Microdosing 101

Quick business: this entire article is, of course, pure fiction. Nothing I say here is anything other than a figment of my imagination, I do not endorse nor suggest you EVER do any form of illegal substance, especially if it comes straight from nature. The only drugs I support are the ones manufactured in laboratories by people wearing protective eye wear and recommended by doctors or sanctioned by the government. Vaccines, NSAIDs, antibiotics, pharmaceutical drugs, and of course alcohol! The legal poisons! As long as it’s legal, it must be ok, right? * double thumbs up*. 

 

Microdosing 

Today I am delving into the wonderful world of microdosing psilocybin. In all the topics I have discussed via social media, microdosing has without a doubt sparked the most curiosity. There are a lot of misconceptions about "magic mushrooms" perpetuated by the War On Drugs movement that began demonizing psychedelics in the 1960s, and I am here to shed some light on the topic, and hopefully give you a more realistic and holistic view on the subject. 

shrooms2.jpg

I want to start off by drawing attention to the fact that life itself is the ultimate psychedelic. We normalize everyday plants, nature, and commodify things like healthcare and birth- but the reality is all those things are the embodiment of psychedelic. Trees, grass, flowers, and food that literally grow from seedlings into vibrantly alive beings that nourish us. They do so by harnessing the power of the sun, a massive ball of fire spitting heat at our own planet as we both hurl through space on a big rock. And then there's the fact that when we get injured, our bodies literally repair themselves. The body just knows, how to fuse broken bones, heal cuts, and dispel bruises. Sure, hospitals and doctors can disinfect, and do other things to coax the body- but when you think about it, only the body can truly heal itself. And if that wasn’t psychedelic enough, just think about child birth! Women are literally portals between the world of the seen and the unseen, and all of which is done completely subconsciously. Within each woman is the wisdom of life creation, much like within each tiny seed is the blueprint for an entire forrest of trees. Now that is a trip!

 Coprinellus Disseminatus (Fairy Inkcap Mushroom), a non-psychedelic mushroom... but what a trip just LOOKING a them!  Discovered this bunch in the Byron Bay area of NSW, Australia.

Coprinellus Disseminatus (Fairy Inkcap Mushroom), a non-psychedelic mushroom... but what a trip just LOOKING a them!

Discovered this bunch in the Byron Bay area of NSW, Australia.


Psilocybin does fall under the umbrella of psychedelic drugs, along side LSD, ayahuasca, salvia, and DMT; but microdosing does not induce any classical hallucinogenic responses. The key, examined in depth by Dr. James Fadiman, is a “sub-perceptual dose” of either psilocybin or LSD. This microdose (ranging usually from 10-20 micrograms) should not create any high, hallucinations, etc; the subtle effects should merely enhance your day. A simple way to look at it is that microdosing makes you the best version of you: enhanced clarity, focus, compassion, energy… the impact is subtle, but profound.

Studies investigating the effects of psilocybin began in the 1950s and were being conducted at the worlds top universities until they escaped the laboratory and got entangled in the youthful rebellions of the 1960s. “The War on Drugs” led them to be banned in in 1968, and in 1970, Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act that put most psychedelics on Schedule 1,  defined as having no medical benefit, and prohibiting their use for any purpose. 

Prior to the ban, studies included the infamous “Harvard Psilocybin Project,” a series of studies spearheaded by Dr. Timothy Leary and Dr. Richard Albert between 1960-1962. On the board for these studies sat Leary,  Aldous Huxley, David McClelland, Frank Barron, and Ralph Metzner… oh the things I would do to be a fly on the wall during those meetings! Mind-blowing studies included the Condor Prison Experiment that explored the effects of psilocybin on recidivism rates, and The Marsh Chapel Experiment that explored using psilocybin to facilitate the experience of profound religious states. The document that fascinates me the most, and is most obviously relevant to my microdosing journey, is Stanford PhD dissertation by Dr. James Fadiman on on the effectiveness of LSD-assisted therapy. In it, he set the basic guidelines for microdosing: set and setting, substance and dosage, and explores whatever else was necessary to effectively dissolve barriers to solving hard science problems. I highly recommend listening to Dr. Fadiman explore this subject and his study in depth on MAPS Podcast, HERE.

