Psychedelics 101: Everything You Need To Know About Taking A Microdose


Psychedelic mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is a natural compound that makes you trip. However, when you take a psilocybin mushroom microdose you will feel no psychedelic effects, rather, you will feel the many benefits we will explore below.

 From the different types of psychedelic mushrooms, to how to grow psychedelic mushrooms, to asking what does a psychedelic mushroom look like? We’ve got you covered with our Psychedelics 101: everything you need to know about taking a microdose.  

via Creative Commons

What Is Microdosing? 

Microdosing is a wellness practice associated with improved mood, productivity, and creativity. It is the routine of taking psychedelic mushrooms or truffles at such low dosage that the characteristic psychedelic effects are not consciously felt. This is called a subthreshold dose. If this sounds very technical — don’t worry — it’s actually quite simple. If you have a vitamin supplement routine, microdosing psychedelic mushrooms will quickly become like second nature — and you don’t even have to do it everyday!

The History of Microdosing Psychedelic Mushrooms and Truffles

The actual length of time that humans may have been microdosing psychedelic mushrooms can’t be said for sure — for we have always existed alongside fungi — and who knows what secret things folks have been getting up to since the beginning of time? However, a clear date we can rattle off is when Dr James Fadiman released his book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide in 2011. Fadiman had been researching the effects of psychedelic mushrooms and LSD since the 1960s, but this book started the waves of interest about microdosing afresh for the 21st century. Based on thousands of experience reports, as well as his own research, Fadiman laid out the microdosing protocols and the psychedelic mushroom benefits that one should expect. 

Very soon microdosing psychedelic mushrooms or LSD became a trend amongst the tech-nerds of Silicon Valley. They credited it with enhancing their creative minds. And, very quickly, other people wanted in. In no time at all, psychedelics went from being seen as an illegal substance, representative of countercultures gone by — to the key to ‘hacking’ our potential. 

Now microdosing psychedelic mushrooms has become a far more widespread practice. And, the science is beginning to catch up, as the legal red tape which stymied regulated research studies is waived or overturned. 

But what are the benefits that this new research is looking to prove? 

Microdosing: Psychedelic Mushroom Benefits  

There are many different reasons a person may microdose psychedelic mushrooms. These can range from mental, to physical, to spiritual needs.

Psychedelic Mushroom Benefits for Mental Health When Microdosed:

  • Improved focus and concentration
  • Getting into the ‘flow state’ more easily — at work, study, or hobbies. 
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased creativity
  • Improvement of problem-solving ability
  • Increased overall awareness of self, environment and others
  • Overall mood is more balanced
  • Improved decision-making abilities 
  • More positive mindset in general
  • Reduced depression (ranging from mild to clinical forms of depression.)
  • Less prone to procrastination

Psychedelic Mushroom Benefits for Physical Health When Microdosed:

  • Increase of physical energy
  • Improved sleep 
  • Enhanced sensory perception
  • Reduced symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Reduced pain levels
  • More in sync with your body
  • Can support quitting smoking and other addictive habits. 

Psychedelic Mushroom Benefits for Spirituality When Microdosed:

  • An increase in emotional awareness
  • Greater emotional connection with others (empathy) 
  • More present in the moment
  • Increased openness
  • Greater sense of wonder
  • Increased sense of belonging to a wider reality
  • Increased sense of unity with the world
  • Deeper connection with spirituality/ life goals/ beliefs
  • Increased feelings of gratitude

How To Microdose with Psychedelic Mushrooms and Truffles

You can microdose with either magic mushrooms or magic truffles. To microdose you do not have to know how to grow psychedelic mushrooms, but that is a good place to start. 

How to grow psychedelic mushrooms from psychedelic mushroom grow kits:

Before…via Wholecelium

Psychedelic mushroom grow kits are the first step for many when learning how to grow psychedelic mushrooms. Psychedelic mushroom grow kits arrive with their mycelium already inoculated ready to sprout within two weeks of setting them up. Once your shrooms are fully grown you can harvest them and use it again for several more ‘flushes’. Simply follow our psychedelic mushroom grow kits guide and you’ll be blooming in no time! 

After! via Wholecelium

How to grow psychedelic mushrooms from spores: 

You can grow psychedelic mushrooms from psychedelic mushroom spores. Think of this process as like growing a plant from a seed. It takes a bit more time and effort than psychedelic mushroom grow kits. The original home cultivation techniques were developed by the brothers Terence and Dennis McKenna in their 1976 book Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide.

In 1992, the popular PF Tek method of how to grow psychedelic mushrooms was made public. It had been developed by Robert McPherson, aka Psilocybe Fanaticus. PF Tek stands for Psilocybe Fanaticus Technique. It was created to make at-home cultivation of magic mushrooms, specifically the Psilocybe cubensis, a feasible possibility for complete beginners. However, the technique can be used for many different types of psychedelic mushrooms. 

The technique is made still more accessible as it utilizes commonly available materials, and can be used for many species. It uses brown rice flour, vermiculite, and half-pint mason jars, among other things. You can learn how to grow psilocybin mushroom microdoses with our full PF Tek guide.

Microdosing with Psychedelic Truffles:

Truffles are the underground portion of a fungus. They are called sclerotia. A sclerotia of a psychedelic mushroom contains the same trippy psychedelic properties of the mushroom itself. Many people choose to use magic truffles to microdose as they come ready to consume and are prepackaged in their dosage portions. 

Types of Psychedelic Mushrooms You Can Microdose With

In theory you can microdose with many different types of psychedelic mushrooms. However, to be more confident in your dosage it is advised that you choose a milder species or strain. Using a high-potency species of magic mushrooms to microdose with could leave you with some unplanned for psychedelic effects, defeating the point of a microdose. 

