When microdosing magic mushrooms brings you so much relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety, quickly results in noticeable neurological and cognitive benefits and even improved social and relationship enhancements, it can be tempting to do it every day. The thing is, microdosing mushrooms isn’t like depression and anxiety meds prescribed for daily use: while microdosing is safe and effective, there are some dangers and risks associated with microdosing daily. You definitely need to know this.
He said: “I think I need to up my dose. When I first started I felt amazing. I was much happier and I felt like I was accomplishing so much. But now, I feel pretty much the same as I did before day 1. I don’t think microdosing mushrooms is working for me anymore.”
This is what the person I was coaching told me of his magic mushroom microdosing experience. To protect his anonymity, I’ll call him Simon.
“Simon, you’ve been microdosing for 3 months. How much are you taking?” I asked, curious.
“500 mg.” he said.
That’s half a gram, so he isn’t really microdosing anymore. Simon isn’t alone. There is a lot of information being exchanged in online forums about microdosing. If you are a beginner, it can be daunting to decide on the correct dosage.
This is one of the reasons I love coaching people about microdosing magic mushrooms. I’ve read the science and have spent countless hours reading anecdotal evidence. Whenever I talk to someone who hasn’t started microdosing yet or who, like Simon, has a little experience with microdosing but only a little direction, I know I can help in a way that is as intuitive as it is evidence-based.
“I started at 100 mg,” he continued. “I’m not really sure how I got here.”
“Hmmmm… well how many days off have you taken from microdosing this month?” I asked.
“You’re supposed to take days off?” he asked. “I didn’t know that. I thought you were supposed to take it every day.”
Boom. That’s the money right there.
I knew exactly what was going on in Simon’s brain.
Microdosing Mushrooms Daily Reduces This One Important Thing
Effectiveness. It reduces effectiveness. How?
Think about coffee. If you drink a cup of coffee every day, in a couple of months you’ll notice you are needing two, three, even four cups a day for the same effect. This is because you have built up a tolerance to it.
The same goes for magic mushrooms. This is exactly what happened to Simon: he started at an appropriate dose, 100 mg, but because he took it daily, he rapidly built up a tolerance to it and began taking more and more to feel the same effects he initially felt.
The microdoser’s motto should be: Less is more.
Even in a microdose, mushrooms are a potent medication. Don’t underestimate them! To avoid building a tolerance, it is important to do the following:
- Take the smallest dose that yields results (think reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, increased focus, improved memory and enhanced ability to feel connection in your life).
- Follow a microdosing regimen that includes days completely off.
But wait? You feel great when you microdose, right?
Why would you want to take any days off?
This is going to seem counter-intuitive, but stick with me through a little lesson in neuroscience.
Magic mushrooms (aka psilocybin) imitate the neurotransmitter serotonin when they enter the brain. Serotonin, the brain chemical responsible for happiness, is produced by nerve cells and it sends signals (transmissions) between them.
This is truly incredible:
These signals cause parts of the brain that don’t normally communicate to “talk” to one another. The brain senses serotonin is more plentiful and you feel happier. If you know anything about anti-depressants, they function as SSRI’s: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and like psilocybin, they also try to make serotonin increase. Unlike a microdose of magic mushrooms, SSRI drugs have loads of undesirable side effects.
When serotonin is mimicked in the brain, specific receptors for that neurotransmitter are stimulated in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Serotonin receptors have a name that sounds straight-up like it should belong to a Star Wars droid: 5-HT2A.
When microdosing magic mushrooms the 5-HT2A receptors are stimulated, reactions happen in the brain that stimulate:
- Growth, connections and increased brain activity
- Improved cognition and ability to learn and remember
This seems like a good thing, and it is, but our 5-HT2A receptors need some down time. When they are constantly being stimulated by microdosing (like on a daily basis), the brain builds up a tolerance to the psychoactive compounds in the microdose and after a while we notice they just don’t work for us unless we updose.
In other words, if microdosers dose daily, they risk building up a tolerance. When you become tolerant to a substance, it loses its effectiveness as a treatment.
