What is Microdosing and How Does it Work?

It's a known fact that psychedelic substances produce pleasant effects that might even increase your creativity and efficiency of thought processes for the time being. Plants like psilocybin mushrooms are the most renowned in this case. However, is there a special way to consume them that would increase their efficiency and improve the benefits?

There is, and it's called microdosing.

According to Healthline, “Microdosing usually refers to the practice of taking tiny portions of psychedelic substances.” The main advantage to planning out your doses is surprisingly simple - achieving the positive benefits and avoiding the negative aspects of psychedelic substances' consumption. Among the unpleasant things that could happen to you while consuming mushrooms are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Sensory shifts
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety and panic

As for the benefits, they've become a staple of the psychedelic movement throughout the years. Things like better focus, improved creativity, profound energy reserves, relief from depression, and heightened spiritual awareness are but a few of the potential benefits you could experience.

A subperceptual dose a day…

When talking about microdosing, the term sub-perceptual dose becomes essential. As you might have guessed, sub-perceptual doses of psychedelic substances produce close to zero perceptible effects at first. However, upon prolonged administration of identical sub-perceptual doses, the benefits slowly unfold. This happens almost without you noticing, hence the “sub-perceptual” term.

While consuming psychedelic substances normally would produce the known psychedelic effects like hallucinations and shifts in perception, microdosing is different. It leads to very different results which, in most people's opinions, are much more desirable and beneficial to the individual. With each microdose administered, you should feel more creative, more productive, and a better person overall.

Therefore, there's a perfectly sound argument for microdosing on mushrooms instead of taking a full dose. Given than it only provides the pros minus the cons of psychedelic substances, many people find microdosing to be essential. Tripping on mushrooms while being completely unproductive is not exactly something that anyone can afford. Which is why microdosing brings the best of both worlds to the table.

It allows you to experience spiritual awakening perspectives and revelations while also being able to go to work normally.

How do you microdose on mushrooms?

We're asking the big questions now. The process is not difficult but it's also not a walk in the park either. Think of it like fine-tuning a race car. While it's not as hard as building that car from scratch, it's also not as easy as driving it out straight, right? You need technical knowledge to fine-tune a car, and the same applies to microdosing.

Luckily, the technical knowledge required for microdosing is nowhere near as inaccessible or hard to digest as the one related to cars.

One of the recommendations Dr. James Fadiman makes (a known pioneer in the field of psychedelic microdosing) is that you should first get some hands-on experience with psychedelics before taking on microdosing. You need to thoroughly understand the benefits and negatives of consuming a certain dose, as well as how your body reacts to them. Only then can you start planning out and decreasing or increasing your doses accordingly.

If there was something that dictated the success or failure of a microdosing session, it would be your intention for undergoing it. The Set and Setting preparation stage deals with that, and most psychedelic users and experts in the field argue it is the most important one. With this stage, you set the objectives you want to achieve during the microdosing session. Whether you want to be more creative and finish your work projects earlier or pull a difficult one-nighter easily, they're just as valid objectives.

The environment you microdose in is equally important. After all, external factors can influence your internal state and peace of mind. This means you should find a quiet spot where no one's disturbing you mid-session, and proceed with the microdosing. Your intention should be crystal-clear, and your mind entirely focused on achieving that objective.

Finding the sweet spot of microdosing depends entirely on trial and error. The more experienced you are with mushrooms, the faster you'll find that sweet spot where your doses become sub-perceptual. Throughout the day, you won't feel a thing but at the end of the day, you'll most likely feel like you've been more productive, creative or energetic. A more performant person, in other words.

Step by step guide on mushroom microdosing

Dr. James Fadiman proposed a step-by-step microdosing plan on LSD in his book, “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys.” Based on that, we’ve adapted those steps to match our psychedelic mushrooms:

Step One – get the psychedelic substances you need from specific shops and online marketplaces

Step Two – administer an initial dose, approximately 1/10 – 1/20 of your normal dose. That’s about 10 to 20 micrograms of mushrooms.

Step Three – observe your reaction to the microdose. All throughout the day, you should pay close attention to how you feel and whether you achieve your proposed objectives for the microdosing session.

Step Four – increase or decrease your dose the next day depending on your experiences from the previous day. It’s unlikely that you’ll find the sweet spot of sub-perceptual doses on your first day, so this adjustment stage is very important.

Step Five – use the “one day on, two days off” administering plan to proceed with the sub-perceptual dose you settle on for about 10 weeks. This plan will prevent your body from building a tolerance to the psychedelic substance. According to The Third Wave, this might lead to “diminishing returns after a few days.”

What’s more, psilocybin and other psychedelic substances have become a scientific interest in the last years. Many reports argue that these substances might have anti-anxiety and anti-depressive effects, so the scientific community had to intervene and confirm or refute these claims. In one study performed in the Netherlands, researchers found that psilocybin microdoses improved convergent and divergent thinking. This, in turn, led to a noticeable increase in creativity and performance ratings.

One thing is clear though – there’s much to be known about psychedelic substances!