Psilocybin has experienced significant growth, especially in Western Cultures, and this leaves one to wonder about its origin. How did this wonder substance become widely accepted in many ritual practices, research work, and in global societies? There are so many other questions centred around the actual origins of psilocybin, and this article will take you through everything you should know about the history of microdosing. Continue reading for more.
Historical account shows that in 1956, Gordon Wasson, an American banker and amateur mycologist, travelled to Mexico. The main aim of this journey was to learn about psilocybin mushrooms, as well as their cultural and spiritual significance. His tutors were mainly indigenous healers like Maria Sabina and many more. It’s worth noting that Wasson’s interest in mycology began during the late 1920s.
Another thing worth noting is that his trip to Mexico was funded by the CIA’s MK-Ultra 58. Also, Wasson ensured that all the ceremonies hosted by Maria Sabina (his tutor) were well documented. The reports within his documentation form the building blocks for the current Western psilocybin culture, which we will explore in this article.
Maria Sabina was a curandera, and she was popularly known for the various healing ceremonies she performed. For emphasis, a curandera is a healer or someone who possesses skills that allow him to heal a range of conditions. Wasson’s journey led him to the Aztec region, where he joined her in one of her ritual ceremonies. However, upon his arrival, he was faced with resistance from the Mazatec people. The general belief of the locals in the region was that such ceremonies and traditions should remain their secret.
This did not discourage Wasson, as he was able to convince Maria Sabina. He was also thoughtful in his actions, as this was evident in the gifts he brought for her and her family. Wasson was able to establish himself as someone she could trust.
Even though Maria had her doubts initially, she eventually accepted his request for a ceremony. Wasson not only documented everything, but he also publicized the details of the ceremonies he attended with Maria Sabina.
Wasson’s complete original article published in LIFE magazine in 1957, titled “Seeking the Magic Mushrooms,” can be read. It details his journey, encounters with Maria, and interactions with the Mazatec community.
However, the local Mazatec people were displeased with the widespread publication of the article in LIFE magazine. It brought attention to their sacred practices in a manner they did not appreciate, exposing them to the world.
Since then, the actions of Maria Sabina have been a subject of controversy. Some accuse the West of exploiting her for personal gain, while others question the Western cultures’ usage of these substances.
It is worth noting that Maria Sabina faced severe personal consequences for her choices. Her home was destroyed in a fire, and she lived in poverty until her death. Despite the hardships she faced, Sabina’s research and teachings helped enhance our understanding of the risks and benefits of plant medicines like psilocybin.
Her contributions opened up new possibilities for the therapeutic use of these substances on a global scale.
First-ever Research Studies
The initial LIFE magazine article was instrumental in initiating the first research studies on psilocybin’s potential therapeutic applications, particularly in relation to depression and anxiety. However, despite the growing personal recreational use, these research projects were prematurely halted during the 70s and 80s.
Nevertheless, recent studies have shown extremely promising results regarding psilocybin’s therapeutic potential. In fact, an increasing number of research studies are indicating that psilocybin may indeed possess significant therapeutic benefits.
The Fadiman Protocol – Microdosing Protocol
Dr. James Fadiman, a 78-year-old psychologist who received his training at Standford University, embarked on his research on microdosing during the 1960s. At that time, when it was still legal, he focused on studying how psychedelics impacted creativity and problem-solving. Dr. Fadiman has since become an influential figure in the field of microdosing, particularly through his book, The Psychedelic Explorers Guide, published in 2011, which emphasized its potential for self-improvement.
In 2017, Dr. Fadiman introduced a microdosing survey that allows individuals to report their experiences and helps researchers gain a greater understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of microdosing. This survey not only boosted Dr. Fadiman’s reputation among researchers but also led to the widespread adoption of microdosing among individuals seeking to enhance their well-being.
Through his survey, Dr. Fadiman discovered that typical microdosing protocols involve consuming small doses of the substance, generally no more than three times per week, for a maximum period of 6-8 weeks. The recommended dosage varies depending on the use of either psilocybin truffles, or dried magic mushrooms, and factors such as individual tolerance and body weight should be taken into account.
While controversy surrounds the accuracy of self-reported data in Fadiman’s study, participants are encouraged to document their experiences in a diary or journal. The survey covers various aspects of daily life, including mood, creativity, productivity, and more, making journaling an integral part of microdosing practice.
The Fadiman Protocol and the studies on microdosing have significantly advanced our understanding of the potential benefits. This also includes knowledge about the risks associated with microdosing psilocybin.
Onslaught of Microdosing Data
As of 2018. The US Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged psilocybin as a groundbreaking treatment for treatment-resistant depression, based on consistent findings from recent scientific studies.
Not only does microdosing show potential for therapeutic advantages, but it has also been associated with enhanced creativity, concentration, focus, and overall well-being according to numerous accounts. However, further research is necessary to validate these benefits. It is crucial to note that psilocybin is still prohibited in numerous countries.
Started at the Bottom and Now We’re Here
Maria Sabina paid a significant price for the benefit of Western societies. Now, we have the chance to personally experience these substances and discover the potential advantages they hold.
Above all, it is the citizen scientists who have kept the flame of psychedelic use and research alive. These unknown individuals have taken personal risks to defend a compound they believe deeply contributes to their well-being.
However, it is important to acknowledge that there is still no definitive evidence. Science and global regulations are scrambling to catch up. In the meantime, let us continue to value our progress, our goals, and the safe utilization of these extraordinary substances.
Stay in the flow.