I explained this to Simon. It felt so good to help him. He was blown away: he didn’t know this information, and to be honest, it isn’t really his fault. There aren’t many detailed explanations as to WHY you need to take time off that turn up in a Google search.
“How can I make this work for me again?” Simon asked.
The good news is that if you build up a tolerance to mushrooms, you can reduce your tolerance fairly quickly.
Here’s how I coached him to get from 500 mg back to a true microdose of 100 mg.
10 Easy Steps to Taper Down Your Microdose So You Feel Happier Again (500 mg to 100 mg in a Month)
- I recommended that he take 2 days off right away.
- After 2 days off, cut back the dosage to 300 mg and take it for 4 days.
- Take 3 days off.
- Reduce the dosage to 200 mg and take it for 5 days.
- Take 2 days off.
- Take 200 mg for 5 days.
- Take 2 days off.
- Take 100 mg for 5 days.
- Take 2 days off.
- Repeat steps 8 and 9 for a month or more and see what happens. Consider taking a week or more off after a few months of microdosing just to check in with yourself and see how you are feeling.
You Will Miss Out on One of The BEST Things About Microdosing
I am going to reveal to you one of the best kept secrets of microdosing magic mushrooms.
Are you ready for it?
You are probably going to feel even better on your off days than you do on the days you microdose!
It’s true. We’ve already talked about how microdosing works to stimulate growth, connections and increased activity in the brain. The real magic happens on your off days.
As your brain health changes via microdosing, you will find you have a lot more confidence to take days off. For some people, this happens immediately and for others it takes some time. Be patient with the process.
We have found that stacking (i.e. combining) magic mushrooms with lion’s mane mushroom and mucuna helps to expedite this process and make people who microdose feel better faster. The results we saw in our team’s personal microdosing experiences were so profound it wasn’t long before we affectionately started referring to this combo as:
The Neuro Growth Stack
Big Reveal: Why The Neuro Growth Stack Is The Secret To Optimal Brain Health
This is our secret sauce. But you can decide what you think for yourself. Microdosing magic mushrooms is transforming how depression and anxiety are treated. The thing is, after years of depression and years of taking pharmaceutical drugs people often struggle with other aspects of brain health, notably memory and focus and just feeling happier.
Lion’s mane can help with all of this.
Lion’s mane mushroom, a medicinal, totally legal mushroom native to North America, Europe and Asia, has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. When extracted, concentrated, and used in conjunction with magic mushrooms (known as “stacking”), this brain-boosting mushroom has benefits (1) that amplify a magic mushroom-only microdosing regimen:
- Enhances cognitive function
- Supports the heart and circulatory system
- Reduces inflammation
- May be protective against certain cancers
- May improve digestive health
There is also evidence that suggests lion’s mane mushroom:
- May be a natural remedy for depression and anxiety (2)
- Improves mental health, particularly for people who are at risk of dementia (3)
- Boosts immune health (4)
What is so profound about lion’s mane mushroom is it permanently enhances cognition and encourages the brain to alter itself structurally.
What are the long term results of taking lion’s mane mushroom?:
- Increased mental stamina to bust through your to-do list
- Ability to intensely focus on your tasks
- Enhanced problem-solving capabilities
Lion’s mane and magic mushrooms potentiate one another. This means that when taken together, they work to bring out each other’s best assets.
It is a magic combination for healing the brain and most of this healing happens on the days you don’t microdose.
The brain tries to make use of the new connections and activity on its own, literally rewiring itself. As time goes on, the brain becomes increasingly effective at this and that is when you will eventually notice you feel better on the days you take off, your regenerative days.
An herb that also works with psilocybin is mucuna, sometimes called “velvet bean.”
Native to India, the Caribbean and tropical regions of Africa, mucuna is a creeping vine and adaptogenic herb. This means it helps your body adapt and protect itself from the symptoms you experience when you are under physical and mental stress. The seed pods of the plant contain naturally high concentrations of L-dopa, the precursor to dopamine, a potent mood regulator.
Recall that magic mushrooms cause reactions that stimulate the brain’s serotonin receptors.