As explored in his dissertation, and my personal experience: microdosing has a powerful and broad enhancing effect on many aspects of the brain and body as they influence everyday life. It basically feels the pill that Bradley Cooper takes in Limitless. It promotes clarity of thoughts, enhances creativity, problem solving, and seriously induces flow state. It’s like unlocking a door of your brain you didn’t even know existed, or at the very best had only seen glimpses of. It is no secret that microdosing is the new coffee across silicone valley, and honestly it does not surprise me one bit.

The billionaires I know, almost without exception, use hallucinogens on a regular basis, [they’re] trying to be very disruptive and look at the problems in the world ... and ask completely new questions.
— Tim Ferriss, author of "The 4-Hour Workweek”

A microdose consists of about one-tenth of a recreational dose, usually ranging from 10-20 micrograms of dried psilocybin mushrooms or LSD. That’s 0.1- 0.2 grams, and the key according to PhD James Fadiman (who, aforementioned, devised the most commonly followed protocol) is finding the right quantity for your body that remains sub-perceptual. There is no high involved whatsoever: if your wallpaper starts to swirl, you took too much (I speak from experience…). It will absolutely enhance your day to day life, but should not interfere in any way. 

...”I don’t do coffee, I do acid,” The 29-year-old start-up founder began microdosing LSD in January. At just a tenth of a tripping dose, she does not experience psychedelic effects. Rather than swirling in a magical universe with pink elephants, she says microdosing has improved her productivity, creativity and helped her focus.
— VIA The Financial Times
(LSD and psilocybin have been used interchangeably in the world of microdosing, and according to Dr. James Fadiman there is no distinction between the two when microdosing).
Link to the full FT article HERE.

 

What is happening in the brain?

I won’t get too deep here because truth be told, the scientific concepts go way over my head. I understand the pathways imitate the neurotransmitter serotonin when they enter the brain, but there is so much to it that I won’t even attempt to figure it out, let alone pass second hand information onto you. To learn moreabout the #science, check out the bottom of this article for links and resources.

 

Benefits

The benefits can be divided into two categories: the things it helps reduce, and the things it helps increase.

1: To reduce the frequency and intensity of undesirable states caused by various forms of “mental illness”, including:

    •    Depression

    •    Anxiety (i.e. Generalized or Social)

    •    ADD/ADHD

    •    Mood disorders

    •    PTSD

    •    Addiction

 

2: To increase the frequency and intensity of desirable states/outcomes:

    •    Creativity

    •    Energy

    •    Flow states

    •    Productivity/focus

    •    Improved relationships/increased empathy

    •    Athletic coordination

    •    Leadership development

 

I personally have no experience with any of the first category- so I cannot attest to the impact of microdosing on any of the mental illness, but I do have some insight into why I think it works. Microdosing has connected me to my heart space like never before. I have found love and compassion for my Self and others on a deeper level than I ever have, and I feel that many addictions and undesirables mental states are rooted in a lack of self love and compassion. I intuitively feel that in opening up the heart, microdosing dissolved many of these “mental illnesses” which are in fact symptoms of a closed-heart. 

I can definitely attest to all the second category, as they absolutely all define my personal experience. I expand on that more below (under My Experience).

A number of people, by the time they’ve finished a month, say, ‘I’m sleeping better, I’m eating more healthy food, I’ve returned to yoga and I’m doing meditation…what it seems to do is rebalance people.
— Dr. James Fadiman

The Protocol

The protocol I follow, and appears to be most commonly used, was devised by Dr. James Fadiman. Jim introduced the concept of microdosing to mainstream society in his 2011 book “The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys,” which provides information on how to practically implement microdosing into your life.

Tthe sub-perceptual dose (start at 0.1 gram, and adjust accordingly until you find your own personal “sweet spot”), is taken every 3rd day. It looks like this:


Day 1: dose day

Day 2: no dose

Day 3: no dose

Day 4: dose day

…at which point “day 4” turns into “day 1” and you repeat the cycle. Following this cyclical protocol is integral because the human body develop a tolerance to psychedelics very quickly. If you deviate from the protocol and take them every day (or too often), tolerance will build and you will have to dramatically increase your dose each time. With this protocol, you find the perfect sub-perceptual dose for your body- and stick to it.

 

Set + Setting

This concept was devised by Fadiman to set the context for psychedelic drug experiences. Set refers to mindset and setting is the environment you put yourself in. Setting does not come into play as much with microdosing, because your setting is simply your day-to-day life; but mindset (or intention), is a powerful tool to use not only during a microdosing protocol, but everyday and in everything you do.

