Microdosing Magic Mushrooms: The Next Mental Health Breakthrough
The topic of mental health has been on the forefront in recent years. The recent pandemic has brought even more attention to it. Faltering mental health is a worldwide problem and microdosing magic mushrooms may just be the answer.
Magic mushrooms are composed of around 180 species that contain a psychedelic chemical called psilocybin. This compound has been used in rituals as far back as 9,000 years for its healing and relaxing properties. Ancient cultures used mushrooms to “open up” to powerful forces within their psyches. These forces were thought to heal and protect, fight internal demons and improve quality of life. Some still continue to use magic mushrooms for this purpose.
Once psilocybin enters the human body, it converts to a compound called psilocin. This conversion happens through metabolic processes in the liver. Psilocin is structurally similar to the so-called happiness hormone serotonin. And, moreover, psilocin binds to the serotonin receptors in the brain. This process creates a disruption of the region, potentially creating sensory distortions, or hallucinations.
How can this be a breakthrough in dealing with mental health issues, you ask? The answer comes in the form of microdosing. Considered the best way to administer these psychedelic compounds, microdosing lets mushrooms do their magic.
Microdosing Magic Mushrooms 101
Microdosing refers to taking or administering very small amounts of psychedelic substances. This is done in order to get the benefits while minimizing potential psychedelic side effects. Psychedelics are hallucinogenic drugs and are still for the most part illegal. Microdosing ensures a low risk for negative side effects on the human body.
Since everyone’s body is different, it’s not really possible to predict someone’s reaction to the drugs and microdosing provides a sort of control of the situation since even if there were some side effects, they would be minuscule.
Uses for Magic Mushrooms
It wasn’t until the 1950s and the work of a Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann that the Western world became interested in psychedelics and their effects on our mental health. Quickly thereafter, their use was banned and deemed illegal. It wasn’t until 20 years ago that newer generations started asking all the right questions.
Psilocybin’s ability to stimulate serotonin receptors has shown a positive effect on the brain. It mimics relaxing and joyful experiences and lowers stress and negative reactions. Magic mushrooms are now used to treat some of the most common mental health issues. They do so without anyone needing to pop a cocktail of colorful pills.
Anxiety, depression, PTSP, and addiction have all shown improvement when psilocybin is introduced into therapy. This has led to the ultimate proof of their power. Last year, legalization of microdosing magic mushrooms became legal in Oregon. This is a major shift in the world of psychedelics to say the least. It opens the door to larger-scale research and better funded studies. These studies will show their potential in greater light and to a much bigger audience.
Microdosing With Psilocybin is a Scientific Breakthrough
When properly administered under the control of certified professionals, microdosing with psychedelics poses little to no risk to an individual. With no long-term side effects, psilocybin’s appeal will only grow. The reaction is instant, and it either works or it doesn’t. Studies have shown great results from their participants. This is especially apparent in those dealing with severe cases of anxiety and depression.
Alan Davis, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine states that:
“The magnitude of the effect we saw was about four times larger than what clinical trials have shown for traditional antidepressants on the market. Because most other depression treatments take weeks or months to work and may have undesirable effects, this could be a game changer if these findings hold up in future ‘gold-standard’ placebo-controlled clinical trials.”
More and more studies show that antidepressants and other treatment drugs can be replaced with psychedelics like psilocybin and psychotherapy. In this sense, we’re definitely talking about a scientific breakthrough. More studies will make this potential hard to ignore, especially as a legitimate alternative to traditional drugs.
Also Read: Four apps to help you track microdosing
Are Magic Mushrooms Just a Trend or Here To Stay?
You may think psilocybin is just a trend like other ‘game-changing’ scientific findings. But with recent legalization and no end in sight, this is just the tip of the iceberg. We are only at the beginning of discovering what these magical mushrooms can really do.
Due to their illegality, it’s been extremely hard to perform larger scale studies. Without studies, groundbreaking results are few and far between. This is the time when research can bloom. And this can potentially bring major mental health solutions to those who so desperately need it.
A major mental health shift is necessary. If magic mushrooms hold the answers, it’s in our hands to pursue. With knowledge we can arm ourselves with the tools to decide whether they’re the mental health breakthrough we all need.