Essential Guide to Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms
Learn Everything You Need to Know About Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms
Microdosing has become a hot new trend amongst Silicon Valley professionals and entrepreneurs looking for a creative edge in business. But the use of sub-perceptual amounts of psychedelics is not limited to only career-oriented individuals. In fact, several users have reported success with microdosing psilocybin mushrooms to help with depression, smoking cessation, and general emotional balance.
For the uninitiated, microdosing is the act of consuming sub-perceptual amounts of psychedelics, most often LSD and Psilocybin Mushrooms. Sub-perceptual means the effects are subtle but noticeable. Typically, individuals integrate sub-perceptual doses into their weekly routine for higher levels of creativity, more energy, increased focus, and improved relational skills. Microdosing also helps to heighten spiritual awareness and enhance all five senses.
Other claimed benefits for microdosing include:
Elevated mood to assist with depression
Use as an aid to help those with ADD and ADHD
Use as a tool in quit smoking
Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms: Dosage
The microdose amount of a psychedelic is relative to its threshold dose. The threshold dose is the minimum dose of a drug that will produce a noticeable degree of any given effect.
Since microdosing is the use of sub-perceptual doses, a microdose amount is below the threshold dose. Ideally, a microdose will not cause a substantial effect on mood, disposition, or mindset. Instead, its impact will be subtle but present.
For psilocybin mushrooms, a microdose is between .2g and .5g. This amount equates to between 2 and 3 dried mushroom caps.
To find your ‘sweet spot’ it is recommended to start small. Begin your microdosing regimen by consuming approximately .2 g of dried psilocybin mushroom. If this is not ‘enough,’ then up the dosage by .1 g until you reach a ‘sub-perceptual’ dose.
How can you tell if you took enough psilocybin mushroom?
There is a fine line to balance with microdosing. You want to take enough to notice the presence of the psychedelic, but not enough to throw you for a loop and severely affect your usual routine.
How to Microdose With Psilocybin Mushrooms
If you want to microdose with psilocybin mushrooms, read our detailed guide on how to grind up mushrooms and prepare consistent doses.
In short – you’ll need an accurate scale so you can measure out small doses of dried mushroom powder.
Grind up two to three mushroom caps, until you have about .2 g of particles. Then, place the contents in a gel capsule or consume the particles with a spoon.
If you don’t have a scale, you will have to experiment with the amount of psilocybin mushroom. Experimentation is challenging because of two main reasons:
Each cap size has a slightly different size.
Each strain of psilocybin mushroom has a different level of potency. This means .2 g of psilocybin mushroom A may be equivalent to .4 g of psilocybin mushroom B.
It is better to err on the side of too little rather than too much. Start by grinding up two mushroom caps for a microdose. If it is not enough, then increase to three mushroom caps the next time you microdose.
If possible, consume the same strain of magic mushroom throughout your experiment to reduce variance.
How to Get Psilocybin Mushrooms
The best way to get Psilocybin Mushrooms is by growing them yourself.
Microdosing Mushrooms Benefits And Effects
In general, users report five main benefits when microdosing (either LSD or Psilocybin Mushrooms):
From the anecdotal reports I’ve read on the internet, users who microdose with psilocybin mushrooms often do so for two primary reasons:
As medication to help with social anxiety, depression, ADHD, or smoking cessation – Emotional/Creative
To heighten spiritual awareness – Spiritual
There are also reports of unwanted emotional baggage rising to the surface when microdosing. These reports stem from psychedelic’s ‘amplifying effect’.
Psilocybin mushrooms tend to amplify your current mood, rather than act as a stimulant or numbing agent.
For this reason, it is important to assess your mindset before consuming a microdose. I have one friend who was in a poor mindset before taking a microdose. By taking a microdose, her emotional baggage rose to a more salient point in her consciousness, causing a slight dip in mood.
From a positive psychological perspective, users report more appreciation for life, improved mood, more patience, stronger relational bonds, and a gradual buildup of openness when used over a period.
My personal experience has been overwhelmingly positive from an emotional perspective. As an ambivert, I can only handle social situations for 1-2 hours of time before withdrawing into myself. However, when microdosing, I stay engaged in social situations for longer periods of time and do not feel the same level of social fatigue.
Close friends of mine also notice an increasing softness in my personality. When microdosing, I am more caring, more emotionally available and a better listener, according to my friends.