 

Intention (mindset)

Ask yourself what you want out of the experience, and make sure you check in with your Self regularly to reconnect with your intention. If you aren’t sure where to go with this one, I recommend something along the lines of “opening your heart, self-exploration, or introspection” and also a strong belief in trusting the process... being open to the experience of letting life flow through you.

 

A Journal

I highly recommend keeping a brief journal of things like your mood, energy, creativity, and thoughts during dose days and non-dose days. It can be hard to truly reflect on an experience when it all looks like a big blur in retrospect. Keeping a journal can also help you formalize your thoughts, enhance creative writing flow, and reconnect with your intention on the daily.

 

Here is an excerpt from two of journals on a dose day:

Camille Journal 1
Camille Journal 2

They need not be long, just brief notes to make you aware of the time line of your experience and to enhance awareness.

 

Dangers

Before getting into my personal experience, I want to touch on the dangers of microdosing, because like anything in life- everything has positive and negative effects, depending on your bio-individuality and on what your own individual goals are. 

There has not been much research done on the impact of microdosing long term predominantly because it is a relatively new concept to the mainstream population. Many of the studies with longer term follow ups have been done using larger doses of psilocybin or LSD. That being said, Dr. James Fadiman has written and spoken about that the only negative reporting he has experienced: that in certain people who are dealing only with the problem of anxiety, that it may actually increase it. 

I have attached multiple studies regarding the impacts of serotonegeic psychedelics (e.g. psilocybin, LSD), but you’ll be hard pressed to find many negative outcomes, even when the “trip" itself was “bad”. Scientists at John Hopkins University explored the science of psychedelics and found that even “bad trips” often have positive outcomes:

When we look back on challenging life events we wouldn’t choose, like a bout with a major disease, a harrowing experience while rock-climbing, or a painful divorce, sometimes we feel later that the difficult experience made us notably stronger or wiser. We might even come to value what happened. Of course, we wouldn’t want any such experience to actually damage us or anyone else physically or psychologically. Also, because developing strength or wisdom through adversity isn’t guaranteed, we might well want capable friends or counselors—even if just as a kind and sympathetic ear—to be available to help us make constructive use of the experience as part of our personal growth.
— Roland Griffiths, on how bad trips can have positive outcomes.

 

One “danger” not often addressed is the idea of relying on an exogenous supplement to feel good, and developing a dependence or addiction to it. Psilocybin is not an addictive substance by nature, and despite all its benefits- humans still have the ability to develop an unhealthy relationship with it. Like exercise, people are capable of doing something positive, and taking it to a dark place. If you are pursuing a habit from a toxic or negative place, odds are the outcome will be equally, if not more, toxic and negative. For example, if you are pursing microdosing because you hate your life, you feel unworthy, etc- you give your power away to the substance. You should embark on any protocol (including exercise, fasting, etc) from a place of self-love, compassion, and power. Such intentions might be wanting to explore your life, grow as a human being, or unlock your potential. Live from a place of love and you will truly be supported by the universe in your endeavours.

 

As with any drug/ substance, it’s also important to dial in with your intention and check-in with it regularly. Is your dose truly sub-perceptual, or are you chasing a regular “high”? Only you can know this, and only you can act as a guardian for your body. Take care of your Self.

That being said, according to the 2017 Global Drug Survey, psilocybin is one of the safest ways to trip- and that is in the macro-dosing sense. The survey says magic mushrooms are one of the safest drugs in the world, and that death from toxicity is “almost unheard of”. Under the right set + setting, you help ensure a safe experience, but the same cannot be said when mixing drugs, alcohol, stimulants, and an all-night rave (as psychedelics often are). 

 The Global Drug Survey 2017 reveals the percentage of people who reported taking certain drugs in the last 12 months who also sought emergency medical treatment. Photograph: Global Drug Survey 2017.

 

Despite the fact that there are lacking long-term clinical studies on the safety of psilocybin or LSD, I will note that Albert Hofmann (the swiss man who discovered LSD back in the 1940s) microdosed every 3 or 4 days for 40 years and lived to be 102. Hofmann was still giving lectures at age 100.... jus' saying.

