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Microdosing Ketamine vs Psilocybin: Small Doses, Infinite Possibilities

Written by: Nikola Straka and Mushroom Tao team

Back to all

Microdosing Ketamine vs Psilocybin: Small Doses, Infinite Possibilities

Written by: Nikola Straka and Mushroom Tao team

Microdosing ketamine and psilocybin offers distinct mental health benefits. Ketamine, clinically used for depression, has immediate effects but poses long-term risks. Psilocybin, naturally occurring, shows promise in therapy with fewer dependency issues. While ketamine is prescription-ready, psilocybin's therapeutic use awaits legalization. Each has its protocol and potential risks, necessitating professional guidance for safe microdosing.

Psilocybin, the main active compound in magic mushrooms, has a reputation for creating mind-bending experiences, making time and space feel strange and distorted. Despite being illegal in most parts of the world, there's growing interest in using controlled doses of psilocybin to address mental health issues. Many report that mushrooms help them explore their thoughts in a different way.

"As we navigate the microcosms of consciousness, the question arises: Does Ketamine or Psilocybin hold the key to unlocking hidden realms of creativity, resilience, and well-being?"

Then there's ketamine, an FDA-approved drug that's been around for a while treating not just pain but also depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges, especially when traditional meds aren't doing the trick.

But what's it like microdosing these compounds? Let's take a better look at microdosing psilocybin vs microdosing ketamine.

Ketamine vs Psilocybin

First, to understand the difference between ketamine and psilocybin, we must be familiarized with these substances. Let's see what they're all about.

Ketamine

Back in the 1970s during the Vietnam War, ketamine found its first medical application helping with pain management and sedation. Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, meaning it can ease pain while making people feel a bit removed from their surroundings.

Fast forward to today: ketamine has shifted gears. It's now mainly used to help with treatment-resistant depression, especially when regular antidepressants aren't effective. It's also used to address suicidal thoughts in patients with major depressive disorder. Ketamine binds to NMDA receptors (N-methyl-D-aspartate) in the brain, swiftly dialing down those depression symptoms. Some people even start feeling better within just a few hours after getting their first dose.

Ketamine is most commonly administered through injection but it is also available as nasal sprays and lozenges. When it comes to microdosing it's mostly used intranasally or orally as intravenous injections should be done only by trained medical professionals.

Psilocybin

Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical found in certain mushroom species, often referred to as "magic mushrooms." Psilocybin is a big part of why these mushrooms can make you feel euphoric, distort your senses, alter your thinking patterns, and bring about a sense of peacefulness. It activates serotonin 2A receptors in the brain's prefrontal cortex, changing how you perceive things around you.

People have been using magic mushrooms for ages in spiritual rituals and even as a form of medicine. Lately, it's gained attention in various talk therapies and depression treatments. Beyond that, there's growing interest in exploring its potential benefits for other mental health issues like anxiety, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and struggles with substance abuse.

Unlike ketamine which is synthetically derived, psilocybin is an all-natural gift from Mother Earth. It is usually consumed orally, regardless of the dosage.

Difference Between Microdosing Mushrooms and Ketamine

Ketamine and psilocybin are both backed by solid evidence as effective treatments that act quickly to alleviate depression symptoms. However, when it comes to microdosing, research is still in the early stages, and the information we currently have is from a handful of studies and a lot of anecdotal reports of people who witnessed the powers of microdosing psychedelics.

Ketamine and psilocybin are both backed by solid evidence as effective treatments that act quickly to alleviate depression symptoms. However, when it comes to microdosing, research is still in the early stages, and the information we currently have is from a handful of studies and a lot of anecdotal reports of people who witnessed the powers of microdosing psychedelics.

While ketamine is currently available with a prescription, psilocybin is in the middle of clinical trials and might be on its way to becoming available soon. After all, psilocybin is a natural compound provided to us by Mother Earth in order to heal and grow. Also, studies have shown that psilocybin has a lower potential for dependence compared to ketamine.

