If you've ever wondered how to microdose therapeutic mushrooms, you're not alone. Microdosing has gained popularity for its potential benefits for managing mood, anxiety, and more, and many individuals are now exploring this practice.
In this beginner's guide, we'll delve into the ins and outs of microdosing, covering everything from how to start to the best techniques for a positive experience. Let’s jump in:
Table of Contents
Microdosing involves small, sub-perceptual doses of psychedelics or other substances, aiming for benefits without full effects.
Microdosing usually involves doses around 1/10th the size of a normal dose.
Microdosing enthusiasts report diverse benefits, including enhanced concentration and mood improvement.
What is Microdosing?
Microdosing involves consuming small, sub-perceptual doses of substances like psychedelics or other psychoactive compounds. The idea is to experience the benefits without the full-blown effects. While microdosing gained fame for its association with psychedelics, it can also involve other substances like cannabis or even nootropics.
In fact, some of the most common substances (both illicit and legal) used with the microdosing technique include:
Most commonly, though, the term “microdosing” is used to describe a low-dosing technique used for psilocybin mushrooms. The technique has become more and more common over the last decade and is now even being used in therapeutic practices in areas where the mushroom can be legally prescribed for medicinal purposes.
For the intents and purposes of this article, we will refer to microdosing mushrooms. However, these microdosing techniques may apply to many different substances (though the effects and dosages will vary).
Nonetheless, microdosing can be incredibly beneficial when done correctly. Take a look:
Benefits of Microdosing
Microdosing enthusiasts report various benefits, including:
- Elevated concentration, innovation, efficiency, and vitality.
- Diminished feelings of anxiety, melancholy, or tension.
- Decreased social unease.
- Mitigated menstrual discomfort.
- Enhanced emotional receptivity.
- Heightened spiritual consciousness.
- Diminished urges for addictive substances.
How to Start Microdosing
1. Research and Education
2. Set Clear Intentions
3. Choose the Right Substance and Dosage
Select a substance suitable for microdosing, such as psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, or even CBD. Start with a low dose—typically 1/10th to 1/20th of a standard dose—to minimize any potential side effects while still reaping the benefits.
Ready to jump in? Let’s move on to dosage and routine:
How Much to Microdose?
Determining the right dosage is crucial for a successful microdosing experience. Keep in mind that individual tolerance varies, and it's wise to start on the lower end and gradually adjust based on your body's response.
In most research, the therapeutic dose of psilocybin for macrodosing (full dose) ranges from 20 to 30 mg/70 kg of bodyweight. That’s about 20-30 milligrams for a person who weighs around 150 pounds.
Going by the “one-tenth” rule for microdosing, that means that a microdose for a 150 pound person should be around 2-3 milligrams of psilocybin. Some self-report studies have used doses as low as 20 micrograms.
Keep in mind that this is the amount of psilocybin needed–not the amount of mushrooms by dry weight. Different species of psilocybin mushrooms have different potencies. On average, it contains about 1% psilocybin by dry weight. That means that 1 gram of dry mushroom may contain around 10 milligrams of psilocybin. Some microdosing studies involve a dose of 0.5 grams of dried psilocybin mushrooms, or approximately 5 milligrams of psilocybin, with positive results.
How Often to Microdose
The frequency of microdosing depends on personal preferences and the substance used. Common regimens include every other day or a few times a week. Consistency is key to experiencing the long-term benefits of microdosing.
There are a few tried and true methods that are commonly used by experienced microdosers. Two of these methods include:
- The Fadiman Protocol
- The Stamets Protocol
We’ll cover both:
The Fadiman Protocol
Dr. James Fadiman, a pioneering psychologist and researcher, is a leading advocate for exploring the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, particularly through microdosing. His groundbreaking research and beliefs have contributed significantly to the understanding of how controlled and intentional use of psychedelics, in specific doses and regimens, can positively impact mental health and cognitive enhancement.
Dr. Fadiman suggests the following approach for both high-dose and microdosing, indicating it's safe to microdose daily without regular breaks. The Fadiman protocol outlines a method for microdosing, applicable to various substances.
Here's a condensed version:
- Day 1: Start with a tenth of a full dose on a day with minimal obligations, observing physical and emotional responses. A microdosing specialist can assist in determining the initial dose.
