Studies Find That A Dose of Psilocybin May Ease Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

According to a recent study, taking the psychedelic psilocybin on a daily basis in very small dosages can improve mental health and alleviate some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Discover more about mushrooms for anxiety by reading on.

WARNING: Psilocybin may be considered an illegal substance in certain regions, and we do not endorse or advocate its use where prohibited by law. This guide aims to prioritize the safety of individuals who use this substance in compliance with legal regulations.

Understanding Magic Mushrooms and Psilocybin

Magic mushrooms, scientifically known as Psilocybe fungi, are renowned for containing psilocybin, a compound linked to psychedelic experiences. However, understanding the potency and dosing of dried magic mushrooms or psilocybin-based products requires insight into the psilocybin content in the most common Psilocybe species.

Identifying the Active Compound

Contrary to common belief, psilocybin itself isn’t the primary active drug in magic mushrooms. Instead, it functions as a prodrug—an inactive compound that the body metabolizes into an active drug. Upon consumption, psilocybin transforms into psilocin, the active substance responsible for inducing psychedelic effects. These effects stem from psilocin’s structural similarity to serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain.

How Many Dose of Psilocybin is in Magic Mushrooms?

The quantification of psilocybin in most magic mushrooms remains untested, primarily due to the absence of a legal and regulated framework for such analyses. Nonetheless, published data on Psilocybe mushroom species offers some insights into psilocybin content, aiding in establishing dosing recommendations.

Research findings of the typical magic mushroom species like Psilocybe cubensis reveal varying psilocybin contents, ranging from 0.5% to 1.0% total psilocin. On average, these mushrooms contain about 0.7% total psilocin by weight. Notably, this amount roughly equates to around 1% psilocybin. It’s important to note that psilocybin levels can significantly differ among samples of the same species and across various species.

Effects of Different Dose of Psilocybin

Microdose Psilocybin : 1 gram

At 1% psilocybin content, ingesting one gram of magic mushrooms constitutes a low but noticeable dose. While not a microdose, this amount typically induces effects such as enhanced senses and subtle euphoria rather than significant visual alterations or a departure from reality.

Medium Dose: 1.75 grams

Taking 1.75 grams—about half an eighth ounce of dried mushrooms—equals approximately 17.5 mg of total psilocybin content. This dosage generally results in perceptual changes, including visual alterations and heightened euphoria, but might not elicit profound shifts in self-perception or intense psychedelic experiences.

High Dose: 3.5 grams (an eighth ounce)

Consuming an eighth-ounce or 3.5 grams of dried mushrooms delivers around 35 mg of psilocybin. This quantity induces a robust psychedelic experience, causing significant cognitive distortions, perceptual changes, and potential difficulties in navigating reality, especially during peak effects.

Ultra-High Dose: 5 grams

A five-gram dosage of magic mushrooms containing approximately 50 mg of psilocybin at 1% content leads to an intense, overwhelming, and potentially indescribable experience. Termed the “heroic dose,” it often results in complete ego dissolution and profound alterations in perception. Only experienced individuals, preferably in a safe environment, attempt doses of this magnitude due to their overwhelming nature and potential intensity.

Observations from Clinical Trials

Comparisons between the earlier mentioned doses and descriptions with those observed in controlled human clinical trials have shown noteworthy correlations. Pioneering studies at Johns Hopkins University administered controlled psilocybin doses to patients, revealing that higher doses—approximately 20-30 mg—often elicited what they formally defined as a “mystical-type experience.” This experience was akin to what might be termed a “full-blown psychedelic experience” in everyday terms. These doses fell between the medium and high ranges in the dosage guide mentioned earlier. Consequently, a complete eighth-ounce, or 3.5 grams, of dried Psilocybe cubensis likely contains a higher psilocybin content than the doses employed to induce such mystical-type experiences in controlled clinical settings consistently.

Administration Guide for Magic Mushrooms

Adhering to the principle of “Start low, go slow” is vital when experimenting with a new psychoactive substance like psilocybin. To begin, commence with no more than one gram of dried mushrooms or 10 mg of psilocybin, equivalent to a low dose. Gradually increase your dose every 25 minutes, advancing cautiously only once you feel at ease with lower doses. Always ensure a secure, comfortable setting when consuming psilocybin, preferably with supervision or professional support available in case of any difficulties, as demonstrated in the Johns Hopkins studies. The effects of psilocybin and similar psychedelics are highly influenced by your mental and physical state as well as the environment—a concept referred to as “set and setting.”

Upon reaching the “medium dose” range or higher, it becomes crucial to exercise heightened caution. Remember: the experiences you undergo might have lasting effects. Participants from the Johns Hopkins trials frequently described their experiences within the 20-30 mg range as profoundly significant, comparable in importance to life-changing events like the birth of their first child.

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Anxiety Fact Sheet

Anxiety Overview

A mental health condition marked by intense feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that interfere with daily activities. Panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are a few examples of anxiety disorders.
The inability to put aside worry, restlessness, and stress that is out of proportion to the severity of the incident are among the symptoms.
Counseling or medicine, including antidepressants, are used as forms of treatment.

Anxiety Symptoms

Behavioral: hypervigilance, irritability, or restlessness.

Cognitive: lack of concentration, racing thoughts, or unwanted thoughts.

Whole body: fatigue or sweating

Also common:  anxiety, excessive worry, angor animi, fear, insomnia, nausea, palpitations, or trembling

Anxiety Treatment

  • Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
  • Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
  • Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
  • Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
  • Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.

