Many years ago I was chatting with a lady about picking edible mushrooms in the forest where we lived. We got onto the subject of psilocybin (magic mushrooms). She said she had been ingesting psilocybin every day for the past year.
I was quite shocked as I know how strong mushrooms can be and she seemed quite conservative having a normal job with a husband and three kids. But she said she dried them, powdered them up and put a very small amount in a cup of tea each morning. She said it helped her with her anxiety.
Around the same time I met a friend at a festival who was nibbling on a dried mushroom — Amanita muscaria which I knew as the poisonous Fly Agaric. He said it’s not poisonous if prepared properly. To him it was very relaxing to take it in very small amounts. It was a surprise to me because at the time I thought A. muscaria should never to be ingested in any amount.
These are examples of microdosing and it’s not just a trendy fad.
The Third Wave website states microdosing as: “the act of integrating sub-perceptual doses of psychedelics into your weekly routine for higher levels of creativity, more energy, increased focus, and improved relational skills”. Sub-perceptual means the effects are subtle, but can have a noticeable influence on your wellbeing.
Psychedelics such as LSD, mushrooms or DMT have come a long way since the days of experimenting psychonauts taking them solely to get off their pickle.
Until recently the benefits of psychedelics were little reported in the mainstream media. But these days it’s not uncommon to read about such benefits in relation to microdosing. As after all various cultures have been microdosing entheogens and plant medicines for thousands of years.
Typically people integrate microdosing into their weekly routine and some, like my aforementioned friends, do so to treat anxiety.
Importantly for many, microdosing leads to sensory enhancement and spiritual fulfilment. In fact the primary purpose for some is to ‘explore the edges’ as it were.
I have never set up a microdosing program for myself. I feel at least for now I have experienced enough entheogens to get a good understanding of their effects on my body and mind. They have changed my life no doubt. Mostly for me it’s been about creativity, inspiration and altered states of consciousness rather than reducing anxiety.
So how does microdosing work?
We can get rid of negative or undesirable habitual behaviours or enhance positive behaviours by rewiring our brains. The theory is that microdosing does just that — it changes our neural circuitry. This is backed up by evidence (anecdotal and scientific) where the behavioural changes that occur continue long after the microdosing is discontinued — suggesting a more permanent change.
There seems to be a lot more research going on in this area, which is a good thing indeed. Note that I am not advocating that you go out and take psychedelics — many of them are illegal across the world. But if you do decide to take up microdosing then make sure you do your research. A good start is The Third Wave.
If you want to learn about the fascinating history of microdosing then have a look here.