The Ultimate Guide to Microdosing

Mush, Magic Mushrooms, Shrooms, Purple passion, Boomers, Buttons

Psilocybin is a potentially illegal substance, and we do not encourage or condone the use of this substance where it is against the law. This guide is designed to ensure the safety of those who decide to use the substance legally.

Psilocybin: [3-(2-Dimethylaminoethyl)-1H-indol-4-yl] dihydrogen phosphate

This article has been medically reviewed by Katrina Oliveros, MSN-ED, BSN

Maria Katrina is a trauma-informed Wellness Educator and Psychedelic Harm Reduction Consultant. Beyond nursing, she supports health & wellness teams through medical aid, psychedelic harm reduction, and integration services.


Microdosing is the act of consuming sub-perceptual (unnoticeable) amounts of a psychedelic substance. Many individuals who have integrated microdosing mushrooms into their weekly routine report higher levels of creativity, more energy, increased focus, and improved relational skills, as well as reduced anxiety, stress, and even depression. Some enthusiasts also report that microdosing mushrooms has helped them heighten their spiritual awareness and enhance their senses.

Psychedelic researchers have also discovered that psilocybin can have positive effects on mood disorders and anxiety. In fact, The Beckley Foundation is spearheading the push for the legalization of psilocybin mushrooms, backed by their research showing that psilocybin has long-term positive effects for treatment-resistant depression patients. Recently, Oakland, California decriminalized all plant medicines including psilocybin mushrooms, a move that followed Denver, Colorado’s, successful referendum to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms.

Psilocybin is also proving effective at treating addiction. Researchers from Johns Hopkins found that 80% of smokers who took psilocybin as part of cognitive behavioral therapy were able to quit tobacco completely.

Mushrooms (and LSD) have also been found to have comparable or better results in treating cluster headaches than most conventional medications—many people have experienced extended periods of remission after treating their headaches with psychedelic substances.

With all these encouraging results on full doses of psilocybin, there’s reason to believe that microdosing mushrooms could bring about similarly positive life changes.

How to Microdose Mushrooms (6 Steps)



How Do You Microdose With Psilocybin Mushrooms?

Microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms is a fairly straightforward process. Essentially, you need to source your medicine or grow your own. If you’re new to journeying, you may want to consider sourcing Golden Teachers due to their massive popularity and relatively mild effects. You can find mushroom grow kits online, but most will require you to obtain psilocybin spores first.

Once you’ve grown or acquired the medicine and then prepared your microdoses, consume the microdose at the appropriate time. Consider the recommendation from James Fadiman to consume microdoses in the morning, no later than 10am to avoid disrupting healthy sleep patterns. Follow a month-long protocol to ensure you experience lasting benefits. We outline each one of these elements in more detail below.

Get Third Wave’s Ultimate Guide to Sourcing Psychedelic Medicines for specific vendor recommendations, legal alternative options, and access to our entire library of psychedelic guides.

Source Your Mushrooms

Sourcing your mushrooms is something to take seriously. Finding clear, honest information is the first part of the process. You can source your mushrooms through resources like garden shops, websites, pharmacies (located where psychedelic mushrooms are legal), and even eBay.

You can also grow your own with mushroom grow kits that are perfect for beginners.

People use several methods to grow psilocybin mushrooms, but the “PF Tek” method is the most common. This method revolutionized growing mushrooms indoors because it adds vermiculite to a grain-based substrate (as opposed to using grain alone), mimicking natural conditions and giving the mycelia more space to grow.

Other methods include:

  • Growing mushrooms on straw or sawdust as a substrate, which can be more forgiving and easier to work with than the PF Tek method.
  • Using a fully automated mushroom growing kit, which you can do with minimal technical knowledge.

While some wish to forage for psychedelic mushrooms, it’s crucial to be aware that identifying the correct mushroom species can be difficult and dangerous, since many mushrooms look similar but can have toxic effects.

