All over the world, an underground movement is starting to generate some surface-level discussion. The trend? Microdosing. Canada weighs in.
In 2018, Canada made some waves throughout the global community. No, it wasn’t the tasty maple syrup or a good looking prime minister- it was because we became the second country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis nationwide (the first being Uruguay, legalizing recreational use in 2013).
Since then, Canada has been known as one of the more forward-thinking countries when it comes to drug use, mainly when looked at it through a medicinal lens. Now the conversation has opened up to the purposes of hallucinogens, like psilocybin and LSD. Not for your casual Tuesday rave- instead of for an adjunct to modern medicine.
Microdosing: Canada Pulls Ahead
Microdosing, the act of taking sub-hallucinogenic amounts of psychotropics, like those found in popular party drugs, magic mushrooms and acid, is gaining some serious traction. Much like cannabis before it, these substances have been shown to have some favourable medicinal qualities—particularly ones that could eliminate the need for the synthetics produced by big pharmaceutical companies. Microcybin, a Canadian company that sells low dose, psilocybin-containing capsules, is one of many that hopes to see more favourable legislation and scientific research concerning the practice.
Mainly because much of the existing research is anecdotal at best, but impressive. “Most of the scientific research concerning the use of psilocybin to treat mental disorders like depression and anxiety is favourable.” Says the company’s representative. “However, the studies that have been done have used larger doses that aren’t necessarily suitable for everyone. Where microdosing excels is the fractional dose. Taking such small amounts that the effects of the hallucinogen are roughly imperceptible. Making it simple to integrate into a normal lifestyle.” Microcybin says that the smaller dose makes it possible to treat issues in similar ways to how pharmaceuticals would.
Besides the fact that microdosing mushrooms fit into a regular schedule, there are hoards of anecdotal evidence to suggest that many people have used it with really positive results. If you are just getting into mushroom microdosing make sure to learn as much as you can about mushrooms. Much of the current science regarding microdosing relies on self-reporting strategies of users. Many of which have described a positive outcome from reductions in anxious and depressive behaviours to improved work productivity and social and creative energy.
Think of it this way. If you consume a lot of cannabis in one sitting, you’ll probably feel the effect hit you hard, depending on the stain and amount consumed. Alternately, if you take just a tiny bit, study over the years has shown for many a reduction in anxiety, and many, mainly cancer patenting, a decrease in pain.
Microdosing Psilocybin vs SSRIs
Many people who choose to microdose psilocybin have reported doing so to either curb or altogether avoid the use of common anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication. Many of those used to treat depression have side effects that no one could want in their time of need, including an increase in suicidality. The medications used for anxiety have extremely high abuse potentials, which leaves many preferring to weather the storm without them, entirely to their detriment.
“I started microdosing psilocybin because my therapist suggested I consider going on Prozac to manage my depression.” Says Sue (a pseudonym as she preferred to remain anonymous), a pharmacology major at California’s USC. “Honestly, the composition of the drug worried me. I was afraid that it might not fit my needs, or could make things much worse. After doing some sniffing around online, I stumbled over a reddit thread devoted to microdosing.” Sue said that the more she read, the more intrigued she became. “Psilocybin has few, if any known side effects, particularly when taken in such small doses.” Though, she does go on to say that no one should start mixing it with their regular medications or abruptly stop taking any medications they might be on.
“It worked well for me. I took about 0.25 grams per day, five times per week, for a few months. I never saw anything unusual, I didn’t feel weird, per se- I just felt, better.” Sue describes her experience much the same as most self-reporting users. Higher levels of energy, fewer depressive thoughts and behaviours. Where was she able to buy supplies for microdosing? Canada, of course. While she hesitates to share the details, Sue mentions that shroom dispensaries in Canada have helped keep her well-stocked. When asked if she would ever consider traditional pharmaceuticals for mood disorders, she shrugs, saying “If I needed them and there were no better options, of course. But as of now, microdosing is working well for me, and I intend to stick with that.”
For those considering microdosing as an alternative to traditional medicine, there is the possibility of downloading a complete from the Microcybin website: “We have created this microdosing guide to help better assist you in your relationship with microdosing the revolutionary third wave of Psilocybin.”
Gives you a lot to think about. Like once upon a time, most considered medicines was terrible, or that beer was medicine, that the world was flat, or that cannabis was harmful. We learn by exploring the possibilities of what works best for us.
So do your research, learn as much as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions.
Please note that this is not medical advice. We do not endorse microdosing of any substance. Please speak to your doctor or health professional first.