Many users of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms report a heightened sense of spiritual awareness. Spirituality is a notoriously abstract concept, so, to help give it an obvious meaning, I will define it as one’s feeling of connectedness with other forms of life.
One of my favorite things to do while microdosing is to go for hikes. When I walk in the woods, or through the sand dunes, near my home, I feel a connection to the trees, dirt, plants, and earth around me. I often walk barefoot to heighten the sensual appreciation of such moments.
In essence, I feel at home.
One aspect of a practical spiritual practice that may be improved by microdosing is meditation.
Myron Stolaroff, an author, and researcher, best known for his work on psychedelic psychotherapy, used psycholytic doses as an aid in meditation. He believed access to LSD at appropriate times could help an individual to master meditation.
Small amounts of psychedelics likely work so well for meditation because they inhibit the ego, enabling a truer sense of connection with the world in each moment.
Ego loss is one of the most revered aspects of a full-on psychedelic trip (at least for experienced ‘psychonauts’ who understand how to deal with ego loss).
While ego loss is not possible on a microdose, the small amounts of psychedelic aid in perceiving reality with more clarity.
Microdosing Mushrooms Schedule
What daily and weekly regimen should I follow for microdosing psilocybin mushrooms?
Dr. James Fadiman, the author of the Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, recommends taking a microdose once every four days.
Take a microdose on Day 1. Then do NOT take a microdose on Day 2 or Day 3. Then, take another microdose on Day 4.
Observe the effects throughout this process by taking notes in a journal every day.
Continue the process of microdosing two times per week for ten total weeks. Take notes throughout the entire 10-week process on both short-term, in the moment effects, and long-term changes in your mood, energy, and social behavior.
Follow your normal routine while microdosing. You should not change what you do. The purpose is to enhance your day-to-day existence by integrating microdoses into your routine.
When you try microdosing for the first time, take a day off from work and social commitments. It will give you a chance to observe and notice any unusual effects before microdosing in a more public situation.
Be vigilant in observing the effects of microdosing on the two days between microdoses. Many people observe increased feelings of flow, creativity, and energy the day after they microdose, as well as the day of microdosing.
It is also excellent to keep continuous notes on the observed effects of consistent microdosing over a long span of time. From the reports Dr. Fadiman collected, many people report a gradual buildup of openness and awareness over the span of their experiment
As Dr. Fadiman says in the Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, “People are saying, ‘After a month or more of microdosing, I’m eating better; I’m nicer to my kids; I’m not as upset when people behave badly.“One man was saying, ‘I’m so much more in the present. I used to, even when I was enjoying something, really be thinking about what I was going to do when it was over and so forth. Now when I’m doing something, I’m actually doing it.’”
My personal experience has been similar. On an overall basis, I am more receptive to social invitations, more open when engaging with others in social settings, and I’ve noticed a serious increase in overall creative output.
If you follow this regimen for the full ten weeks, you will need at least ten grams of psilocybin mushrooms.
Should You Microdose With Mushrooms Daily?
I don’t recommend microdosing every day. While anecdotal reports show no build up in tolerance for microdoses of mushrooms, taking psychedelics every day will create challenges in understanding the effects of microdosing.
In other words, you won’t understand how your baseline behavior (creativity, productivity, mood, behavior) is affected by microdosing. Therefore, you won’t have any idea if certain changes are caused by the microdosing or if it is merely a placebo effect.
One other downside to microdosing every day is normalizing a very powerful substance.
I compare it to the use of coffee for productivity purposes. When you drink coffee every day, over time you need to increase the dose to get the same effect. One cup of coffee turns into two or three or four cups of coffee within 2-3 months.
It is best to leverage microdosing as an occasional advantage, rather than a consistent go-to like coffee.
Additionally, studies in mice have shown that repeated daily doses of psilocybin could cause heart problems after several weeks.
Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms For Depression
In a 1976 interview with High Times, Albert Hofmann, the inventor of LSD, commented on how small amounts of LSD (“perhaps 25 micrograms”) might be beneficial as an anti-depressant. [iv]His assumption might hold some legitimate ground.
Recently, a few articles have cropped up about the efficacy of microdoses for treating depression. These reports stem from two sources:
Anecdotal reports collected by Dr. Fadiman
Stories from Internet forums, particularly Reddit
In these reports, several people microdosed on psilocybin mushrooms as a means of alleviating depression.
