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TFW you want to protect and polish your mental health, but also sometimes just want to party with friends.

Currently, an estimated 1 in 10 adults worldwide have begun to microdose. Canada, one of the world leaders of the movement has set up phone apps, started to create friendly legislation, vied for medicinal approval, even started offering online dispensaries— havens where interested parties can buy shrooms, Canada and abroad. But as this phenomenon takes root in communities across the globe, many people are wondering what exactly they can, and can’t, do while microdosing.

While just about any microdosing guide you read will surely tell you to lay off the sauce while you’re working to get your mental health regime back into fighting shape. This is because alcohol and psilocybin often work at odds to one another, so drinking— even casually— while microdosing psilocybin could potentially have some deleterious effects.

Effects of Mushrooms and Alcohol

Mushrooms

Psilocybin, the main active substance in magic mushrooms, is really quickly broken down to its constituent, psilocin. Psilocin acts as an analogue to serotonin— which means that your body can’t actually tell the two apart. So psilocin bind with a number of serotonin receptors with incredibly high affinity. While this mega-merge between psilocin and serotonin receptors does contribute to those heady highs that macrodose RG’s are familiar with, lower amounts of psilocybin will still attach to serotonin receptors, but it wont flood the ones responsible for feeling a bit metaphysical. Which means that when you microdose, you’ll still be able to enjoy the serotonin boosting effects of the drug, without having to deal with the trip.

More than just serotonin systems, researchers are now discovering that the substance plays a pretty active role within the dopamine system as well, indirectly increasing the concentration of dopamine in the brain. It also plays well with glutamate, another neurotransmitter that has important roles in many cognitive functions and neuroplasticity. Because of these two friends, psilocybin is believed to enhance the beneficial psyche transformation process that most microdosers seek.

Alcohol

Or, ethanol, if we’re talking about the stuff that is supplied by your friendly neighborhood bar keep, has a good number of uses. And not all of these have to do with imbibing. Ethanol works as a spectacular solvent, that helps to break down things like grease without getting surfaces wet— which is why vodka makes for some great DIY household cleaner. However, in the body, ethanol does some pretty hardcore things. It breaks down into two main metabolites: acetaldehyde (which gets broken down to vinegar and eventually CO2 and Water) and methanol (depending on the type of booze you’re drinking). In order to get your body to fully break down ethanol so that it can be eliminated, it has to go through a number of complex pathways and uses a ton of your body’s resources— which is why hangovers can feel so brutal.

Beyond that, alcohol does have some enjoyable effects, where it can act as an analgesic (reducing pain), boost euphoria, decrease anxiety, and improve social ability. Largely because it’s a huge depressor of the centralized nervous system. So while it may have its applications, alcohol actually works in near complete contrast with psilocybin. It’s also wildly addictive, can lead to liver and brain damage, and is considered the fifth leading cause of cancer.

Treating Alcoholism with Psychedelics

Because of its addictive qualities and it’s very legal, very socially appropriate nature, alcohol presents a big problem for a number of people worldwide— particularly that of alcoholism. Of the estimated 380 million alcoholics worldwide, treatment plans and recovery programs are left wanting, specifically when it comes to tackling these problems effectively. However, psychedelics may present a viable option.

LSD treats alcoholism, as numerous studies have shown, particularly those that were conducted in the late 1960s, despite them being shut down less than a decade later. LSD alcohol treatment is being revisited, as new public and scientific outcry for psychedelic therapies is mounting. Because of the compelling results of past clinical trials, using psychedelics to treat alcoholism, many believe that microdosing psilocybin may help in a similar, albeit less invasive, manner.

Excerpts from some of the historical clinical studies of LSD alcohol treatment noted that many patients described a situation in which they claimed to have gained “significant insights into their problems…” and “[…]become much more self-accepting, to show greater openness and accessibility, and to adopt a more positive, optimistic view of their capabilities to face future problems.” Which sounds similar to many of the reports that are being generated by the newest generation of microdosers, which has given clinicians and researchers even more reason to explore other psychedelic treatment options for combating alcoholism.

Mixing and Mingling

While it’s true that not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, and there is definitely a space in society for the occasional enjoyed adult beverage, you still shouldn’t combine those martinis with microdosing. So once you find your favored shroom dispensary, you’ll want to take special care to carefully make a plan for your microdosing schedule. This means staving off the liquor while you’re taking your small doses of magic mushrooms. Canada, becoming one of the biggest propelling nations of open-access microdosing, also has some incredible nightlife to go along with it.

But it’s not incredibly difficult to balance a beneficial microdosing schedule alongside a thriving social life. Most microdosing schedules last anywhere from three weeks to three months. Depending on how often you take your doses, and how long your schedule lasts, not to mention what affects you experience and the timeline of your success— these will all open up opportunities where a doser can pull back from their regimen and go let loose for a night or two. However, just keep in mind what your goals are for your microdosing schedules and prioritize appropriately.

Microdose Mushrooms and Alcohol?

Where a medicinal mushroom dispensary can provide you with specific amounts of psilocybin to create a more comprehensive microdosing schedule, unfortunately you’ll be hard pressed to get that same exactitude from your local bartender. However, there is also some underground movement in the microdosing alcohol community. Yes, you heard correctly, people microdose alcohol. While the science behind it is still murky at best— largely because alcohol technically has an incredibly low potency. Meaning that in order to really get any of it’s useful effects, you’d have to intake a large amount of it, and it’s the amount that is problematic for our organs.

So while the idea of “microdosing” alcohol dates back to the ancient Greeks— it really was only to figure out a way to enjoy a decent buzz, while avoiding a hangover. Which isn’t actually a bad idea and definitely something worth a try, but not really a powerhouse when it comes to boosting your health and wellbeing. So maybe just stick to microdosing microdosing mushrooms, Canada.