Mucuna causes reactions that stimulates the brain’s dopamine receptors.
Dopamine plays a significant role in motivating behavior. In a physiological way, it rewards us for behaviors that our body and brain consider beneficial to us. Dopamine is released when we take a bite of delicious food, after we exercise, during sex, and when we interact with others socially. It’s why these activities feel so good.
Stacking microdoses with mucuna encourages us to feel more of these rewarding sensations. The brain also becomes good at using the new connections and activity stimulated by microdosing to ensure these dopamine-induced feel goods continue on the days you don’t microdose.
Is It True that Psychedelics Carry A Heart Risk? The Shocking Truth
The prospects of microdosing are exciting. Who can’t get behind results you can see quickly in your everyday life? Microdosing is changing lives but it is a change in lifestyle and for some, medical treatment.
As we literally expand our minds it is important to expand our knowledge too. We know that infrequent, large doses of psychedelics have minimal side effects and don’t do much harm when taken by healthy people. However, microdosing is relatively new and we don’t have any evidence of the long term effects yet. There are reports of people who have microdosed for many consecutive months with no adverse effects besides tiredness but the fact remains microdosing is still relatively new in the scientific community. Studies are being conducted and there is a chance that long term microdosing regimes could cause undesirable side effects.
There are some questions about whether there is a link between all psychedelic use and heart disease. At present, the focus has been on another psychedelic called MDMA. Questions have arisen in the scientific community as to whether there is a link between high doses of MDMA used several times a week and the formation of valvular strands on the heart, which can potentially lead to Valvular Heart Disease when they activate the 5-HT2B receptors found all over the heart (8). Let me repeat, this research is regarding high doses of MDMA.
Do magic mushrooms activate the 5-HT2B receptors present on the heart?
Is there a risk of developing Valvular Heart Disease from microdosing magic mushrooms?
We do not know the answer to those questions yet. We are hypothesizing that microdoses on a regimen that includes regenerative, non-dosing days, the risks are relatively low but only time and studies will reveal the answer.
How Avoiding A Conversation With Your Doctor About Microdosing Could Hurt You
Physically, psychedelics are one of the least toxic drugs known and even at high doses, physical effects appear minor. Microdosing alleviates the psychological risks with the exception of building up tolerance.
Talking to your doctor about psychedelics might not be the easiest subject to bring up but it is important to be honest about whether you are considering starting or have started microdosing with your doctor, especially if:
- You have ever had a medical condition or have a medical condition
- You are taking any prescription medications
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that since microdosing doesn’t fall into the paradigm of Western medicine, your medical doctor may not be overly warm to the idea.
The fact is that microdosing magic mushrooms isn’t for everyone and there are certain medical conditions (like psychosis, bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia) that may make you a poor candidate for microdosing. Keep your chin up though friend. Let’s remember that when it comes to mental health, there are professionals who understand much more about psychedelics than general practitioners. Ask for a referral to a psychiatrist. Even better, ask for a referral to a psychiatrist who has experience treating patients with psychedelics.
Remember, just because one professional doesn’t have the experience or desire to help you learn more about microdosing magic mushrooms, doesn’t mean the door is closed.
Microdosing magic mushrooms may be a more mainstream use of psychedelics, but you still might have to look outside of conventional medicine to get someone to be honest, transparent and open to talking about it with you. You might consider having a consultation with a pharmacist, naturopathic doctor, herbalist, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor. Your psychologist or therapist may even have a good referral for you.
What Happened When My 72 Year Old Mother Spoke to Her Doctor About Microdosing Magic Mushrooms
When my 72 year old mother started microdosing magic mushrooms she jumped right in. She deals with very physically and emotionally stressful medical conditions and was instantly receptive to the benefits of microdosing.
I have to admit, this scared me a bit because she does have a life-threatening heart condition. This health struggle has brought her near death twice, resulting in air ambulance transport and stays in intensive care units in hospitals far from home that lasted months. She also takes fistfulls of medication multiple times a day for various physical ailments.
I didn’t think the risks of damaging the heart were particularly high with a 100 mg microdose of psilocybin on a 5 days on- 2 days off regimen were high but just in case, I urged her to speak with her family doctor.