Depression & Anxiety Statistics

It’s critical to understand the distinction between anxiety and depression. Anxiety, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worry, whereas depression, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. It is conceivable for someone to experience depression and anxiety simultaneously.

6.8 million

GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.

Source: National Institute on Mental Health

19 million

Nineteen million adults experience specific phobias, making it the most common anxiety disorder in America.  

Source: ADAA2020

17.3 million

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7.1% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

Psilocybin dose for anxiety: A recent study reveals that regular usage of tiny doses of the hallucinogen psilocybin can enhance mood and mental health.
Psilocybin dose for anxiety: A recent study reveals that regular usage of tiny doses of the hallucinogen psilocybin can enhance mood and mental health.

Understanding the Impact of Psilocybin Doses on Anxiety and Depression

Dosage Guidelines

Recent research highlights the potential benefits of microdosing psilocybin—a hallucinogen renowned for its mood-enhancing and mental health benefits.

In a study published in Nature-Scientific Reports on June 30, it was observed that individuals who microdosed psilocybin reported notable improvements in stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms over 30 days compared to those who did not. The study encompassed over 900 participants who had engaged in microdosing psilocybin in the prior month, with 180 individuals serving as the control group.

Significance of Findings

Zach Walsh, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus, emphasized the significance of these findings, stating that this research represents one of the most extensive longitudinal studies on psilocybin microdosing and includes a control group, contributing significantly to ongoing discussions on the therapeutic potential of microdosing.

Benefits and Usage Insights

Microdosing psilocybin involves taking doses that do not significantly interfere with daily functioning. As per the 2021 Global Drug Survey (GDS), a quarter of psychedelic users have reported microdosing LSD or psilocybin mushrooms within the last year. It was noted that approximately one-third of these users microdose other psychedelic substances, although psilocybin and LSD remain the most commonly used for microdosing.

Dosage Considerations and Frequency

According to Dustin Hines, Ph.D., assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, determining an ideal microdose can be challenging due to its subjective nature. Defining an effective microdose is often based on maintaining standard cognitive functionality without adverse impacts on daily responsibilities.

Participants in the study completed various mood and mental health assessments, reporting their experiences with microdosing psychedelic mushrooms and indicating diverse changes in their well-being.

Psilocybin and Depression

Microdosing psilocybin is often approached with the intent of experiencing its beneficial effects on mood and mental health, typically through three to five doses per week.

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Psilocybin Dosage and Psychomotor Benefits

Assessing Psychomotor Effects

Researchers utilized a smartphone finger-tapping test to evaluate psychomotor symptoms associated with neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis, alongside investigating mental health effects stemming from psilocybin microdosing.

The investigation focused on individuals aged 55 and above who practiced mushroom microdosing and examined the impact of “stacking” psilocybin with lion’s mane—a non-psychedelic fungus—and niacin, a B vitamin.

Enhanced Psychomotor Performance

The study revealed that combining psilocybin with lion’s mane and niacin did not influence mood or mental health changes. However, the psychomotor performance of older microdosers who combined psilocybin with both these substances exhibited potential enhancement.

Positive Outcomes but Observational Research

The current study incorporated participants from a more extensive previous study conducted by the same researchers, where individuals microdosing either psilocybin (via mushrooms) or LSD experienced decreased levels of anxiety, depression, and stress compared to non-microdosers.

Another smaller-scale 2019 study highlighted that modest psychedelic usage was associated with reduced depressive symptoms, stress, and distractibility. However, this study did not include non-microdosers as a control group.

While one of the most extensive studies in this domain, the recent research remains observational rather than a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Therefore, researchers faced challenges in adequately controlling variables like age, gender, baseline mental health, and treatment type, which could impact the outcomes.

Variables like these may significantly influence individual responses to psilocybin. Dustin Hines also points out that factors such as how individuals manage depression versus anxiety can yield diverse reactions to microdosing—what works for one might not work similarly for another.

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Lethal Dose Of Psilocybin

Psychedelic mushrooms have been depicted in the media as being exceedingly harmful, putting users at risk of self-harm, psychosis, and even death, ever since the backlash against the hippie movement in the 1960s.

In actuality, the safest recreational drug, according to the 2016 Global Drug Survey, is psilocybin mushrooms. Just 0.2% of the 12,000 users of magic mushrooms reported seeking emergency care; this is at least five times fewer than the rates for cocaine, LSD, and MDMA.

The most frequent side effects of consuming magic mushrooms were anxiety and panic (68%), paranoia and suspicion (68%), and seeing and hearing things (42%), all of which are signs of a terrible trip or the typical psychedelic effects of psilocybin. No one who visited the emergency room died or suffered a long-term injury, and all but one patient healed in a day.

It is doubtful to overdose on psilocybin due to its low toxicity and low concentration in mushrooms (about 10–12 mg per 1g of psilocybin Cubensis dose). Additionally, psychedelic-induced suicide is extremely rare, despite urban tales and a few sensationalized examples.

However, those who consume psilocybin mushrooms with other drugs or who have underlying medical issues may be more vulnerable to negative consequences.

When it comes to psychedelics, microdosing is taking drugs in doses that are insufficient to have an adverse effect on daily life. Depending on the dosage, it could be taken three to five times each week.
Psilocybin Therapy Dose: When it comes to psychedelics, microdosing is taking drugs in doses that are insufficient to hurt daily life. Depending on the dosage, it could be taken three to five times weekly.

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