Psychedelics have hit the mainstream, growing in popularity at an impressive rate. Today we are faced with uncertainty and conflict from multiple angles. The worldwide pandemic is confining people to small spaces with few options for emotional relief, creating unanticipated stress. Drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and divorce are all on the rise. With this recipe for disaster, now may be the perfect time to add psilocybin to the list of ingredients. Many have already started microdosing during quarantine to deal with these tense and stressful times and improve emotional well-being.
Everyone is different, but if you are feeling curious about microdosing psilocybin, now might be a great time to start.
We interviewed four different people from all over the country who have chosen to microdose during quarantine times. Each individual microdosed in hopes of improving their quality of life during these uncertain times.
To have a full psychedelic experience takes about 3.5 grams of dried mushrooms. This amount varies based on body weight and variety of psilocybin. A standard suggested microdose is usually between one-tenth of a gram and one-tenth of a psychedelic dose. Quite often with psilocybin, individuals take between 0.1 grams to 1 gram. It is always suggested you start with less and play with your dose until you find your sweet spot.
Mary is a sixty-seven-year-old woman living in Hawaii. She has been in quarantine with her husband since February. They both have been very careful, rarely leaving their home because of their age. This has created high-stress living conditions. Mary’s friend suggested microdosing as an outlet for her stress. Mary takes half-gram capsules in the morning with her breakfast. She is on the fence about the results, but does believe there are benefits.
“It isn’t like I am in an altered state of any sort. I just go about my business as usual. I do notice things that would have irritated me in the past don’t have the same power over me when I microdose mushrooms.” Mary did say that the irritations do return when she is not microdosing. “The mushrooms [don’t] cure me of being bothered or annoyed in general; they just shift my energy. They make me more patient and overall more joyous when I have taken them.”
Mary does not plan to consistently microdose throughout the pandemic. She says her plan is to continue to use it as a tool when she needs relief from the built-up stress. “When I am microdosing I feel calm, more relaxed.” She also noted it helps with her energy. “I get projects done and thoroughly enjoy myself while I am working.”
Overall, Mary said she would recommend giving it a try to anyone who is curious. “It certainly didn’t have any negative effects for me personally.”
The Proof Is in the Mushrooms
The journal Psychopharmacology recently published the results of a new study led by Luisa Prochazkova of the Cognitive Psychology Unit & Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition at Leiden Universtity, entitled “Exploring the Effect of Microdosing Psychedelics on Creativity in an Open-Label Natural Setting.”
One finding of this study states,
“We found that both convergent and divergent thinking performance was improved after a non-blinded microdose, whereas fluid intelligence was unaffected.”
Knowing that fluid intelligence remains unaffected supports the belief that microdosing correctly is safe for responsible adults.
The Stay-At-Home Mom
Joy is a thirty-seven-year-old mother of two who lives in California. The climbing numbers of cases in her state is a huge matter of concern for her. Her husband was laid off from his work in the very beginning of the pandemic. This has only added to her stress. Joy says being confined to their modestly sized home has been “both a positive experience and a daily struggle.”
Joy is a psychedelic enthusiast but has never tried microdosing. She explained that her main hesitation comes from her need to be on high alert and consistently available for her children.
“I love psychedelics, but I have a lot of anxiety about being fully present and capable as a parent. So microdosing is something I have always considered as an idea I support, but hadn’t tried.”
Using Psilocybin Responsibly and Effectively
Because of the added stress of the pandemic, and the overall state of the world, Joy decided to try microdosing during quarantine.
“I take my capsule in the morning. The unfortunate name of the variety of mushrooms is Albino Penis Envy. I just don’t understand why they are called that. [Online images of the mushroom are self-explanatory.] I definitely feel completely sober throughout the day, which was a huge worry of mine. There is zero level of concern about my motor skills or ability to parent. I’m not sure if it has helped with the stress level, to be honest. I do find that it makes me more empathetic but sometimes that almost stresses me out more because I am so worried about everyone’s feelings. I do believe that long-term benefits from microdosing take time and I plan to stick with my routine.”