Someone taking a dose this low functions, as far as the world is concerned, a little better than normal. To date, I received no reports that sub-perceptual doses have caused any social disruption, personal upset, or any form of work-related difficulty.
— Dr. James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide on microdosing

 Psilocybe Cubensis from Canada, dried.

Psilocybe Cubensis from Canada, dried.

My Experience

I’ll start off by saying I did not touch psilocybin until 26 years of age, and yet my first experience macro-dosing (and all subsequent microdosing experiences) have felt unfathomably familiar. My brain has always been an extremely psychedelic place, because life itself is the ultimate “trip”. You don’t need sensory perception enhancements to live a psychedelic life- just spend a day in the forest watching plants, or spend a few minutes thinking about how babies come into existence. All of nature is the living embodiment of the psychedelic experience, we’re just to used to it that we forget. As mentioned, I’ll save the subject of macro-dosing psilocybin (a trip dose) for another day and will focus exclusively on microdosing, aka the “sub-perceptual dose”.

I reached out on social media to get questions regarding microdosing, and really feel like Q&A format addressed my experience pretty completely. Resources for more information (articles, podcasts, journals, and more) can be found at the very bottom of the article. If you have any questions, please feel free to at the bottom of this page, in the comments section!

 

Q- Why did you start microdosing?

A- I’m honestly not sure why I do anything, and with every day that goes by I am less and less sure that we control anything in life- but anyways. I always jump into experiences with very little pre-meditation. If something feels right, and my intention is pure and good, I do it. I have had the opportunity to take psilocybin multiple times over the past years and never did, and all of a sudden something shifted inside of me and the time felt right. Before I took my first “trip” dose, and subsequently began microdosing, I did basically no research about any of it. I’ve heard bits and pieces over the years, but truly I just found Fadiman’s protocol, and just went for it. 

 

Q- How did you learn about microdosing?

A- I think the first time was probably listening to Tim Ferriss’ podcast interview with Dr. James Fadiman, back in 2015. That interview is notorious for breaking microdosing into the mainstream. I follow some pretty psychedelic people including Duncan Trussell, whose podcast (The Duncan Trussell Family Hour) regularly has guests and conversations pertaining to the wild and wonderful world of psychedelics and consciousness expansion. Many of his guests are classical scientists and incredibly passionate doctors, whose work with psychedelics are for clinical purposes- to heal people. It was through the DTFH that I learnt about the MAPS foundation and all the work being done to shift the perception that these substances are dangerous, or for partying. I’ve actually never taken psilocybin in a “party” setting, and my perspective on “drugs” has shifted significantly since my party days. Psychedelics for me facilitate deep introspection, and each experience is a platform for self-work. As much as the words “plant medicine” make me cringe, I really do respect these substances for their healing powers. I actually did Ayahuasca twice before ever trying psilocybin. I don’t think any experiences need to pre-date another, I do what feels right for me based on where my mind/body is in that moment.

 

Q- How much do you take/ what is the ratio of dosage increase?

A- As advised by Fadiman’s protocol, I took my first dose of psilocybin at 0.1 grams, and really didn’t notice anything at all. I figured I would probably need more, as a “recreational dose” for me is about 2.5 grams. On the following dose day I took 0.15, and again it felt intuitively right to increase a bit more. The following dose day I took 0.2 grams and it felt perfect. No “high” but incredible alertness, high energy, clarity of mind/ body, mind-blowing body awareness/ sensory perception. 

There was one time where I must have taken slightly more than 0.2 by accident because I went into the bathroom, and looking at the towel hanging on the door I could see the towel start to swirl a little bit- this is still on a TINY dose, which blew my mind. I must have had like 0.25 at most (sometimes my scale starts off slightly in the negatives), but clearly this was too much. 0.2 is the “sweet spot” for my body.

Left: a microdose. Right: a "heroic" trip dose.

 

Q- What are the Effects?

A- The biggest thing for me is without a doubt the triggering of flow state, not only on a dose day (when the flow is definitely strongest), but honestly on pretty much all days in between. The clarity I get is out of this world. Words flow better, my brain is clearer, I can articulate my thoughts better both orally and in written. I get these incredible bursts of creativity, either artistic (I started drawing since I began microdosing) or creative writing; it’s almost like something comes over my body and the energy that flows through me is from the cosmos somewhere, flowing through me and out of my body through a creative outlet. It feels incredible. I will note that I have been cultivating my writing, etc for decades- the “skills” don’t come out of nowhere, but they are absolutely enhanced. Before dosing, I did get these similar bursts of creative writing flow, but they have become much more regular since. 

