Microdosing psychedelics has become an increasingly attractive approach to health and wellness in the 21st century. Microdosing is no longer just a fad, popularized among Silicon Valley types. Now, even those outside of the traditional psychedelic and experimental circles are getting involved.
Psychedelics are not as taboo as they once were, and are currently undergoing intense study for their medicinal properties. Already researchers have discovered psychedelics can help treat anxiety, depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). With reported benefits to productivity, human connection, and the reduction of mental health symptoms, you aren’t the only one curious about what a microdose may offer.
You’ve likely heard it discussed among friends, colleagues, or bubbling up within the headlines, but what does it really mean to microdose magic mushrooms? With the right guidance from experienced microdosers (that’s us!), microdosing is approachable, beneficial, and, most importantly, safe. Follow along to understand the basics of microdosing magic mushrooms, get suggested dose sizes, and specific microdosing protocols.
What is Microdosing?
Microdosing is the practice of taking sub-perceptual amounts of psychedelics to benefit health and wellbeing. Typical substances microdosed include magic mushrooms (psilocybin), LSD, and other exotic psychedelic substances. Some people have even reported microdosing with THC.
People report microdosing for a variety of wellness targets. These include to increase productivity, enter flow state, appreciate nature, develop deep connections, and stimulate creativity. There are also many reports from those treating mental health conditions with tiny doses of psilocybin. Common targets include anxiety, stress, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and PTSD
What are the Benefits of Microdosing?
Thanks to a shift in public opinion and policy, the study of psychedelics is back in favor. But after decades of neglect, there are limited resources for the curious psychonaut wishing to dig into the science. What are the proven, scientifically-backed benefits of microdosing?
First, we can examine the study of psilocybin at a broader level. In the last few decades, researchers have found substantial evidence supporting psilocybin to treat cluster headaches and migraines. Another discovery, this time from the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), reported, “Psilocybin was associated with transient symptomatic reduction of OCD symptoms, in subjects with treatment resistant OCD.”
More recently, a pilot study explored hallucinogens for anxiety among patients with a terminal diagnosis. This study reported a substantial reduction in anxiety, plus improvements to mood and depression scores weeks after dosing.
Finally, what about the reports of microdosing for productivity, creativity, and flow? In “A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics,” published in 2019, researchers used data from people self-reporting their microdosing use. Overall study participants reported lower depression and anxiety following dosing, better focus, and better absorption (defined as “Disposition toward intense imaginative experiences).
How Much is a Microdose?
Whatever substance you choose to microdose, the general standard is 0.05 to 0.10 times that normal dose. When it comes to magic mushrooms, that means between 0.05 to 0.25 grams.
The precise number will vary depending on the individual, as well as on the dried magic mushrooms. Some dried mushrooms will contain more psilocybin than others, so you may need to adjust if you switch between stacks or batches of dried mushrooms. For example, Penis Envy is much more potent than the same dose of Golden Teacher.
Remember, an optimal dose is sub-perceptual. In the two hours following the dose, if you feel high (some may describe this as feeling a glow, “funny,” or “off”), you’ve likely taken a bit too much. On your next protocol dosing day, take half as much.
What’s the Best Schedule for Microdosing?
Because the research hasn’t caught up to the real world of microdosing magic mushrooms, the two most popular schedules, called protocols, are not backed by scientific study (yet). Instead, these two protocols are backed by world-renowned mycologists and psychonauts. They are well-practiced by experienced microdosers, and so far thought to be the two best schedules for reaping the benefits of psilocybin without developing tolerance or experiencing psychoactivity.
The Stamets Protocol
- Take one microdose a day, for five consecutive days.
- Take two days off.
- Repeat for several weeks.
Paul Stamets, a famous mycologist from the Pacific NorthWest, first described this protocol at the MAPS Psychedelic Science in 2017. He has suggested combining psilocybin mushroom (1-10mg) within a larger stack, including lion’s mane mushroom extract (200-500 mg) and niacin (100-200 mg).
Together, Stamets calls this formula his epigenetic neurogenesis protocol. This stack is based on weight (on average, 154 lbs), and individuals should adjust the formula higher or lower depending on their weight and preference.
The Fadiman Protocol
- Take one microdose on Day One.
- Take two days off (Day Two, Day Three)
- Repeat for several weeks (dose one day, two days off)
Dr. James Fadiman, a long-time microdosing researcher and a Senior Research Fellow at Sophia University in Palo Alto, California approaches his schedule differently. Instead of five days in a row, Fadiman believes in taking two days off between doses. Why? To allow the body to reset between each dose, and truly experience the benefits on these two days off.
What Are the Side Effects of Microdosing Magic Mushrooms?
As with any medicine, there is a risk of adverse reactions. If the above guidelines are followed with the dose adjusted to suit the person, then the risk is minimal. Side effects, if they do occur, will be mild.
What could you experience if side effects do occur? In a strange twist, there is already a study on the side effects of microdosing. This study, another using self-reported data, concluded approximately one-fifth of participants reported side effects. When they did occur, they were almost always psychological. Furthermore, they were always experienced “while under the influence.” There were no reports of any long-lasting side effects.
Psychological side effects may happen if the dosing is not correct. If you experience any adverse effects described here, try halving the dose on the next day of the protocol. Repeat as needed to achieve an unnoticeable dose and no psychological intoxication.
The Future is For Microdosing Magic Mushrooms
Curious? It’s time to try your hand at microdosing. It is safe and has very low risk of adverse effects. Plus, there is a growing body of evidence for its therapeutic benefits.
If you are seeking balance, connection, creativity, and productivity, microdosing is a perfectly natural approach. If you are seeking a non-pharmaceutical way to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and soothe depression, you could find what you are looking for through a microdose.
We are here to help everyone explore magic mushrooms, in microdose form and beyond. Shroom Dose is a tight-knit team of experienced psychonauts. Feel free to reach out with questions or concerns or simply share your stories of microdosing success.