The secret’s out. Just how have SiliconValley entrepreneurs and business elites been enhancing their creativity andoptimising their potential? For many, the answer is microdosing.
Microdosing involves taking a small amount of psychedelics in what some see as a “productivity hack”. Generally, just half a gram of psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms and truffles) will do the trick, leaving your brain firing on all cylinders and with decreased levels of stress, which seems all pervasive in today’s desk-bound office culture. Sometimes this dose is taken daily, or every few days, for a period of time and those who partake in this small ritual swear by the results.
"Microdosing just adds a little sparkle. It loosens your state of consciousness a little, but not to the point it's perceptible. It's like a psychedelic vitamin." - Amanda Feilding
Even celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, who are plugged into the latest ‘wellness’ trends, are suggesting that psychedelics will offer a new wave of alternative healing. You may not trust a woman who condones vaginal steaming, but there’s mounting scientific evidence behind the claims.
The first quantitative study on the subject concluded that microdosing psychedelics could improve creative performance and lead to increased “novel idea generation”. No wonder Elon Musk decided to send a car into space*. It seems that just a little bit of magic goes a long way to enhancing the functioning of our brain. This study also found that the “microdosing experience was associated with meaningfully lower levels of dysfunctional attitudes”. This means that people were less vulnerable to stress which has negative associations with more serious mental health conditions, such as depression.
Another study released this year reiterates these findings. The authors state that “there is a significant relationship between microdosing experience and measures of mental health and flourishing including lower dysfunctional attitudes and negative emotionality, higher wisdom and open-mindedness, and higher creativity and affect-valence”. It seems that all of the science is pointing in the right direction and confirming what people who use microdosing to enhance their talents have been saying for several years.
Mushrooms “let you step out of your usual reference frame” - Dennis McKenna
Beyond being a much-hyped productivity hack, the effects of microdosing could be more profound, particularly for those with mental health difficulties. The anxiety created by work may leave these people feeling paralysed and unable to fulfil their true potential. A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics also revealed reductions in reported levels of depression and stress and lower levels of distractibility among participants.
Although more rigorous scientific research is needed to fully explain exactly how and why microdosing is beneficial, it is clear from anecdotal evidence and these early studies that microdosing with psychedelics has many positive effects. Indeed, some people may prefer taking small doses as the effects are not as intense as full psychedelic trip, but you will get many of the same benefits; albeit the experience may not be as life-changing as a single full-dose psilocybin trip can be. In a world filled with distractions, anxiety and a numbing of the senses, psilocybin may open up realms of possibility that were previously off-limits.
Of course, it is becoming more well-know that psychedelics such as psilocybin could be an effective treatment for mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression and microdosing, therefore, may also have a benefit on a person’s mental state. The safety of psilocybin given its very low toxicity, even in large doses, means that it may become a much more mainstream treatment for these conditions, as well as for its other positive effects.
If you’re curious to try out microdosing for yourself to see what benefits it might bring then please get in touch about our next work and microdose retreat: 13-16 May 2019. Truffles Therapy will be providing guided microdosing and time to relax in the peaceful Dutch countryside. Not only will you get to sample the magical properties of psilocybin truffles, but there will be yoga, delicious cacao ceremonies and an assortment of other treats to awaken your senses and restore body and mind.
*Elon may or may not take psychedelics, but with such inventive ideas it seems a possibility!