The Practice of taking sub-perceptual doses of Psilocybin Mushrooms
The term "Micro-dose" was coined in 2011 by Dr James Fadiman in the release of his book The Psychedelic Explorers Guide (which we highly recommend to anyone with interest in psychedelics). He Defined it as approximately 1/10th of a hallucinogenic dose (between 100mg and 250mg for Psilocybin Mushrooms)(between 7-15ug for LSD) and after years of self-funded research developed "The Fadiman Protocol" - A 1 day on 2 day off microdose protocol that is widely used.
Fadiman's research also suggested that dosing below the threshold of intoxication has the potential for nootropic benefits similar to those of a Macro-dose. Taking minuscule amounts of Psilocybin may improve both convergent and divergent thinking, resulting in improved cognitive function, flexibility, creativity, and problem solving.
Studies at the University of Bergen found that the respondents reported mostly positive effects after Micro-dosing, including improved mood, cognition, and creativity. Furthermore, these effects often served to counteract symptoms especially from conditions of anxiety and depression. While the preliminary results of studies already conducted are promising for the safety and efficacy of Micro-dosing in both improving general well-being and the treatment of many psychological conditions, wider trials with larger sample sizes are needed to completely understand the benefits and risks of Micro-dosing.
You may be able to participate in one of these trials! Click here for a list of ongoing and planned psilocybin clinical trials. We encourage all microdose users to anonymously submit any data that they choose about their microdosing schedule and its effects on them here - https://microdose.me - for future researchers to analyze!
So how does it feel to Microdose?
If properly dosed, a Microdose should help shift you into the zone of “me, but on a great day”. 1-2 hours after ingesting a micro-dose, you may notice an increase in creativity and a more positive mood/outlook. Many users also find improved focus and energy level, however these effects are often subtle and may not even be acutely noticeable.
While the effects of macrodosing are not always noticeable in the moment, Over time many people notice broader improvements in mood, experiencing overall stronger focus and memory, feeling more inclined to live a healthy lifestyle, becoming more engaged and present, and more — this list is very expansive.
Microdosing can mitigate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD for some patients, and many purport its ability to increase empathy and 'sociability' as well, acting in a similar fashion to having a drink as social lubricant.
The first time you microdose you may feel slightly giddy or intoxicated, however the body quickly builds tolerance to Psilocybin, and noticeable psychotropic effects are not usually felt after the first dose. Microdosing offers the neurologic and psychologic benefits of psilocybin, without intoxication. You should not have to alter your daily routine in order to microdose!
On your dose days: The effect of a microdose is subtle yet noticeable. You should be able to go about your daily routine without any impairment. It’s common for people who microdose to report the following on dose days: music sounds better, they’re more empathetic, more energetic, they pause to think before they speak, they’re more aware of their surroundings (especially nature), their focus feels sharper and they are able to stay on-track.
On your non-dose days: Many microdosers report experiencing an afterglow the day immediately after a dose day. The introspective effects in particular tend to draw out into the next day. Conescutive days of non-dosing (which are recommended in any macrodosing protocol) will bring you back to baseline and from a pharmacokinetic standpoint will serve to reset any tolerance that has built.
How Often Should I Microdose?
The most common microdosing protocol is called the "Fadiman Protocol" and dictates that a microdose should be taken once every 3 days. This protocol is based on established science regarding psilocybin's rate of metabolism, and allows you to get the best value out of your microdose purchase.
For the vast majority of individuals, Psilocybin will be 95% metabolized and excreted within 3 days of consumption. This means that during day 2 of the Fadiman protocol you still experience the neurological benefits of psilocybin, and day 3 serves as a "control" allowing you to better quantify the changes you feel when microdosing.
Other protocols to consider:
Paul Stamets, a well known mycologist advises users to microdose five days continuously and then take three days off. Following this protocol will (just like the Fadiman protocol) allow for tolerance to reset during the non-dosing period, and also allow you to better quantify the differences you feel on dose days.
Paul Stamets is also famous for his neurogenesis stack, which is combining lion’s mane, Niacin, and psilocybin mushrooms. Stamets has claimed that the neurological benefits (like neurogenesis, a hyper-connected brain state, etc) are compounded by up to 3x when these substances are taken simultaneously.
How do I know Microdosing is working?
Since a microdose is meant to be non-psychoactive it is difficult to measure its effects without being very conscious of yourself. Some self-reflection is required to understand your improvements. You can track the effects with this ‘Check Yourself’ checklist. Most likely, you won’t be affected in all areas, but it’s important to take a comprehensive review of the effects. Here are 7 areas to track:
Mental: Notice the thoughts running through your mind. Are they the same as usual, or different in nature? Are you having more or fewer thoughts than usual? In general, is your mind more clear or more cluttered?
Creative: Are you finding new qualities in things, like stories in objects? Do you find your mind wandering in directions it doesn’t usually? Are you getting more ideas than usual? Do solutions to problems come more easily?
Emotional: Do your feelings take on any different qualities than before? Are there more or fewer feelings experienced than usual? How quickly do you process them before reaching a resolution and moving on? Is sex better, or a different quality?
Social: How are you expressing your thoughts and feelings? Are there any changes in the pacing, tone, or nature of your speech? What about your facial expressions? Do you smile more or less? What frequency do you agree or disagree with someone in conversation? Do you talk differently with your coworkers, spouse, friends and family? The barista at the local coffee shop?
Body: Take a look at how aware (or not aware) you are of your body. Now zoom in on the body by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths. Slow your mind and place your full attention on any sensations in your body. Do you notice anything?
Capabilities: Notice if you’re more able to complete certain tasks than usual. This might manifest as changes in attention span, physical/visual acuity, verbal fluidity, problem solving ability, empathy, different areas of awareness, and so on.
Outlook: Are you more positive or negative? More optimistic or pessimistic? More or less skeptical? More fearful and guarded, or open to possibilities Feelings of oneness, universality, truth, connectedness, love, or peace are also in this area.
A great resource for systematized tracking is the Oddessy Microdosing Journal. It is designed in such a way that allows you to track all the areas mentioned above, fast and easy through a ranking system. At the end of the day you have a clear image of how your day fluctuated on all the aforementioned areas on one page. Systematic tracking of how microdosing impacts various aspects of your life will reveal taught or emotional patterns that you might not have been aware of. This would be the best starting point to improve your life and /or optimize your microdosing journey either by introducing some other beneficial supplements or new habits.
Should I microdose mushrooms or LSD?
Microdosing one or the other will be a personal preference and it will depend on your goals. While microdosing with either substance will have positive and beneficial effects for most subjects, there are certain applications that are better suited to mushrooms and certain applications that are better suited to LSD.
When microdosing mushrooms, there may be more emotional volatility, introspection, and unprocessed traumas coming up to the surface. If your goals are personal growth, connection to self and others, or creativity then microdosing mushrooms will likely be better for you.
On the other hand, when microdosing LSD you will likely feel a boost in physical energy, sometimes to the point of needing to go out for a run or walk. With LSD, if you prepare your set and setting right you can easily enter the flow states where you lose track of time and you are fully immersed into the task at hand -- supercharging productivity and enjoying the process.
It may take some experimentation to find what substance and dosage is best suited to your application. For starters, you can try either our LSD microdose solution or one of our many mushroom microdose blends. Additionally, check out the micro-dosing resources linked below, and do not hesitate to contact us if you still have questions about psilocybin mushroom or LSD microdosing!
Ultimately, If you are undecided whether to microdose LSD or mushrooms, it will be up to you to try both and see which works optimally for you.