Growing mushrooms from scratch is worthwhile but can be challenging to get right. If you’re interested in a more manageable method for home growth, check out Third Wave’s Grow Kit and Course, which includes instructions for sourcing mushroom spores.

Preparing Your Microdose

Preparing psilocybin mushrooms for microdosing is pretty straightforward. The trickiest part is estimating how much psilocybin is in a particular mushroom.

The strain of the mushroom and whether it’s fresh or dried will impact the quantities of psilocybin. Even different parts of the mushroom contain slightly different amounts.

We recommend drying a batch of mushrooms, grinding them into a powder, and measuring out around 0.1g as your starter microdose. From there, you can adjust the amount accordingly. If you take a dose that makes you feel some changes (most notably drowsiness, the first effect in a psilocybin trip), roll it back to a dose just less than that amount. That’s your mushroom-microdose sweet spot.

You can use any type of psilocybin mushrooms for microdosing. The most popular ones are Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe semilanceata, Psilocybe azurecens, Psilocybe cyanescens, and Psilocybe panaeolus, but you can find over 180 different types in nature.

Just be aware of how much psilocybin content your strain contains. For example, Penis Envy is one of the most potent magic mushrooms, whereas Golden Teachers are a more approachable medium strength. You can learn about the potency levels of different Psilocybe strains at Erowid.

Read our full guide on preparing Psilocybin Mushrooms for microdosing here.

How To Take Your Microdose

Once you have your mushrooms prepped in doses and decide on your regimen, it’s time to take your mushroom microdose. Just like many steps in the mushroom-taking process, you have several options for how to consume.

The most common practice is to precisely measure your dosages into empty capsules. This will ensure even distribution and also mask the taste. It also makes it easy to travel with and schedule doses.

You can also make a psilocybin tea by taking your desired dosage and dissolving it in hot water, just like you would loose-leaf tea. Keep in mind the mushrooms will dissolve if they’re in the form of a powder. But if they are full pieces of mushrooms, they will steep just like regular tea.

We wouldn’t recommend you try Lemon Tekking (mixing psilocybin mushrooms with citrus juice) because this concoction is primarily for high-dose psilocybin trips and may intensify the experience beyond the sub-threshold level. By briefly soaking the mushrooms in citric acid before taking them, users can eliminate the delay of feeling the effects of magic mushrooms while also cutting down on the nausea that can precede the experience.

What Microdosing Schedule Should I Follow?

Microdosing experts suggest different microdosing regimens, but our microdosing course follows Dr. James Fadiman’s system. Fadiman recommends taking a microdose once every three days:

  • You take a microdose on Day 1.
  • Then, do not take a microdose on Day 2 or Day 3.
  • On Day 4, take another microdose.

You can continue this process for one to two months before taking a break from microdosing for two to four weeks.

Microdosing Regimen

Morning is the best time for microdosing, since the beneficial effects will last throughout the day without interfering with sleep. It’s also helpful to take daily notes in a journal to observe the effects throughout this process and adjust accordingly—or just notice the positive changes.

It’s also important to follow your usual routine while microdosing mushrooms. The purpose is to enhance your day-to-day existence by integrating microdoses into your routine, so don’t change what you usually do. However, when you try microdosing for the first time, take a day off from work and social commitments. This will allow you to notice any unusual effects before microdosing in a more public situation.

While it may seem like you would only feel the microdose effects on the days you take it, try to observe the effect on the two days between the doses as well. Many people perceive increased feelings of flow, creativity, and energy the day after they microdose, in addition to the day of microdosing.

Can microdosing build up a tolerance to mushrooms?

It’s always important to record how you feel before your microdose, so you know what changes once the drugs take effect. Once you have consumed the mushrooms, try to monitor how you are feeling throughout: Are you feeling a spark of motivation? More creative? The same as usual? You may even experience a “flow” state with better focus, more presence, and deeper enjoyment in your activities.

