What is Microdosing

Microdosing, have you heard or it, tried it, or perhaps wondered what it is exactly?

Microdosing is the practice of administering small, precise amounts of a drug substance to reap specific, measurable and effective health benefits without altering or impairing the functionality of an individual.

Let’s break it down.

Micro comes from a Greek derivative (mikros), meaning small.

Dose comes from the Greek words (didonai and dosis) which mean give and gift respectively. It means, a quantity of medicine or drug taken at a specific time. 

History of Microdosing

Hallucinogenic drugs such as mushrooms and LSD have been used for thousands of years by indigenous people.

Mushrooms and psychedelic fungi have been around much longer than the human race.

1936 – Swiss scientist, Albert Hofmann synthesized LSD and began taking it years later and was said to have used the process of microdosing.

1950’s and on – Since the 50’s psychedelics have been stigmatized due to their recreational usage of ingesting high doses which sent and send users on a trip.

Today we still carry around this taboo from a cultural perspective which prevents many individuals from learning or trying microdosing.

1971 – President Nixon began the “War on Drugs” campaign in hopes to raise awareness on drug abuse.

2011 – James Fadiman wrote The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide. Fadiman conducted one of the first microdosing studies.

Today – Studies are still being conducted in controlled environments and will continue to be documented to raise awareness and pool data. 

Why Microdose?

The intention of microdosing is to enhance the overall wellbeing of an individual, including but not limited to some of these outlined benefits:

  • Enhanced cognitive process
  • Elevated moods
  • Increased productivity
  • Stress and anxiety reduction
  • Depression treatment

The goal is to embody any one, all, or additional health benefits from a small dose of a hallucinogenic plant-based drug rather than taking conventional chemically processed pills for alleviation.

How Does Microdosing Work?

Taking “sub-perceptual” doses of a psychedelic drug such as “magic mushrooms” is equivalent to roughly 1/10th of the recreational dose usage (10-20 micrograms).

This micro amount is too small to trigger hallucinating properties (sub-perceptual) but just enough to spark creativity, treat anxiety and depression and experience many other health benefits.

The scientific interest in microdosing spawns from reports of users experiencing a host of beneficial properties from psilocybin (halluceneginic property in mushrooms) that have antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. This raises eyebrows in hopes for a guide to better psychiatric drugs and the use of plants as medicine.

Microdosing, while still in its infancy with societal knowledge, it has many plant-based benefits that are transformative and helpful for the body’s well-being.

As humans, we all seek to experience happiness, productivity, creativity, and clarity in our thought process which is why so many of us are taking prescription drugs to alleviate the negative attributes we possess and are diagnosed with.

Say hello to microdosing as a potential other world of medicine, one that’s plant-based, natural and low-dosed for an enhanced version of you.

Johns Hopkins to House Privately Funded Psychedelic Research Center

Johns Hopkins Medicine in Maryland will be the first placement in the United States to house the largest psychedelic research center in the world!

A $17 million dollar start up fund has been privately donated by numerous contributors to the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.

“We have to take braver and bolder steps if we want to help those suffering from chronic illnesses…By investing in the Johns Hopkins Center, we are investing in the hope that researchers keep proving the benefits of psychedelics – and people will have new ways to heal.” -Alex Cohen (donor from Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation)

The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness

A focus on how psychedelics affect behavior, brain function, learning/memory and the brain’s biology and mood will be one of the primary observances.

The studies will also dive into the use of psychedelic drugs and their direct correlation in the treatment of numerous mental health conditions such as: addiction, PTSD, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and many more.

The center’s director, Roland Griffiths, Ph.D. states: “In addition to studies on new therapeutics, we plant to investigate creativity and well-being in healthy volunteers that we hope will open up new ways to support human thriving.”

The amount of overall research that will be conducted in the center is an extremely large spectrum of health and wellness to life-saving and changing medicinal benefits.

Why Johns Hopkins?

Why Johns Hopkins?

The actual questions should be, Why Not Johns Hopkins?

The more than 125-year history at Johns Hopkins Medicine has procreated what you may call a medical revolution. Modern medical education and advances were and are continued to be made by physicians and scientists under their umbrella.

As an internationally recognized medical system with cutting-edge innovation, Johns Hopkins continues to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care.

The Renowned Professor Griffiths to Lead the Research Team

Leading the research team is Professor Roland R. Griffiths, Ph.D. As a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, this man has an acute focus in researching the behavioral and subjective effects of mood-altering drugs.

Griffiths accreditations include: author of over 380 articles, trained 50+ postdoctoral research fellows, consultant to National Institutes of Health, developed new psychotropic drugs with pharmaceutical companies, member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence for WHO and much, much more.  

Griffiths psychedelic research group was granted regulatory approval by the government back in 2000 to study psychedelics which surfaced profound positive effects as real potential to medicine. The recent funding will help explore that potential that was unlocked nearly 20 years ago!

Building an Army

Griffith and his hand-picked team of doctors, researchers and scientists are ecstatic at the opportunity the funding grants their program. It will certainly help provide the infrastructure necessary to boost psychedelic science in a way that it never has experienced before.

Johns Hopkins scientists have already proven promising therapeutic benefits of use of psilocybin (chemical found in magic mushrooms) in the treatment of nicotine addiction, the mitigation of anxiety and depression as well as cancer treatments!

If you are interested in donating to Johns Hopkins’ Medicine, click here.

How Does Psilocybin Work?

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring compound found in some wild mushrooms. It is a chemical that offers psychedelic effects when ingested.

Administration

Psilocybin, also known as “magic mushrooms” are typically taken orally. Mushrooms can be either dried or fresh and eaten directly as so or brewed in tea.

