Why do people microdose magic mushrooms?
People microdose so that they can get the benefits of magic mushrooms 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's the James Fadiman method?
The James Fadiman method includes taking a microdose one day and then abstaining for two days. It's therefore 1 microdose every 3 days.
What's the Paul Stamets method?
Paul Stamets recommends a 4 days on, 4 days off method. That means 4 days of a microdose and 4 days without microdosing.
What does Paul Stamets recommend including?
Stamets reocmmends incorporating Lion's mane and niacin to support the neuroprotective effects of psilocybin and to promote better neuroplasticity.
We recently gave you the all-important guide on dosing magic mushrooms. Today, we're going a little deeper. We're sharing with you some microdosing schedules to help you microdose safely and effectively with magic mushrooms.
In this article, we're sharing two microdosing schedules. One system was created by James Fadiman and the other by Paul Stamets. At the basis of these two microdosing schedules is a simple rule: you don't need to microdose every day. Doing so isn't an effective way to integrate psilocybin into every day life — which is the entire point of microdosing.
The best results are observed when alternating between dose days and non-dose days rather than dosing every single day. This prevents developing a tolerance and also prevents any cumulative effects that might happen. Plus, taking non-dose days gives you a chance to observe the after effects of a microdose.
Let's get straight into it.
What's good about microdosing?
Microdosing is a relatively new way of taking psychedelics that involves taking a dose so small, there are no perceivable effects. The reported benefit of this is an increase in focus and attention, a decrease in depression, anxiety, and stress, and an overall increase in quality of life. Because microdosing doesn't give any perceivable effects, the benefits of microdosing are typically observed over a longer period of time. For example, a person might feel slightly more creative on dosing days, but after 2 months of following a microdosing schedule might report an overall decrease in anxiety and stress.
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.
Though there is evidence of the effectiveness of psilocybin mushrooms in the treatment of brain injuries and certain mental health diagnoses, it's not clear if there is a place for microdosing in such circumstances. However, given that there is a reported increase in quality of life, microdosing may be a gentle form of treatment in certain chronic health conditions. More research is needed to better understand the role of microdosing in mental health and other chronic disorders.
Things to remember before microsoing.
It's important that if you're microdosing for the first time, 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 0.5g can be considered a microdose.
The whole point of microdosing is that there are no immediate psychedelic effects, which means it's important to go about your normal routine when microdosing. However, on your first every microdose day, take a day off work and commitments incase there are any psychedelic effects that you're not comfortable with. It's important to have an idea of the effects at different doses so that you don't get any psychedelic surprises while at work or on the train.
Any time you want to increase your microdose, you should treat it as though it was the first day all over again. Take a day off work or start on the weekend and watch yourself closely.
The James Fadiman method.
James Fadiman's method follows a simple one dose day; two non-dose days schedule. This enables the microdoser to a) observe the effects of the microdose, b) observe the after effects of a microdose and c) have a normal day before doing it all over again.
The Paul Stamets method.
Paul Stamets' method is slightly different. He recommends a 4 days on; 4 days off method. Stamets recommends a psilocybin microdose protocol that includes lions mane and niacin because of their neuroprotective properties and their role in 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' method is a little more involved than Fadiman's method 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., 0.08g then 0.07g then 0.05g).
How long should you microdose for?
How long you choose to microdose or how often you choose to microdose is a personal matter. In Study One, which we mentioned earlier, the participants microdosed for 6 weeks. We recommend that you don't exceed 8 weeks of microdosing. The safety and efficacy of microdosing for longer than 8 weeks isn't clear. It's also important to acknowledge that psychedelics are powerful, and it's important never to exceed use above what's necessary.
Other plant therapies to consider alongside psilcobyin microdosing.
As Paul Stamets encourages, using lions mane and niacin amplify the benefits of psilocybin because of their role in neuroplasticity, you can consider using other neuroprotective and nootropic herbs. However, we recommend avoiding adaptogens because they can sometimes interfere with the profound effects of psychedelics.
Here are a few herbs we recommend consuming alongside your microdosing protocol, even on non-dosing days:
- Bacopa, aka Brahmi (Bacopa moniera)
- Gotu kola (Centella asiatica)
- Ginkgo (Gingko biloba)
We'd love to hear your experiences with microdosing and which plants you used alongside your protocol. Let us and the community know what your experience was like with psilocybin microdosing and the effects it had for you.