No matter how you’re feeling, make sure to document the effects thoroughly before, during, and after your experience.

Increasing your microdose may be a good idea if you are feeling little to no change in your state of mind. However, it is always good to take too little to begin with, rather than too much.

Make sure to continue monitoring how you feel even after your dose has worn off. The day or two in between doses can be interesting. Some people continue to feel similar to how they felt while actively using the psychedelics. Some experience a comedown, and some just return to how they usually feel. This is all important information for knowing how to microdose successfully.

Lastly, microdosing mushrooms can affect your tolerance for psilocybin. If you start feeling fewer effects than when you first consumed your microdose, it may be time to increase the dosage.

Microdosing Retreats

For people new to psychedelics, even microdosing can be daunting. Coaches, clinics, retreats, and therapists are an excellent option for those who want to be introduced to psychedelics by experts in a guided, personalized setting.

Check out Third Wave’s directory of retreats, coaches, clinics, and therapists.

Third Wave’s founder and expert microdoser Paul F. Austin provides an all-inclusive guide to the practice of microdosing, including protocols, benefits, potential drawbacks, and sourcing.

Learn More.



What does science tell us about microdosing mushrooms?

While there has been some recent research on microdosing mushrooms, we know a lot more about what large doses of psychedelics do to the brain.

Much of what we understand about how psychedelics work involves serotonin, a chemical that is among the brain’s most important neurotransmitters. Serotonin affects nearly everything we do, from how we feel to how we process information. It keeps our brains ticking.

Psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin share a similar structure to serotonin and mimics the chemical’s effects (for a comparison of the two, see LSD vs Shrooms). This is why these substances have comparable effects to a full dose when microdosed, at least in the most important aspects described in the Benefits and Risks section of this guide. You can learn more about the differences between microdosing LSD and psilocybin here.

Sero LSD Psilo RED

Because serotonin is so important to mood stabilization, common antidepressants (called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs) increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can make you feel happier.

Psychedelics work by mimicking serotonin. One of psilocybin’s main effects is to stimulate a serotonin receptor called “5-HT2A” located in the prefrontal cortex, which leads to two important results:

  • The production of “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor” (BDNF), a protein that is “like Miracle-Gro for your brain,” according to Waldman. BDNF stimulates growth, connections, and activity. [1]
  • The increased transmission of “Glutamate,” a neurotransmitter responsible (in part) for important brain functions such as cognition, learning, and memory. [2]

Glutamate and BDNF work together in ways we’ve yet to fully understand, but it’s become clear that having more of each can lead to many of the benefits that microdosers are seeking. [3]

Psychedelics also cause parts of the brain that don’t usually communicate with one another to start talking, so to speak. These unique connections are formed by psychedelics’ ability to dampen the activity of an often over-used part of our brain called the “Default Mode Network” (DMN). [4] The DMN is responsible for many mental activities, including day-dreaming, self-reflection, and thinking about the past or the future. But research shows that a highly active DMN causes us to ruminate, over-analyze ourselves, and step out of the present moment to question the past and the future, all of which can make us unhappy. In fact, some studies suggest that depression is linked to an overactive DMN. [5] This helps explain why psychedelics could be used to combat depression and anxiety—as well as lead to insights and creative perspectives that may otherwise remain inaccessible. Explore the latest research on microdosing vs antidepressants for depression and anxiety relief.

essential guide summary

Benefits and Risks

There are many benefits to microdosing mushrooms. But, at the risk of oversimplifying, most people microdose for two main reasons:

1. To reduce the frequency and intensity of undesirable states caused by various forms of mental illness including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood disorders
  • PTSD
  • Addiction

2. To increase the frequency and intensity of desirable states/outcomes, including:

  • Creativity
  • Energy
  • Flow states
  • Productivity/focus
  • Improved relationships/increased empathy
  • Athletic coordination
  • Leadership development

Desirable States

Many people microdose for personal development or purposes of self-optimization. Reports suggest that the practice can improve creativity, productivity, and energy. Countless people also microdose to help them solve work-related problems, create new concepts, or simply to reduce procrastination. Microdosing mushrooms can also help you by improving your social interaction skills, athletic performance, and spiritual awareness.

