How To Prepare Psilocybin Mushrooms For Microdosing
Psilocybin is a largely illegal substance and we do not encourage or condone its use where it is against the law. However, we accept that illegal drug use occurs and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason, this guide is designed to ensure the safety of those who decide to use psilocybin.
WHY MICRODOSE WITH PSILOCYBIN MUSHROOMS?
If you’re of the sustainable mindset and don’t have easy access to an organic chemistry lab to synthesize LSD, microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms is a natural alternative to consider. While snipping up or diluting blotter tabs is an easy way to microdose with LSD, it does mean dependence on an external source that might not be consistent or reliable. Purchasing legal psilocybin truffles, or even better, growing your own psilocybin mushrooms leaves you in charge of the process, and if you have a golden-brown thumb, you could find yourself providing for your mushroom microdose-enthusiast friends as well.
Microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms is ideal for the hands-on psychonaut who loves the idea of being involved in every step of the process. Preparing psilocybin for microdosing involves a bit of investment in kitchen equipment, but you can easily acquire all you need for around $80.
For mushroom supplies and guidance, check out Third Wave’s Mushroom Grow Kit and Course.
For sourcing tips and vendor recommendations, check out Third Wave’s Ultimate Guide to Sourcing Psychedelic Medicines.
SO YOU’VE GOT SOME PSILOCYBIN… NOW WHAT?
If fresh psilocybin mushrooms are what you’ve got on hand, especially if they’re cute miniature pinheads that never made it to maturity (see image), it can be tempting to think along the lines of “Microshrooms for Microdosing.” There is something inherently organically enticing about the idea of just taking a little mushroom cap in the morning along with your coffee and cereal.
This, however, will most likely produce an inconsistent psilocybin microdosing experience. Considering the following:
- Fresh and dry psilocybin mushrooms are generally considered equivalent using the 10% dry to wet ratio. However, Remember this is only an approximation, and dry mushrooms can be more or less than 10% of their fresh weight. This means that if you take 3 grams of fresh mushrooms, you could be getting more or less than 0.3 dry grams from it, depending on the mushroom itself and environmental factors, like humidity levels.
- Caps and stems contain different levels of psilocybin.The psilocybin contents in Psilocybe cubensis, one of the most commonly enjoyed strains, are in the range of 0.37–1.30% in the whole mushroom, with 0.44–1.35% in the cap and 0.05–1.27% in the stem. This means that the caps are, on average, slightly more potent than the stems, and that there are tiny bits of stems that contain almost no psilocybin. In order to equalize, it’s always recommended to grind your mushrooms to a fine powder.
- Psilocybin content varies from mushroom to mushroom, from flush to flush, and between strains. Changing varieties during your microdosing protocol will make calibration difficult as you’ll be ingesting varying amounts of psychoactive substance with each different type of psilocybin mushroom.
- Psilocybin content changes in the different stages of development of a mushroom. Miniature pinheads that just didn’t grow bigger can be more potent than larger mushrooms per gram of weight.
- If you are microdosing with psilocybin truffles, you should be aware that dried truffles often contain less psilocybin than dried mushrooms – see the weighing and measuring section for the different quantities you should use.
Under-microdosing yourself is much less of an issue than accidentally over-microdosing. Finding yourself communing with the stucco on the ceiling when you’d like to be checking tasks off your laundry list is not only unproductive, but can increase anxiety levels.
STORING MAGIC MUSHROOMS
Fresh mushrooms and truffles can be safely stored in the fridge at 2-4 degrees Celsius for up to a month. They should be packed in a paper bag or wrapped up in an unbleached kitchen towel. The cool and dark environment of the fridge is good for preserving them, but the moisture in the fridge will eventually influence them to grow bacteria and decompose. This especially goes for mushrooms. Truffles, thanks to their lower moisture content, can easily last three months if vacuum packed in a ziplock bag. In order to preserve psilocybin mushrooms for longer, however, they first need to be properly dried.
WAYS TO DRY PSILOCYBIN MUSHROOMS
Drying mushrooms eliminates moisture, and with it any chance of bacteria formation. This can be done in many different ways. Methods range from leaving them out on a towel, to putting them in front of a fan, to low heat in the oven for several hours (this is a classic mistake, as any heat can decrease their potency), to placing them in a box with Epsom salts.
The full, proper drying process always involves an initial phase of pre-drying, where the mushrooms are placed out in the sun under a dark cloth, or in front of a fan, for a few hours until their texture becomes gummy, and their appearance wrinkly. After that, a desiccant must be applied. This can either be a custom Epsom salt-based concoction, or simple silica gel packets. Drying mushrooms this way is gradual; it takes a few weeks for them to reach the crackly state characteristic of full dryness.
