Instead of fleeing reality, new psychedelic research is helping people cope with it.
Evidence suggests psychedelic compounds like Psilocybin found in “magic” mushrooms could be a promising tool for treating mental health disorders.
A psychiatrist at New York University revealed that a single dose of Psilocybin alleviated distress in 80 percent of trial subjects.
These investigations prove it’s time to drop the stigma and rethink our views on Psychedelics.
New Strategies for Treating Psychiatric Disorders
Psychiatric issues are typically treated with medication and therapy. Unfortunately, prescription medications have common side effects. As a result, Psychiatric patients often have long spells without taking their pills.
Between 2015 and 2018, 13.2 percent of adults in the United States aged 18 and up said they had taken antidepressant medication in the previous 30 days.
While medications can help relieve symptoms in some cases, like depressive episodes or anxiety attacks, they don’t cure the condition itself.
The hope is that new studies on Microdosing can develop more effective treatments and help patients stay with their plan. Researchers are looking at how alternative substances might alleviate treatment-resistant depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
What is Microdosing?
A “microdose” is defined as consuming between 0.1 and 10mg of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline, DMT, ayahuasca, ibogaine, MDMA, ketamine, or any combination thereof. The dose can vary depending on how much you want to take, your tolerance level, and what kind of experience you’re looking for.
The origin of microdosing is attributed to Dr. James Fadiman and his book Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide. He used the term to describe a small amount that produces an effect similar to larger doses without causing anxiety or panic attacks. If someone takes 5-10 times more than this, then their body will adapt to this higher dosage over time.
The effects of a low dose regimen can occur within minutes after consumption and last anywhere from hours to days. Some people report feeling these improved mood changes in weeks, while others feel them immediately upon first use.
Can Microdosing Help Depression?
Microdosing is a recent trend in alternative medicine that hasn’t been properly explored or accepted by mainstream medicine.
From a global online survey of 1,102 people microdosing, fifty percent had quit taking antidepressants, and 40 percent had stopped taking prescribed psychiatric medication.
Non-clinical microdosing surveys show that mood improves. The small doses intend to minimize any side effects or consequences that come with the drugs.
After four weeks of tracking a community of people, microdosing produced significant increases in mental well-being and decreased despair and anxiety.
Six weeks of microdosing reduced depression and stress symptoms significantly.
This treatment is experimental, and its results are criticized as they are mainly anecdotal.
More research is needed to understand the physiological effects of microdosing because there is still so much unknown about how psychedelics affect the brain that it’s difficult to draw a definitive conclusion on how much it helps mental health disorders, such as PTSD.
How Does PTSD Effect Sufferers?
Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs when a person is exposed to a highly traumatic event and suffers from intense fear or anxiety. The symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, avoidance behaviors, irritability, anger outbursts, and sleep problems. An estimated 70% of people will experience some form of trauma at least once during their lifetime. Approximately 7% develop full-blown PTSD.
Research has shown that psychedelics can help alleviate symptoms of PTSD by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain, which helps relieve anxiety.
Serotonin levels increase when an individual has a positive experience and decrease when an individual has a negative experience. Lack of serotonin can cause depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders, leading to other severe medical conditions.
Psilocybin Mushrooms Increases Serotonin Levels
The brain contains receptors called serotonin 2A receptors, or 5HT2ARs. These receptors play a role in regulating our emotions and behavior. They’re located throughout the body but concentrated in areas like the amygdala, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, thalamus, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, spinal cord, and pineal gland. When we take psychedelics, they bind to these receptors and stimulate them.
Serotonin is one of our body’s primary neurotransmitters and is responsible for our moods, behaviors, appetite & more. It’s linked to creativity, memory, and motivation.
Psilocybin triggers a sense of euphoria through hallucinogenic effects. It achieves this by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.
So What Are Psilocybin Mushroom Spores?
Psilocybin mushrooms are psychoactive fungi with powerful hallucinogenic effects.
The word ‘spore’ comes from the Greek word Spora, which means seed.
Psilocybin mushroom spores are one of the components of psilocybin mushrooms. These tiny particles can grow into large enough amounts of psilocybin mushrooms if they land on a suitable substrate like the moist ground or wood chips which release nutrients for growth.
An essential step in the cultivation of fungi is the collection of spores. Spores are what make mushrooms fruiting bodies. Spore collection is carried out using a spore swab, a specialized piece of equipment designed for this purpose.
The spore print is a natural phenomenon found on the surface of mushrooms. It’s a miniature “map” of the mycelium and can help identify purposes.
Sterility is vital in all aspects of Psilocybe Cubensis mushroom growing; bacteria or mold can keep them from growing altogether and result in contaminated mushrooms.
What are Psilocybin Mushroom Syringes?
Psilocybin mushroom spore syringes are a tool for growing mushrooms, typically Psilocybe Cubensis.
A syringe transfers the spores into a growing environment, or “chamber.”
A spore syringe is filled with psilocybin magic mushroom spores and distilled water. Then, the syringe is inserted into the culture substrate using a sterilized needle.