Here are a few testimonials from Third Wave survey respondents on how microdosing helped them reach desirable states:

“Since microdosing I have come out of my shell. I have become more confident around other people and have formed an intimate relationship with another person where I have had difficulty in the past.”

“Microdosing LSD has been a very positive experience – it keeps me very present, focused, creative, and overall induces a deep sense of contentment! I found that taking it before going to my parents place made the family dynamic so much more enjoyable. It also has been great in terms of connecting with my partner.”

To learn how entrepreneur Janet Chang microdosed to improve creativity and work performance, listen to our interview here.


There are risks to microdosing on mushrooms, just as there are benefits. Talking with your doctor or a professional before trying mushrooms to see if they are right for you is important. Here we have broken up some of the bigger risks that come with microdosing:


Psychedelics are powerful substances, and even microdoses have a risk potential. Emotional turbulence or anxiety are possible while microdosing, largely due to psychedelics’ “amplifying effect.” Psilocybin tends 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.

We also recommend discussing the risks with your physician if you suffer from psychosis, schizophrenia, or severe anxiety. When overdone, microdosing can lead to manic states, which could exacerbate underlying conditions.

Since there is no clinical research on the safety of microdosing mushrooms, it’s best to avoid microdosing for an extended period (longer than a few months). There is a potential heart risk from taking many large doses of psychedelics over a long period of time.

That said, we don’t know how this translates to microdosing. Psilocybin has a long track record of safe use. Combine that with small dosages, and microdosing appears to be safe.

Professional Development


Flow States

At some point in our lives, most of us have likely experienced “flow,” or the mental state in which a person is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, presence, involvement, and enjoyment in the process of an activity. This can be the surfer effortlessly riding a big wave, the salesman elegantly working the room, or the writer who looks up from the page to realize night has fallen.

Simply put, flow is one of the great experiences of being human. We have no clinical evidence to suggest that microdoses of psychedelics can induce flow states, but studies have shown that moderate doses cause brain waves to shift toward alpha oscillations, which is also seen in the transition to a flow state [6]. Additionally, higher levels of serotonin are found during flow states.

Unlike LSD, however, psilocybin appears to interact minimally and only indirectly with dopamine, another neurotransmitter associated with flow states. This interaction may be minimal in the microdose range. [7][8]

Perhaps most important, though, psychedelics’ ability to quiet the DMN creates an opportunity for our brains to make unique connections between areas that don’t usually communicate. [4] This is crucial to accessing flow states.

Since we know that moderate doses of psychedelics can induce similar effects to a flow state in the brain, it seems likely that a regular microdosing regimen could begin to shift our awareness in the direction of flow.

Reports suggest that the practice can improve creativity, productivity, and energy. People also microdose to help solve work-related problems, create new concepts, or simply reduce procrastination. Microdosing mushrooms can also improve your social interaction skills, athletic performance, and spiritual awareness.

Here are some testimonials from Third Wave survey respondents on how microdosing helped them reach desirable states:

Since microdosing, I have come out of my shell. I have become more confident around other people and have formed an intimate relationship with another person where I have had difficulty in the past.

Microdosing LSD has been a very positive experience–it keeps me very present, focused, creative, and overall induces a deep sense of contentment! I found that taking it before going to my parents’ place made the family dynamic so much more enjoyable. It also has been great in terms of connecting with my partner.

Listen to our interview here to learn how entrepreneur Janet Chang microdosed to improve creativity and work performance.

Microdosing and Leadership

Change and innovation are happening faster than ever these days, and leaders need to adapt quickly. Great leaders must come up with creative solutions to unexpected issues and problems, turning potential setbacks to their advantage. Staying at the forefront of any field requires mastering new technology and being open to novel ways of accomplishing tasks, taking both short and long term needs into account.

