About 14% of the population suffers from migraine, making it the third most common disease in the world. The migraine experience is not the same for everyone who suffers from them. Migraine can be an occasional unpleasant visitor, or it can be an oppressive tyrant that steals more than half of your time and makes a productive and functional life all but impossible.
There are plenty of articles detailed about migraine, so this article is not going to cover much about the condition. I imagine that anyone who is considering something intimidating like trying magic mushrooms for their migraine already knows their condition all too well.
Yale Psilocybin Migraine Study
A small study out of Yale medicine recently produced some promising results regarding the use of mushrooms and migraine control. The sample size was small and conducted over a short period of time, but the results are compelling so far. It seems to indicate about a 50% reduction in migraine frequency. To someone dealing with severe impairment due to refractory migraines, this may already sound attractive.
The dosing used in the clinical trials for migraine and other headache conditions is very mild and is usually well tolerated by most people even without significant coaching or support. Most people describe the feeling of a 1.0 to 1.5 gram dose to be like having a glass of wine, and that is the approximate dosage used in the trials. The study at Yale applied this dose twice in four week period.
In a clinical trial they use pure psilocybin produced artificially in a lab, not the dried mushroom material sourced by most consumers, so the studies will always state quantities in milligrams.
Some Words of Caution Regarding Implementation
Since magic mushrooms are commonly used for both recreational and spiritual purposes and have a very favorable safety profile, you may be curious about adapting a home routine to attempt to achieve similar results. Laws regarding magic mushroom possession and cultivation vary between various states and cities, much like the medical marijuana laws and I encourage you to read up on them. You should not consider this article as medical advice, it is a summary of my personal experience.
You may have heard that magic mushrooms can cause headaches. This is 100% true and should be kept in mind. It is relatively common for some individuals to get a mild rebound headache immediately after the effects of psilocybin have passed. I personally do not get them from dosing at all. I probably would notice anyway when I take these small doses because I take them in the evening and am usually asleep by the time the effects have fully passed.
You should not mix psilocybin with many other common migraine medications, like triptans, SSRI’s and SNRI’s. For a more comprehensive list of possible interactions, visit Clusterbusters.org and make sure to discuss it with your doctor before changing or adding any medications.
My observation so far is that for headaches that are remitting, as most migraines are, a mini dose once or twice a month is probably sufficient and the preferred way to go just like in the clinical trials. As I stated before, it is usually well tolerated and not a tumultuous experience at all.
Chronic daily conditions often warrant an intense meditative approach with more aggressive dosing. For me, a mini dose is not enough to stop the headache in progress. I am sure everyone is different, but based on my experience, I would advise anyone against taking a mini dose while having an active headache. The studies involving psilocybin looked at it as a preventative agent, not necessarily as an abortive. A mini dose may make you feel like you drank an alcoholic beverage, so slightly intoxicated, along with racing thoughts. It would be a miserable experience to feel a bit drunk, have racing thoughts, and still have a headache on top of all that that.
The Future in Medicine
New cities and states are decriminalizing and even legalizing magic mushrooms with each legislative cycle. Their application in the management of mental health issues is probably the most well-known, but they are also being investigated for use in pain management. In certain headache communities that have benefited from their use significantly for many years, like the cluster headache community, discussing their use is generally well accepted.