects. Therefore, taking psychedelics before work can — surprisingly — become a reasonable thing to do.
People who microdose claim it gives them a boost of energy, confidence, and creativity. While these claims seem wild, they aren’t entirely unbelievable as psychedelics in full doses do bring similar effects.
Tim Ferris, author of “The 4 Hour Work Week”, states that almost all high-level executives he’s met in Silicon Valley have experimented with microdosing psychedelics.
Prior to the War On Drugs in 1971, researchers were studying the potential neurological benefits of LSD and psilocybin, but they had to scrap their research due to daunting legalities. With that in mind, many doctors and scientists are optimistic about the benefits of microdosing, even if they aren’t completely open about their claims.
Psilocybin and Anxiety
If there was a substance that could erase years of depression and anxiety without the draining side effects of prescription drugs, would you do it? This is the golden question for the millions of Americans who suffer from anxiety every year.
Feelings of doubt, worthlessness, and fear can be torturing and prevent you from living the happy lifestyle you deserve. So, it’s no surprise that people who suffer from anxiety are looking for a long-term solution. But are magic mushrooms the answer?
Various creative professionals around the country are experimenting with microdosing magic mushrooms. They claim that they feel more comfortable in their skin, confident about their ideas, and optimistic about the future. The best part? No adverse side effects or comedown.
Psilocybin is no way a magic cure for decades of anxiety. It does, however, lessen the devastating symptoms and make living with the condition more tolerable.
Not Everyone Is On Board
While the tight microdosing community members are standing firm with their beliefs, numerous researchers are skeptical about the benefits of magic mushrooms. The theory is that you can’t feel the same therapeutic effects from a microdose as if you’re taking a full dose. It would be like taking one-tenth of a Tylenol for a headache.
Researchers from the Heffter Research Institute state the people who claim to feel therapeutic benefits from microdosing psilocybin are merely feeling a placebo effect. They hear from a friend or scroll through Reddit, seeing posts about how magic mushrooms make you more creative and optimistic; they also feel the same from a tiny dosage.
Doctors also state that patients often abuse their prescription medication, and that’s why they feel adverse side effects. For example, too much Xanax (a common prescription drug for anxiety) can make you feel disoriented, similar to being drunk.
But even with all the flak, more psychiatrists are considering psychedelics like psilocybin as safe and effective for battling depression and anxiety. It’s likely the big pharmaceutical companies feel a potential threat from psychedelics, that’s why they are labeling them as ineffective.
Are There Any Risks?
Like any form of medication, there are potential risks involved with microdosing magic mushrooms. For starters, psilocybin is illegal in the United States, so being caught can get you into legal trouble.
In terms of health risks, psilocybin is surprisingly safe. Life-threatening symptoms are incredibly rare and only happen if you consume a large amount. Some potential adverse side effects of magic mushrooms include:
- Reduced motor skills
- Muscular weakness
The likelihood of physically being in danger from magic mushrooms is extremely low, especially when microdosing. With that in mind, you must be aware of the dosage you’re consuming if you decide to try psilocybin.
So, where does all of this leave us? Are psilocybin mushrooms a viable treatment for anxiety? Well, before declaring mushrooms a definite cure, we need increased evidence from additional scientific research. However, as the trend becomes more popular across the country, research is promising.
Whether or not people are feeling a placebo effect or not remains a mystery. It’s still interesting to see so many people claim that microdosing gives them a brain boost and helps them cope with their anxiety.