Microdosing psilocybin mushrooms has gained rapid popularity as a promising method for addressing a range of mental health disorders. Among these are treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, PTSD, and even neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of microdosing psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Covering essential aspects such as appropriate dosage, frequency, potential cognitive and psychological benefits, and providing 5 beginner-friendly steps, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of how to embark on your microdosing journey. Additionally, we’ll explore the various established protocols commonly used to create and establish effective microdosing regimens.
In the upcoming sections, we will explore a comprehensive guide on preparing and consuming magic mushrooms microdoses. We’ll cover various methods of consumption, along with essential tips for preparing both our minds and bodies for the experience.
Additionally, we’ll delve into the world of dietary supplements that can potentially enhance the neurological and mental health benefits of psilocybin microdoses. Furthermore, we’ll examine some psychedelic research and how microdosing might complement pre and/or post macrodose trips.
To ensure safety throughout the journey with psilocybin microdoses, we’ll discuss relevant criteria and medical contraindications. We’ll also address why some individuals may not feel the effects of psilocybin and provide insights on how to experience the positive mood and cognitive enhancements through a therapeutic psilocybin or ‘magic’ mushroom microdosing regimen.
Macrodoses of psychedelic substances, characterized by high-dose experiences, have attracted substantial scientific attention for their therapeutic advantages. Nevertheless, in recent times, the spotlight has also turned to sub-threshold psychedelic drug dosages, often called microdoses, for their potential to enhance cognitive function.
The concept of microdosing can be applied to various drugs, but within the realm of psychedelics, psilocybin mushrooms and LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) are the most commonly used substances for microdosing purposes. Today, our focus will be on microdosing psilocybin-containing mushrooms, commonly known as magic mushrooms.
As you may have gathered, a psilocybin microdose refers to a sub-perceptual dose of hallucinogenic mushrooms. In simpler terms, if accurately measured, microdosing psilocybin should not induce any hallucinogenic effects. This allows you to carry on with your regular activities, including work, social interactions, and handling machinery, without any disruptions.
When it comes to the duration of microdosing psychedelic drugs, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The timeline depends entirely on how you feel and what you believe is necessary. For some individuals, one month of microdosing may suffice to establish a solid mental foundation to build upon. Others may opt for microdosing over a more extended period, say 3-4 months.
Psychedelics do not adhere to rigid prescriptions; instead, they call for an intuitive and individualized approach. Listen to your body and trust your instincts. Only you can determine when it’s the right time to conclude your microdosing regimen.
Beyond its potential for addressing various mental health issues and concerns, a psilocybin microdosing protocol offers benefits to those seeking heightened awareness in their lives. By adopting this approach, individuals gain the ability to view the world from a more empathetic perspective, while also aiding in personal healing journeys by reframing conditioned states of existence.
It’s important to emphasize that psychedelics are often referred to as ‘non-specific amplifiers,’ and the benefits you encounter during your microdosing journey will largely depend on your individual physiology. This implies that the revelations and experiences you undergo are uniquely tailored to your brain chemistry and personal life circumstances.
Microdosing has shown promising effects on focus and concentration, suggesting its potential effectiveness in managing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Additionally, it has been associated with significant improvements in creativity, critical thinking skills, motivation, and mental resilience, particularly in challenging and stressful situations.
Microdosing mushrooms for mental health improvement has gained significant anecdotal support, highlighting its potential to reduce anxiety levels and provide positive effects for individuals coping with post-traumatic stress disorder, treatment-resistant depression, and major depressive disorder.
As many studies have come to evidence, namely a 2018 study led by Calvin Ly and colleagues. Serotonergic psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms have been shown to exert profound effects on neurotogenesis and spinogenesis, the crucial processes responsible for the growth and development of dendritic spines and axon terminals in neurons.
Imagine these neurites as the limbs of our brain cells. In individuals facing chronic stress, psychological challenges, or neurodegenerative disorders, significant brain atrophy may occur. Atrophy involves the loss of neurons and their connections, leading to reduced brain mass, cognitive function, and emotional dysregulation.
Fortunately, psychedelic mushrooms can stimulate signaling pathways, promoting the creation of new neurons and enhancing neural connectivity. They help replace damaged or deceased brain cells, reinforcing the brain’s overall structural integrity.
