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  • Writer's pictureNico

The Comprehensive Guide to Microdosing Mushrooms

Updated: Feb 9


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Introduction


In recent years, the ancient practice of using psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in certain mushrooms, has seen a resurgence in the form of microdosing. This guide delves into the world of microdosing mushrooms, exploring its potential benefits, risks, and methods, backed by scientific insights and personal experiences.


Understanding Psilocybin and Microdosing Mushrooms


What is Psilocybin?

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound, a principal psychoactive ingredient found in various species of mushrooms, commonly known as "magic mushrooms", or "magic mushies" This compound has been a part of human history for thousands of years, primarily used in religious and spiritual rituals across different cultures.


Chemically, psilocybin is classified as a tryptamine, sharing structural similarities with the neurotransmitter serotonin. When ingested, it is metabolized into psilocin, which then influences serotonin receptors in the brain. This interaction is believed to cause the compound's profound psychedelic effects, which can include altered perception of time and space, vivid visual alterations, deep introspective insights, and a sense of connectedness to the world.


In the mid-20th century, psilocybin caught the attention of the Western world, notably through the work of researchers like R. Gordon Wasson and Timothy Leary, who explored its potential for psychological and therapeutic uses. This led to a surge in its popularity, both in scientific circles and in the counterculture movement of the 1960s.


Modern research has reignited interest in psilocybin, particularly for its potential therapeutic benefits. Studies have shown promising results in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, psilocybin offers a unique approach, often facilitating profound personal insights and emotional release, which can be integral to healing.


Despite its potential, psilocybin remains a Schedule I substance in many countries, indicating a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. However, this classification is increasingly challenged by ongoing research and changing societal attitudes towards psychedelic substances.


The Science of Microdosing


7 test tubes in a row, each containing a different type of psilocybin mushroom

Micro-dosing is essentially exactly as it sounds, to take a micro dose of something, typically the dose being a form of psychoactive drug such as psilocybin (magic mushrooms) or LSD. While no one can really know for sure where this practice originated, many look toward tech moguls of silicon valley who may have started the trend in an attempt to reach higher levels of productivity, gain more creative insight and just generally to feel good doing it. All of these benefits and more have been reported from those who have tried micro-dosing.


Micro-dosing involves taking a very small amount of the desired substance, off and on again, to achieve the desired benefit. For microdosing mushrooms, you can eat raw mushrooms, pop some microdose capsules, brew some magic mushroom tea or nibble on some of our magic mushroom chocolate.

Dosage: 0.1g

Subtle effect, suitable for beginners

Dosage: 0.2g

Mild effect, often used for regular microdosing

Dosage: 0.3g

Noticeable effect, approaching a mini-dose


One of the most important things to know about micro-dosing is that the dose (typically between 0.1- 0.3 grams, sometimes less and sometimes a bit more) is not enough to leave you feeling any psychoactive effects, so any worry you may have had about the potential of “tripping out” can get thrown out the window — so long as you are dosing correctly. If you were to trip out - this would defeat the purpose of 'micro'-dosing. The idea is for this treatment to be sustainable, to still be able to function normally, go to work, interact with others, drive and carry about your business just like you normally would, on any regular day. Though you may certainly have an extra pep in your step. While it can be fun and beneficial in it’s own way, the goal here is not to get lost for hours looking at every intricate detail of the bark on a tree, or watch the clouds until they morph into a train going to candy land and invite you on. A trip like this would be considered macrodosing, and will provide a very different experience.


What’s The Best Part Of Microdosing?

Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, negative side effects from microdosing psilocybin are extremely rare. So long as the dosage is correct and breaks are taken in between rounds of dosing it is unlikely to experience negative effects. If you have mental health disorders such as Bipolar Disorder or are predisposed to conditions such as Schizophrenia then it is important to know, that microdosing and the use of psychedelics in general should be avoided.


Health Benefits and Risks


This video discusses the use of the naturally occurring psychedelic compound psilocybin in treating depression.


Reported Benefits

Many people who have tried microdosing are extremely enthusiastic about it, sharing many of their experienced benefits with anyone who will listen. Some of these benefits include, decreased anxiety, more presence, more joy, more creative insight, enhanced productivity and focus, the ability to see things from a new perspective, new ideas, more empathy and connection with others, more trust in oneself, more clarity and less brain fog. Other benefits that have been reported also include improved meditative practices, exercise, diet, sleeping habits, conscious awareness and mindfulness.


