Psilocybin microdosing – what you need to know about microdosing

What is microdosing?

Microdosing of psychedelics, that is, regular consumption of a psychoactive substance in amounts that do not interfere with perception and do not induce hallucinogenic states. In pharmacology, microdosing is a process used in drug development. It is assumed that this is about 10% of the dose of a psychedelic substance that gives the full spectrum of psychoactive effects, or roughly 0.1- 0.3 grams of dried mushrooms, at a frequency of 2-5 times a week. If you microdose LSD the recommended dose is 5-20 micrograms of the substance.

Microdosing

Source Freepik

The dose varies with body weight and individual absorption of psychoactive substances. Microdosing can have a positive effect on the treatment of depression, stimulates intellect, increases self-awareness and creativity, improves mood, and helps with concentration. However, the amount of research conducted on microdosing is not enough to completely conclude that microdosing is safe for our bodies. However, one cannot be indifferent to this knowledge that we already have about psychedelics. Anecdotal reports and observational studies offer hope for breakthroughs in the fight against depression-, drug-, or addiction-related illnesses.

How was microdosing created?

The beneficial effects of microdosing were already mentioned by the father of psychedelics – the creator of LSD – Albert Hoffman, but much later the popularity of this method increased. American psychologist Dr. James Fadiman, in the 1960s, studied the effects of psychedelics on human consciousness. Unfortunately, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances banned psychoactive substances, yet Fadiman continued his research and compiled this knowledge into a book that can confidently be described as a guide for those who want to try the practice of microdosing. “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide,” published in 2011, is often referred to as a protocol for microdosing practitioners. In it, Fadiman writes thus: “the use of subliminal doses of psychedelic drugs to enhance cognitive tasks, increase physical energy levels, promote emotional balance and treat anxiety, depression and addiction.” In Poland, the book can be found titled. “The Psychedelic Traveler’s Guide” is also available in our store.

Silicon Valley- Valley of Psychedelics

A sizable influence on the exit of psychedelics from the underground has been Silicon Valley employees, who have spoken and are speaking very positively about microdosing. The media hype was provided by an article appearing in Rolling Stone and later in The New York Times. Engineers, scientists and businessmen began to spread their microdosing experience. Improved brain performance, better efficiency, more energy and even pain relief are all opinions on the practice of using small amounts of psychoactive substances. Silicon scientists began working with Fadiman and reported back to him their observations of the use of microdoses and the effects of their use contributing to the development of the Fadiman protocol. Some of them strictly adhered to the recommendations, while others adjusted the doses to their individual needs. Riding the wave of psychedelics‘ popularity, Fadiman, along with Dr. Sophia Korb, founded microdosingpsychedelics.com, a website where they collect information from people who regularly use psychedelics. This research is not within the bounds of scientific standards, but it provides valuable knowledge from observing the effects of psychoactive substances on the human body and gives hope that their popularity will continue to grow.

LSD and psilocybin mushrooms have broken into the mainstream and continue to push forward, positive accounts from people are slowly beginning to have a real impact on increasing research into these substances. The underground is flourishing, but places are also emerging where it is legal to start treatment under the influence of psychedelics, such as in the state of Oregon. Each year there are more studies, experiments, articles and documentaries (read more about them here).

Microdosing methods

Those opting for microdosing have a lot of trouble estimating the dose, the information hype on the Internet doesn’t make things any easier, but it’s worth leaning into the topic and choosing the right system for you.

What is a microdosing protocol?

A microdosing protocol is a structured guideline for the use of psychoactive substances taking into account the amount of the substance and the frequency of its intake. To date, 6 protocols are known. Two of the most popular are the Fideman protocol and the Paul Stamets protocol.

1. the Fadiman Protocol

It is based on taking breaks between taking a microdose. Based on his years of research, he observed that the effect of taking the drug lasts for up to two days after. In addition, there is less risk for increased tolerance of the psychoactive substance. The microdosing pioneer proposes the following adoption cycle.

1 day- adoption of microdose

Day 2-transitional-no microdose (the body feels the effects of the previous day’s microdose)

Day 3-normal-no microdose

The cycle should last from 4 to 8 weeks, followed by a break for 2-4 weeks. Beginners are advised to cycle for 4 weeks to see if this form of microdosing is suitable. A break, on the other hand, is needed in order not to acquire tolerance to substances and to be able to fully enjoy the next cycles.

The disadvantage of this method is that the days of taking the dose are different every week, you need to remember exactly or write down in the calendar when the day of taking the dose falls.

2. dosage 2/7- two fixed days per week.

The lack of a weekly structure in the Fadiman method led to the development of another system based on taking substances on specific days of the week:

1 day- e.g. Monday – adoption of microdoses

Day 2-transitional-no microdose (the body feels the effects of the previous day’s microdose)

Day 3-normal-no microdose

Day 4-e.g. Thursday – adoption of microdosing

Day 5-transitional-no microdose (the body feels the effects of the previous day’s microdose)

Day 6-normal-no microdose

Day 7-normal-no microdose

The cycle should last from 4 to 8 weeks, followed by a break for 2-4 weeks.

3. the Microdosing Institute protocol

This microdosing method recommends taking the substance every other day especially for people suffering from depression, ADHD, ADD, cluster headaches and medication.