Let me tell you, I considered all the things he could tell her about psychedelics, particularly the illegal variety, and I wasn’t feeling very optimistic. Neither was she, but she talked to him anyway.
Were we ever in for a shocker.
His response was much more reasonable and pragmatic than we ever expected it to be. My mom said he asked her for lots of details and told her he would get back to her about it at a follow up.
He read. He researched. A week later she went back to the clinic to see what he found.
Before I continue with this story, I want you to know what I am not going to say and why, just to manage expectations.
My mom’s story might resonate with you very strongly and you may be hoping I will tell you exactly what the outcome of this was, but I’m not going to for a few reasons:
- I don’t want you to message Neuro Growth asking what her specific conditions and medications are to look for our advice as to whether you are a good candidate for microdosing. We aren’t doctors and we can’t answer those questions.
- I don’t want you to base your decision to microdose magic mushrooms on a comparison of your health challenges to my mother’s. Everyone is unique and no two people share the same challenges with their physical or mental health. You are important. You are loved. You don’t deserve to have your own health struggles diminished or amplified by those of another person.
Here is what I will tell you about my mom’s experience talking to her MD about microdosing. It’s all the important stuff you need to know anyway:
- She was met with compassion and not judgment.
- Her doctor understood her concerns about the side effects of her prescription medications. He didn’t make her feel bad for searching for alternatives.
- Her doctor validated her for searching for solutions for chronic conditions outside of the healthcare system.
- They both had an opportunity to discuss what they learned and know about microdosing magic mushrooms.
- Her doctor was solution-oriented. He understood that she is looking to improve a rather abysmal health situation.
- My mom left the conversation feeling good about the conversation and hopeful.
I don’t want to imply this is how your conversations with your health care team will be received.
What I do want to encourage you to do is to ask questions to the professionals who support you in caring for your mind, body and spirit. Put forth positive energy, even if you have had negative experiences talking to these people in the past.
Most of all I want to encourage you to never give up self-advocating for your health.
How Microdosing Daily Discredits The Movement
Microdosing magic mushrooms is more than about educating people about a natural treatment to improve mood. It’s a movement. It’s about reclaiming the bounty of medicine that is provided by nature and showing it is okay to question how the medical community and pharmaceutical industry prescribes treatment for mental health.
When we follow microdosing regimens that allow for days off, we demonstrate that we value the power of this plant medicine and respect its strength. We show that we understand what is known about how psychedelics (even tiny amounts of them) impact the brain based on the best and most current science available to us.
Following microdosing regimens responsibly helps to break down the social stigmas and stereotypes about psychedelics. Did you know that Imperial College London, the first Centre for Psychedelic Research in the world, feels microdosing magic mushrooms could break Big Pharma’s stronghold on the antidepressant market within 5 years? (9) The market on antidepressants is predicted to be worth $15.9 billion by 2023.
That’s a clue. It’s also a momentum we want to keep going. To everyone who microdoses or sees its value, this shows you we truly have something special. We are onto something.
We wrote “A Complete Beginners Guide to Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms” to reveal to you the SECRETS and SHOCKING TRUTH about how microdosing can help with human optimization, depression and anxiety. It features incredible HERBS FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION that work well for thousands upon thousands of people!
Check out the Complete Beginners Guide To Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms HERE
You can send us a confidential message using the secure contact form below. Please note that we do not sell any products containing psilocybin or offer sourcing referrals.
Also check out: They Don’t Get High But They Do Get Shocking Results: What Happens When Work Day and Weekend Warriors Microdose Magic Mushrooms? Does it Help with Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression?, Top Magic Mushroom Chocolate Making Experts Reveal How To Make The BEST Chocolate Bars For Microdosing FAST… Even If You Suck In The Kitchen, What You Really Need to Know About the Paul Stamets Microdosing Stack To Get Rid of Depression Fast, What Happened When He Microdosed Magic Mushrooms While Smoking Cannabis? How Magic Mushroom Microdosing My Coffee Transformed My Day