Microdosing has helped some people to come off of their psychiatric medications for anxiety and depression, like SSRI’s. However, it is important to talk to your doctor or a trained professional before attempting anything like that.


Others have claimed that micro-dosing psilocybin has helped them to kick unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcoholism and even opioid addiction. If you’re thinking that seems counter intuitive, that’s understandable, taking a drug to get off a drug?! You must be crazy. Well, maybe a little, but the important thing to know is that psilocybin is actually non-addictive. The substance in itself, though it is considered a “drug” is not addictive, and it carries the potential to assist you in overcoming addictive behaviors.


For more information, check our our blog on the science behind psilocybin and check out what Harvard had to say.


Potential Risks and Side Effects

While research is still in its infancy, potential risks include the unpredictability of individual reactions and the legal status of psilocybin in many regions. It's crucial to approach microdosing with caution and awareness of its unregulated nature. All that being said, anecdotal evidence and research so far suggests that it has a very high safety profile across all parameters.


How to Microdose Psilocybin


Dosage and Preparation

Dosing comes down to personal preference, but it is important to take breaks off in between. Once every second or third day is a good place to start, and it’s not a bad idea to take a week off every month or so as to not build up a tolerance. You also need to have some time in between to allow the integration to occur. Taking breaks will also help you to lock down the dosage that works best for you, for example, 0.1 grams, or maybe even a smaller dose of 0.05 grams is ideal. Some people are very sensitive while others are not.


A typical Microdose is between 50-200mg (of psychoactive mushrooms), depending on how sensitive you are. We generally recommend people start at 100 - 200 mg depending upon tolerance and body weight. For those already known to be highly sensitive, then some 50mg products are available.


Dosing Schedule Examples: (no single schedule is inherently better than another, though you can find strong opinions on any one, so, do what works for you. pick one, try it, and adjust accordingly, just be sure to take adequate time off to ensure you don't build up a tolerance.)


Best Dosing Schedules:

Every 3rd Day Schedule: In this schedule, you take a microdose every third day. For example, if you start on Monday, you dose on Monday, then take two days off (Tuesday and Wednesday), and dose again on Thursday.


4 Days On/3 Days Off Schedule: This schedule involves microdosing for four consecutive days, followed by three days off. For instance, you dose from Monday to Thursday, then take a break from Friday to Sunday.


Day Of The Week

Every 3rd Day Schedule

4 Days On/3 Days Off Schedule

Monday

Dose

Dose

Tuesday

Off

Dose

Wednesday

Off

Dose

Thursday

Dose

Dose

Friday

Off

Off

Saturday

Off

Off

Sunday

Dose

Off

Key

  • Dose: Indicates a day when a microdose is taken.

  • Off: Indicates a day without taking a microdose.

This chart provides a clear weekly schedule for each microdosing approach, making it easy to follow and integrate into a routine. Remember, these schedules are just guidelines, and it's important to adjust them according to personal needs and responses.


Administration Methods

Psilocybin can be ingested directly, encapsulated into mushroom pills, make into food like mushroom gummies or chocolate, or infused into teas. Each method has its nuances in terms of onset and duration of effects.


Personal Experiences and Anecdotal Reports


First-Hand Accounts

Many users report subtle yet profound changes in their perception and cognitive abilities. These experiences, while subjective, offer valuable insights into the potential of microdosing. Here is a random sampling from one poll:

  1. "After microdosing psilocybin, I found my creative blocks dissolving, allowing me to paint with newfound inspiration and freedom."

  2. "Microdosing gave me a subtle yet profound sense of clarity and focus in my daily work, enhancing my productivity."

  3. "I experienced a significant reduction in my anxiety levels, feeling a calmness I hadn't felt in years."

  4. "It was like a veil lifted from my perception, making the colors of nature more vibrant and my interactions more empathetic."



The video explores the trend of microdosing magic mushrooms among mothers in San Diego.


Community Insights

Online forums and communities provide a wealth of shared experiences, offering a broader perspective on the varied effects of microdosing.


Here are the top three microdosing forums that you can explore for discussions, experiences, and advice on microdosing:


  1. Reddit - r/Microdosing: This subreddit is a comprehensive community for discussions about microdosing, including psilocybin. Users share their experiences, ask questions, and provide insights into the practice of microdosing. Visit r/Microdosing on Reddit.

