Microdosing Huachuma Cactus vs. Magic Mushrooms

Currently taking the world by storm, microdosing is the art of ingesting sub-perceptual doses of psychedelic substances. It is revolutionizing the world of mental health and allowing creatives to flow easier into the pools of deep work and accomplishment.

The idea is not to get high, but to take the ideal small amount of a psychedelic without noticing any changes to the perceptual field. Made popular by psychedelic researcher James Fadiman, whose book “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide” introduced the concept to the mainstream, it has been on an uptrend ever since.

More and more research is surfacing that supports the idea that psychedelics are truly magical medicines that are freeing thousands of people from the shackles of mental health problems and addiction.

While few studies have been completed on microdosing itself, hoards of anecdotal evidence points to the efficacy of the practice, inspiring hundreds of newcomers to take up microdosing routines each and every day.

However, as more and more people flock to the practice, they are left wondering: what is the right psychedelic to microdose, where do I start? There are a handful of psychedelics that people like to utilize and today we’ll be discussing two of the most popular naturally derived plant-medicines and the pros and cons of microdosing each. 

What is Huachuma

Kicking off our duo is a large columnar cactus native to South America. Used for thousands of years by multiple cultures, Huachuma or “San Pedro” is a potent mescaline cactus that can produce a powerful psychedelic experience.

It has been utilized in shamanic cultures to treat a plethora of ailments, including those that still plague us today – addiction, depression, and anxiety have all been treated successfully with the use of this mystical cactus. Its collection of psychoactive alkaloids is also known to open the mind and induce spiritual experiences and epiphanies.

The Huachuma cactus attracts people all around the world who arrive in South American countries each and every year just to have ceremonial experiences with it and other South American plant-medicines such as ayahuasca and yopo. Known best for its benefits from these larger “macrodoses,” it is now gaining popularity in the microdosing community as well.

Microdosing Huachuma

Microdosing Huachuma can provide you all the amazing benefits of the medicine, without having to dish out money for hefty plane tickets and prevents the need to partake in larger ceremonies. Microdosing is a safe, accessible and easy way to introduce yourself to the magic of this cactus with little risk or worry.

Here are some more of its therapeutic benefits and associated risks.

The Potential Benefits of Microdosing Huachuma:

  • Can increase energy levels and promote vitality
  • Improvements in cognitive function
  • Has adaptogenic qualities
  • Can reduce addictive tendencies and cravings
  • Deepens connection to spiritual practice
  • Improves endurance
  • Can decrease negative emotions – depression & anxiety
  • Inspires introspection
  • Connects one to the natural world

The Risks of Microdosing Huachuma:

  • Legality issues
  • Mescaline is a vasoconstrictor (constricts the flow of blood and elevates blood pressure). Those with cardiovascular issues should avoid.
  • Pregnant women and those planning should avoid taking Huachuma.
  • Never mix with alcohol or other substances (can be taxing on the liver).
  • Be wary of MAOIs & SSRIs in combination with Huachuma (always check with your healthcare provider).
  • Amplifying effect (may exasperate underlying conditions such as anxiety).

What are Magic Mushrooms?

Next in line comes a psychedelic hall-of-famer! Magic mushrooms (also called psilocybin mushrooms) have been an iconic symbol of the psychedelic community for decades. Made popular in the 1960s, they were originally introduced to Western culture by Mexican healer Maria Sabina when she shared the practice with Gordon Wasson, former vice-president of J.P. Morgan and self-proclaimed explorer. He was the first known Westerner to consume the magical fungi and brought the knowledge to light when he published an article in a 1955 issue of Life magazine.

However fresh to mainstream society, Central American cultures such as the Mazatec, Mixtec, Nauhua and Zapatec peoples have been using these mushrooms in sacred rituals for millennia. Known to grow all over the world, psilocybin mushrooms take the user on a mystical journey of transformation. Much like Huachuma, they are known to heal a number of disorders including depression, PTSD, and OCD.

Adopted into the microdosing community, these mushrooms are amongst the most widely used substances in the practice.