- Day 2: Day two is known as a “transition day” in which the effects of the microdose are still apparent. You do not take a dose on this day.
- Day 3: No dose is taken on this day. The third day is useful in preventing tolerance.
- Day 4: Another dose is taken on day four. Either take the same amount as was taken on day one or slightly increase the dosage.
- Continue Cycle: Continue this cycle for four to eight weeks, followed by a 2-4 week reset period where you abstain from microdosing entirely.
The Stamets Protocol
Paul Stamets, a renowned mycologist, author, and advocate for medicinal mushrooms, introduced a groundbreaking microdosing formula known as the "Paul Stamets Stack." This innovative method combines psilocybin, niacin (vitamin B3), and the medicinal mushroom Lion’s Mane, demonstrating positive and lasting effects on the brain.
The term "stacking" was coined by Stamets to describe the process of combining these specific substances. The 'Paul Stamets Stack' is specifically designed to incorporate Lion’s Mane, psilocybin, and niacin (vitamin B3).
To follow the Stamets protocol for microdosing:
- Days 1-4: These are stacking days where you take a microdose of psilocybin, followed by a regular therapeutic dose of niacin and Lion’s Mane mushrooms. Some people use a full-coverage mushroom stack containing an array of medicinal mushrooms instead of just Lion’s Mane.
- Days 5-7: These are transition days where you continue with the flow of the microdosing’s effects, but you do not take a dose.
- Days 8-11: Stacking days–repeat the stack from days 1-4
- Days 12-14: Transition days
- Continue Cycle: Continue this cycle for four weeks, followed by a reset period of two to four weeks.
Best Way to Microdose + Proper Microdosing Techniques
1. Incorporate it into Your (Morning) Routine
Incorporate microdosing into your routine–morning or otherwise–for a smoother integration into daily activities. Incorporating it in the morning may help avoid interference with your sleep cycle and minimizes the risk of disrupting your nightly rest.
However, the most important thing is to incorporate it into your routine at a point where you’ll remember it. Just like any medication or supplement–consistency is key.
2. Keep a Journal & Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to how your body reacts to microdosing. If you experience any adverse effects or discomfort, adjust your dosage or consider consulting a healthcare professional.
To do this, maintain a microdosing journal to track your experiences, mood, and any noticeable changes. This documentation can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your chosen substance and dosage.
3. Stay Hydrated and Nourished
4. Be Mindful of Your Environment
5. Be Sure to Measure Accurately
Invest in a precise scale to measure your doses accurately. This ensures consistency and minimizes the risk of taking too much, which could lead to unwanted effects.
Make sure that you understand the difference between the dry weight of your mushrooms (or other material) and the actual amount of hallucinogenic/psychoactive material. (See our dosing information above for more information regarding how much psilocybin is in 1 gram of mushrooms.)
6. Stick to It for 8-10 Weeks
Who Shouldn’t Microdose
Individuals considering microdosing should be aware of potential contraindications, especially for those with:
- Autism or sensory disorders: Microdosing may not be suitable due to potential exacerbation of sensory sensitivities.
- Color Blindness: Some experience uncomfortable "visual effects," emphasizing the need to monitor responses.
- Past Trauma: Caution is advised for trauma history; microdosing should be guided by mental health professionals.
- Physical Illness: Increased risks may arise, requiring consultation with healthcare professionals for those with certain physical illnesses.
- Children: Microdosing is not recommended for children due to potential risks to their developing brains and bodies.
- Psychotic Disorders: Individuals with a history of disorders like bipolar or schizophrenia should consult mental health professionals before considering microdosing.
In summary, responsible exploration of microdosing is crucial, particularly for individuals with specific medical or psychological conditions. Consulting healthcare professionals ensures safety, well-being, and informed decision-making in incorporating microdosing into wellness practices.
Looking for a Mushroom Stack for Microdosing?
If you want to take full advantage of the "functional" side of functional mushrooms, consider a mushroom super-blend like our Lucid Coffee, Chai, or Matcha powders. It takes full advantage of the benefits of these superfood mushrooms by pairing Cordyceps, Maitake, Tremella, and Lion's Mane, plus powerful nootropics, like BCAA's, L-Theanine, Alpha-GPC, and more.