  2. Microdose - Facebook: Microdose on Facebook is a community focused on the business of psychedelics. While it covers a broader range of topics within psychedelics, it includes discussions and content related to microdosing. Visit MicrodoseHQ on Facebook

  3. Psychedelic Microdosing: A Subreddit Analysis - PubMed: This is not a forum but a study published on PubMed that analyzes discussions from a subreddit dedicated to psychedelic microdosing. It provides a scientific perspective on the conversations and trends within the microdosing community. Read the study on PubMed

These platforms offer a mix of personal experiences, scientific discussions, and community insights, making them valuable resources for anyone interested in the practice of microdosing.


Legal and Ethical Considerations


Navigating Legal Issues

Psilocybin, despite its potential therapeutic benefits, remains illegal in many countries, classified as a Schedule I drug. This classification implies a high potential for abuse and no recognized medical use, a stance that is increasingly challenged by emerging research. It's crucial for individuals interested in psilocybin to be well-informed about the legal status in their region to avoid legal repercussions.


The debate around the legal status of psilocybin is intensified by advocates like Graham Hancock, who argue for cognitive liberty - the right of individuals to have sovereignty over their own consciousness. Hancock and others in this camp contend that the use of psychedelics, including psilocybin, should be a personal choice, free from governmental restrictions. They argue that such substances, when used responsibly, can lead to profound personal growth, spiritual experiences, and therapeutic benefits.


Ethical Implications

The promotion and use of psilocybin, particularly for therapeutic purposes, is not just a legal issue but also an ethical one. While there is growing evidence supporting its benefits in treating various mental health conditions, there is also the potential for misuse. Responsible advocacy is crucial in this context.


Proponents of psilocybin use, echoing Hancock’s views, emphasize the importance of respecting individual autonomy and the transformative potential of psychedelic experiences. They argue that denying access to such substances is an infringement on personal freedom and a hindrance to exploring new therapeutic avenues.


However, this perspective must be balanced with concerns about public health and safety. The unregulated use of psilocybin can lead to unpredictable outcomes, especially without proper guidance or in the presence of underlying health conditions. Therefore, while advocating for cognitive liberty and the decriminalization of psilocybin, it's equally important to promote education, safe use practices, and scientific research to understand better and mitigate potential risks.


In summary, the conversation around psilocybin is not just about legality; it's deeply intertwined with ethical considerations about personal freedom, societal norms, and the collective responsibility to ensure public health and safety. As research progresses and societal attitudes evolve, these discussions will play a crucial role in shaping the future of psilocybin and other psychedelics in our society.


Comparing Psilocybin with Other Psychedelics

Psilocybin vs. LSD


While both substances are used in microdosing, they differ in their chemical structure and effects. LSD is known for its more stimulating effect, while psilocybin offers a more grounding experience.


Other Alternatives

Other substances like DMT and mescaline are also used for microdosing, each with unique properties and effects.


Addressing Critiques and Limitations


Scientific Critiques

Current research on microdosing is limited. There's a need for more controlled, scientific research to validate some of the findings.


Addressing Skepticism

Skepticism around microdosing is common, often due to holes in the scientific evidence and the controversial nature of psychedelic substances. Open, informed discussions are vital for a balanced understanding.


Where To Begin?


Embarking on a microdosing journey with psilocybin is a venture into the profound depths of your own consciousness and well-being. To start this journey, it's essential to approach with intentionality and informed caution. Here are steps to guide you:


  1. Set Clear Intentions: Before beginning, reflect on what you hope to achieve through microdosing. Are you seeking mental clarity, creative inspiration, emotional balance, or something else? Setting clear intentions can help guide your experience and measure its effectiveness.

  2. Research Thoroughly: Educate yourself about psilocybin, its effects, potential benefits, and risks. Read scientific studies, personal accounts, and consult resources like forums or expert blogs. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to altering your consciousness.

  3. Consult Healthcare Professionals: If you have underlying health conditions or are taking medication, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider. They can provide advice on potential interactions and considerations specific to your health.

  4. Start with a Test Dose: Begin with a very low dose, even lower than the standard microdose, to understand how your body reacts to psilocybin. This cautious approach helps ensure that you don't experience overwhelming effects.

  5. Choose Your Schedule: Decide on a dosing schedule that suits your lifestyle and goals. Whether it's dosing every third day or four days on followed by three days off, consistency is key. Remember to take breaks to prevent tolerance build-up and allow for integration of experiences.

  6. Prepare Your Dose: Whether using raw mushrooms, capsules, or another form, ensure your dose is accurately measured. Consistency in dosing is crucial for a controlled and safe microdosing experience.

