Psilocybin—the compound found in “magic mushrooms”—continues to garner attention for its potential to help alleviate the symptoms of a variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression. Lawmakers are taking notice, and across the US, states and municipalities have introduced legislation to permit the therapeutic use of this once prohibited drug.
Psilocybin therapy involves working with a trained psychologist, utilizing psychedelics to facilitate breakthroughs in mental health that can often take months or years when relying only on behavioral therapy. If you’re interested in exploring psilocybin therapy, it’s important to first know what exactly psilocybin is and to understand how different doses can produce dramatically different effects.
What is Psilocybin?
Often mistakenly referred to as the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, psilocybin is actually a prodrug. It is a biologically inactive compound, but when ingested, the body metabolizes it into psilocin. Psilocin is the active ingredient that induces the psychedelic effects associated with mushrooms. These effects can include changes in mood, perception, cognition, and even hallucinations at higher doses.
How Much Psilocybin do Various Doses of Psychedelic Mushrooms Contain?
Just like how different cannabis plants will have different chemical compositions and THC content, the level of psilocybin can vary from mushroom to mushroom. Until psilocybin legalization advances to the point where lab testing and regulation are more standardized, it is difficult to know exactly how much psilocybin mushrooms will contain.
However, there is some research on Psilocybe cubensis, the most common form of psychedelic mushroom, which can work as a general guideline when assessing potency. Researchers have found that Psilocybe mushrooms contain 0.5 – 1.0% total psilocin, averaging about 0.7%. This equates to about 1% psilocybin.
Guide to Dosing Psilocybin
Because of the natural variances in psilocybin content across mushrooms, it is always wise to follow the mantra of “start low, go slow” when taking and dosing psilocybin. Assuming a psilocybin level of 1%, here is a guide to the effects and experiences you can expect from taking different dosing of psilocybin in psychedelic mushrooms.
Micro Dose: 0.1-0.5 grams of mushrooms is often considered a “microdose.” At the lower end of this dosing level, effects are generally imperceptible. At the higher end, users often report subtle euphoria, improved creativity, and an overall sense of well-being.
Low Dose: 0.5-1.5 grams of mushrooms is considered a low dose. At low doses, psychedelic effects like overt visual hallucinations will still not be present, but you can expect greater feelings of euphoria and enhanced senses.
Medium Dose: 1.5-3 grams. Once you reach a medium dose, users often experience more overt psychedelic effects, including visual distortions, synesthesia (blended senses), and heavy euphoria. Medium doses often lead to profound periods of self-reflection that make psilocybin potentially beneficial in treating mental health disorders.
High Dose: 3-5 grams. At this dosage level, the true potential of psilocybin unveils itself. High doses of psilocybin will likely deliver a full psychedelic experience that includes perceptual and cognitive distortions. Holding a conversation or accurately perceiving your surroundings becomes difficult. For high doses, it is strongly recommended that you are well prepared, working with guidance from a trained professional in a safe and secure setting to ensure that your experience goes well.
Learn More About Psychedelic Therapy
Are you interested in exploring how psychedelics can help you with your mental health? Heally partners with certified professionals that specialize in psychedelic integration. Book an online appointment today to learn if psychedelic-assisted therapy is right for you.