Microdosing is the practice of incorporating sub-perceptual dosages of psychedelics such as LSD, DMT, or psilocybin mushrooms into one’s weekly routine in order to increase one’s creativity, energy, concentration, and interpersonal skills. When we say “sub-perceptual,” we mean that the very small doses utilized, often less than a tenth of a normal recreational dosage, are so small that you will not feel any significant psychedelic or hallucinogenic effects. What microdosers do observe are profoundly beneficial changes in their thoughts and feelings, which has sparked an explosion of interest in this method of using psychedelics to promote health and wellbeing.
WHICH SUBSTANCES ARE THE BEST FOR MICRODOSING?
If a drug is psychoactive, it has probably been microdosed. People have been microdosing peyote, mushrooms, mescaline, ayahuasca, cannabis, ibogaine, among other substances since the beginning of civilization. However, the two most often utilized and well-researched drugs for microdosing are LSD and psilocybin.
Microdosing LSD is a very simple procedure. To optimize your advantages, you must prepare your microdoses through volumetric dilution, take them at the proper time, and adhere to a month-long regimen. A typical procedure would be to microdose 10 micrograms every 3rd day, alternating between 1 day on and 2 days off. A critical component of this is what Fadiman refers to as “observation,” in which you maintain a record of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations that arise during microdosing. This exercise enables you to develop a more conscious awareness of your development and a positive self-reflection habit. Additionally, we suggest that you discontinue microdosing entirely every six to eight weeks to assess your experience and prevent developing a tolerance for the technique.
Preparing psilocybin mushrooms or psilocybin truffles for microdosing requires more steps than microdosing with LSD, but is still very simple. The most difficult aspect is determining the amount of psilocybin contained in a specific mushroom. Not only can various species and strains of mushrooms have varying amounts of psilocybin, but so do fresh and dried psilocybin mushrooms. Even inside the mushroom, various sections may have somewhat varying quantities.
A normal microdose of Psilocybe cubensis, the traditional magic mushroom, is 0.1 to 0.3 grams, but this quantity may be reduced for those with clinical problems. Because psilocybin truffles are often milder, a little larger dosage may be required. Numerous wood-loving psilocybin mushrooms, such as Psilocybe cyanescens, are more potent, requiring less.
Once your doses have been ground to a powder and encapsulated, you may follow a similar procedure to that for LSD, utilize the Stamets stack and dosage regimen, or work with us to create your own protocol via our Microdosing Course or coaching services.
HOW SHOULD I MICRODOSE CANNABIS PROPERLY?
Microdosing cannabis is a very simple process after you’ve established your optimal dosage. While microdosing cannabis through smoking or vaping is feasible, we’ve discovered that the easiest and most reliable way is to use low-dose edibles. The Marijuana Policy Project has established a standard dosage of 10mg of THC per serving, and anything less than that is considered a low-dose.
Low-dose products typically include between 1mg and 5mg of THC. We often suggest 2.5mg as a starting point for microdosing, but you should always experiment to see what works best for you. The potency of goods and brands varies significantly, and everyone’s own tolerance level is unique. As a general rule, it is preferable to go slowly and steadily. After taking a microdose, wait at least two hours before taking another. This is critical when it comes to edibles, since they may take a long time to have an effect.
Additionally, it is not unusual to hear about individuals microdosing CBD in combination with psilocybin mushrooms.
SHOULD I USE MDMA IMMEDIATELY?
Microdosing MDMA is not as popular as LSD or psilocybin, but with the growing interest in microdosing, some have questioned whether the technique might improve their moods and energy levels. While some individuals have claimed success with MDMA, we do not advocate it. There is a growing body of research indicating that chronic MDMA usage may be harmful to your health. After all, MDMA is not a traditional psychedelic; it is an amphetamine and stimulant that affects your body and neurochemistry quite differently than a tab or microdose of LSD does.
