Beating Lockdown Anxiety by Microdosing Magic Mushrooms

Lonely cubicle in a wall of cubicles. Microdosing magic mushrooms for lockdown anxiety.

Microdosing magic mushrooms has been growing in popularity for the past few years – taking tiny doses of psychedelic mushrooms to treat anxiety, help with focus, or even boost creativity.

Now that so many of us are trapped in our own homes, with drastically reduced ways of dealing with our daily stresses and anxieties, microdosing magic mushrooms is more attractive than ever.

Since growing your own mushrooms at home is relatively straightforward, microdosing is an accessible and easy way of experimenting with the anti-anxiety effects of magic mushrooms.

Magic Mushroom Microdosing

Microdosing is the art of finding the perfect dose of a psychedelic that will have positive benefits in your life without making you trip. Ideally, you won’t even notice any effects while microdosing, but you’ll feel great at the end of the day and notice gradual benefits to your wellbeing.

Microdosing with magic mushrooms involves growing your own mushrooms, or ordering them online if it’s legal to do so, then drying them and powdering them so you can measure them out into microdoses.

Typically, you’ll take a dose once every few days, in the morning, and keep a journal to track the effects. Over time you’ll hone in on your perfect dose, and hopefully start to notice some gentle benefits to your mind and wellbeing.

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Anxiety and Magic Mushrooms

Psilocybin, the main psychedelic component of magic mushrooms, has been shown to be effective at treating depression and addiction. Research is also revealing that psilocybin can help to reduce anxiety in moderate doses…

The largest study of the connection between magic mushrooms and anxiety found that giving a single high dose of psilocybin to terminal cancer patients helped to dramatically reduce their symptoms of depression and anxiety.[1] This effect lasted for many months after the study – and happened without any intense therapy or specific guidance before, during or after the psilocybin session.

A study of psychedelic ceremony participants in the Netherlands has shown that a single moderate/high dose of magic truffles (which contain the same ingredient as magic mushrooms, psilocybin) significantly decreases measures of anxiety and stress.[2] Four weeks later, participants in the magic truffles ceremony were still experiencing a reduction in anxiety.

Finally, another study of people attending a different magic truffle ceremony in the Netherlands has shown that a moderate dose of psilocybin improves wellbeing scores, lasting at least a week after the ceremony.[3]

The Effects of Magic Mushroom Microdosing on Anxiety

Although there has been no clinical research on magic mushroom microdosing, the research into moderate and high doses of psilocybin show that magic mushrooms have the capacity to dramatically reduce anxiety and depression, and improve wellbeing!

It’s impossible to conclusively extrapolate the research into high dose psilocybin onto microdosing… but it’s likely that at least some of the positive benefits of psilocybin are carried over into magic mushroom microdosing. 

Indeed, many people who microdosing with magic mushrooms are doing so in order to treat anxiety and stress. Testimonials can be mixed; over half of people report reductions in anxiety while microdosing, while only around one in twenty people report that microdosing causes them anxiety.[4]

Often, reducing your dosage can help to eliminate any anxiety, restlessness or insomnia caused by microdosing. If reducing your dose doesn’t help, then try taking a long break from microdosing, and only try again if you have eliminated other possible triggers of anxiety from your routine or diet.

Experiences of Magic Mushroom Microdosing for Anxiety

Statistics are important, but sometimes it’s useful to get first-hand accounts from people who have microdosed with magic mushrooms in order to treat anxiety. Here are a selection of testimonials we have gathered from the internet:

“Since the day I started, I have not had a bad day or a major panic attack. I can think more clearly.” – From an anonymous Facebook post.

“At a low dose of 0.06g, I have kicked the physical sensations of anxiety (waves of panic, feel of a racing heart, inability to catch my breath). Any higher and I would experience the above. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but one cup here or there would set me off for the whole day with these symptoms, and I had to quit smoking because it was doing the same.” Source.

“Took a few weeks for me to notice my negative thought patterns going away. About a month in I noticed my anxiety was completely gone.” – From an anonymous Facebook post.

“It’s hard to describe, but I just felt this real rush of empathy for everyone, I felt like I was really connected with them again. I didn’t feel so lonely or empty. Things seemed a bit more optimistic for me again.” Source.

“I think it’s definitely given me moments of calm when it’s all got a bit too much, and when I’ve needed to work, it’s actually given me a bit more focus.” Source.

“[Microdosing is] worth doing overall. I feel a lot happier. Just avoid caffeine!” Source.

Overall, if you spend some time on the internet reading testimonials, you get a sense that there are strong overall anti-anxiety benefits from microdosing mushrooms if you find the right dose for you. Avoiding stimulants, and making sure you get good sleep and exercise, reduces the risk of spikes of anxiety while microdosing.

How to Microdose Magic Mushrooms During Lockdown

Microdosing with magic mushrooms during lockdown is going to be unique. You can’t go out to see you friends, or attend an event, or walk around a museum. This means it may be harder to make the most of the anti-anxiety benefits of microdosing.

However, if you enter into microdosing with clear intentions, and a desire to do a little work, there’s every chance you’ll find it can help reduce your lockdown anxiety!

The best advice is to keep a microdosing journal, in which you can write down your intentions and keep track of your doses. Using your journal to write reflections about your feelings and the effects of microdosing will help you to hone in on the benefits.

Anything that can solidify your intentions will increase your chances of receiving anti-anxiety benefits from microdosing magic mushrooms! On your dosing days, try to treat it like a special day – different from your typical isolated lockdown days! Set up a ceremonial space, play some music, prepare an altar of important objects – or even wear your favorite clothes. Treat your mushrooms like a special medicine that is entering your space to help you cope with unprecedented times of stress and change.

For more advice on how to get started microdosing with magic mushrooms, check out our Quickstart Guide to Magic Mushroom Microdosing.

What is the Best Dosage of Magic Mushrooms for Anxiety

As yet, there is no confirmed perfect dose for anti-anxiety microdosing. However, it’s generally accepted that larger doses have an increased risk of inducing anxiety, so it’s better to start small.

One recent study into LSD microdosing showed that the ideal dose for reducing anxiety was around 10 micrograms – or around a tenth of a recreational dose.[5] 

Although many people end up settling on something closer to a tenth, conventional microdosing wisdom suggests starting with around a twentieth of a recreational dose. This allows you to start with a sub-perceptual dose and slowly work yourself up until you find your perfect dose. This is preferable compared to starting with a tenth and immediately feeling anxiety!

For magic mushrooms, a twentieth of a recreational dose will of course depend on your own personal tolerance – but will usually be around 0.1g of dried mushrooms. Check out our guide on preparing magic mushrooms for microdosing here.

References

1 Griffiths et al (2016) Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial. J Psychopharm, 30(12), p1181-1197.

2 Synthesis Retreat: The Imperial College London Ceremony Study Results. Retrieved from: https://www.synthesisretreat.com/imperial-college-london-ceremony-study

3 Mason et al (2019) Sub-Acute Effects of Psilocybin on Empathy, Creative Thinking, and Subjective Well-Being. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 51(2), p123-134.

4 Anderson et al (2019) Psychedelic microdosing benefits and challenges: an empirical codebook. Harm Reduction Journal 16, 43.

5 Hutten et al (2020) Mood and cognition after administration of low LSD doses in healthy volunteers: A placebo controlled dose-effect finding study. Eur Neuropsychopharm doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2020.10.002

About Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is a biologist and writer who has been working in the psychedelic community for several years. Twitter: @rjpatricksmith

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