How big is a microdose?
A microdose contains anywhere between 25mg (0.025g) and 300mg (0.3g) of dried Psilocybin mushrooms.
Why do people microdose magic mushrooms?
People microdose so that they can get the benefits of psilocybin without necessarily feeling the effects. It can be used to reduce anxiety and depression, and as a way to improve mental performance and cognition.
What is the Fadiman Protocol?
Psychedelics pioneer James Fadiman invented the Fadiman Protocol through years of testing with LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. The Fadiman Protocol includes taking a microdose for one day and then abstaining for two days. It's therefore 1 microdose every 3 days. The Fadiman Protocol is ideal for beginners who are looking for personal growth and growth, as well as those looking to alleviate depression and anxiety.
What is the Stamets Stack/Protocol, and why?
Paul Stamets, the eminent mycologist, recommends four days of microdosing, followed by three days off. He also recommends "stacking" neuroprotective Lion's Mane and Niacin (Vitamin B3). They work synergistically with Psilocybin to promote the neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, and synaptogenesis—or the creation, growth, and adaptability of brain networks—needed to promote optimal brain function and long-term brain health. It's recommended for people seeking to enhance their physical and mental performance and improve focus, drive, mood, memory, clarity, and creativity.
We recently gave you the complete guide to dosing with magic mushrooms. In this article we're going deeper into everybody's favorite trend with benefits, microdosing.
We're sharing details on the different magic mushroom doses used for microdosing, along with the two most common microdosing protocols to help you microdose safely and effectively with magic mushrooms.
Of the two protocols we're sharing in this article, one was created by Dr. James Fadiman, and the other by Paul Stamets. At the basis of these two microdosing protocols is a simple rule: you don't need to microdose every day. Doing so isn't an effective way to integrate psilocybin into everyday life — which is the entire point of microdosing.
The best results are observed when alternating between dosing and non-dosing days, rather than dosing every single day.
This prevents your body from developing tolerance. Plus, taking days off microdosing gives you a chance to observe the benefits of a microdose.
To help you navigate the world of microdosing with as much practical expert advice as possible, so you can truly experience its transformative benefits, this guide on how to dose magic mushrooms is split into two parts.
The first part provides you with all the information you need to decide whether microdosing is right for you:
- What is microdosing?
- Psychedelic dose vs. microdose.
- Benefits of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms.
- Clinical studies on microdosing.
- Who is microdosing for?
- Things to remember before microdosing.
The second part provides you with step-by-step guidance for microdosing magic mushrooms:
- How big is a microdose?
- Microdosing protocols.
- How long should you microdose for?
- Tips for microdosing.
Let's get straight into it.
We are not medical professionals. We are a health & well-being brand that provides information for educational and harm reduction purposes, and you should always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your medications and diet.
What is microdosing?
Microdosing psychedelics—magic mushrooms in this case—is the practice of consuming very low, sub-hallucinogenic doses of a psychedelic substance. While microdosing has grown in popularity with both self-optimizers and people treating health concerns alike, the scientific literature contains minimal research on this practice.
Despite its use for everything from enhancing cognitive function, productivity, and physical performance to treating depression and anxiety, there has been limited reporting on adverse events associated with microdosing.
Psychedelic dose vs. microdose.
While microdosing is sub-hallucinogenic, the government of Canada provides the following short-term general effects of hallucinogens at a psychedelic dose.
Magic mushrooms may cause heightened emotions and senses and people may feel happy and creative. They may laugh or giggle a lot and experience a sense of mental and emotional clarity.
Magic mushrooms can also cause hallucinations and affect people by:
- distorting their sense of reality (they see and hear things that are not there)
- mixing up their senses (they believe they can see music or hear colours)
- altering their sense of time
Some of the negative mental effects of taking magic mushrooms include:
- changes in mood
- anxiety and panic attacks
- confusion and disorientation
- fear or paranoia
Taking magic mushrooms can produce:
- numbness, particularly in the face
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- dry mouth, sometimes leading to nausea and vomiting
- muscle weakness and twitching, or convulsions
- exaggerated reflexes
- sweating and high body temperature, often followed by chills and shivering
- loss of urinary control
Currently, no studies have evaluated the long-term effects of repetitive use of magic mushrooms.
Benefits of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms.
Most experts consider microdosing to be safe, with few, if any, adverse side effects. Some individuals may be more sensitive to the substance than others and experience fatigue, mild discomfort, and increased anxiety.
Beneficial effects of microdosing may include:
- Heightened focus, creativity, productivity, and energy.
- Decreased anxiety, depression, or stress.
- Less social anxiety.
- Reduced menstrual pain.
- Emotional openness.
- Increased spiritual awareness.
- Reduced cravings for addictive substances.
- An overall increase in quality of life.
Because of microdosing's nature, these benefits are typically observed over a longer period of time.
For example, you might feel slightly more focused, clear, and creative on dosing days, but after 1 month of following a microdosing schedule you might report an overall decrease in anxiety and stress.
