Magic n’ Microdosing
Magic n’ Microdosing
NOT Your Typical Pill
The whirring buzz is building and getting louder and louder. More and more people are ditching Pharma medications in favor of microdosing protocols. According to Gwella Mushrooms, a Canadian company that specializes in alternative mushroom-based wellness and increased psychedelic awareness, around half of the microdosers in North America have started since the pandemic. DoubleBlind recently highlighted Gwella’s survey findings while reporting on this cultural phenomenon.
Should we be surprised by the surge of people exploring unconventional strategies for health and well-being? Probably not, considering the recent track record of Pharma and just how dire our collective mental health really is: Depression, anxiety, addiction, PTSD, and suicide are all on the rise. Ugh. Oh, and yes, The Opioid Crisis had another banner year, claiming 100K lives in 2021. Corporate greed has set our country on fire. Pharma has betrayed our trust in valuing profit over people.
Depression, anxiety, addiction, PTSD, and suicide are all on the rise.
Big potential changes loom on the horizon. Just recently, the Intercept published a letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that “discloses the anticipated FDA approval of MDMA and psilocybin treatments.” It looks as though we will see the long-awaited cures for PTSD and depression. “President Joe Biden’s administration ‘anticipates’ that regulators [may] approve MDMA and psilocybin within the next two years for designated breakthrough therapies for PTSD and depression,” reports The Intercept. According to Dr. Rick Doblin, the executive director of MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies), MDMA-assisted therapy will be “the domino that tips all the others.”
The rubber is meeting the road. Right. Now!
In addition to the pioneering, game-changing work of MAPS, there are undeniably positive findings from Johns Hopkins, NYU, UCLA, Imperial College of London, and many other esteemed educational institutions green-lighting psychedelic medicine for healing trauma. And further, a thriving Decriminalize Nature movement is sweeping our nation where many major cities (And the trail-blazing state of Oregon) have taken a stand against the dubious Drug War; all are sending signals of safety for those looking to explore microdosing.
Rick Doblin courtesy of MAPS
But even still, the scientific community is dumbfounded by the cultural phenomenon of microdosing psychedelic medicine. We don’t really know how it works. Is there something here, or is it the placebo effect? Or maybe the power of intention is at play? There is a lot of uncertainty as to why the anecdotal reporting is almost all positive. Possibly, because this is a low-risk proposal. Many of the findings thus far have been self-reported, “citizen science,” where people submit reports of their experiences. It’s thought that those that aren’t benefiting from microdosing just stop. No harm, no foul. Likely on to the next promising health fad.
Can microdosing be a bridge for the wounded and weary failed by our failed Western mental health model?
It sure appears as a viable alternative and possible replacement. That is not a misprint. World-renowned microdosing expert Dr. Jim Fadiman observes that “Many, many, many people take microdosing to help them get off of SSRIs that are no longer working.” Here is an expansive survey supporting Dr. Fadiman’s claims: The Global Drug Survey (GDS) report, the world’s largest drug survey, presented microdosing data from 32,022 individuals from 22 countries. Its results were “about one-half of individuals who microdose and reported taking prescription medicine for mental health conditions said they had reduced or stopped using the prescribed drugs.”
But what about the dangerous contraindications? Are you saying it’s safe to microdose while taking medications? According to Dr. Fadiman’s “citizen science” reporting it is: There are 180+ medications and supplements that are safe for consumption while microdosing.
**None of this is medical advice. Always check with your doctor before making changes to medications** If your doctor doesn’t have a clue about psychedelics, then kindly point them to the Psychedelic Medicine Association, where Lynn Marie Morski, MD, is working earnestly to bridge the gap between the cutting-edge psychedelic science and our current Western medical model.
For this past year, we’ve been hosting weekly Psychedelic & Limitless Personal Growth Microdosing Monday Meet–ups. I’ve been humbled by the gut-wrenchingly vulnerable shares and the resilient courage of those seeking to break free from their SSRIs and Pharma medications.
James, a 52-year-old family man who works in financial services, did just that, calling BS on B$ Inc. “I’ll be honest, getting off SSRIs was probably one my largest, greater personal accomplishments; something I’ve done for myself.” He was on an array of medications for nearly 20 years when he found the courage within to come to grips with his extreme disenchantment, admitting he was sick and tired of being sick and tired. “The withdrawal period was very difficult,” but with microdosing psilocybin to help buffer the withdrawal of the addictive, toxic pills, he was able to endure. “Once you push through and see there is another world out there. And other ways to treat anxiety and depression,” James exclaimed in a spirit of gratitude on the other side of a crucible espousing the benefits of “Plant medicines, meditation, journaling, breathwork and the power of ritual” as a means of cultivating Mind/Body/Spirit harmony from within.
How does this work? How can microdosing help to harmonize Pharma addictions and the brutal titration/discontinuation process?
While we don’t know for sure, it appears as though the microdosing mechanism at play is the elevated neuroplasticity that psychedelics promote.
What is neuroplasticity? Dr. Andrew Huberman, a Stanford neurobiologist and host of the Huberman Lab Podcast asserts, “Neuroplasticity is our nervous system and brain’s ability to change to internal and external conditions.” Its been established that psychedelics increase Brain–Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF). BDNF has been dubbed the “Miracle grow for our brains” as the marker to measure neuroplasticity and is measured in our blood plasma.
Dr. James Fadiman photo by Scott Kline
What if this microdosing-miracle-grow made all the healthy habits and practices we know we should be doing a little easier to adopt: meditation, mindfulness, exercise, breathwork, healthy eating, etc.?
In my personal journey, and through 4+ years of psychedelic integration coaching, it appears as though microdosing is akin to a lynchpin practice, one that has the leverage to hold up many other habits. The elevated neuroplasticity invites us to think again and expand our limits of possibility.
Microdosing is like slow-dripped rocket fuel with natural guard rails built in. But there is a catch: it works to the degree to which we work it. There is no free lunch here. The disempowering Pharma model has trained us that we need a pill to fix ourselves. Microdosing increases our Self-awareness from within, inspiring actionable insights and positive change through our own eyes. If we are to get the big benefits that microdosing promises, we must put in the work. A common response from my 1-on-1 coaching clients and Magic n’ Microdosing Group Coaching Program participants are, “microdosing helps me struggle better.” There is a grace in this process that makes leaning into the discomfort of necessary change feel safe.
Curious about adopting an intentional microdosing protocol? The Microdosing Institute outlines the most common protocols, or visit worththefightbook.org, where I share a free Microdosing Manual: 8 Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make, for avoiding predictable pitfalls and achieving magical results.
Happy microdosing! And remember, always with intention.
Matt Simpson is an author, podcaster and psychedelic integration coach who specializes in microdosing support. He assists clients remotely through empowerment sessions that inspire people to deepen into Self-love: Clarity & Connection. You can reach him at Matt@nltrans.org.