Additionally, modern leadership is becoming less hierarchical, dominant, and aggressive (archetypal “masculine” traits) and increasingly requires the ability to cultivate space to allow the best people to step in and contribute their highest gifts (archetypal “feminine” characteristics).

Microdosing helps to accelerate this developmental process for the next generation of leaders by facilitating enhanced creativity, mental flexibility, and honest self-reflection. Microdosing also improve self-confidence, which enables you to be more in touch with your emotions and helps you better communicate.

To learn more about how microdosing can help with professional development, check out this talk from Third Wave founder Paul Austin.

Therapeutic Use

Because microdosing is a relatively recent concept, there is much more research on what consuming large amounts of psychedelic mushrooms does to your brain. More recently, though, there has been more research supporting the benefits of microdosing regularly with mushrooms (in contrast to other psychedelics such as LSD).

Clinical research has shown that, while larger doses of psychedelics treat depression, anxiety, and addiction, microdosing could be just as effective. Anecdotal evidence supports the notion that a regular microdosing regimen can help people struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADD/ADHD, mood disorders, addiction, and more.

To date, qualitative and survey data have shown promising results for mental-health improvement. For example, nearly half of those surveyed in an extensive, international survey who were previously prescribed medications reported that they stopped taking antidepressants after microdosing.

More rigorous, double-blind, controlled clinical trials investigating how microdosing might affect mental health are underway, including the world’s first psilocybin microdosing trial.

In November 2022, the mental health company COMPASS Pathways released results from their randomized, double-blind phase 2b study, the largest study to date of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Their results found that a single dose of psilocybin led to significant reductions in depressive symptoms compared to a control group who took a placebo. The patients treated with the higher dose (25 milligrams) also had a sustained antidepressant response at the twelve-week follow-up.

Additional studies have also found psilocybin to be more effective than conventional antidepressants. This has led to psilocybin being approved as a Breakthrough Therapy for both treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) by the FDA.

You can see all clinical trials, both past and present, investigating the effects of psilocybin for the following ailments:


The word psychedelic means “mind-manifesting.” This property makes psychedelics valuable tools in psychotherapy and other mental-health practices, since it allows repressed memories and difficult emotions to be brought to the surface.

If you microdose while attending therapy, you may find that issues and topics previously challenging to tap into are suddenly accessible. You may also notice creative insight into yourself, your past, and your relationships that you hadn’t before.

Third Wave Microdosing Survey

Here are a few testimonials from Third Wave survey respondents on how microdosing helped them overcome undesirable states:

“Microdosing doesn’t allow me to be anywhere else but in the present moment. This has helped me tremendously with my anxiety and depression. I am incapable of worrying about what’s going to happen next week, tomorrow, or even five minutes from now. I can function without anxiety for the first time in years. I feel that my attention span is greater, I’m concentrating like never before. When I was suffering with pain I was given a lot of prescription pain pills and was quickly becoming addicted to them. Microdosing instantly helped me stop taking the several pills a day I was taking just so I could get out of bed, and I haven’t touched them since.”

“I have fought depression for some 6-7 years since adolescence, microdosing has, so far, consistently helped me get on with my day-to-day, just as much on no MD days as MD days. This also applies to Social & General Anxiety which has been less severe but experienced for the same period.”

“I overcame my depression with microdosing because I can consistently be productive and happy with it as a creative booster. It also eliminates any anxiety I get because I never used to raise my hand in class. I smoke a lot of cannabis and it’s unhealthy to overindulge. I found microdosing to make me feel the need to be productive so I smoke much less when I microdose and don’t indulge just to smoke.”

If you want to learn more about how microdosing can help you within a therapeutic container, get access to Third Wave’s Official Microdosing Course.