Effects are typically felt anywhere from 30-60 minutes after ingestion.

Recreational Use

When you think of magic mushrooms, I’m sure your head spins back to the 60’s. You know, the times of tie-die t-shirts and hippies dancing about. While this doesn’t fall too far from the spore; magic mushrooms were certainly a thing of this era and recreational usage of them was as well.

Recreational usage of psilocybin is typically when an individual ingests anywhere from 1.5 grams or more in anticipation of psychedelic effects.

Effects of recreational usage can include:

Euphoria/Excitement

Increased Creativity

Enhanced Senses

Strong Body High

Mystical Experiences

Sensitivity to Light

Open & Closed Eye Visuals

Altered Time Perception

Medical Microdosing Use

Microdosing psilocybin is quite different than taking recreational doses. When microdosing, hallucinogenic and psychedelic effects should not be felt, but medical benefits can certainly be observed.

A microdose amount is anywhere from .05 grams to 0.25 grams of a psilocybin mushroom.

Some observed effects one may enjoy are:

Mood Enhancement

Decreased Stress & Anxiety

Emotional Stability

Decreased Depression

Mindfulness

Openness

Increased Focus

Increased Endurance

Psilocybin & The Brain

Prefrontal Cortex

Psilocybin engages the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This portion of the brain participates in what is known as executive functions: personality expression, social behavior, orchestration of thoughts and actions and the planning of cognitive behaviors.

Research has proven that psilocybin as a serotonin receptor causes connections in the brain that would normally be disconnected, ultimately increasing brain activity.

The intercommunication of psilocybin was observed by researchers from Imperial College London.

“These stronger connections are responsible for creating a different state of consciousness.” – Dr. Paul Expert (methodologist and physicist)

Visual Cortex

Psilocybin has been shown to increase activity in the visual cortex which is why taking recreational dosages can distort vision and perception.

Default Mode Network (DMN)

The DMN is a brain network of interacting regions that are scattered throughout the brain that are correlated with one another.

The Default Mode Network (DMN) in the brain is linked to depression and many mood disorders.

Studies have proved that psilocybin has dramatically reduced DMN, ultimately offering itself to fantastic anti-depressant effects.

Interconnectivity

Psilocybin increases interconnectivity throughout different regions of the brain.

It can be related to an orchestra. Each part of the brain is its own musical instrument and once psilocybin enters, it’s like the conductor arrived to create unity amongst the noise.

Rather than compartmentalized segments, the brain shows dramatic interconnectivity.

10 Facts about Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms.

We’ve all heard of them, but what are they exactly?

Magic mushrooms are fungi that, when ingested can offer hallucinogenic (psilocybin) properties. These spores have been around long before humans and were originally used during spiritual and religious rituals.

The 1950’s began the first documented recreational use of these psychedelics which paired magic mushrooms with a negative stigma that has carried on through time…even today.

Combating the negativity that has surrounded these specific fungi, here are 10 Facts about Magic Mushrooms that maybe, just maybe, you didn’t know.

  1. There are 180+ Species of Hallucinogenic “Magic” Mushrooms

In the realm of mushrooms, there are thousands of species. In the magic mushroom or psilocybin mushroom world, there are over 180 varieties.

Each varietal has a different potency, growing condition, and harvest period.

  • Microdosing Mushrooms offers Therapeutic Benefits

Microdosing, is the act of ingesting extremely small doses of magic mushrooms (.05 – .25g) for wellbeing purposes. Microdosing does not offer any hallucinating effects to the patient.

Research and studies are continuously underway which support the benefits of microdosing psilocybin. Therapeutic and holistic benefits have been determined to combat depression and anxiety, support creativity, clearer thinking, mood enhancement and event alleviate PTSD, ADD and ADHD.

  • Magic Mushrooms Are Not Addictive

Psilocybin is not considered to be a physically addictive naturally occurring chemical. It also does not support compulsive use.

  • Magic Mushrooms are Illegal in Many Places

The possession, use and growth of psilocybin mushrooms is illegal in many places around the world with some exceptions, see legality here.  

  • They Are Small but Mighty!

The average size of magic mushrooms are around a 3 inch stalk with a 1 inch cap. These guys are the epitome of the “Small but Mighty” stance.

  • Researches are Experimenting with Magic Mushrooms

Scientists and researchers have been conducting studies for a few years now in order to collect data in controlled environments. Some of the studies surround themselves around the knowledge of psilocybin and how specific doses affect treatment of mental disorders.

Accredited organizations have been given the “A-OK” by the government (with limitations) on conducting studies. The well-known John Hopkins, New York University and MAPS are just a few of the prestigious institutions.

  • Animals Can Also Feel the Effects

Since psilocybin mushrooms grow in the wild, it’s no doubt that other wild animals have and do ingest them. Read more about this by checking out High Kingdom by Alex K. Gearin, PhD.

  • Magic Mushrooms are Non-Toxic

Apart from poisonous mushrooms which can be deadly, magic mushrooms are not toxic and there aren’t any known major health effects associated with them.

It is always extremely important to identify any mushroom before eating it, whether it for nutrition, health benefits or recreational use.

  • The Threshold of Feeling Magic Mushroom Effects begins at 0.2 grams.

Feeling the hallucinogenic properties of magic mushrooms will of course vary a bit from person to person but typically effects can be felt in the 0.2g – 0.5g range.

  1. Psilocybin, the “Magic” in Magic Mushrooms Transforms Brain Activity.

Psilocybin interacts with serotonin receptors to transform brain activity, offering connections between different regions of the brain.

Serotonin receptors are what are known as the “happy chemical” in the body because it contributes to happiness and wellbeing. These receptors transmit messages between nerve cells.