For economy of space, energy, and time, however, a food dehydrator with a low heat setting is one of the most effective ways of preserving psilocybin mushrooms, while keeping their potency level intact. A dehydrator will set you back just about $40, and when you’re not using it to render cracker-dry portals to another dimension, it can double as a decoy that makes banana chips. Several harvests of mushrooms can be dried overnight in a dehydrator instead of leaving them over all the surfaces of your house for weeks. Dehydrators are especially recommended for humid climates.
Once fully dried, both mushrooms and truffles can be safely stored in a cool, dark, dry place and last a few years, or even longer (if one manages not to lose or eat them in this time frame). The potency loss should be minimal to non-existent if there is no light, low moisture, or heat to mess with the psilocybin inside.
Third Wave’s Mushroom Grow Kit and Course covers the dehydration stage in detail.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO PREPARE PSILOCYBIN MUSHROOMS FOR MICRODOSING?
Powdering your dried psilocybin mushrooms is by far the best way to yield the most consistent psilocybin microdose. By grinding your mushrooms up together, you homogenize the variance in psilocybin content between caps and stems, and from mushroom to mushroom.
A quick note on drying mushrooms: the methods range from leaving them out on a towel, to putting them in front of a fan, to low heat in the oven for several hours (this is a classic mistake, as the heat can decrease their potency), to placing them in a box with Epsom salts.
The easiest way to powder psilocybin mushrooms is with a spice or coffee grinder. Unlike the dehydrator, it is recommended to have a separate one for microdosing preparation as it is nearly impossible to get all the fine mushroom particles out of the blades. While it may be entertaining to imagine your roommate unwittingly enhancing herself while grinding up spices for chai tea, it is better advised not to run the risk of unwanted microdosing.
Practical Tip: It will take less than a minute of pulsing to mill your psilocybin mushrooms into a fine powder. Don’t open the grinder for at least half an hour to allow the fine dust in the chamber to settle. Opening it right away will cause the agitated particles to be sucked up into the air in a whoosh of psychedelic fairy dust and anoint your kitchen with the lingering smell of magic fungus for hours. Remember that cannabis is not the only thing that will give you a buzz from inhaling ambient vapors.
Powdered, home-grown psilocybin mushrooms
WEIGHING AND MEASURING: HOW MUCH POWDERED MUSHROOM MAKES UP A PSILOCYBIN MICRODOSE?
Having an electronic scale for the kitchen is a good place to start. Scales accurate to 0.1 – 1.0 grams go for about $20. Weigh the dry mushrooms out before pulverizing to know how much total mushroom mass there will be once they are powdered. Knowing how much you have to start with will help you divide up the amounts for each microdose.
For example: 2 grams of dried whole mushrooms will yield 10 microdoses of 0.2 grams after powdering.
To microdose mushrooms, you need approximately one tenth of a standard dose. This means you will use somewhere between 0.1 – 0.3 grams of dried powdered psilocybin mushrooms per dose. (If you are using psilocybin truffles, use between 0.5 – 1 grams of dried powdered truffles per dose – they will contain less psilocybin than mushrooms).
However, remember that this amount can be higher or lower depending on each individual’s neurophysiology, weight, and the potency of the mushrooms or truffles you’re microdosing. An important part of the microdosing process is calibrating the dosage to be a perfect fit just for you. This process can take up to several microdoses to figure out, so it is better to start low and then (patiently) work upward until you find your psilocybin sweet spot.
You can also use Halugen’s pre-screening platform and Psychedelics Genetic Test Kit to understand your individual sensitivities when it comes to using psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms. Understanding your genetic profile can better inform your psychedelic experience by reducing side-effects and risk.
Generally speaking, if a normal microdose is 0.1 – 0.3 grams of mushrooms, you’ll want to start with 0.1 grams if your body weight is below 100 lbs. However, if you weigh about 200 lbs, you should be comfortable starting with 0.3 grams. Double these starting doses for truffles. A useful dosage calculator tool can be found here.
Kitchen scales are often not precise to 0.1 grams. They may not register any weight until there are at least 0.5 grams and this may be too much for one microdose. What you can do instead is simply heap all your powder onto a piece of paper and parse it out evenly into micro-piles.
As you will notice, the issue with powdered mushrooms is that their low density causes the powder to just float everywhere during handling. So, as before, try not to breathe in too much of the vapor, or you will be delivering yourself aerial microdoses.