HOW CAN I ENSURE SAFE MICRODOSAGE?
Apart from legality, the critical aspects of safe microdosing are the drug, the dose, and the effects.
Is this psychedelic in the way that I believe it is? Where permitted, purchase psychedelics from trustworthy vendors. If this is not possible, verify the purity of your substance by using free drug-checking services or test kits to ensure you are not using 25I-NBOMe or 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI). If you’re taking psilocybin, ensure that the mushrooms you’re utilizing are the right species by learning to recognize them or obtaining them from someone who can do so consistently.
Dosage: Carefully measure your microdose with precise mushroom scales or by diluting your LSD to the point where a tiny quantity is feasible to consume. Bear in mind that the potency of any psychedelic substance, natural or synthetic, varies. Certain mushrooms are more potent than others, and a single blotter may contain more LSD than the previous one.
While microdosing should be brief enough to prevent interfering with daily life, be mindful of how you feel and perceive it on days when you do it. Avoid driving or operating heavy equipment if you are affected! Keep an eye out for any negative changes in mood or other undesirable side effects. These are indicators that your procedure may need to be paused or adjusted.
WHAT SCIENCE BACKS UP MICRODOSING?
While clinical studies on psychedelics are still continuing, the fundamental biology of their interaction with our brains is well known. Much of our understanding of how psychedelics operate is based on serotonin, a molecule that is one of the most abundant neurotransmitters in the brain. Serotonin has a profound effect on almost every aspect of our lives, from how we feel to how we digest our meals. Psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin are structurally similar to serotonin and therefore imitate its effects.
Due to the critical role of serotonin in mood stability, popular antidepressants (referred to as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs) boost serotonin levels in the brain, which may make you feel happy.
Psychedelics exert their effects more directly via simulating serotonin. Psilocybin’s primary action is to activate a serotonin receptor called “5-HT2A” in the prefrontal cortex, which results in two significant effects:
The creation of “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor” (BDNF), a protein that Waldman compares to “Miracle-Gro for your brain.” BDNF promotes cell proliferation, connection formation, and activity.
Increased transmission of “glutamate,” a neurotransmitter involved in critical brain processes such as cognition, learning, and memory (in part).
In recent years, these effects have sparked an explosion of studies into the psychopharmacology of psychedelics. Scientists are exploring the use of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to treat illnesses such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and drug use disorder. If effective, these treatments have the potential to fundamentally alter how contemporary psychiatry is practiced.
Microdosing has received very little scientific study in comparison to larger dosages of psychedelic substances. However, this is quickly changing as well, with more peer-reviewed papers on microdosing published in 2020 than in the preceding decade.
Microdosing study subjects frequently report improved cognition and happiness, and numerous studies have shown that microdosers exhibit increased creativity. A 2019 systematic review showed that microdosing resulted in longer-term improvements in mental health and focus. Interestingly, this same research discovered that microdosers’ expectations had no impact on their experiences, indicating that the effects of microdosing are not just placebos.
As with full dosages, microdoses of psychedelics seem to promote neuron development, suggesting that future studies will focus on developing novel therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, a direction that firms such as Eleusis are currently exploring. Additionally, a recent study shows that modest dosages of LSD may decrease perceived discomfort, implying the possibility of a whole new strategy for pain treatment.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MICRODOSAGE?
According to research published in the Harm Reduction Journal, the following are some of the advantages of microdosing:
Improved mood (26.6 percent ) — Tranquility, general well-being, calmness, and happiness, as well as a decrease in depressive symptoms. This includes a stronger emotional connection, an increased feeling of optimism, and a more optimistic perspective on life.
Improved concentration (14.8 percent ) – This category includes skill sets such as the capacity to concentrate or focus and increased self-awareness.
Apart from a broad feeling of increased creativity, this category also encompasses characteristics such as greater openness, increased curiosity, the capacity to change viewpoints, and diverse thinking.