Additionally, serotonergic psychedelics are known to reduce activity in the Default Mode Network (DMN), a brain region responsible for shaping our sense of self and ‘I’-ness. The DMN becomes active when we turn our attention inward, maintaining our internal narratives that form our self-conceptualizations.
In individuals with psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, OCD, and ADHD, the DMN can become excessively active. By decreasing DMN activity, serotonergic psychedelics have been shown to reduce hyper-rumination. For those with anxiety, this can alleviate stress, panic, or worry-related thought patterns. In depression, it can reduce negative self-perceptions. People with OCD might experience relief from habituated fixations, while individuals with ADHD may find improved focus on goal-oriented tasks. In individuals dealing with addiction, a decrease in DMN activity has been associated with a decline in compulsive drug-seeking behaviors.
The potential therapeutic benefits of serotonergic psychedelics continue to be a subject of promising, clinical trials and research, offering hope for those seeking alternative treatments for various mental health challenges.
1. If you are younger than 21 years old.
2. During pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
3. If you have a mental or physical condition and/or illness.
4. If you have color blindness.
5. In extreme situations in your life that are beyond your control, such as grief.
6. When combined with alcohol or other drugs.
7. When combined with lithium carbonate.
8. When combined with Tramadol.
9. If you are in the process of tapering off from antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication.
Many of our clients inquire about the potential benefits of microdosing in relation to their high-dose psilocybin experiences. We have observed from anecdotal reports that microdosing can play a significant role in preparation for and integration of therapeutic psychedelic journeys.
Microdosing psychedelics before a high-dose ceremony offers the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the spirit of the medicine and gain insights into your individual physiological response to the drug. As we’ll discuss later, some individuals may not feel the effects of psychedelics due to various factors.
Gaining familiarity with your body’s response to psychedelics through low doses allows you to effectively assess any adjustments that might be necessary for experiencing the full perceptual effects of higher doses. Additionally, microdosing mushrooms before a ceremony aids in understanding your individual tolerance levels to the drug.
Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to explore different states of awareness that our minds can enter. Developing this trusting relationship with the plant medicine fosters a sense of safety during the high-dose experience, facilitating a quicker and smoother surrender into the profound journey of psychedelics.
For those tapering off their SSRIs or antidepressants, many discover significant benefits in embracing a microdosing regimen. Psychedelics can serve as a buffer against the discontinuation side effects of these pharmaceutical medications, as they help maintain and gradually increase serotonin levels while the antidepressants clear from the system.
Moreover, after a macrodose ceremony, microdosing can be instrumental in preserving the emotional and behavioral momentum catalyzed during the journey. It facilitates a smoother and more supported transition into day-to-day routines for individuals.
In a 2019 study led by Ling-Xiao Shao, it was discovered that a single macrodose of psilocybin could significantly increase dendritic spine size and density, promoting neuroplasticity in the brain. As a result, incorporating a microdosing regimen after a large-dose experience allows for continued stimulation of neuroplasticity, albeit in smaller increments.
When establishing your dosage, it is crucial to take into account the desired impact on your perception. A microdose should maintain a sub-perceptual level, wherein you may observe enhancements in mood and cognition but should generally feel sober throughout the day.
Your microdose should not hinder your ability to carry out everyday tasks. To begin, take 0.1 grams of psilocybin mushrooms on day 1. In case you don’t experience the desired effects, incrementally raise the dosage by 0.05 grams on each microdosing day until you reach your threshold.
Keep in mind that some individuals may take several weeks of microdosing to feel the effects. Visualize the journey of microdosing with psilocybin as a gradual peeling of an onion’s layers. For some individuals, it may take peeling away multiple layers of our conditioned reality to truly perceive life with greater presence.
In cases where individuals have a history with psychotropic medications, serotonin levels may be depleted or affected by the medication. In such instances, adjusting the dosage to 0.5 grams might be necessary to experience the effects. It’s important to consider that if you intend to taper off your medications, your tolerance to psychedelic substances will naturally decrease, enabling you to feel their effects at a lower dose.
Preparing your microdose is a straightforward and simple process. Along with your psilocybin-containing mushrooms, a few tools can ensure you consistently take the appropriate dosage.