While we mostly have anecdotal evidence supporting the benefits of microdosing, research is increasingly showing that macrodoses have positive effects on mood disorders and anxiety. It’s been shown to have long-term positive effects for patients with treatment-resistant depression and is also proving effective at treating addiction.

Evidence is also strong that a psilocybin experience can be a powerful driver for personal growth. In fact, one recent study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that “a single dose of psilocybin produced substantial and enduring decreases in depressed mood and anxiety along with increases in quality of life.”

Research has also shown that psilocybin can be used to enhance one’s spiritual practice. In a recent study, 75 participants engaged in a six-month spiritual course involving meditation, awareness, and self-reflection. During the course, participants were given either a low or high dose of psilocybin. At the end of the six months, the participants given the high dose of psilocybin showed significantly greater improvements in measures of spirituality such as interpersonal closeness, life meaning, death transcendence, and forgiveness.

With all this in mind, many people believe psilocybin (and other psychedelics) could be a key component of self-improvement and self-optimization. By occasioning the experience of feeling connected to the universe (in whatever individual form that takes) and confronting the deepest part of yourself, many believe psilocybin can help you take the necessary steps to become the best version of yourself you can be.


It’s crucial to check your local laws before microdosing, since the penalties for possessing psilocybin mushrooms are still harsh in many countries. It’s possible to microdose psilocybin mushrooms legally in certain countries and states, and we never condone illegal activities.


Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic chemical found in certain mushrooms, commonly referred to as “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms.” Once you consume psilocybin, the human body converts it to psilocin, a psychoactive chemical.

The threshold dose for feeling the effects of dried mushrooms is typically in the 0.2-0.5g range, though it varies for each individual person. A moderate dose in the 1-2.5g range, taken orally, typically produces effects that last from three to six hours. Psilocybin is about 100 times less potent than LSD and 10 times less potent than mescaline.

When you take psilocybin, your body metabolizes the substance into psilocin, both of which produce psychedelic effects. Psilocybin and psilocin primarily interact with serotonin receptors in the brain and have an especially high affinity for the 5-HT (serotonin) 2A subtype receptors.

In rodents, psilocybin has shown a strong interaction with receptors in hub regions of the brain that integrate sensory experiences. This could explain effects such as synesthesia—the experience of mixing sensory modalities, such as hearing colors or tasting sounds—and altered sensory experiences during mushroom trips.

Researchers in the field of psychedelics have additionally found that psilocybin has the potential to induce beneficial outcomes for mood disorders and anxiety.

Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of psilocybin in addressing addiction as well. A research team from Johns Hopkins discovered that 80% of smokers undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy and using psilocybin were able to completely cease tobacco use.

Mushrooms (and LSD) have comparable or better results in treating cluster headaches than most conventional medications. Many people have experienced extended periods of remission after treating their headaches with psychedelic substances.

Given the promising outcomes observed with small amounts of psilocybin, there is a basis for the belief that the practice of microdosing mushrooms could lead to comparable beneficial transformations in one’s life.

The History of Microdosing

While the modern history of psychedelics reaches back to the 1950s, interest in microdosing saw a major revitalization with the 2011 publication of psychologist and psychedelic advocate Dr. James Fadiman’s book, The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys.

This publication explores microdosing as a subculture of psychedelic use. While many indigenous cultures—as well as modern professionals—have used microdosing to unlock a host of personal benefits, Fadiman’s book formally introduced the term “microdosing” into the mainstream.

Beyond coining the term, The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide awakened the curiosity and imaginations of millions of people and provided practical information for anyone interested in giving microdosing a try.

Outside of the book, Fadiman’s ongoing research serves as one of the few modern studies into the effects of microdosing, since most current psychedelic research looks at the effects of larger doses on specific therapeutic outcomes.

The next boost, following the publication of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, in the public’s awareness of microdosing came from a podcast interview Fadiman gave with investor and author Tim Ferriss in March 2015.

