What Does Microdosing Mushrooms Feel like?

What Does Microdosing Mushrooms Feel like?

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re currently experiencing a psychedelic renaissance, with magic mushrooms leading the charge. 

While these psilocybin-containing mushrooms might be best known for warping your perception and inducing otherworldly states of mind, the concept of microdosing has emerged as a more subtle way of benefiting from them. 

Microdosing involves the regular ingestion of minimal amounts of magic mushrooms, offering a gateway to enhanced cognition, creativity, and overall well-being. 

If you are curious about the benefits of microdosing mushrooms, you probably have the question: What does microdosing feel like? 

This article will explain the common effects and feelings that microdosing mushrooms produces, while also dispelling a few myths and offering some useful advice to get the most out of microdosing. 

What is microdosing?

I’ve heard microdosing described as dipping your toes into the psychedelic waters without taking the full plunge. 

In essence, it’s where you consume very small amounts of a psychedelic substance (most commonly LSD or psilocybin mushrooms) in order to achieve subtle improvements in mood and cognitions with no mind-altering effects.

The dose is supposed to be sub-perceptual (meaning you don’t notice the effects), so if the floor starts moving, that’s not a microdose. 

Proponents swear by it, claiming it's the secret sauce for a subtle yet very real heightened creativity, focus, and an all-around good vibe. 

Albert Hoffman (who first synthesised LSD) was a fan of microdosing back in the 50s, but it wasn’t really a common practice until a bunch of tech workers in California's silicon valley started microdosing LSD and psilocybin (found in "magic mushrooms") in order to increase their productivity. 

Since then, it’s caught on. From professionals to housewives, CEOs to students, you can find microdosers from all walks of life. It’s especially popular in the modern wellness niche, with plenty of influencers promoting awareness of the practice as a strategy to improve mental health. 

Overall, it seems most people these days microdose to improve their mental health rather, with any increase in their productivity an extra. 

Benefits of microdosing mushrooms

Microdosing mushrooms has gained much attention for its potential benefits. Although it's important to note that individual experiences may vary, here are some commonly reported benefits associated with microdosing mushrooms:

  • Enhanced creativity

Many microdosers claim that tiny amounts of magic mushrooms promotes creative thinking, providing a unique perspective and fostering innovative ideas without the full intensity of a psychedelic trip.

  • Improved mood and emotional well-being

Microdosers often report elevated mood and reduced feelings of anxiety and depression. Some describe a sense of emotional resilience and increased positivity.

  • Increased focus and productivity

Advocates suggest that microdosing can enhance cognitive function, sharpening focus and boosting productivity. It's often compared to a cognitive enhancer without the jittery side effects.

  • Mindfulness and presence

Microdosing may facilitate a heightened sense of mindfulness and presence, allowing individuals to connect more deeply with their thoughts, emotions, and surroundings.

  • Potential relief from migraines and cluster headaches

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that microdosing mushrooms may alleviate symptoms associated with migraines and cluster headaches.

  • Altered patterns of thinking

Microdosing may lead to shifts in perception and thought patterns, allowing users to break free from mental ruts and approach problems with fresh perspectives.

  • Reduce social anxiety

Users often report enhanced sociability, increased empathy, and improved communication skills, making social interactions more enjoyable and meaningful.

What does microdosing mushrooms feel like

I asked a friend who had been microdosing shrooms for a few years what it feels like.  

She said that microdosing feels like a heightened version of being sober. She describes it as not necessarily being in an altered state of consciousness; you feel the same way you do when you're sober, but with a background buzz. 

She compares the feeling to drinking a lot of really strong coffee—alert, awake, and stimulated, without the peak and crash associated with caffeine. 

She emphasises that a microdose should not make you feel like you're tripping or that the drug is taking over your consciousness completely. Instead, it allows you to operate with a subtle, enhanced state of mind.

I also searched Reddit for some other descriptions, and found the following written by  user u/Sir_Funk: 

I think the point is you don't feel anything different.

The differences come when you can go on a walk and say "wow, the way the water sparkles really is beautiful!" or "you know, I really do enjoy being outside and feeling the sun on my skin. I should do that more instead of sitting inside on my computer chair, which isn't that much fun anyway." 

Or being able to deal with your child "hey, it's ok that you threw your food again for the hundredth time--kids will be kids--let me do something to make the situation better for all of us instead of screaming at them for being themselves and making everyone around us as stressed out as we are".

You don't FEEL anything in these contexts, but you sure as hell FEEL a lot better when you are able to think different.