In one article, published by Vice in September 2015, Dr. Fadiman mentions a report he received from an individual with Parkinsons. Although the microdosing did not assist with his Parkinson’s symptoms, it did help his underlying depression.
In the same article, a woman named ‘Sue’ is interviewed.
Before turning to psilocybin mushrooms, she tried the typical regimen of anti-depressants and heavy duty SSRIs. They left her numb and unable to feel any emotion.
While researching alternative options to hardcore prescriptions, Sue stumbled upon an Internet forum with information on microdosing psychedelics for depression. She reached out to Dr. Fadiman, who sent her a standardized weekly regimen (the same regimen described above) to follow.
Sue reached out to a friend who had psilocybin mushrooms and bought enough for 10 weeks of microdosing. On the first day, she ingested a small teaspoon. The effects were noticeable but minor on the day of the microdose.
However on the day after, Sue felt a substantial lift in mood, including a near elimination of her obsessive negative thinking
One final example comes from the subreddit ‘Psychonaut’. Two separate users reported on the efficacy of microdoses of psilocybin mushrooms in improving depression.
One user went so far as to say, ‘I still to this day believe that [psilocybin] mushrooms saved my life.’
Although anecdotal research is limited (and scientific research non-existent) the reports thus far prove hopeful for the use of microdosing in helping individuals deal with depression.
There is one major downside when it comes to microdosing and depression:
Microdosing appears to be ineffective in treating depression over the long-term. Meaning, if the user stops consuming a regular regimen of microdoses, he or she will return to pre-microdose levels of depression.
On a basis of assumption, the long-term effects of microdosing on depression may be aided by a combination of psychedelics and therapy.
If given small amounts of psychedelics to take on a semi-regular basis and attend regular therapeutic sessions, long-term improvement is more likely. Read our article on microdosing for depression for more information.
Similar research has been carried out with MDMA and PTSD. The results have been phenomenal. In fact, an entire book Acid Tests was dedicated to the benefits of MDMA in conjunction with psychotherapy in treating PTSD.
Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms To Quit Smoking
Psychedelic substances may help with smoking cessation, according to a study carried out by Johns Hopkins University. Although this study used full doses of psychedelics, rather than microdoses, it still creates room for the possibility of microdosing to help with quitting.
In the study carried out by Johns Hopkins, 12 of 15 recidivist smokers managed to stop smoking for six months after three psychedelic sessions. This represented an 80% success rate—unheard of in the notoriously difficult treatment of tobacco addiction.
To further validate claims of psychedelics assisting with smoking cessation, more extensive research is necessary. Although it is possible to draw conclusions from one experiment, the sample size was limited.
To date, there have been no ‘official’ experiments on the efficacy of microdosing in helping individuals quit smoking.
However, different people have carried out various personal experiments to test the effectiveness of microdosing.
In a podcast about breaking bad habits on the Tink Tink Club, one of the hosts discussed how he microdosed on consecutive days with psilocybin mushrooms to quit smoking
He consumed .4 g of psilocybin mushrooms, every day, for ten consecutive days.
The first three days he microdosed, he smoked 2 or 3 cigarettes.
On the fourth day of microdosing, he had no urge to smoke a cigarette.
After nixing the urge, he microdosed for six more days (7 days total without smoking a cigarette).
After microdosing for a total of 10 days, he eliminated the urge to continue smoking.
Why did the microdosing assist him in quitting?
He emphasized a few important points for those who may consider microdosing to help with smoking cessation:
By consuming a psychedelic, his urge to eliminate a nasty habit became too present to ignore. Psychedelics will often encourage individuals to be the best person they can be. Any dangerous habits become very apparent when on psychedelics due to a clearing of irrational rationalizations for poor habits. Such behavior likely results from the psychedelics effect on the ego.
You have to WANT to quit smoking if psilocybin is to be effective. It does not work as a ‘magic pill’. Microdosing helps put one in the correct mindset because psychedelics initiate a desire to be healthier.
Your urge to smoke will not entirely dissipate upon consuming a microdose. You will still need to use a small amount of willpower to overcome your urge to smoke. Microdosing helps to mitigate the desire for short-term gratification versus long-term consequences. It does not act as a panacea to all impulses and urges.
Quitting nasty habits like smoking is a frequent urge after an effective psychedelic trip. Psychedelic users report similar feelings when it comes to their use of alcohol.
If you want to learn more about microdosing with psychedelics, check out our comprehensive microdosing guide on Amazon.
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