To get started, decide on the preferred form of your microdose. Some individuals find psilocybin microdosing capsules convenient, where the dosage per capsule is pre-determined for easy use.
For those interested in microdosing capsules but seeking alternative options, you can create your own capsules by purchasing empty gelatin or vegan capsules. Use a coffee grinder to finely grind your psilocybin mushrooms before filling the capsules with the desired dosage. This allows for personalized and precise microdosing tailored to your needs.
Once you’ve completed the initial step, the next part is a breeze. Employ a digital jewelry scale to accurately measure the desired dose for each capsule. Once you’ve completed this step, simply fill the capsule with the precise standardized dose, and enjoy the benefits of your mushroom medicine.
If you choose to use a container to hold the finely ground mushroom powder on the scale, be sure to utilize the “Tare” or “T” function to negate the weight of the capsule or container. Always ensure your scale is set to grams for precise measurements.
Alternatively, you can take a different approach by breaking off a piece of the whole mushroom and weighing it on the scale. Using the scale, carefully take away small increments of the mushroom chunk until you reach your desired dosage on the display. This method provides flexibility and precision in tailoring your microdose.
Now, you have two options: you can consume the mushroom piece as it is or take it with some water. However, this method may not ensure consistent dosage, as psilocybin is often distributed unevenly within a whole mushroom. For greater consistency, grinding your psilocybin mushroom into a powder is recommended.
Now that we’ve covered the preparation of your microdose, it’s equally important to focus on preparing yourself for the experience. Even though a microdose is sub-perceptual, setting intentions holds significant relevance, just as it does for a macrodose journey.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, psychedelics act as non-specific amplifiers. Therefore, it’s crucial to allow ourselves the time to comprehend why we are microdosing on a particular day.
In the morning, take some time to sit down and connect with your present state. Reflect on the emotion or mental state that you feel would benefit you today. Whether you’re microdosing to enhance work performance or seeking deeper consciousness, clarifying your intentions is essential.
Once you have a clear intention in mind, jot it down. Consider formulating your intention as a positive affirmation, reinforcing your ongoing progress rather than framing it as a future goal.
For instance, instead of writing, “I will reduce my anxiety and depression,” you may resonate more with “I am experiencing calmness and a peaceful mind. I choose to embrace the present and express gratitude for (xyz).”
Remember, focus your intention on the experience you desire rather than what you wish to avoid. To ensure optimal absorption of the microdose, take it on an empty stomach, at least one hour before your first meal of the day. This sets the stage for a purposeful and meaningful microdosing experience.
Numerous widely recognized protocols offer structured regimens for microdosing psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics. Each of these protocols differs in terms of the frequency of microdosing and the number of “off” days, which are days when you abstain from taking the microdose.
The healthiest protocols typically incorporate 1-3 off days between doses. These off days are essential as they allow our body’s natural tolerance-building mechanisms to reset, ensuring that we can fully experience the effects of the microdose without developing a tolerance.
Today, we will review three main protocols: The Fadiman Protocol, The Stamets Stack, and intuitive microdosing. Each of these approaches offers distinct benefits and options for those exploring the world of microdosing.
The Fadiman Protocol stands as one of the most popular microdosing regimens in the psychonaut community. Developed by Dr. James Fadiman, this protocol incorporates specific off days to help microdosers comprehend the effects of their microdosing regimen more clearly.
It proves particularly valuable for first-time microdosers, offering a means to gauge and compare the differences between their sober and microdosing states. Following a 3-day microdosing cycle, the protocol allows for individual flexibility in determining the desired duration of the microdosing journey.
Paul Stamets, a dedicated mycologist with a passion for exploring the medicinal potential of both hallucinogenic and non-hallucinogenic mushrooms, introduced the Stamets Stack as his microdosing protocol. This innovative approach involves combining multiple supplements to create a powerful nootropic stack.
0.1 grams of Psilocybe mushroom (usually Psilocybe cubensis)
5-20 grams of whole or powdered Lion’s Mane OR 50-200mg of Lion’s Mane extract
75-200 mg of Niacin (Vitamin B3)
The combination of Lion’s Mane and niacin in the microdosing stack is based on their potential to promote neurogenesis and stimulate nerve growth, complementing the effects of psilocybin. Lion’s Mane is believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties, enhancing the overall stack.