Clinical studies on microdosing.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers from University of British Columbia, Maastricht University, Macquarie University, and the Center for Consciousness Medicine found that adults who microdose psychedelics report health-related motivations and lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to non‑microdosers.
The study examined microdosing practices and motivations among 4,050 self-selected microdosers and 4,653 non-microdosers using a mobile application. Psilocybin was the most commonly used microdosing substance (85%), and various practices were identified, including dosage, frequency, and "stacking" with non-psychedelic substances. Microdosers and non-microdosers had similar demographics, but microdosers were more likely to have a history of mental health concerns.
Among those with mental health concerns, microdosers reported lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, regardless of gender. Health and wellness motives were prominent, especially among females and individuals with mental health concerns. The findings suggest perceived mental health benefits from microdosing and emphasize the need for further research, including long-term studies, to understand the mental health implications of microdosing.
In Study One, a systematic study on psychedelic microdosing, participants recorded drastic decreases in overall stress, depression, and anxiety in the long-term follow-up.
The participants also performed better on quality of life assessment and sense of agency (effortlessness and involuntariness). Interestingly, there was no evidence of a change in personality traits such as agreeableness, extraversion, or neuroticism.
In a 2019 study published in Harm Reduction Journal, researchers analyzed reports from 278 microdosers using different psychedelics and created a codebook to categorize the benefits and challenges. They found that many users reported improved mood (26.6%) and focus (14.8%) as benefits, while some experienced physiological discomfort (18.0%) and increased anxiety (6.7%) as challenges.
Interestingly, participants who used only psilocybin highlighted the benefits of microdosing more than others, suggesting that the substance used may influence the outcomes when it comes to microdosing in general.
It's worth noting that despite the intriguing insights gained from these studies on microdosing, there's a continuing need for high-quality, placebo-controlled, and double-blind research to thoroughly investigate both the short-term and long-term benefits and potential risks associated with microdosing. Such rigorous studies can provide more conclusive evidence regarding the effects and safety of this practice, addressing gaps that self-reported data and observational studies may not fully bridge.
Who is microdosing for?
Microdosing appeals to a remarkably diverse range of individuals, as it holds the potential to contribute positively to various aspects of their lives. It's not limited to any specific demographic but instead caters to a broad spectrum of people from different walks of life.
Many turn to microdosing to enhance their cognitive abilities, boost productivity, and improve focus. Students, professionals, and creatives often find it beneficial in optimizing their performance, fostering a clearer mindset, and enhancing their ability to tackle tasks and creative endeavors effectively.
If you're struggling with mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD, microdosing can offer a glimmer of hope. It may provide relief from the burdens of these conditions, "resetting" your brain and allowing for an improved quality of life and emotional well-being.
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts also explore microdosing for its potential to optimize physical performance, heighten endurance, and achieve a state of 'flow' during their training or competitions.
Yogis and meditation experts explore microdosing because of its ability to promote a state of calm, focused clarity, and because of the compounding benefits that both mindfulness and microdosing can offer.
In essence, microdosing has the potential to help individuals from various backgrounds and with different goals find their own paths to success, be it through improved mental well-being, increased productivity, optimized athletic performance, or other personal pursuits. The versatility of microdosing makes it a practice that can be tailored to meet a wide range of needs and aspirations.
Things to remember before microdosing.
If you're microdosing for the first time, it's important to start on the lowest possible microdose.
If you have digital scales that can measure 0.05g magic mushrooms, this is where we recommend you start. Otherwise, 0.1g is also a popular starting microdose. Anything up to 0.3g can be considered a microdose.
If you don't have a scale, or are looking for clinically studied microdose formulations, My Supply Co.'s microdose Stacks are formulated with 25mg (0.025mg) Psilocybin mushrooms per capsule, and have helped thousands of Canadians achieve their energy, mood, and focus goals.
One last note — the whole point of microdosing is that there are no immediate psychedelic effects, which means it's important to be able to go about your normal routine when microdosing.
We recommend you take a day off work and commitments on your first-ever microdose day in the event there are any psychedelic effects that you're not comfortable with. It's important to have an idea of the effects you'll experience at different doses so that you don't get hit with a psychedelic surprise while at work or on the train.
Any time you want to increase your microdose, you should treat it as though it's your first day all over again. Take a day off work or start on the weekend and watch yourself closely.
Your guide to microdosing.
Before you commit to microdosing, it's essential to do your research and make some decisions. Questions to ask and answer include:
- Why do you want to microdose?
- Did you prepare and set your intentions?
- Why have you chosen psilocybin?
- What do you hope to gain from the experience?
- Have you discussed the benefits and risks of microdosing with a psychedelic therapist or health professional?
- Do you plan to microdose on your own or under the supervision of a psychedelic therapist or health professional?
A microdosing protocol lays out your plan for taking the substance, including how much to take and when and how often to take it. Experts recommend you carefully track the process. Note the specifics of how much and when you took the dose, any food, drinks, or other substances you consumed with it, any side effects, and the physical and mental sensations you experienced.
