When you hear: “Cells that fire together, wire together”, who’s voice do you hear in your head? We can immediately and unanimously say that we can all hear Joe Dispenza’s voice.
He has spent his entire career repeating this phrase, yet how many of us actually understand the mechanics of what that means?
Our adaptability, resilience, learning, routine, habits, and process implementation are all largely dependent on our brain’s ability to change and adapt. Each new situation and environment requires that we grow and simultaneously reorganize our neural pathways.
Basically, it’s the mechanism by which we learn, then remember in order to implement diligently and consistently.
What is Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)?
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor is a protein found throughout the central nervous system, particularly the hippocampus.
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor plays a key role in synaptic plasticity (neuroplasticity). BDNF also plays an important role in regulating the birth of brain cells, brain cell growth, and cell death.
What does the science say about BDNF?
With each passing year, there is increasing research being done on the link between BDNF and neuropsychiatric/cognitive health.
So far, brain-derived neurotrophic factor has been linked to conditions such as OCD, Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, anorexia, bulimia, and even diabetes.
Conversely, boosted levels of BDNF can be considered therapeutic. Such a ‘therapy’ can be beneficial after a physical brain injury (car crash, stroke (Parkinson’s), or psychological stress (depression and PTSD).
Higher levels of BDNF can prime our brain to be more adaptive, enjoy a sharper memory, and feel more resilient and adaptable in the face of day-to-day challenges.
Psychedelic Review describes BDNF as a compound released by activated brain cells. These growth factors (neurotrophins) then become the fertilizer that triggers growth and rewiring in response to an event.
The article linked above also underlines that an important hallmark of lowered neuroplasticity is rigid and maladaptive thoughts and behavioral patterns. Such patterns can become more ingrained over time and consistent repetition. In instances like these, this is where cell pruning (death) is an ideal outcome.
BDNF, psychedelics, and microdosing
Studies have shown that various psychedelic compounds can increase BDNF production and neurogenesis. Ranging from LSD to psilocybin, DMT, and certain ayahuasca-derived alkaloids.
Although, some studies have administered more potent ‘doses’, we are also learning that neuroplasticity can also take place when microdosing.
Microdosing, regardless of the psychedelic compound used, is the practice of taking repeated sub-perceptual doses. Doses that are several-fold lower than a recreational dose or psychedelic experience.
In March of 2022, MindMed, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company announced the publication of a study comparing the acute effects of LSD & psilocybin in healthy subjects.
The investigators noted that:
“Both LSD doses demonstrated longer effect durations than the psilocybin doses, although both the LSD doses and the high psilocybin dose produced similar quantitative and qualitative subjective effects in the participants.”
Creating new neural pathways
Anyone that has heard me explain the benefits of microdosing psilocybin has heard my ‘snow storm’ analogy. In my mind, psilocybin is not unlike a snowstorm; activating all of our brain regions at once, creating a coat of fresh snow over previously carved out pathways.
This leveling of the ‘landscape’ enables our brain to easily create new neural pathways, and optimize existing and beneficial pathways while smoothing out the pathways that no longer serve us.
Or as Bruce Lee said: ‘Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own’.
This protein is quite literally the ‘plastic’ in neuroplasticity. A tangible substance that can be increased and optimized for a bigger and better life. A way out of the rigid groves carved into our personalities. An ally in being stronger, more agile, and adaptable than ever!
Our psilocybin truffles are perfect for microdosing due to their lower psilocybin content. Also, check out our Neurogenesis Pack which aims specifically at creating new brain cells.
Oh, and don’t forget to have a quick look at the reviews to see what some people gotta say.
Shine bright. Do good. Flow strong.