Research suggests that niacin’s flushing action helps distribute the compounds of Lion’s Mane and psilocybin to the extremities of neurons and across the blood-brain barrier, further supporting neural repair.
It’s important to note that some individuals may be sensitive to niacin, experiencing temporary skin flushing or a slight burning sensation, which typically subsides after a few hours. As with all psychedelic protocols, the choice to use the ingredients in the Stamets Stack with the Fadiman Protocol or vice versa is entirely up to each individual’s preferences and needs.
After experiencing a few cycles of the protocols mentioned earlier, many individuals opt for a more intuitive approach to microdosing. This intuitive routine allows you to choose when to microdose based on your specific needs and environment.
However, there’s one important rule to keep in mind: always leave at least one full day of complete sobriety between microdoses. Ideally, it’s best to reserve two consecutive days within any 7-day period for remaining sober. This approach emphasizes the importance of periodically assessing our natural states and intentionally integrating the tools of microdosing into our daily lives to promote healing and well-being.
Microdosing mushrooms or other psychedelic drugs is generally associated with positive experiences and minimal negative effects. Many individuals report a renewed sense of living, improved mental health, and enhanced mental clarity. However, it’s essential to be mindful of dosage to avoid any hallucinogenic effects, which may occur if the dose is too high.
Some users might experience mild fatigue due to increased neural activity and engagement in life or physical activities. To prevent tolerance buildup, taking intermittent breaks or reset weeks can be beneficial.
Occasionally, individuals may encounter mild nausea after taking their microdose, but this can often be alleviated by using ginger or activated charcoal. It’s crucial to note that those with certain medical conditions, such as heart or respiratory issues, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or a history of psychosis or other extreme mental health concerns, should consult their doctor before using any psychedelic drugs.
In some cases, people with color blindness might notice minor visual hallucinations or after-images. Proper integrative support can aid in processing and navigating these new perceptions, consciousness levels, and insights about their inner and outer worlds.
It’s important to emphasize that psychedelics are not addictive. While any practice can potentially become habitual, microdosing psilocybin mushrooms can be a profoundly healing experience when guided by intentionality, intuition, and appropriate support.
Here are some helpful and informative links related to microdosing research:
1. “Psychedelic microdosing benefits and challenges”: This article discusses the practice of consuming very low, sub-hallucinogenic doses of a psychedelic substance, such as lysergic acid. It also presents a codebook of microdosing benefits and challenges based on the qualitative reports of a real-world sample of 278 microdosers.
2. “A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics”: This study investigates the effects of microdosing psychedelics on individuals who report minimal acute effects from these substances yet claim a range of long-term general health and wellbeing benefits.
3. “The popularity of microdosing of psychedelics: What does the science say?”: This article explores the renewed research into the potential benefits of psychedelic drugs, which has led to interest in microdosing.
4. “Microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study”: This study investigates the efficacy of microdosing to enhance mood, creativity, and cognition and to reduce anxiety and depression.
5. “Self-blinding citizen science to explore psychedelic microdosing”: This study explores the use of self-blinding citizen science to investigate the effects of microdosing psychedelics.
These links provide a range of information on microdosing research, including benefits, challenges, and potential risks. They also discuss the lack of placebo control in uncontrolled studies and the small sample size in controlled studies.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that we are not medical professionals. Our organization operates in the field of harm reduction and aims to offer educational information. However, it is essential to seek advice from your doctor before making any alterations to your medications, diet, or considering any supplements. Your health and safety are of utmost importance to us.
HeartQuarters is a pioneering psychedelic wellness organization. Our mission is to legitimize and expand access to plant medicines for healing and personal growth. We believe these natural tools can help people overcome trauma, addiction, and other challenges when used responsibly.
Our vision is to create sustainable models for education, therapy, and community support around psychedelics. We aim to bridge scientific evidence and traditional wisdom on these substances as both medicines and sacraments. Through our Psychedelic Community Resource Center and other programs, we advocate for safe, and legal access to entheogens.
HeartQuarters offers therapeutic services, ceremonies, harm reduction education, and more to unify people in conscious expansion. We are building an inclusive culture that sees each person as medicine for another. Our goal is to up-level frameworks for mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing using nature’s gifts. Join us as we pave new paths to healing.
The Heart Quarters’ Community Newsletter