While high doses of psychedelics have remained prevalent in culture for decades, microdosing mushrooms has only become popular in recent years. This new phenomenon has revealed to us a whole new set of benefits that medicinal mushrooms can provide.
Both experiences can be incredibly therapeutic, but one may be better for some individuals and their goals, desires, and comfort levels. If you’re considering bringing psychedelic medicine into your life, continue reading to learn the key differences between macrodosing and microdosing mushrooms.
Macrodosing and microdosing mushrooms provide two vastly different perceptual experiences.
Macrodosing produces the effects of a full psychedelic trip, including visual and auditory hallucinations, time distortion, an altered headspace, and the possibility of experiencing the well-known “ego death,” a temporary loss of personal identity and a feeling of being one with everything.
Microdosing is described as sub-perceptual for a reason – when done right, it doesn’t produce the same intense, perception-altering effects as macrodosing. Microdosing can produce noticeable effects on a person’s mood, energy level, and state of mind, but not in a way that hinders their ability to go about their normal daily routine.
For both macrodosing and microdosing mushrooms, the direct effects can last anywhere between four and eight hours. Both experiences can induce afterglow effects the next day, where users experience a slight uptick in mood and awareness, though it’s not nearly as strong as the direct experience.
Macrodosing mushrooms requires a much greater time commitment than microdosing, especially for those who wish to use the experience for healing purposes. A few days, sometimes weeks, of preparation can be beneficial and greatly enhance the experience of a trip. Some like to practice meditation or follow a particular diet in the days leading up to a high dose of mushrooms.
The trip itself requires time to be set aside, as macrodosing prevents the user from doing most normal activities. Macrodosing for healing purposes also requires an integration period after the trip, so the individual can process what he or she learned and implement changes into his or her life.
Microdosing mushrooms doesn’t require any time to be set aside, though some microdosers prefer to spend time alone, in nature, or away from work and social responsibilities in order to fully absorb the experience. Integrating microdosing into one’s daily life is simple – journaling for a few minutes each day can be enough to allow the benefits and insights to set in.
With regards to healing potential, microdosing can be thought of as a higher dose spread out over time. This allows the user to take his or her time experiencing, processing, and implementing the knowledge he or she gains from the medicinal mushroom experience.
Higher doses of medicinal mushrooms can provide the user with a lot of insight and information in a short amount of time. When used in the right set and setting, macrodosing has a lot of potential for spiritual and emotional healing. And, simply put, the experience of macrodosing mushrooms is pleasurable for many people.
A unique benefit of macrodosing is its ability to induce a mystical experience. Recent studies, along with generations of psychedelic ritual in indigenous cultures, have shown us that these experiences can significantly reduce one’s fear of death, and reduce end-of-life depression and anxiety in those with terminal illnesses.
Microdosing, when compared to higher doses, allows the user to experience a range of potential benefits in his or her daily life. Microdosing can improve mood, creativity, energy, focus, appreciation of nature and beauty, and enjoyment of day-to-day activities. It also has the potential to treat depression and certain mood disorders, though the research is still in its early stages.
Microdosing mushrooms is an attractive choice for those looking to dip their toes into the world of psychedelics, but might be hesitant for a variety of reasons. Microdosing mitigates the risks of experiencing a bad trip, feeling lost and confused, and losing control of one’s sense of identity and grasp on reality.
Both macrodosing and microdosing mushrooms may share a surprising benefit: the ability to help the brain heal. A phenomenon known as neural plasticity shows us that the brain is always changing and adapting, and psilocybin might impact this process in a positive way. This opens the door to the possibility of medicinal mushroom treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
Macrodosing mushrooms comes with the risk of having a bad trip, or an otherwise uncomfortable experience. Especially for first time users, it can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate on one’s own. This is why set and setting are so important. The presence of a guide or trip sitter may be a good idea, and proper precautions need to be taken to keep the user out of harm’s way while in an altered state of consciousness.
While microdosing mushrooms doesn’t expose users to any of these risks, it’s important to note that the long-term risks of microdosing are unknown, as research is still developing.
Both microdosing and macrodosing medicinal mushrooms carry legal risks depending on where you live, so it’s important to be aware of the laws surrounding psilocybin in your area. We don’t recommend using medicinal mushrooms where they are illegal. Feeling nervous or guilty while macrodosing or microdosing mushrooms can significantly hinder their healing potential.