Disclaimer: This piece is based on personal experience and my own research. My writings are not to be interpreted as a replacement for medical advice. Use your discretion and the guidance of a skilled practitioner when working with herbal supplements and medicine.
The Magic and Medicine of Microdosing
I've always had a fascination with herbalism and natural medicine. I often cite my grandmother as one of my greatest influences, being a kind of "kitchen witch" herself. You can picture her - a small 5ft 1 Asian woman - babbling about the latest herbal remedy she read about, while stirring something bubbling on the stovetop.
About a year ago I worked a small sprint at a local cannabis dispensary and I used that time to explore the medicinal and psychological impacts of herbal medicine. I asked clients and colleagues questions about their experiences and expanded my research to books, articles, and journals. For a while, I was pretty convinced I wanted to work in Cannabis.
Fast forward to 2020, and the infamous COVID-19 lockdown dawned on us. One of my mottos this quarantine has been, "If we can't go out, then we go in" which mostly referred to meditation, journalling, Energy healing - ya know, the whole shabang.
But then I started exploring mushrooms.
Why Did I Turn to Natural Medicine?
Full-disclosure, I've had my share of mental health struggles in my life. Nutrition and Spirituality were the main catalysts that started this journey of total mind-body-spirit health; helping me bring higher Awareness to my daily actions and impact. With all of this said, I'm a huge advocate for accessibility to health resources and tools, but pharmaceutical medicine isn't always appropriate for some people. I've had friends who have tried medication for anxiety and depression, but it isn't always the most consistent or effective tool for people.
My Philosophy is this:
Proper nutrition and Natural medicine are the first steps in preventative healthcare.
I'm at a point in my life where I can sense the indications before my mental health fluctuates. I try to bring gentle awareness to my total health on a daily basis, so I can be sensitive to the signs and take preventative steps to make sure I have more control over my total-health.
Important side note: In cases that a condition is beyond preventative care, pharmaceutical medicine is made with immediate and emergency care in mind. If someone needs medication and it works for them, they have the right to access it without judgement.
Microdosing Psilocybin made a lot of sense to me. I already had a background and interest in medicinal Cannabis and I experienced firsthand the highs (pun-intended) and lows of using herbal medicine. Prior to microdosing, my first psilocybin experience was very positive and transformative, so I had no previous negative expectations attached to it. This, in addition to my fondness for medicinal mushrooms (chaga, reishi, the whole shroom family) I went into macrodosing with a curious and open mind.
Are there risks?
If your dosage is too high, you can experience hallucinations. VeryWell mind states the following effects:
Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature
Lack of coordination
Distorted sense of time, place, and reality
Hallucinations (visual or auditory)
Having introspective (spiritual) experiences
Keep in mind that when you are properly microdosing, the dosage of psilocybin is small enough that you should not be experiencing intense symptoms as the ones listed above.
What I Experienced
Based on people's bio-individuality, tolerance level, and desired effects, the dosage amount may vary. I use 100mg capsules (my favourites are from Vellum Health) and I experienced:
Elevated and stabilized moon
Clarity of the mind
Improved ability to focus
Heightened emotional sensitivity and empathy
Deeper understanding and Spiritual connection to my environment (including the people around me)
increased receptiveness to learning
Is it Magic or Medicine?
Is there a difference between the two? In my opinion true medicine is magic. The tools and resources we use to improve our physical and mental health - the things we do to better our lives - is real magic. The fact that psilocybin grows abundantly from the earth and can provide us with such powerful medicine is something we should deeply honour and respect.
The Future of Natural Medicine
I hope for a future where psilocybin is more widely accepted and discussion around microdosing mushrooms isn't as taboo. Ideas of "legitimacy" are not only reserved exclusively for pharmaceutical and western medicine, but should be expanded to other areas of research that have proven positive effects. I also hope that this precious medicine remains protected and not turned into a product of capitalism, as we've recently seen with the legalization of cannabis in Canada.
We have a lot of work to do before we get there, but this magical fungi gives me hope for the future. If you want to chat more about 'shrooms drop me a line here.