  7. Create a Supportive Environment: Microdosing can lead to subtle yet significant shifts in perception and emotion. It's beneficial to have a supportive and understanding environment, especially during the initial stages of your journey.

  8. Monitor and Reflect: Keep a journal to track your experiences, changes in mood, creativity, or other areas of interest. This reflection can provide valuable insights into the effects of microdosing on your personal and professional life.

  9. Stay Informed and Flexible: As you progress, stay informed about the latest research and be flexible to adjust your approach. Microdosing is a personal journey that may require tweaking dosages or schedules as you learn more about how your body and mind respond.

  10. Practice Mindfulness and Integration: Combine microdosing with practices like meditation, yoga, or mindful walking. These practices can enhance the benefits of microdosing and help integrate your experiences into daily life.


Remember, microdosing psilocybin is not just about the substance itself; it's about embarking on a journey of self-discovery and mindful exploration. Approach it with respect, curiosity, and an open heart, and you may find yourself unlocking doors to a more vibrant, connected, and conscious way of living.


Conclusion


As we navigate the intricate landscape of microdosing psilocybin, it's clear that this practice is more than just a trend; it's a revival of ancient knowledge through the lens of modern science. The potential of psilocybin to enhance mental well-being, creativity, and personal growth is immense, yet it comes with a responsibility to approach its use with mindfulness and respect for legal and ethical boundaries.


The journey of microdosing is deeply personal and varies from individual to individual. It's a path of self-exploration that requires careful consideration, starting with understanding one's intentions and proceeding with caution, especially regarding dosage and frequency. The experiences shared by many, from enhanced mental clarity to improved emotional stability, paint a picture of the profound impact that this practice can have.


However, it's crucial to remember that microdosing is not a one-size-fits-all solution or a substitute for professional medical advice. It's a complementary approach that may offer benefits but also requires awareness of its limitations and potential risks. The legal landscape surrounding psilocybin is evolving, and with it, the conversation about cognitive liberty and the right to explore one's consciousness.


In conclusion, microdosing psilocybin offers a unique opportunity to tap into the unexplored territories of the mind and spirit. As research continues to unfold, we are likely to gain deeper insights into its benefits and applications. For those embarking on this journey, it's a path of discovery, respect for the substance, and an open mind to the possibilities that lie within the realm of the psychedelic experience.



One man's recounting of his microdosing journey


Additional Resources


FAQs

  1. What is microdosing? Microdosing involves taking very small, sub-perceptual doses of a psychedelic substance.

  2. Is microdosing psilocybin legal? The legal status of psilocybin varies by country and region. In many places, it is still classified as an illegal substance.

  3. How do I start microdosing? Begin with research and consider starting with very low doses to gauge your individual response.

  4. What are the potential benefits of microdosing psilocybin?

  • Microdosing psilocybin is reported to improve mood, enhance creativity, increase focus, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  1. Are there any risks associated with microdosing psilocybin?

  • Potential risks include unpredictable psychological effects, legal issues, and possible physical side effects. It's important to approach microdosing with caution.

  1. How much psilocybin should I take for a microdose?

  • A typical microdose of psilocybin mushrooms ranges from 0.1 to 0.5 grams, but this can vary based on individual sensitivity and mushroom potency.

  1. How often should I microdose?

  • Common schedules include dosing every third day or a regimen of four days on followed by three days off. Personal schedules may vary based on individual needs and responses.

  1. Can I microdose psilocybin if I'm on medication?

  • It's crucial to consult a healthcare professional before microdosing, especially if you are on medication, as there can be interactions.

  1. Will microdosing psilocybin make me hallucinate?

  • Microdosing involves sub-perceptual doses that typically do not cause hallucinations or major alterations in perception.

  1. Can microdosing psilocybin lead to addiction?

  • Psilocybin is not considered addictive, and microdosing typically involves taking breaks to prevent tolerance build-up.

  1. How long does it take to feel the effects of microdosing psilocybin?

  • Effects can vary, but some individuals report noticing changes within a few days to a couple of weeks.

  1. Can I microdose psilocybin for mental health issues?

  • While some studies suggest benefits for mental health, microdosing should not replace professional medical advice or treatment.

  1. Should I microdose psilocybin alone or under supervision?

  • It's advisable to have a supportive environment when starting, and some prefer supervision from a healthcare professional, especially if using it for therapeutic purposes.

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