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More and more scientific studies are shedding light on the potential mental and physical health benefits of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms. From managing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, aiding in the maintenance of various forms of addiction, supporting several health issues, enhancing creativity and increasing productivity to improving overall mood and well-being, to mention just a few, researchers are finally acknowledging and highlighting the potentially far-reaching benefits of psilocybin mushrooms – and it is about time!
As a result, more people have been turning to the emerging field of study that is microdosing psilocybin mushrooms as an alternative means to manage their physical and mental health. Although the movement surrounding the legalization of psilocybin mushrooms is not progressing nearly as swiftly as the legalization of marijuana, there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel as some researchers believe that psilocybin mushrooms could see approval in the near future.
Psilocybin mushrooms also boasts some powerful therapeutic benefits and have already been decriminalized in several countries around the world as researchers continue to dive deeper into their potential to treat numerous disorders and conditions.
Here is an overview of some of the potential health benefits of psilocybin mushrooms, although new research and studies are continuously being conducted, resulting in an ever-evolving and growing list of potential mental and physical health benefits.
An Overview of Benefits of Psilocybin Mushrooms
While there has been a significant amount of research done on this topic, especially in recent years, a bulk of the research regarding psilocybin mushrooms and its potential health benefits has been focused on using psilocybin mushrooms to treat and manage a range of mental health, psychiatric, and behavioral disorders. Some of which include, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, cluster headaches, as well as quitting addictive behaviours such as smoking, alcoholism, and other drug addictions.
Psilocybin Mushrooms and Mental Health
While there are many possible uses for psilocybin mushrooms, at the moment, it is most frequently used to treat conditions related to mental health. Anxiety and depression are thus among the most researched indications for psilocybin treatment. In fact, psilocybin therapy was recently given “breakthrough therapy” designation (a review fast track) by the FDA for the treatment of depression.
One of the most common misconceptions about using psilocybin mushrooms to manage mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety is that the user must endure a psychedelic trip in order to benefit.
That is simply not true.
As microdosing involves taking a very small amount of a psychoactive substance, the hallucinogenic effect of the substance is virtually imperceptible and far too low to produce any noticeable intoxicating effects. Microdosing psilocybin mushrooms is therefore able to increase neuro activity and aid in the management of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety without bringing on a psychedelic experience.
How exactly does microdosing psilocybin mushrooms aid in the treatment and management of mental health conditions? The primary psychoactive component found in psilocybin mushrooms has the ability to increase neuro connectivity by stimulating receptors in the brain. According to research, this increased neuro connectivity within the brain may be the key to healing trauma from both psychological and physical events. In addition, neuroscience, along with various scientific studies, have revealed that psilocybin interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain to produce a range of consciousness-altering effects. Serotonin is a hormone found in your brain that is responsible for regulating your mood, happiness, and anxiety. Low levels of serotonin are often associated with heightened levels of depression, stress, and anxiety. By increasing your serotonin levels you will thus enhance your mood, feel happier and reduce your anxiety.
As mental health is such a vital component of any individual’s overall health and wellbeing, new research and scientific studies are continuously being conducted on psilocybin mushrooms and its ability to manage and treat various mental health conditions effectively. This means that in addition to the already promising studies and results, there may be even more incredible breakthroughs on the horizon and thus a very bright future ahead with regards to mental health.
Psilocybin and Addiction
If you are struggling with any unhealthy patterns of addictive behaviours in your life, psilocybin mushrooms have the potential to help. According to research, another important use for psilocybin mushrooms is aiding in the cessation of smoking, drinking, and other forms of addiction by helping individuals manage and control their addictive behaviours. While research may be limited on this topic, a recent study conducted by John Hopkins University, led by Matthew Johnson, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, found that psilocybin mushrooms significantly improved the process of quitting smoking cigarettes over a 12 month follow-up period. Besides smoking, according to associate professor Matthew Johnson, psilocybin also has the potential to treat other substance use disorders, including alcohol and cocaine addiction.
How exactly does that work? According to PhD associate professor Matthew Johnson, the nature of these addictions and disorders are based on a narrowed mental and behavioral repertoire. Psilocybin, in well-orchestrated sessions, has the ability to remove an individual from their current routine and give them a new outlook on their life and a glimpse of a larger picture, creating a mental plasticity that gives them the opportunity to step outside of their current reality, and addictive behaviours and move forward.
Potential improvements in brain functioning
Based on recent studies microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms could offer a lot of support and help with brain repair and cell growth. There has been anecdotal evidence that supports the fact that microdosing psilocybin mushrooms has the potential to improve brain functioning by enabling the brain to function and operate at its full potential. Latest analysis and studies have also highlighted the potential of psilocybin mushrooms to stimulate the growth of new brain cells.