Joy explained there were times when she would feel unexplainably lighthearted. “When I microdose I sometimes catch myself saying something that doesn’t seem like me. Almost too silly, if that makes sense.”
Joy noted that the effects were so mild they often times went unnoticed. “Almost everyday I forget that I’ve microdosed, but in the evening I always try to reflect on my day to see what may have been different. I do believe that it has changed my relationship with my husband for the better. I am [more easygoing] around him, more appreciative of him, I guess you could say.”
Joy also went on to express her interest in playing with the dosage a bit. “I think I almost need to hit the point where I trip so I can scale back enough to not trip but still jump-start my brain.”
High-Risk Individuals In Quarantine
The stress of the pandemic is different for everyone. Betty, a 35-year-old artist who shares an apartment in Washington, D.C. with her boyfriend, has also been microdosing during the pandemic. Her health depends upon keeping her stress under control. Because of her chronic health issues, Betty is at high risk and has to be especially careful. The pandemic has forced her to reduce her time outside the apartment to a bare minimum.
“Microdosing during quarantine has enhanced my mood, keeping me in a better state of mind to help my physical health.”
Betty explained that her health issues are triggered by stress (among other things). High stress can cause extreme pain and even a trip to the hospital. “I am definitely not going out, and in to the city. I am at home trying to stay safe. But not having an outlet or a way to escape my apartment brings on its own stress. Between being stuck at home and with the state of the world, I feel the effects physically and have bad reactions.” Betty says her main focus right now is keeping herself centered and grounded during this pandemic. “Meditation, art, anything to keep me calm and breathing deep helps me. Microdosing has been incredibly helpful for my mood.”
Separating Work and Play
Working as a graphic designer, Betty does not enjoy mixing microdosing with large amounts of screen time. She only doses on the weekends. “I can’t drink because of my condition. I don’t want to spend all my time in front of the TV. There are only so many options in a small apartment. Microdosing helps me to enjoy life when entertainment is so limited.”
When not working, Betty spends her free time in her art studio. “[Microdosing] enhances my creative process; it’s definitely a mood elevator. For me, microdosing is therapeutic.”
I asked Betty what she would say to anyone hesitant about microdosing during the pandemic.
“I would be curious as to why anyone would be hesitant to trying microdosing. It’s such a small amount that there is really no harm in giving it a shot. There is no down side to microdosing, and so it’s definitely worth trying at least once.”
The New Father
Our last interview was with Bob, a California resident who says he feels unique in his ability to not let the global pandemic overly stress him out. “I would definitely say we are cautious but honestly, the overall state of the world is far more upsetting to me.”
Being a parent to a young child has proven difficult during quarantine. Bob explained it is challenging to have a child under the age of two confined to the house. “We are airing on the side of caution, [with] so many forms of entertainment for her out of the [question]. We aren’t taking her anywhere public. This means we have to be creative about the locations we do take her to outside of our home.”
Bob is a psychedelic enthusiast who hadn’t planned on a consistent schedule of microdosing during quarantine. After one day of swapping alcohol for a microdose of psilocybin, he observed a shift that he has decided to maintain. He has now been enjoying the benefits for over a month and has no plans to quit.
Better Results From a New Regimen
“Originally I worried it may make me feel less motivated. It has actually [had] quite the opposite effect. I am up and ready to go…. the main benefit I’ve experienced personally from microdosing during quarantine times is just more energy. I feel motivated to complete projects.”
Bob also has been microdosing Albino Penis Envy. He takes his microdose with breakfast, which he says is important. “There were a few times I took a larger microdose without eating. I definitely felt it more than a microdose. It is something to be careful about.”
When asked what he would say to someone interested in trying to microdose, Bob replied, “I would say that’s great … everyone has their own thing they are trying to get out of it. I am just trying it out myself [and] it puts me in an overall good mood. I have a lot going on in my life right now so I appreciate the additional benefits.”