Recommended Types of Psychedelic Mushrooms for Psilocybin Mushroom Microdose:

  • Psilocybe Cubensis
  • Psilocybe Mexicana 
  • Psilocybe Pajaritos 
  • Psilocybe Tampanensis 

Psilocybin Mushroom Microdose Dosage:

Fresh Magic Truffle: Between 0.5-1g

Fresh Magic Mushroom: 2g

Dried Magic Mushrooms: 0.2g

Finding your sweet spot for microdosing is key. If you want to start slowly we recommend trying a smaller dose in your chosen form (dried psychedelic mushroom, fresh psychedelic mushroom, or magic truffle) and noting down how you feel. Then you can either raise or lower your dose according to what works for you.  

Note: What Does a Psychedelic Mushroom Look Like?

We’ve told you how to grow psychedelic mushrooms, we’ve told you what dosage to take, but we haven’t asked what does a psychedelic mushroom look like? Well, the answer is — pretty unassuming. Of course if you are growing from spores or a grow kit you should be able to tell for sure exactly what type of psychedelic mushrooms you are growing. But, it’s nice to have a clear idea of how they should look, so you know that your harvest is suitable to microdose with.

Cap: Bell-shaped when immature, becoming convex when it matures. The skin is smooth when dry, becoming slimy (or viscid) when wet. The color can range greatly, but rests around a golden hue; from creamy, to yellow, to cinnamon-brown. Blue-green when bruised. 

Gills: close at the rim of the cap, getting broader towards the stem. Psilocybe mushrooms feature gills attached to the stem: adnate to adnexed.

Spores: Produces a dark purplish-brown spore print. 

Choosing Your Microdosing Protocol: 

Choosing your microdosing protocol is an important part of Psychedelics 101. There are a few methods generally believed to be the best, the most famous being developed by Dr. James Fadiman himself. Finding your sweet spot takes some trial and error so be sure to consider all potential protocols and give it some time. 

Note: We are not exploring the occasionally mentioned ‘dose every day’ method — most people agree it is ineffective as your body develops a tolerance for the psilocybin — defeating the point of microdosing at all!

The Fadiman Protocol

The Fadiman Protocol is the most widely known microdosing protocol. It is usually the first one you learn of when delving into the world of microdosing — hence why it is sometimes also referred to as the Beginners Protocol. The name derives from its creator — Dr James Fadiman who invented it to observe fully the difference between microdosing days and non-microdosing days. It goes a little something like this:

Day 1: Microdose.

Day 2: No microdose (or ‘rest’).

Day 3: No microdose.

Day 4: Microdose

— Basically, one day on, two days off. 

Fadiman derives this plan from his research in which he observed that the majority of people experienced an ‘afterglow’ effect that continues into the next day after microdosing. The third day is to ‘reset’ — a return to your ‘normal’ consciousness so as to best notice the effects of your microdose. It is a great way to be able to track how your microdose affects you. Also recommended is journaling or noting down your experiences — this way you can adjust your dose accordingly. 

Fadiman recommends you continue this cycle for 4 to 8 weeks. After this take a ‘reset’ break for 2 to 4 weeks. 

Every Other Day 

This is probably the second most common protocol, as recommended by The Microdosing Institute. Through their research they advise that some people find microdosing every other day more effective — especially for those who are microdosing for a specific condition such as depression or anxiety. It goes a little something like this:

Day 1: Microdose.

Day 2: No microdose.

Day 3: Microdose.

Day 4: No microdose 

Continue this protocol for 4 to 8 weeks, followed by a ‘reset’ break of 2 to 4 weeks. 

Fixed Day Protocol

When using the Fadiman Protocol or the Every Other Day, the dose day falls on a different day of the week each time. For some people this is not ideal, which is why some prefer picking a specific day that might fit better with their work or social schedule. If this sounds like it’s more for you, we recommend picking two fixed days a week with at least one day between them. It could go a little something like this: 

Day 1: 1st Fixed Microdosing Day (E.g. Tuesday)

Day 2: No microdose

Day 3: No microdose 

Day 4: 2nd Fixed Microdosing Day (E.g. Friday) 

After this you do not microdose again until the following Tuesday (or your chosen fixed day). 

Continue this protocol for 4 to 8 weeks, followed by a ‘reset’ break of 2 to 4 weeks. 

The Stamets Stack

Renowned mycologist Paul Stamets does not simply content himself with being an authority of mushrooms of all kinds, an author and advocate, he has also developed his very own microdosing protocol known as the Stamets Stack. And, he’s added some ingredients. It doesn’t just include a psilocybin microdose, it also combines a niacin (or vitamin B) dose and the medicinal mushroom Lion’s Mane. He refers to this trio as the ‘stack’. The stack goes a little like this:

Days 1 – 4: Take the stack

Days 5 – 7: No stack

Day 8 – 11: Take the stack

Day 12 – 14: No stack

Continue for 4 weeks then take your ‘reset’ break for 2 to 4 weeks. 

Users of the Stamets Stack report the same positive effects from microdosing, but also feel the other components of the stack enhance the neuro-generative properties of psilocybin.

Intuitive Microdosing

Intuitive microdosing is just what it sounds like — you simply microdose whenever you feel (as long as you take at least one day in between doses!) Often, experienced microdosers who have done a few cycles of the Fadiman or the Every Other Day, transition to this way of microdosing. It is ideal if you have a specific day where you need to be on your A-game creatively or focus-wise — you can hand-pick the days where you feel you’ll best use a psilocybin boost. 

Microdosing 101:

So there you have it — everything you need to know about psychedelic mushroom microdosing and more!

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