Self-efficacy (11.3 percent ) — This refers to behaviors such as ambition, self-motivation, self-esteem, and a feeling of agency. Additionally, it is connected to better mental health, including greater reflection, meditation practice, and other elements of self-care practices.
Improved energy (10.5 percent ) — In this instance, “energy” refers to mental stimulation, attentiveness, and wakefulness.
Social advantages (7.6 percent ) – In addition to increased social interaction, this category includes increased empathy, a stronger feeling of connection, and increased extroversion.
Cognitive advantages (5.8% ) – Microdosing provides users with increased mental clarity, greater memory recall, and enhanced problem-solving ability.
Reduced anxiety (4.2 percent ) – This refers to both general and social anxiety reduction.
Physiological enhancement (3.0% ) — This category includes improved visual acuity, aerobic endurance, migraine and headache relief, and improved sleep quality.
When it comes to teaching individuals how to microdose, the feedback we’ve gotten through participant surveys is consistent. Our participants often claim gains in their mental health, creativity, and cognition as a result of our sessions.
“When I began microdosing, I saw many advantages, including less social anxiety, more confidence when leading groups, the development of my writing practice, increased creativity, and daily bravery. Third Wave’s curriculum provided excellent instruction on how to correctly microdose on LSD and mushrooms.”I personally enjoy the journaling component.”–Miki L., Author
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MICRODOSING AND MACRODOSING
While microdosing is ingesting a trace quantity of a hallucinogenic drug, macrodosing entails ingesting a dosage large enough to cause significant emotional, perceptual, and even spiritual consequences. It is not true that one method is superior to the other. They each have a distinct function, and you choose them for distinct reasons.
Microdosing’s effects are modest and cumulative. When microdosing, you will not have the same sensations as you would with a completely psychedelic dosage. However, microdosing is simpler to incorporate into your weekly routine and integrates much more easily—there is usually little risk of a “poor trip” or experience when done correctly.
Microdosing, for some, is an effective method to establish a connection with a psychedelic drug and get an understanding of how it interacts with their particular brain and body chemistry before undertaking the more difficult task of a full macrodose. Microdosing is also gaining popularity as a means of integrating the psychedelic insights gained from high-dose experiences.
AM I PERMITTED TO MICRODOSE FOR MY MENTAL HEALTH?
LSD and psilocybin have been proven in recent studies to be very helpful in alleviating treatment-resistant depression. As a result, it’s unsurprising that individuals microdose in order to enhance their mental health. Whether this is the reason you’re interested in microdosing, it’s critical to monitor any changes in your emotions or thoughts, as this will optimize your benefits and make it simpler to determine if your protocol needs to be adjusted. As with any medical or psychological condition about which you may have concerns, we suggest getting counsel from a qualified medical or mental health expert if you are experiencing severe mental health problems. It’s best to work with a microdosing coach like Your Dose Coach for optimum results.
CAN MICRODOSING ENHANCE CREATIVITY?
Some individuals report experiencing the greatest boost in creativity on the days they microdose; others report seeing the greatest effect in the days afterwards. In any case, the critical factor here is determining when you will experience this and then integrating your creative practice appropriately. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what makes us more creative. However, by adhering to a microdosing regimen and paying attention to your thoughts and emotions, you can determine what works best for you.
CAN I MICRODOSE IN ORDER TO IMPROVE MY OVERALL WELL-BEING?
Even though we sometimes consider mental and physical well-being to be distinct, they are inextricably linked. When your attitude improves or you experience less stress, your body will appreciate it! In that respect, any microdosing technique that is beneficial to the mind is likely to be beneficial to the body as a whole. The key to optimizing this is self-reflection, which allows you to become aware of the things that contribute to your well-being, as well as those that may serve as a hindrance. This may sound difficult. Fortunately, microdosing may significantly increase the efficacy of mindfulness, and we are always here to assist you in developing the necessary skills to get the most out of your microdosing adventure.