To gain a deeper understanding of how this is possible, a recent study was conducted where functional MRIs were performed during the psychedelic experience induced by psilocybin mushrooms. The study revealed that the psilocybin mushrooms wire completely different parts of the brain collectively, essentially facilitating a much smoother connection between its numerous parts- ultimately enhancing overall brain functioning.
Alleviates symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Another potential health benefit of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms is its ability to alleviate symptoms of OCD. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (also known as OCD) is an anxiety or psychiatric disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas, or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions). OCD is a relatively common disorder that affects children, adolescents, and adults across the world. Individuals with OCD also often have other mental health struggles or conditions such as depression, anxiety, or body dysmorphic disorder.
Several scientific studies, including a study conducted by the University of Arizona in 2006, has shown that psilocybin mushrooms are very effective at reducing and alleviating the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Enhances creativity & creative thinking
Enhanced levels of creativity and creative thinking is another potential benefit of psilocybin mushrooms. Several studies and scientific research have found that psilocybin mushroom microdosing can boost levels of cognitive creativity. Over the years, multiple studies have explored the intersection of creativity and psychedelics and the effect that microdosing psilocybin mushrooms can have on creativity.
One such study is a study conducted by researchers at the Imperial College of London. They found that the use of psilocybin mushrooms is associated with increased openness, cognitive flexibility, and creative thinking. In addition, psychedelics in general, and psilocybin specifically, can enable states where our conscious experience of the world is freed from its association with our specific ego. According to research, these expansive, and sometimes life-changing experiences can often help us feel more connected and alive – further enhancing our creativity and boosting our creative thinking.
Aid in the management of Cancer-related symptoms
For decades mushrooms have been touted as having no health benefits or medicinal value. Magic mushrooms or psilocybin mushrooms were deemed to be nothing more than your common hallucinogenic party drug – which couldn’t be further from the truth. In an effort to further investigate, shed some light and highlight the various potentially life-altering benefits and medicinal value of psilocybin mushrooms, researchers at New York University and John Hopkins recently conducted one of the largest set of trials for studying the therapeutic effects of psilocybin mushrooms on cancer patients.
To the shock and astonishment of many, approximately 80% of the cancer patients who underwent the trail showed major reductions in psychological stress, nervousness, anxiety, and depression for up to seven months or longer after only one psilocybin mushroom experience. In addition to the incredibly promising and remarkable results and healing benefits, no other significant side effects have been documented.
Dr. George R. Greer, co-founder and president of the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit research centre that focuses on the therapeutic uses of psychedelics, particularly psilocybin, further supports the use of psilocybin mushrooms to manage cancer. One of his main missions and the core focus of his research is to help manage and reduce the suffering of cancer patients through the therapeutic use of psilocybin mushrooms for cancer-related psychiatric disorders. Cancer-related psilocybin therapy is considered one of the most promising areas of research for the drug to date.
Enhanced “openness” and other beneficial shifts in personality
While humans are born open, full of love, eager to connect and explore the world, various life experiences, trauma, challenges, and sufferings can cause us to close down. In a recent study researchers found a significant increase in openness following the use of psilocybin mushrooms. Openness is a psychological term used to describe someone's attitude towards new experiences, and is associated with traits like creativity, imagination, and aesthetic appreciation.
Along with significant physical and mental health benefits, psilocybin mushrooms have long been praised for their profound spiritual benefits. In fact, there was a famous study done at Johns Hopkins University regarding the spiritual benefits and healing powers of psilocybin mushrooms which left researchers stunned. According to Dr. Roland Griffiths from Johns Hopkins University, psilocybin is an exceptional tool for unlocking the mysteries of human consciousness.
Some of the most profound benefits and findings include a strong sense of inter-connectedness to all things, a rising sense of self-confidence, clarity and communal responsibility, altruism, and social justice. In another study carried out by Johns Hopkins University investigating the spiritual benefits of psilocybin, out of the 36 adults that participated, two-thirds of them reported that their experience was among the top five most spiritually significant experiences of their entire lives, with a dozen of them saying it was the single most profound spiritual experience they ever had.
Additional spiritual benefits of psilocybin mushrooms include a deep-rooted sense of self-discovery and self-reflection. Those who have taken psilocybin mushrooms also report feelings of enhanced overall wellbeing, interconnection, and a renewed appreciation for life itself.
Other potential benefits of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms
Here is a list of additional mental and physical health benefits of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms that have been reported by several research studies and individuals:
• Improved focus, concentration, and mindfulness
• Improved energy, wakefulness, and stimulation
• Cognitive benefits, such as enhanced problem solving
• Social benefits
• Enhanced creativity
• Reduced symptoms, such as stress
• Improved relational skills.
• Improved mood, optimism, and life appreciation
• Improved body functioning
• Self-efficacy, including improved ambition, productivity, and motivation
• Heighten spiritual awareness and enhanced senses