By Isla Jade Seitz, April 11, 2023
The first time I tried psilocybin mushrooms was over winter break in 2022. My friends and I were hanging out and my friend offered me mushroom tea, starting my journey with psychedelic mushrooms.
Just under a gram of mushrooms was steeped in the hot water, and the warm, fuzzy and relaxed feelings began to kick in. My feet felt flatter to the earth, and for once, my busy brain was completely in the present.
I kept experimenting with these special mushrooms throughout my time at home. I tried different amounts to see what my tolerance was like and what varying dosages did to my body. When I returned to Pomona for the spring semester, I began to see the benefits of microdosing.
Microdosing is taking anywhere from .1g to .3g, a very small amount compared to the typical 3.5g dose which tends to lead to psychoactive effects. The premise of microdosing is to achieve the cognitive benefits the mushrooms can provide. Psilocybin, the chemical in mushrooms, alters the brain’s serotonin system which ultimately lifts the mood. Findings have shown that microdosing reduces depression, anxietyl and stress.
I noticed that every time I took mushrooms, the next day my focus was enhanced in my classes, and the conversations I was having with fellow classmates were far more productive. I felt more engaged than I normally would if I hadn’t ingested mushrooms the previous day.
As a communication major, it isn’t a surprise that most of my classes require vigorous conversations and discussions. I suffer from anxiety and I think of myself as relatively shy (I know, why is she a communication major?) some days it is hard for me to put myself out there or participate in the way my professors expect me to. Taking a very minimal amount of mushrooms helps me to gain some confidence to engage with in-class conversations.
Any college student could sit down and ramble about the stress school gives them. Deadlines, homework, tests and the overwhelming responsibilities of everyday life is a lot for one person to handle. Stress often leads to anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. There has been copious amounts of scientific research connecting psychedelics to the bettering of mental health.
Since experimenting with mushrooms, I have noticed my anxiety and depression has gotten better. Instead of beating myself up over a bad test score, I remind myself that everything is OK, and I can’t do much about it now.
It sounds cliché, and I know I sound like a hippie when I say this, but mushrooms truly help me feel more connected to earth and the energies around me. I often have realizations that life is more than a grade, but rather what I do with the knowledge I am constantly learning. So not only do these little fungi help with my focus in class, but it also helps me reground, manage my stress; and increase my compassion toward myself.
California has been reevaluating their stance on psychedelics and their legality. Proposed bills include SB519 and SB 58. Although SB519 died, SB58 is still in the works. . Currently the Bay Area, Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley; and Santa Cruz have all made the step to make mushrooms more accessible and safer for those over the age of 21.
Magic mushrooms have grown tremendously in popularity and for good reason. The psychological benefits are something you must experience yourself to understand the rise in acceptance. They are becoming far more conventional than before and many stores are now supplying mushroom supplements in capsules to incorporate into daily vitamin schedules. You are able to purchase the capsules online or in stores such as Culture Shrooms in Long Beach and they can also be found in Erewhon.
The capsules are carefully measured to be the ideal microdosing amount and vary in strains to achieve different effects. This substance is becoming more and more mainstream, and as people grow more fond of them, it only makes sense to decriminalize a product which simply leads to positive effects. It is following a similar path as the legalization of marijuana s.
However, exploring mushrooms and how they affect you needs to be done with caution. There has been a multitude of cases where people have ingested psilocybin and have had traumatic experiences. It is crucial to consult a medical professional and whether preexisting health concerns could cause more harm.
It is also highly important that the quality of the product are safe. The research surrounding microdosing is still ongoing, leaving this territory very unchartered.
I have talked to many people about mushrooms and the cognitive effects they have felt from them and the majority rules they are all beneficial. Although they are not suitable for everyone and it is always best to consult with a doctor beforehand, I do believe mushrooms have become a life changing asset to my life, particularly in my schoolwork.
Feature image by Jackson Gray
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