Microdosing Ketamine

How To Dose Ketamine For Microdosing

When it comes to microdosing ketamine, you should know exactly what dosage you're taking. A microdose of ketamine is typically anything below 0.09 milligrams of ketamine per pound of body weight. For example, if someone weighs 155 pounds, they shouldn't take more than 14 mg, approximately.

The Dangers of Microdosing Ketamine

Even in small doses, continuous use of ketamine can pose certain risks. Long-term use may lead to damage to the nostrils and bladder issues. "Ketamine Bladder" can have symptoms similar to cystitis or a urinary tract infection (UTI), including pain during urination and increased frequency of urination. If these problems persist, it's crucial to stop using ketamine, as the damage may be irreversible.

Frequent snorting of ketamine can cause permanent damage to the nostrils, resulting in nosebleeds, reduced sense of smell, difficulty swallowing, a hoarse voice, and, in severe cases, a hole in the nasal septum. It's important to watch for these signs and take breaks when needed.

Additionally, ketamine tolerance tends to build up quickly. While there aren't physical withdrawal symptoms, dependence on ketamine can increase the risk of adverse effects such as bladder and nostril damage, as well as the potential for psychosis. Microdosing ketamine without the supervision of a trained medical professional is not advised.

Microdosing Magic Mushrooms

How To Dose Magic Mushrooms For Microdosing

Ketamine and psilocybin are both backed by solid evidence as effective treatments that act quickly to alleviate depression symptoms.

While ketamine is currently available with a prescription, psilocybin is in the middle of clinical trials and might be on its way to becoming available soon. After all, psilocybin is a natural compound provided by nature in order to heal and grow. Plus, studies have shown that psilocybin has a lower potential for dependence compared to ketamine.

There are more than 180 different species of psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Naturally, some are more potent than others. So how can you precisely determine the dosage?

You'll have to experiment. While microdosing with pure lab-grade psilocybin is possible, it is quite rare to hear that people are microdosing with it outside of specialized clinics.

When it comes to dosing magic mushrooms you would want to take about 10% of a recreational dose. Now, the dose may vary due to individual body chemistry, tolerance, weight, and gender, but usually, a rule of thumb is to take around 0.1-0.2 grams of dried magic mushrooms. It's also important to carefully choose a Microdosing Protocol, that will fit your needs. Microdosing with magic mushrooms may seem a little bit more challenging at first, but in reality, it just has a different approach.

Psilocybin Risks

The main concern arises regarding the inconsistency in the strength, dosage, and origin of the psilocybin being used. The amount of psilocybin can vary significantly in the dried mushroom matter, whether it's in a pill or not.

Most psychoactive mushrooms are of the Psilocybe Cubensis genus, however, there are many other different species that can also be used for the same purpose. Keep in mind, that even within a single culture, mushrooms can have vastly different amounts of psilocybin. Similarly, the same spores may yield significantly different psilocybin amounts between different fruiting periods or "flushes”.

Health risks associated with microdosing are somewhat similar to any other psychedelic compound. People prone to mental health conditions like psychosis or schizophrenia should avoid taking psychedelics altogether. Also, psilocybin is known to cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate which may be an issue for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Besides these elements, psilocybin is considered a safe substance.

Final Verdict

Both ketamine and psilocybin show therapeutic efficacy, but microdosing itself is a practice with limited formal research. While ketamine is more readily available currently, psilocybin may be more beneficial. Each substance carries a set of benefits and risks, and it's important to evaluate them prior to determining the right choice for you.

Ketamine may improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and addiction. However, it can be a double-edged sword due to its addictive nature. Thus, using it on your own can be risky. If you're thinking about microdosing ketamine, consider doing so under the guidance of a trained and caring medical professional to minimize the risk of potential adverse effects.

On the other hand, psilocybin is a natural gift from earth and perfect in its own way without needing to be chemically modified by humans. Its intricate design and effects have evolved over centuries, attesting to its inherent wisdom and suitability for therapeutic use.

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