For best results, we recommend that you work with a psychedelic therapist when preparing to take psychedelics. In addition to providing you with tips and guidance in the days leading up to your foray into psychedelics, they'll also help you integrate the lessons and insights from your psychedelic sessions.
How big is a microdose?
Microdosing is taking mushrooms, but not tripping.
There’s no definitive rule on what defines a microdose. It can be as low as 0.025g or as high as around 0.3g—it depends entirely on your goals and brain chemistry.
With that said, the average microdose is 10% to 20% of a full, or recreational, dose. It's a sub-hallucinogenic way of using psilocybin mushrooms, meaning that it doesn't bring on any hallucinations. However, there are ranges of doses used for microdosing mushrooms that have different outcomes and effects, as described below.
My Supply Co. Stacks are clean, high-functioning microdose formulas designed with mushrooms, adaptogens, superfoods, and 25mg of P. cubensis per capsule to provide you with added flexibility over your dose.
True Microdose: 25mg – 100mg (0.025g – 0.1g)
Unless you have the most sensitive scales in the world, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be able to weigh out less than 0.025g magic mushrooms. This is a good microdose starting point for those who are just experimenting. Completely sub-perceptual effects with very little chance of tipping over into a tripping state.
At this dose, you might perceive:
- heightened creativity
- increased energy, focus, and attention
- increased mood, restfulness, peacefulness, calm
- better memory and cognitive performance
- increased physical and emotional comfort
Medium Microdose: 100mg – 200mg (0.1g – 0.2g)
Yes — an amount this small makes a difference when it comes to microdosing. Even the tiniest increments can bring on more pronounced effects. This is still considered a microdose event and isn’t likely to cause serious tripping.
At this dose, you might perceive:
- heightened creativity and mental activity
- increased focus, attention, and pattern recognition
- improved mood, heightened perception of the mind and emotions
- quick mental performance
- improved physical performance
Strong Microdose: 200mg – 300mg (0.2g – 0.3g)
This could easily turn into a light tripping experience, so it’s not typically recommended as a microdose. However, it’s low enough to not be a full trip for most. So, seasoned microdosers might consider it.
At this dose, you might perceive:
- Altered visual and physical perception
- Heightened attention to detail
- Increased mental dexterity and problem solving
- Improved mood, energy, and increased perception of thoughts and emotions
- Abstract thoughts
James Fadiman's protocol.
James Fadiman's protocol, or method, follows a simple 3-day schedule: one dose day followed by two non-dose days. This enables the microdoser to:
- Microdose Day: observe the effects of the microdose
- Day After: observe the after-effects of a microdose, and
- Two Days After: have a normal day before doing it all over again
Paul Stamets' protocol.
The Paul Stamets Protocol is much different. He recommends a 4 days on, 3 days off schedule.
Stamets recommends a psilocybin microdose protocol that includes Lion's Mane and Niacin (Vitamin B3) because of their neuroprotective properties and their role in neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. He believes that incorporating this with other therapies has significant advantages for improving neuroplasticity and the repair and regeneration of neurons and neural pathways.
As we suggested, if you're microdosing for the first time, do it on a non-working day. Stamets' protocol is a little more involved than Fadiman's in that it involves taking a microdose for four days in a row. If it's your first time, let all of them be non-working days. It's important to get a gauge on the dose that lets you go on with your daily routine without any perceivable psychedelic effects.
Don't be shy to play around with your dose on each of the four days. You can start with a higher microdose on the first day (e.g., 0.1g), and then taper down on each of the following days (e.g., 0.075g then 0.05g then 0.025g).
How long should you microdose for?
How long you choose to microdose or how often you choose to microdose is a personal matter.
We recommend that you don't exceed 8 weeks of microdosing without taking a break. This process of taking a break, or reset, before resuming is called microdose cycling. Microdose cycling has a number of benefits — including avoiding building up a tolerance — which we cover in a comprehensive guide to microdosing cycles, protocols, and schedules.
Tips for microdosing.
- Use an accurate scale if you don’t have a pre-measured dose.
- Take your first dose on an average, non-work day when you feel physically and mentally well.
- Ensure your environment is calm and safe, with few, if any, demands on your time.
- Stick to your chosen protocol for at least four to eight weeks.
- Start with a minimal dose for a few days. If needed, adjust the amount up or down for another few days. Keep tweaking the dose as needed until you achieve the desired results.
- Unless you are following the Nightcap Protocol, microdose in the morning, as taking a dose later may disrupt regular sleep patterns.
- Don’t take alcohol or other mind-altering drugs concurrently, at least initially.
- Some people find CBD—a non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana—to help with the experience.
- As mentioned, maintain a microdosing journal including details on your diet, activities, other alcohol or drug use, and OTC medications, along with specifics on the dose, time taken, results, and any concerns.
- Don’t rush the process. Give your protocol and dose time to work.