As we consider the enigmatic notion of ego death, a sense of oneness with the universe, we may find ourselves pondering ideas and concepts that are often associated with the “New Age” section of bookshops. Now, these concepts are being studied for their potential to treat several mental health conditions, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, and addiction.
As the medical and scientific communities come closer to potentially approving psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and ayahuasca as viable psychiatric treatments, an unprecedented need has arisen for these institutions to grasp the mystical realm beyond mere scholarly inquisitiveness.
The domains of science and spirituality have long been regarded as disparate realms. But how will these domains converge when mysticism is assimilated into the modalities of medical intervention?
How Do High Doses Of Psilocybin Affect Our Brain?
In 2014, a study conducted by researchers from the esteemed Imperial College London revealed that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, induces the level of communication between regions of the brain that are normally disconnected from each other.
By analyzing MRI brain scans of individuals who had consumed psilocybin versus those who had taken a placebo, scientists discovered that the use of magic mushrooms triggers a distinct pattern of connectivity in the brain. During the hallucinogenic state, the brain operates with less restriction and more intercommunication, much like the process of dreaming.
Furthermore, psilocybin is known to inhibit activity in the brain’s default mode network, which can explain why many people report accessing higher levels of consciousness, gaining new insights into longstanding struggles, and experiencing increased levels of happiness after using magic mushrooms.
Studies have also shown that psilocybin mushrooms can be highly effective in reducing anxiety in individuals with terminal illnesses, treating alcohol and nicotine addictions, alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, and helping individuals cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Effects Of Psilocybin – Exploring the Dosage
When talking about macrodosing psilocybin there are various different dosages to take into consideration. Although a macrodose is typically described as a dose that is strong enough to induce significant perceptual alternations, as well as changes in cognition and emotions, it’s often accompanied by profound mystical experiences.
Here are the 5 different dosages and the effects they can induce:
A range of 0.1 to 0.5 grams of psilocybe cubensis is typically used for microdosing during therapeutic treatments. This dosage produces minimal acute effects and is not enough to induce a “high,” but it may have long-term benefits.
A low dosage of 1 gram of psilocybe cubensis (~10 mg psilocybin) can produce some effects such as euphoria and heightened senses.
A medium dosage of 1.75 grams of psilocybe cubensis (~17.5 mg psilocybin) can produce some hallucinogenic effects, mostly visual and sensory, as well as stronger euphoria.
A high dosage of 3.5 grams of psilocybe cubensis (~35 mg psilocybin) can induce strong visual and sensory distortions, leading to mind-blowing effects and synesthesia (blending of the senses).
A “heroic dosage” of 5 grams or more, of psilocybe cubensis (~50 mg psilocybin) typically brings the full depth of a mushroom trip experience. This term was coined by American ethnobotanist Terrence McKenna. Taking this high dosage can result in a complete loss of self-control and a distorted sense of reality.
Usually, mystical experiences happen on doses of 3 grams of dried magic mushrooms and above. At the peak of these doses, people commonly describe a sense of unity or interconnectedness with everything around them, a feeling of transcending time and space, and a deep sense of meaning and purpose.
Mystical experiences aren’t something you should be afraid of. As ethnopharmacologist and author, Dennis McKenna once said “Nobody can have your psychedelic experience for you; you just have to screw your courage up and raise the cup to your lips or smoke the pipe or whatever it is and face what’s in there.”
What To Expect From Macrodosing
A high dose of psilocybin-containing mushrooms can lead to a powerful, deeply meaningful psychedelic experience. It’s like taking a leap of faith.
These trips (macrodosing mushrooms) force you to confront yourself head-on. You may experience intense visual hallucinations, realizations, or changes in perception. This can bring up uncomfortable feelings or realizations about yourself and your life, leading to what’s often called a “bad trip”. Although, these realizations dig deep into our subconsciousness, and can be exceptionally growth-provoking when integrated.
Taking a large dose of magic mushrooms (macrodosing mushrooms) can last anywhere from 4 to 10 hours, depending on the amount consumed, although it usually falls somewhere in the 6 to 8-hour range.
Unlike microdosing, taking large doses of magic mushrooms should not be done on a regular, weekly basis. These experiences can sometimes be extremely overwhelming and should be spaced out. Many people report doing a macrodose trip every 3 to 6 months, while others take more time to integrate previous lessons.
Is Macrodosing a Good Choice For You?
As previously stated, taking a macrodose of psilocybin mushrooms can be an intense and draining experience. If you have no prior experience with psychedelics and you jump straight into a high dose, you may find it extremely uncomfortable and not want to try it again.
However, there are some individuals who are experienced psychonauts and can handle larger doses of shrooms. If you are looking for a healing experience from a macrodose for the first time, it is recommended to do so in a therapeutic setting. For example, this could be a plant medicine retreat or a clinic that’s specialized in psychedelic therapy.
Middle Ground Doses
There are a lot of people who find great insights into the middle ground between a microdose and a macrodose. These doses can vary anywhere from 1 to 4 grams and can produce similar effects to a macrodose, although far less intense.
For those new to psychedelics, it is recommended to start with an in-between dose. This allows for observation of how psilocybin affects the individual both during and after the experience.
Some of the most introspective and transformative trips can be experienced with doses of less than 3 grams. It is important to remember that with strong substances like psilocybin, less can often be more, and their therapeutic potential should not be underestimated.
As scientific research continues to unveil the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin-containing mushrooms, the concept of macrodosing has emerged as a way to experience mystical experiences and gain a deeper understanding of oneself.
The study of psilocybin and other psychedelics as viable psychiatric treatments has spurred an unprecedented need for institutions to comprehend the mystical realm beyond mere scholarly interest. While psilocybin can induce a variety of perceptual and cognitive effects, it is the mystical experiences that are often reported as the most meaningful and profound.
Taking large doses of psilocybin can lead to a powerful, deeply meaningful psychedelic experience. Overall, while the domains of science and spirituality have long been regarded as disparate realms, the merging of the two may hold great promise in treating several mental health conditions. Have you tried macrodosing mushrooms? Let us know!