Microdosing mushrooms for migraine has recently become an area of interest after the publicity regarding the Yale psilocybin/migraine study. In general, microdosing psychedelics is a prominent movement in pop culture these days. It is bound to come up in pretty much any conversation about the subject of psychedelics in general, and it is probably the most powerful vehicle moving these substances into mainstream culture today.
What Is A Microdose?
Not many people can really agree on what exactly a microdose consists of. The only consensus seems to be that the effects of the substance should be “below perception”, as in after you consume it you should not feel any psychoactive effects. None of the studies regarding migraine have used a dose this low, and we have no reason to believe that it would be effective.
What They Don’t Tell You About Microdosing
A cardiologist would not recommend to take these substances every day, or even multiple times a week like the average microdose schedule calls for. Microdosing mushrooms may have consequences that microdosing fans may have not considered, especially to their cardiac health due to the constant stimulation of certain serotonin receptors. I keep my condition in check with small barely above perceptible doses once a week, and one large “hero” loading dose once a month. This is as often as I am willing to risk it.
Microdosing Principles May Not Apply To Migraine
Some individuals say they benefit greatly from microdosing. They state that it has improved their mental health greatly. I am incredibly happy for them, but a certain amount of psychedelic effect seems to be required to obtain pain relief. Every study I’ve looked at made use of of that “mind bending” effect that comes with psychedelics in order to work their “magic”.
Sure, different conditions have different approaches. I would say that some of the headache condition sufferers can sometimes get away with the lightest doses and still see good results. Though the actual mechanism is not well understood, there are some plausible theories. One suggests that unique change in blood flow patterns from the vasoconstrictive properties of the psychedelics interrupts whatever process culminates into a migraine. If the dose is so tiny that it does not impact blood flow, it is unlikely to have an effect.
A comparison of functional differences between (A) placebo and (B) hallucinogens. An illustration of the connections between neurological activity in (A) subjects given a placebo and (B) those given psilocybin. From Petri et al. (2014).
Microdosing- Just Not Enough
I don’t think that microdosing with amounts truly below perception would achieve a significant effect.
We do discuss these mechanisms during the retreat in detail. You can also read about the different dosing levels here. This all being said, microdosing is a personal choice, and is likely to become a big part of pop culture in the future. After our retreat, everyone goes home with both the confidence to handle whatever dose they choose,. They also acquire skills to cultivate whatever quantity at whatever rate they need.