By Sharon Letts Using Plants For Depression, Microdosing With Psilocybin Mushrooms Since I was 16 years old, cannabis has been my go-to in treating the blues. In my 50’s I added ingesting, then chamomile concentrate (known to successfully treat depression) per a study. Now, in my 60’s, I’ve added microdosing Psilocybin mushrooms on a […]
By Sharon Letts
Using Plants For Depression, Microdosing With Psilocybin Mushrooms
Since I was 16 years old, cannabis has been my go-to in treating the blues. In my 50’s I added ingesting, then chamomile concentrate (known to successfully treat depression) per a study. Now, in my 60’s, I’ve added microdosing Psilocybin mushrooms on a regular basis, as an excellent reset like no other, complimenting my already established daily dosing of cannabis and chamomile.
We talk about the entourage effect within cannabis dosing alone – for instance, smoking, with ingesting, with topical use, treats chronic pain overall more effectively than just smoking. Smoking on top of ingesting, including taking pain killers, raises the efficacy of the pills. And why it’s been widely reported in states legal for cannabis, that opioid use lowers.
This is how I’ve come to manage my ongoing depression, anxiety, and lack of focus, caused by thyroid disease with menopause, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and symptoms on the spectrum; by layering different plants and fungi, causing an entourage effect of healing and well-being.
But, this has taken me 10 years to accomplish, after crossing over from mainstream media into the cannabis publishing space, writing with a focus on cannabis as medicine. Each profile I’ve written has been a learning experience, with my work helping many and most of all, myself.
As an adolescent, I was never considered very bright and found it difficult to pay attention. School was tough and home life tumultuous. In 1975 I took my first hit from a joint of ragweed on the way to high school in a gas station bathroom, and I immediately felt happier and more relaxed.
That was also the first day I was able to focus on school work. I was first published as a poet at 19, and haven’t written anything professionally without first medicating by smoking. Cannabis helps me get into a zone and focus- plain and simple.
Cannabis also made my trauma-ridden young life easier, but I never understood why. I was only told it was wrong and that I was a stupid, lazy stoner.
When I became pregnant with my daughter at 29, I stopped smoking weed altogether. I didn’t have it in the house again until she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (FMS) at 13, after purchasing it for her off the illicit market in Los Angeles.
At the time, I was working as a writer/producer for television, and the plant greatly improved my focus, just as it had in high school.
My daughter was a D.A.R.E. kid, a straight A student, gifted, and didn’t like the euphoria given.
So, this mom took my daughter’s stash, created an art studio in the garage, and began smoking once again. I had gained 40 pounds from thyroid disease, and started smoking and walking around my neighborhood with my camera. Shedding the weight and feeling better and more productive overall.
Medicated, not Stoned
The word “stoned” comes from the alcohol culture, and doesn’t really explain the lift one feels on cannabis. When we smoke, endorphins are physically lifted and dopamine is created in the brain. This is what causes the happiness or euphoria one feels, with the word “high” being a better descriptor.
When I began a cannabis oil treatment for breast cancer in my early 50’s (see Sharon’s Daily Dose) many of my hormonal symptoms from menopause with thyroid disease were treated successfully almost immediately – with my mood elevated far better than just smoking had done.
After finding a study on chamomile treating anxiety and depression, I began making a concentrate with coconut in capsules. I also started adding half chamomile to my cannabis oil, as its properties are just as beneficial as cannabidiol (CBD), and takes the edge off the high THC.
Life was good, and then I discovered microdosing with Psilocybin mushrooms.
The first time I took Psilocybin mushrooms I was on a bike ride from my home in Redondo Beach to Manhattan Beach, and stopped off at a party house. I was met at the door by a guy who (without telling me what they were) put a small pile of fresh mushrooms (could have been 5 grams), on an antique, silver spoon, into my mouth.
Thank goodness there was a bike path, as I walked my bike nearly four miles home on that bright summer day, barely remembering how I got there. I then sat in a cold shower for I don’t know how long, until the effects wore off. It was not fun, and it was incredibly irresponsible of the shroom guy. I was only 14 years old.
Swearing I’d never take them again, it was in the past few years that the education on using them for depression as a reset by microdosing got my attention.
There are approximately 180 types of hallucinogenic mushrooms, and I initially began dosing with one of the more common types, Liberty Caps – tall, skinny stems with small, round caps (pictured).
I’d take what I called a “giggle dose,” or the size of a lentil. Then, I ground about .5 grams or less of dried mushrooms with cannabis flower and would smoke it in a joint. Realizing it’s not an efficient way to dose, as much of the medicine of both materials is burned up in the process, but it provided a nicer lift than just the cannabis.
I found the two to be exceptionally complimentary, sharing the same positive effects in tandem. To reiterate, this is microdosing, not taking enough to have a hallucinogenic or more spiritual experience (five grams).
Then I began ingesting the dried mushroom at .5 grams for a longer lasting effect, but it was an inconsistent dose. So, I then added the shrooms to drinking alcohol (a good cognac, to start) with ¼ c. ground cannabis per liter for a tincture. Adding .5 grams of shrooms per cup; one liter/four cups, or two grams per. I let this “tea” sit in a cool cupboard for about a week, strained, and decanted.
The tincture has been the best delivery mode to date, in my mind. I can sip throughout the day for a lift; make an infused cocktail to enjoy or for a good night’s sleep; or take a shot and turn the music up and dance.
I liken the experience to when you take your first hit of a dank flower, and feel that warm lift, but it doesn’t last and you need to keep smoking. Microdosing mushrooms helps that lift stay up there longer. It’s a game-changer as far as lifting endorphins go, in my mind – and, so far, it’s been perfect as a weekly reset in treating my hormonal depression.
I like to say that cannabis was my gateway drug to other plants, and now fungi. It’s been an interesting journey, but one I’m grateful for. I was just given a variety of shrooms to try from a friend. While I’m a little dismayed that shrooms are seemingly becoming more accepted as medicine than cannabis, it’s all good. It’s all connected, with a domino effect of healing that can’t be stopped.