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Microdosing Guide - All You Need to Know

Microdosing refers to the act of consuming small doses (called sub-perceptual) of hallucinogenic substances, often psychedelics, for the benefits they provide. More often than not, people microdose to avoid undesirable effects like tripping. Instead, they're focusing on more beneficial ones like improved focus, improved imagination, and better performance.

What's nice about microdosing is that you can totally integrate it throughout your day and other activities without having a negative impact on your performance. This means that you can take a microdose of psilocybin in the morning and then go to work. No one will know you've consumed these before coming to work because it won't be noticeable.

That's the whole essence of microdosing and sub-perceptual doses. You won't feel any different after consuming such a dose. Everything will appear to be the same, though, at the end of the day, you'll most likely have noticed your increased awareness or improved performance. You might have spent less time on tasks that you'd normally spend a lot of time on. That's because you were more efficient this time around.

How exactly do you microdose?

While the process isn't exactly quantum mechanics-hard, it might be confusing for someone who's never dealt with psychedelics before. There are a couple of things you should clarify before beginning your first microdosing experience:

  • Buying the right psychedelics
  • Deciding on an administration approach
  • Finding the right intention
  • Finding the right setting and environment
  • What dose you should start with

To microdose, you first need to have the right psychedelics to microdose, right? Psilocybin is your best bet. Next, you'll have to decide what approach to follow. Most consumers use Dr. James Fadiman's approach of “one day on, two days off”. This means that you'll be microdosing on Monday, sitting Tuesday and Wednesday out, and then microdose again on Thursday. Keep doing that for a couple of weeks and observe the effects.

The good doctor's approach ensures you won't build tolerance so that you can keep microdosing for as long as you need while enjoying all the benefits. If you were to build a tolerance, you'd need bigger and bigger doses to enjoy the same effects you had on lower doses.

However, you can also choose the so-called workaholic's approach that lets you experiment with microdosing when you're working a 9 to 5 day job. With this approach, you microdose on workdays and leave weekends off so you can recover. You should pay more attention to your doses though, as the effects can build up over time.

Before microdosing, make sure you know exactly why you're doing it. Focusing on a singular purpose like getting rid of anxiety or being more creative will make your experience all the more beneficial. This goes hand in hand with the setting and environment. You need peace of mind, a place with no distractions that lets you fully enjoy the psychedelic experience.

Last but not least, what is the right dose for a microdose? With psilocybin, a normal dose for tripping is about 2-3 grams of the dried stems. A microdose goes as low as 0.15 to 0.3 grams though. The difference isn't a small one due to the fact that you don't want to be tripping at all. These are called sub-perceptual doses for a reason, after all.

Why microdose at all?

Microdosing is clearly different from consuming psychedelics regularly. The differences can be summed up into two categories - diminishing the frequency or intensity of undesirable states and seeking more of the desirable states.

When you microdose psychedelics, these are the undesirable states you might want to see go away:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • PTSD
  • Mood disorders
  • ADD/ADHD

While these are the desired states you'll get through psychedelics:

  • Creativity
  • Productivity
  • Focus
  • Increased empathy
  • Better connectivity with the world around you
  • Flow states
So, you see, there are two reasons you'd want to microdose psychedelics. On the one hand, you avoid tripping. On the other hand, you reduce undesirable symptoms and promote beneficial ones.

What are the risks of microdosing?

One of the misconceptions about psychedelics is that you can get addicted to them very easily. The truth is that psychedelics will not affect your body like known addiction-forming substances out there, like caffeine, opioids and narcotics. In fact, like we've said before, some psychedelics are being used to assist in addiction recovery treatments. Even science says that psychedelics do not lead to dependence or addiction.

The real-time risks of consuming psychedelics revolve mainly around their legal status. In most countries, psychedelics are illegal, and outside the spectrum of normalcy. Of course, this doesn't stop people from partaking in them, albeit in a stealthy way so as not to arouse any suspicion from the watchers.

Another big-time risk of microdosing psychedelics is consuming the wrong dose, specifically a bigger one that you should. If you're a naturally anxious or psychotic person and you only microdose psychedelics on subperceptual doses, getting a higher dose might be very risky. It could provoke bouts of psychotic attacks or increased anxiety.

MDMA, another known psychedelic, has been proven to increase the risk of valvular heart disease. This drug activates the 5-HT2B receptor in the human body in a special way, which then affects the heart. Moreover psilocybin activates the same receptor, though there is currently no evidence to suggest that it activates the receptor in the same way (or at the same heightened intensity) as MDMA. This is only valid for large doses of the two substances.

However, long-term and frequent usage of psychedelic via microdoses could lead to potential heart disease. One study performed in a Polish lab in 2004 looked at the effects of long-term exposure of psilocin (approximately 12 weeks) in a rat population. The results showed cardiac abnormalities being formed in most rats. Clearly, more studies are needed to better understand this phenomenon on humans.