What’s your favorite way to relax? Maybe it’s meditation, a long walk, or a phone call to your best friend. Or maybe it’s baking cookies, doing laundry, or simply taking a nap.
All are great options that work, but an unconventional approach to reducing stress and anxiety is on the rise: microdosing. What even is that? you’re probably asking. Quite frankly, it’s new to me too.
Microdosing is the practice of consuming very low, sub-hallucinogenic doses of a psychedelic substance, such as lysergic acid diethylamine, or mushrooms containing psilocybin. In colloquial terms, it’s taking small amounts of LSD (or Shrooms) to either alleviate depression and anxiety or increase perception and creativity.
Many people who partake in microdosing absolutely swear by it– some even going as far as saying it has changed their lives. But before we can delve into that, we must first ask ourselves how we even got here?
American society has evolved dramatically over the past decade or so. We are making major strides toward gender inclusivity with noting our pronouns on social media platforms, the Black Lives Matter movements of 2020 prompted educational dialogue on systemic racism and caused an uptick in diversity, education and inclusion initiatives across the country, and controversial topics such as climate change are more relevant than ever.
Another major change has been the shift in dialogue surrounding substances in America. In 1989, a whopping 81 percent of Americans said marijuana should be illegal and only 16 percent thought it should be legal, according to the Pew Research Center. By 2016, only 37 percent still believed weed should be illegal while the majority of Americans (57 percent) supported legalization.
Marijuana is now fully legal in 18 states and the stigma around its use has been dismantled in the majority of the country as millions of people are benefiting from it. Weed can help with chronic pain, it can reduce anxiety, stimulate appetite and improve healthy weight gain in cancer and AIDS patients, as well as relax tight muscles for people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis.
This massive change in American opinion about marijuana provoked conversations surrounding other drugs as well, such as the LSD and mushrooms needed to microdose. In the 2020 election, Oregon became the first state to legalize mushrooms for mental health purposes and also proposed to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of some hard drugs such as LSD. On the other side of the country, voters in Washington, D.C., voted to decriminalize the use of mushrooms and other psychedelic substances.
As more Americans open their minds to experimenting with psychedelic drugs, many people who partake in the unique experiences are coming forward with their stories on how it helps them in both their personal and professional lives.
Social media star Christina Najjar, better known as Tinx, has hinted at taking mushrooms on her Instagram stories to help her anxiety and creativity by using the mushroom emoji. Before his death, Apple founder Steve Jobs said that LSD was one of the most profound experiences of his life. Well-known investor and author of the book “The Four Day Work Week,” Tim Ferriss, discusses his beneficial experiences with microdosing often on his podcast.
During an interview before a live audience at CodeCon 2021 in September, Elon Musk was asked, “What role do think psychedelics may have in addressing some of the more destructive tendencies of humanity?”
“I think generally people should be open to psychedelics,” Musk said. “A lot of people making laws are from a different era. As a new generation gets into political power, I think we will see greater receptivity to the benefits of psychedelics.”
Even though there’s a lack of scientific research that proves the effectiveness of microdosing, it’s clear that the mind-boggling trend is rising in popularity and not going away anytime soon. Now that you know this, maybe you’ll soon discover your new favorite way to relax.