Unless you’ve been living under a rock—one sans wifi and cell service—you’re clued into microdosing. While technically only legal in a couple of states, this is not the same as “doing drugs.”
Melissa Kolker, friend of Poosh, is a busy mom and, of course, running a major part of the ship here. She’s not in it for a wild time but uses psilocybin medicinally.
“I first heard of microdosing mushrooms about two years ago from a girlfriend of mine,” Melissa starts.
“Now let me be clear, when I hear mushrooms (and I’m sure I’m not the only one), my mind immediately goes to hallucinating where I think I’m being chased by giant penguins or something. To be honest, I’ve never been into experimenting with anything that would make me trip out and see things. However, my friend assured me that it is nothing like the ‘shrooming’ experiences I was thinking of. I was still not fully convinced or willing to give it a try until about six months ago. And a totally functional journey it has been.”
That’s because microdosing psilocybin from a very specific type of mushroom has nothing to do with perceptible mental experiences and everything to do with almost imperceptible, but important, effects.
Rachelle Robinett, a clinical herbalist and founder of Pharmakon Supernatural, knows all about the magic of plants, including those that contain the compounds we know and love for microdosing.
“Microdosing is the practice of taking a very small (sub-perceptual) dose of psilocybin (or whatever other entheogen one is working with),” Rachelle breaks down.
“Typically, this is about 1/10th a full-sized dose and again, it should be sub-perceptual. So, if someone feels high, even a little bit, what’s too high is the dose. As psychedelics have become more popular, lots of folks refer to small doses as microdoses but technically, there’s a difference. Small doses are just small doses that give us mild effects. Microdoses are meant to be undetectable on a day-to-day basis, essentially working their magic behind the scenes over time. They’re also taken on a specific schedule to prevent building up a tolerance, which happens quickly with psilocybin, for example.
“Microdoses come in a lot of different forms,” Rachelle explains, “so there are tinctures, even chocolate, and the most common is in capsule form, taken just like a vitamin.”
But why microdose if it’s sub-perceptual? What are the mental health benefits?
“The mental health benefits of macro-doses of psilocybin are pretty undisputed at this point, with more research being released all of the time (now that we’ve resumed studies after decades without progress). But, trips can be hard, they’re not always beneficial (some are traumatic), they don’t appeal to everyone, and there are a lot of factors that go into their going right, especially for therapeutic (rather than recreational) use,” Rachelle tells us.
“Microdoses promise many of the same benefits without the risk of a bad trip and less work. Some of the purported benefits include anxiety and depression relief, greater empathy and compassion, enhanced creativity, and an overall improved sense of wellbeing, connection, and life satisfaction.”
Sign us up, right?! With this information in her pocket, Melissa was on board.
“I was with a small group of people I am very close to and feel safe with. One of them had a bar of chocolate mushrooms. The packaging included dosing instructions, which automatically made it feel less scary than shoving a handful of mushrooms in my mouth and hoping for the best. The dosing options ranged from microdosing all the way to “seeing God,” essentially.
“Being all of our first times, we started with half the dose of the microdose. After a while, we decided to take the full microdose. There was never a dramatic moment when I felt it ‘kick in.’ It was more of a ‘oh wait, I’m feeling pretty good and happy.’
“For someone like me who is always in their head and thinking about the future, I felt present and in the moment. I just felt light, and in a good mood. There was no feeling of being out of control or f****d up. We all had a wonderful time in a safe space. Since then, I have microdosed a handful of times, and every time, I have had a positive experience.”
People can take even smaller doses several times a week to experience the anxiety-calming effects.