Ferriss, who rose to fame after authoring the bestselling book The 4-Hour Work Week, had an enormous audience of individuals interested in entrepreneurship, “biohacking,” self-experimentation, psychology, spirituality, and other subjects that predispose them to an interest in the benefits of microdosing.

The interview boosted Fadiman’s core microdosing messages and created more mainstream interest in the practice. Soon after its air date, Ferris fans began experimenting with microdosing and discussing it in their own personal networks. Journalists also jumped on board and began writing articles about microdosing, creating even greater awareness and interest.

Interest in microdosing got another boost when author Ayelet Waldman published her 2016 book, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in my Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, which tracked her 30-day protocol of microdosing to her unstable moods caused by menopause. Before she started microdosing, Waldman says her mood swings had become severe enough to put her marriage and relationship with her children at risk. After the 30-day protocol, everything changed. “This month changed my life,” she said in an interview with Third Wave, “and I am sad every day that I can’t keep doing it legally.”

Mycologist and psilocybin enthusiast Paul Stamets has also had a hand in pushing microdosing into the mainstream. One of the most reputable, decorated, and practiced mycologists in the world, Stamets has dedicated his life to studying medicinal and psychedelic fungi.

His most recent patent application is for a nootropic stack (a combination of cognitive enhancers) that contains a microdose of psilocybin, lion’s mane, and niacin. He would like to see this supplement available as a vitamin, claiming that its efficacy in epigenetic neurogenesis has the potential to initiate “the next quantum leap in human consciousness.”

Now, tens of thousands of people around the globe are experimenting with taking small doses of psychedelics in the name of mental health, creativity, and inspiration.

Ancient Civilizations

Thanks to cave drawings dating back to 10,000 BC, psychedelic mushrooms have long been believed to have been used in indigenous cultures for medicinal and ceremonial purposes.

Some people even believe humans could have been ingesting psilocybin mushrooms when evolving from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens.

Discovery in America

Though psychedelic mushrooms had been consumed for years, it was not until the 1950s that they became well-known again in American culture. This started with the mushroom enthusiast R. Gordon Wasson, who discovered psychedelic mushrooms in an indigenous tribe while on vacation in Mexico.

He returned to the U.S. with some of these psychoactive mushrooms, which he then sent to the Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman. Hoffman had already been studying LSD and identified and isolated the mushrooms’ active ingredient, psilocybin.

In 1966, Dr. James Fadiman began conducting studies on the influence of psilocybin on performance, finding positive results.

Banning of Psilocybin

Despite the many medical benefits of the use of psilocybin, the Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1968. This act classified psilocybin as a Schedule 1 drug, which meant it was considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

This decision is thought to have been influenced by the societal attitude towards psychedelic drugs at the time, rather than true medical concerns.

Decriminalization of Mushrooms

As of 2021, a few cities in the United States have decriminalized or deprioritized the possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms. This means that law enforcement will not prioritize the enforcement of laws related to the possession and use of psychedelic mushrooms, but it does not necessarily mean that it is legal to possess or use them.

The cities that have decriminalized or deprioritized psilocybin mushrooms include: Denver, Colorado; Oakland and Santa Cruz, California; and Ann Arbor, Michigan.



Is microdosing mushrooms illegal?

Microdosing is not necessarily illegal. Several countries allow the cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms, the purchase of psilocybin truffles, or the purchase of LSD analogues.

We do not condone microdosing where it is against the law, as penalties can be severe. Make sure you know your local laws before purchasing psilocybin mushrooms to microdose.

If you live somewhere that allows the cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms for personal use, consider growing your psilocybin mushrooms and storing them for future use with one of these top-vetted mushroom growing kits.

If you live in Europe, you may purchase psilocybin truffles, which are legal in the Netherlands. Remember, these are less potent than psilocybin mushrooms, and an ideal starter dose is 0.5g of dried truffle powder.

For a complete list of legal, trusted psilocybin retreat centers worldwide, visit Third Wave’s Psychedelic Directory.

Can psilocybin be detected in a drug test?