What the science on microdosing mushrooms says

Most studies on microdosing have not taken place in clinical settings, relying on self-reported data from small groups. This limited evidence prompts the need for more research to understand the true effectiveness and safety of microdosing.

In a 2019 study with 278 participants, 26.6% reported improved mood, and 14.8% reported increased focus. Another study that year found self-reported increases in creativity and open-mindedness among LSD or psilocybin microdosers.

Additionally, a survey showed some microdosers experiencing reduced depression and stress over six weeks.

However, a placebo-controlled study on psilocybin microdosing found no noticeable effect on anxiety or depression. 

The latest study, from June '22, found greater improvements in mood and mental health among psilocybin microdosers compared to non-microdosing controls.

Yet, a 2021 paper suggests the psychological benefits seen in microdosers might be attributed to the placebo effect. This idea gains traction as it's challenging to conduct standardised, clinical studies on these substances due to their legal status.

Another study found an increase in brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) after microdosing, indicating something is happening within the brain.

Interestingly, the placebo effect has also been proposed as a significant factor in the effects of many antidepressants, revealing the complexities of studying substances like these, whether for therapeutic or recreational purposes.

While there is little scientific evidence for the benefits of microdosing, when it comes to larger doses of psychedelics, there is growing amounts of research proving positive effects. 

The main takeaways so far are that psilocybin has profound antidepressant effects as well as a unique ability to dampen the fear response.

Psilocybin also appears to help promote the growth of new brain cells, making it a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression,  and other related conditions.

Negative effects of microdosing mushrooms

Although they’re not common, some people do report negative effects from microdosing, including:

  • Increased emotionality
  • Headaches
  • Disrupted sleep 
  • Irritability 
  • Anxiety
  • Tiredness

Final thoughts

In the midst of the ongoing psychedelic renaissance, where magic mushrooms have taken centre stage, microdosing emerges as a nuanced and subtle way to tap into the therapeutic potentials of these mystical fungi.

Microdosing is not about hallucinations or altered dimensions; rather, it’s about subtle effects that prove impactful over time. 

It can enhance creativity, elevate mood, and improve cognitive clarity without the grand theatrics of a full-blown psychedelic experience.

The feeling of microdosing can be described as a background buzz, much like the afterglow of a strong cup of coffee, but without the jitters or anxiety. It's not about feeling different in the moment but experiencing life with a subtle, enhanced state of mind—a state where mundane moments become opportunities for awe and reflection.

Have you microdosed mushrooms? How would you describe how it feels? Let us know in the comments. 

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Thank you all for the comments. Unfortunately I’m unable to reply to an individual comment, so will reply to you here.

Fiona – Thanks for your kind words and good luck on your own journey. It can be scary to take that first step, so well done for getting this far. I can confirm that I haven’t touched weed or tobacco in nearly 5 weeks now, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’ve had minimal withdrawals – just the occasional craving, which has subsided over the weeks. I’m not aware of any trials, but they pop up occasionally. The imperial college social pages are a good place to keep an eye.


Your blog on beating addiction (12th Dec) has inspired me to finally take action in my own life, so i wanted to thank you for that :) How is it going, are you still off the tobacco and weed, would be interested to hear about that?
I have contacted John about potentially doing his course and how/where to begin finding out if this is for me. I have a background in therapy but became completely disillusioned working within the NHS target driven system, I felt like i was sitting at a conveyor belt of human misery, never ending, and not really able to make much difference to people’s lives. It was miserable so I became a Carpenter. In the last year I have been learning and listening to all things psychedelia and your blog has finally kicked me into action. I am going to grow some mushrooms and start experimenting with micro dosing. As i will be completely new to all of this, I was thinking that it would be good to give my data to a micro dosing trial of some description. This is really the reason for contacting you – to ask, do you know of any trials being done in the UK, or where I might find that information for myself. I have absolutely no idea where to start, except maybe Imperial College?
I did buy some of your Lion’s Mane but then didn’t dare to take it after i asked if there was any issue with it, and anti-coagulation medication.
Thanks in advance Jack, keep up the excellent work, what you do here is sure to be changing people’s lives!
Warmest regards

Fiona Quigley

I tried that with some mushrooms my son gave me and I felt less depressed, more able to be cheerful. My son measured out small doses and although I didn’t feel any different my mindset was definitely different. However I have no idea where to get some and how to prepare them.

Angela Kadeer

just trying them ,to early to comment really ,but first dose was ok ,feel quite centred.no negative effects as yet,

derrick morton

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