1 day- adoption of microdose

Day 2-transitional-no microdose (the body feels the effects of the previous day’s microdose)

Day 3-Take a microdose

Day 4-transitional-no microdose (the body feels the effects of the previous day’s microdose)

The cycle should last from 4 to 8 weeks, followed by a break for 2-4 weeks.

4. the Stamets Protocol

The formula developed by American mycologist Paul Stamets is the second most popular method of microdosing. It differs from the previous ones primarily in the frequency with which the substance is taken. The researcher suggests that psilocybin, contained in psilocybin mushrooms, should be supplemented with supplements in the form of vitamin B3 (niacin) and a mushroom called Lion’s Mane. According to Stamets, the combination of these three substances rebuilds damaged neural pathways in the brain and also creates new ones.

1 day- adoption of microdose

Day 2-take a microdose

Day 3-Take a microdose

Day 4-take a microdose

Day 5-normal-no microdose

Day 6-normal-no microdose

Day 7-normal-no microdose

The cycle should last a month, then a break for 2-4 weeks. Read more about this method here.

5. nightcap- night protocol

In this method, we rely on the Fadiman protocol or the Microdosing Institute (taking a dose every other day). With that said, a microdose is consumed one hour before bedtime. This is an alternative way, for people who feel sleepy during the day after taking psychedelics while using microdosing (psychedelics may work differently on everyone). This variant is recommended for psilocybin mushrooms, but not for LSD, which has a much more stimulating effect.

The cycle should last a month, then a break for 2-4 weeks.

6. intuitive protocol

Consume the dose at your own discretion, intuitively. This way is already practiced by experienced users with several cycles behind them, who know their needs and can read their bodies well. The basic principle of this intake is to leave a minium one day break between microdoses.

How to calculate the microdose?

First of all, you should weigh your body weight and check the amount of psychedelic substance that will be suitable for you. You can use calculators available on the web. This is a very individual matter and requires a little experimentation, we can never be sure of the amount of psilocybin contained in the mushroom. The first days of protocol dosage should be meticulously prepared.

As for psilocybin mushrooms, it’s a good idea to start with a minimum dose of 0.1 g and gradually increase or decrease it by 0.05 g. If you notice that you feel changes and feel “strange,” you should go back to the previous dose. E.g., you start the Fadiman protocol. On Monday you take 0.1 g and feel no change in perception, everything is ok, then on Thursday you increase the dose to 0.15 g, if it is ok again, on Sunday you take a dose of 0.2 g. Depending on your weight, you can assume that the microdose should be in the range of 0.1 to 0.3 g of dried mushroom. Another scenario might look like this: on Monday you take 0.1g and feel no change in perception, everything is ok, on Thursday you increase the dose to 0.15g and here you already start to feel the psychedelic taking effect – then on Sunday you go back to the 0.1g dose and you already know that probably 0.1g is the right dose for your weight and you should not test further.


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Benefits and risks of using microdosing

The use of trace amounts of psychoactive substances can help treat depression, including drug-resistant depression, has the effect of improving mood, concentration and creativity, can positively affect relationships with other people, increases self-awareness, increases determination to act, increases our alertness and attentiveness. Unfortunately, it is still not popular among scientists to conduct research on this topic due to the prevailing laws and very costly restrictions on such research. However, there are scientific centers around the world that are constantly expanding our knowledge of psychedelics and their medical properties. Of particular note are Imperial College London and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. It’s also a good idea to keep checking the news from the world on the website of the Polish Psychedelic Society.

If we are talking about the risks of microdosing, it is important to pay attention to the propensity for mental illness and the individual health of the patient. The use of psychoactive substances regardless of the dose should be done in a medical setting under the supervision of a qualified therapist. Such sessions can be held in the Netherlands, for example.

Fediman also warned against becoming a “head-tripper,” i.e., a person who stays solely in the area of thought; it is essential that thought be followed by action. There is a risk of running away from reality, and psychedelics by themselves do not solve problems.

Another issue is access to psychoactive substances, which are illegal in Poland, when buying psychedelics on the black market we are never sure what they are. Admittedly, you can purchase testers to check the quality of, for example. LSD, but we are still not sure what the dose is. In addition, we are exposed to the criminal world during the purchase. The case is different when it comes to psilocybin mushrooms. Growkit in Poland can be legally bought, sold, possessed, but you can’t grow mushrooms from it, because they already contain banned psilocybin. This is an important issue when it comes to safety – the law in Poland prohibits the possession and cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms. If you are in possession of psychoactive substances you risk losing your freedom, as psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in Poland.

The above text is for educational purposes and does not persuade people to use psychedelics, possession and sale of psychoactive substances in Poland is illegal.

The content on psychodelicroom.co.uk is educational, research, and is an expression of many opinions, to which one should reserve. We do not encourage or even discourage the use of any means of influencing consciousness, all of which can both cure and do great harm. In particular, we advise against growing mushrooms from growkits in countries where it is illegal – min. in Poland – because it involves criminal liability. We recommend that growkits purchased from us be disposed of 72 hours after receipt.

Footnotes:

https://pl.blisssed.com/

https://microdosinginstitute.com/

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0269881119857204

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/microdoses-of-psychedelic-mushrooms-may-improve-mood-and-mental-health#Microdosing-benefits:-More-research-needed

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