Psilocybin and its metabolites are not included in most standard drug screens; however they are sometimes included in extended drug screens.

Can microdosing build up a tolerance to mushrooms?

The short answer is yes, microdosing mushrooms can affect your tolerance for psilocybin.

Paul Stamets recommends a slightly different microdosing protocol than that discussed above. He suggests taking a microdose every day for four days, then taking three days off to avoid building up a tolerance. He also suggests making psilocybin a central part of a stack including lion’s mane and niacin, to help with neuroplasticity and general well-being.

Where can I get psilocybin mushrooms?

There are a few options for sourcing mushrooms. You can learn to hunt and pick them yourself (though this could be dangerous), grow them yourself (see below), buy them in countries where they are legal, or purchase them from the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary, which is an online mail-order dispensary for microdoses of psilocybin mushrooms.

To learn more about the dispensary, check out our interview with its founder, Dana Larsen.

If you’d rather source larger doses of psilocybin mushrooms, check out Third Wave’s Ultimate Guide to Sourcing Psychedelic Medicine for step-by-step instructions.

What is a microdosing retreat?

Psilocybin mushroom retreats are a program or event where participants come together to take small, non-psychedelic doses of psilocybin mushrooms or other psychedelics, often under the guidance of trained facilitators.

The purpose of a microdosing retreat is to provide a supportive environment where individuals can explore the potential benefits of microdosing, such as increased creativity, focus, and well-being.

How can I grow my own mushrooms?

Growing your own psilocybin mushrooms is a good alternative to the potentially dangerous practice of collecting them. As well as providing a reliable, year-round supply, home cultivation eliminates the risk of misidentifying mushrooms in the wild. For many growers, it’s also a fun, low-cost hobby.

While there are ready-made mushroom kits available online, some people prefer to start from scratch. The kits do contain a living mycelium substrate (the material underlying mushroom growth), which you need to grow your own mushrooms. But making your own substrate is typically more consistent, and less prone to contamination.

For more information on how to start your own psilocybin grow, check out our guide here.

Want to learn how to grow your own mushrooms and store them from home? Check out Third Wave’s Grow Kit and Course.

Is microdosing safe?

The riskiest thing about microdosing is its potentially illegal nature. Always be aware of your local laws and don’t undertake any unlawful activities.

The first-ever controlled, double-blind study of microdosing LSD and psilocybin suggests that the practice is more effective than a placebo and safe. Still unknown, however, are the effects that frequent microdosing could have on the body. This is why we recommend microdosing for no longer than a few months.

However, as you can see in the graph below, psilocybin is one of the safest substances you can find, both biochemically and socially. It’s much safer than alcohol.

nutt harms

One thing is for certain – with microdosing, there is no risk of having a “bad trip” or experiencing intense psychedelic effects. Taking a microdose is the ideal way to be introduced to psychedelics safely and comfortably.

How do I get started with microdosing?

There are many things to cover before you get started with microdosing – depending on the reasons you’re interested in the first place!

Sign up to our extensive Microdosing Course to gain access to curated materials that will help you design the ideal microdosing regimen for your needs. You’ll also gain access to an exclusive community of enthusiastic, helpful microdosers!

Ready to source your psilocybin mushrooms? Get started with our mushroom grow kit today!

Start Growing with Third Wave



[1] Ayelet Waldman (2016) “A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My life

[2] Riedel, Platt & Micheau (2003) doi:10.1016/S0166-4328(02)00272-3

[3] Vollenweider & Kometer (2010) doi:10.1038/nrn2884

[4] Carhart-Harris et al. (2016) doi:10.1073/pnas.1518377113

[5] Sambataro et al. (2014) doi:10.1017/S0033291713002596

[6] Kometer et al. (2013) doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3007-12.2013

[7] Passie et al. (2002) doi:10.1080/1355621021000005937

[8] Sakashita et al. (2015) doi:10.1248/bpb.b14-00315