As trials are ongoing and there is no official medical use, growing mushrooms is against the law. Except for Florida, possession of Psilocybin mushroom fruiting bodies is unlawful in every state in the United States.
Why are Spore Syringes Legal?
Psilocybin and Psilocin are both illegal drugs.
In most cases, possessing psilocybin dried mushroom is considered an offense under federal law.
Mushroom spores are non-toxic and not considered dangerous. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find Mushroom Spore Syringes for sale on the internet.
Psilocybin Mushroom spores are entirely legal in all states except California, Idaho, and Georgia.
To learn more about why mushroom spores are legal read our post on it here.
Why are magic mushroom spores legal?
The Benefits of Microdosing Psilocybin Mushroom
Reported Microdosing benefits from studied candidates include:
- enhancing mood
- alleviating depression and anxiety
- reducing mania
- relapse prevention
Microdosing helps users avoid some of the adverse side effects found in larger doses, such as psychosis or anxiety disorders.
People are using Psilocybin microdosing as an alternative to prescription medicines like opioids and benzodiazepines. These prescription drugs are highly addictive and cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Psilocybin, on the other hand, has a low addiction risk and no withdrawal symptoms.
What We Know About Using Psilocybin for Depression
A 2016 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that a single dose of Psilocybin can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety among patients suffering from a treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD).
MDD affects approximately 16 million Americans each year, making it one of the most common psychiatric illnesses. Some experts consider it an “enduring illness” because symptoms tend to persist even after treatment.
MDD is identified by persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness along with other mood disturbances like irritability, fatigue, insomnia, poor concentration, loss of appetite, and suicidal thoughts.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, two doses of Psilocybin, along with supportive psychotherapy, significantly reduced depressive symptoms in people with significant depression, with most subjects showing improvement after four weeks.
PTSD in the Military
500,000 US servicemen have been diagnosed with PTSD over the last 13 years while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The symptoms include flashbacks and nightmares, intrusive thoughts, hypervigilance or avoidance behavior, and emotional numbing. It’s estimated that 17% of people who have seen active military service experience some of these symptoms.
With such high prevalence rates among military personnel, we must take steps to prevent the further deterioration of veterans’ mental health and ensure they receive appropriate care from trained professionals.
Activist groups like MAPS and Heffter Research Institute are also pushing forward research into the therapeutic potential of microdosing.
Changing Attitudes Towards Microdosing Psilocybin
Research investigating psychedelic chemicals and their beneficial effect over prescription medicines could lead to new treatments for depression.
For example, a group at the Medical University of South Carolina has shown that utilizing psychedelic microdosing as part of therapy can enhance patients’ mental health more than those who didn’t use medication.
More people are turning to “magic mushrooms” to treat their health. However, drug laws make it almost impossible to establish whether trials work. Medical Psychedelics Working Group is pressing for a change in the law so that scientists can conduct clinical tests.
One major study found that most people surveyed during trials (72%) supported further research, with 59% supporting Psilocybin as a medical treatment.
The people surveyed said they felt comfortable sharing information about their experiences with others, but many also expressed concerns over what would happen when they stopped microdosing. For example, some worried that stopping might cause withdrawal effects, while others feared being judged by friends and family members.
A few users even admitted to feeling anxious before starting microdoses because they didn’t know how they’d react.
The Case Against Psychedelics
Opponents of making psychedelics legally available argue there isn’t enough evidence to show these drugs work on people with mental illnesses. Moreover, if these drugs were proven to be helpful, society would already know about them.
The opponents point out that many other medications already treat depression and anxiety disorders. Opponents also worry that legalizing these substances may increase use by teenagers and young adults.
The Risks of Microdosing Psilocybin Mushroom
The future of microdosing is bright. The science behind it is encouraging, and the benefits are real. But what about the risks such as hallucinations, sleep deprivation, reduced concentration? For these reasons, Microdosing is not suitable for everyone, and users should consult medical professionals.
Microdosing could improve your health and well-being, but people shouldn’t take it lightly. It’s possible to experience adverse effects, including:
- severe nausea
- panic attacks
- difficulty sleeping
- high blood pressure
Psilocybin can also cause heart problems if taken too quickly or in large amounts.
People with anxiety disorders may feel the practice induces stress and might be better off avoiding microdosing altogether.
The Future of Microdosing
The FDA’s decision to approve Psilocybin as a ‘Breakthrough Therapy’ treatment for major depressive disorder is crucial for developing new therapies that can help this debilitating condition.
While the exact influence of psychedelic experience on mental health is unknown, there is strong evidence they may help alleviate mental health concerns. Now, more than ever, our society can benefit from further experimentation with psychedelics to help heal a myriad of mental health issues.
The number of people seeing a positive effect from microdosing has increased dramatically over the past few decades. And while many people associate psychedelic drugs with LSD or magic mushrooms, many people are turning to psychedelics to help with their mental health.
While not considered mainstream, Psychedelics are no longer taboo. There’s increasing evidence suggesting Microdosing psilocybin is beneficial to mental health.