Microdosing Magic Mushrooms

As previously mentioned, magic mushrooms are the one of the most popular microdosed plant medicines. They have been at the forefront of the microdosing movement. Next to LSD, it is easily the most popular. Much like Huachuma, microdosing mushrooms can much of the benefits without having to commit to an hallucinogenic experience. They are known to help with a plethora of ailments and are considered one of the safest psychoactive substances in the world. Here are some of the most reported benefits of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms and the risks associated.

The Potential Benefits of Microdosing Magic Mushrooms:

  • Potentially helps build new neural pathways
  • Can alleviate anxiety & depression
  • Improvements in cognitive function
  • Increased levels of focus
  • Induces flow state
  • Higher levels of energy
  • Can reduce symptoms of PTSD, ADHD, & OCD
  • Can alleviate symptoms of PMS

The Risks of Microdosing Magic Mushrooms:

  • Legality issues
  • Pregnant and planning should avoid
  • Amplifying effect (May exacerbate anxiety & other underlying conditions)
  • May interact with MAOIs & SSRI medications (check with your healthcare provider!)

Huachuma vs. Mushrooms: Which to Microdose

So that begs the question… Which one is right for me? They carry a lot of the same benefits and are both relatively safe to microdose. It can really be tough to pinpoint which medicine is more appropriate for your lifestyle, needs, and circumstances. It really boils down to what you’re looking to achieve. Huachuma is known for its ability to boost energy levels and increase endurance. Mushrooms are easily accessible and can be grown quickly at home. Below we’ll dive into some of the pros and cons of microdosing each of these powerful plant medicines.

Pros of Microdosing Huachuma Cactus

  • Known for its ability to increase energy & endurance (excellent for those who need an extra kick in the morning)
  • Is a popular ornamental cactus and can be found in garden centres and at floral shops
  • Takes some time, but it can be grown at home with enough sunlight
  • Has a selection of other beneficial alkaloids other than mescaline (anhalonidine, trichocerine, tyramine, hordenine, and a number of other phenethylamines)
  • Can connect you to South American shamanic practices

Cons of Microdosing Huachuma Cactus

  • Can be harder to find
  • Fewer studies have been done
  • Can be taxing on the liver (rare in microdosing)
  • Is more expensive than mushrooms & other plant medicines
  • Takes longer to grow
  • Can cause nausea
  • Have to consume a larger amount (microdose starts at 3 grams)
  • Can be overstimulating for some
  • Legality issues
  • Can make anxiety worse

Pros of Microdosing Magic Mushrooms

  • More readily accessible
  • More studies have been completed
  • Much more affordable than other plant medicines
  • Can be easily grown at home with a little research and a few supplies
  • Don’t have to consume a large amount (microdose starts at .1 of a gram)
  • Is not taxing on the body

Cons of Microdosing Magic Mushrooms

  • Legality issues
  • May exacerbate anxiety & other conditions
  • Can cause nausea


It’s going to take some thought and consideration to choose which plant medicine is appropriate for your lifestyle and needs. Huachuma is a clear winner if you’re looking for an endurance boost and an increase in energy. Mushrooms will be the choice if you want something readily accessible that has been thoroughly studied. It really boils down to what you need and if it’s available in your region. Of course, legality is always something to keep in mind when dabbling with these plants and fungi, so be sure to weigh out the risks before diving into any microdosing regimen.

About Brandon Batstone

After healing himself from a severe substance abuse disorder using psychedelic medicine, Brandon found his higher purpose in devoting his time to psychedelic advocacy and education. He is the founder of the Psychedelic Society of Newfoundland & Labrador, a yoga instructor, tourism professional, and content creator, highly focused on the intersection of psychedelics and spirituality. When he's not creating psychedelic content on multiple social platforms, he's planning his next trip to sacred destinations in South America and beyond.

1 Comment

  1. joepacal@gmail.com' Joe Pacal on December 23, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Hey Brandon,
    The photograph accompanying your article is of the giant saguaro cactus, not San Pedro. This website has mixed up these two distinctly different species of cactus previously with other photos. I have notified them about this but no one ever responded. Saguaros are a protected species and it would be a shame if someone harmed one trying to “harvest” medicine from it. Also, it hurts your personal credibility if you can’t tell the difference.

    Best regards,
    Joe Pacal
    Navajo Nation, Arizona

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