In case you don’t want to go through the work of manually dividing up your powder, there are other ways to distribute microdoses:
- Mushroom capsules: You’ll need a capsule filler dispenser for this one. These contraptions, which go for about $24, can load many capsules at the same time by spreading the powder evenly across the capsule holder. This is a popular method for the committed micro (or macro) doser, and has the advantage of bypassing the loamy mushroom taste that not everyone enjoys. The disadvantage is that the amount that fits in the capsules is pre-determined, and that your capsules are pre-measured, so it’s harder to adjust the dosage after they’ve all been packaged. Therefore, you should only use this method when you have determined your perfect dosage. Once you do that, you can mix the mushroom powder with something like cocoa powder or powdered sugar in the amount needed to fill up the capsule and keep your psilocybin microdose at the desired level.
- Micro scoops: Simply put all your mushroom powder in a small container and use a very small scoop (1/16 to 1/8 of a teaspoon) to measure out your doses. The advantage of this method is that you can more flexibly adjust your dosage on the go, and you can use it even if you don’t have a scale. The disadvantage is that it is more prone to the error of eyeballing.
- Combination: Use the small scoops to measure out your psilocybin microdose, and to load it into the capsules. This is the way to microdose mushrooms without the flavor, and with the flexibility to change the dosage per need.
CONSUMING A PSILOCYBIN MICRODOSE
Once you’ve measured out your microdose amount, there are many ways to ingest it. We’ve already gone over the mushroom pill option; the most popular alternative is making a mushroom tea, or you can decide to get creative and mix your mushroom or truffle powder with basically anything you consume in your day-to-day life.
A mushroom tea is easy to make, and mitigates the flavor, especially if you add honey. It’s made like any other tea. Just pour hot water over the mushroom powder and stir the concoction until it’s homogenous. You can also add your microdose to your health shake in the morning, or mix it with the maple syrup you put on your pancake breakfast, or infuse it in the chocolate icing that goes on top of your brownies. The possibilities are endless.
THE IMPORTANCE OF INTENTION FOR MICRODOSING MUSHROOMS
Many people just take the powder as it is. You can also add it to your coffee or tea, but the powder is insoluble in water so it will just clump together into little pockets in your mug. Sprinkling over cereal is one way of masking the earthy flavor, as is mixing it into orange juice or having it with a spoonful of honey. Whichever way you choose, don’t just toss it down the hatch! Be mindful of your motives for microdosing as you consume your dose. Microdosing produces the best results when you are clear within yourself about why you are doing it.
WHAT KIND OF MAGIC MUSHROOMS AND TRUFFLES CAN BE USED FOR MICRODOSING?
You can use any kind; people most often opt for the classic strains Golden teacher (Psilocybe cubensis) or Liberty caps (Psilocybe semilanceata). Since the small dose yields a sub-perceptual effect, there should be no explicit difference in which strain is used. If you do notice some effects, you took too much; try dialing back the dosage until you find your sweet spot.
WHAT IS BEST FOR MICRODOSING – MAGIC MUSHROOMS OR TRUFFLES?
Both are about the same, except for the dosage. Truffles have a lower psilocybin content, so you will need a larger dose.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO INGEST A MAGIC MUSHROOM MICRODOSE?
Mushroom pills, or capsules filled with an exact dose of mushroom powder, are the best option due to their preciseness. Otherwise, you are free to infuse the powder into tea, coffee, hot chocolate, smoothies, or other preferred drinks, or eat it with honey, yogurt, cereals, or any other way you like.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SOURCE PSILOCYBIN MUSHROOMS?
Accessing quality psilocybin mushrooms can seem challenging, especially when you’re unsure how to navigate the legal complexity or choose a reputable vendor. That’s why we compiled our tips and resources into the Ultimate Guide to Sourcing Psychedelic Medicines.
HOW CAN I GRIND MAGIC MUSHROOMS WITHOUT A GRINDER?
Although no other way can be as precise (and preciseness is key to microdosing), you can go the old-fashioned way and use scissors to pulverize them as finely as possible. In this case, a highly accurate digital scale would be vital, as eyeballing the dosage split would add a second degree of impreciseness.
WHAT IF I TAKE TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
If you take too little, you won’t notice a thing. If you take too much, depending on the strain, you may notice either drowsiness or some mental hyperactivity. The key is to find the dosage just below the point where you notice an effect.
IS MICRODOSING MUSHROOMS SAFE?
Taking reasonable (meaning, not extremely high) doses of psilocybin has been proven to be completely safe. Naturally, taking a microdose is safe as well. However, there hasn’t been any longitudinal research done on frequent microdosing over an extended period of time, so we advise everyone to microdose for no longer than a few months at a time.
CAN A PSILOCYBIN MICRODOSE 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.
Interested in learning more about safe, structured microdosing? Check out our course.
Considering a psilocybin macrodose experience? Check out Third Wave’s vetted guide of psilocybin retreat centers around the world.