Next effect would be the heightened sensory-perception mechanisms. This one is truly mind-blowing. Basically, our bodies have a sensory gate mechanism that filters out ambient noise, light, sounds, smells, etc- otherwise we would be overwhelmed with sensory information all day long. The threshold of this gate shifts depending on your environment. So someone living out in the bush, far away from the city, has a very low gate: their sense are attuned to the slightest sounds/ movement, which is important in a natural environment (think hunting, predators, etc), and won’t overwhelm the senses because there are not that many going around. On the other hand, someone living in a big city has a very high gate, and almost all the noise, lights, smells, etc, are filtered out because there is way too much shit going on and if you were aware of all of it, you’d probably have a mental break down. In fact, schizophrenics have very low sensory gates, which explains the overwhelming sensitivity they have to noise, lights, etc. ANYWAYS: microdosing temporarily lowers your sensory gating mechanism, and holy-hell it is so incredible to experience. I first noticed it at the gym, when I started sweating and could FEEL the beads of cold sweat running down the back of my neck. Another example is the room in which I get acupuncture every week is divided by curtains, and each small room has its own clock. I must have gotten acupuncture there at least 25 times before I started microdosing; but as soon as I did, I was laying there during my session and could hear all the clocks ticking away at slightly different times. I felt like a bat with super-sonic hearing, noticing things I had never noticed before. And it wasn’t overwhelming or annoying, it was truly fascinating.

Another way I experience this flow state and sensory-perception is during my workouts, which  have never been better. I lift weights at the gym, and since I began microdosing, my workouts are seamless, powerful streams of movement that I am experiencing like never before. It’s almost like a dance- I can FEEL my muscles, I can feel the insertion points, I can really tell when I’m activating my muscle groups and have a mind-body connection like never before. Also, I usually have musical ADD during my workouts, and am always changing the songs half-way through; but since microdosing, I dgaf and just play literally whatever comes on, and zone the heck out. Once I did an entire leg day to the Krishna Das Live Kirtan album. I was literally listening to Hindu devotional chanting for 1.5 hours, and I was so in the zone… it was magical. 

And finally a significant shift I noticed since I began my mirco-dosing journey would be a deepened sense of compassion/ empathy, which I’ll discuss in the next question.

Some of the art I started doing since I started microdosing. 

 

Q- Have you Notice Any Difference in your thought patterns?

A- Definitely. Since microdosing, I am living much more in my heart space. I am finding compassion and empathy on an entirely new level, and also seriously disassociating myself from extreme emotions. I’ll try and be more specific: 

I am a very passionate person, and subjects like the fact we are being poisoned by Monsanto, fast food companies, pharmaceutical companies, vaccines, fluoride in our tap water, etc REALLY used to make my blood boil. I’d go on these rampages rants fuelled by rage because the world is so absolutely fucked up, and I needed people to know. It made me frustrated that people were so blind to the reality, and that they wouldn't take charge of their lives and implement change. I couldn't fathom how or why people we’re incessantly self-sabotaging their lives, why people were not investigating vaccine safety, or why the government wasn’t banning GMO’s. It made me pretty mad. I find since I began to microdose that I find compassion for the deep levels of unconsciousness that envelops humanity. I’m realizing that everyone is on their own journey, and that anger or frustration is absolutely not the path to helping anyone. Instead of getting frustrated at *insert way people destroy their mind/ body*, I just feel empathy for their struggle. I have never been a very judgemental person, but more than ever I am deeply empathic to people’s struggles. Basically, I’ve mellowed-the-fuck-out. My passion is as strong as ever, but my methodology is more fine tuned.

I have to be honest in saying that this transformation is two-fold, because I started microdosing about the same time I went back to school, and this post-grad degree in holistic reproductive health is seriously shaping me into a compassionate future-practitioner. My mentor in the course is constantly reminding me to check-in with myself, my intention, and the narrative going through my head. A major part of the course is critical thinking, transference dialogue, and Carl Jung’s “active imagination”. So basically I am incessantly being prompted to examine the dynamic between myself and my thoughts.  This process has seriously impacted the way I navigate the world, and my ability to disengage/ be the observer is a combination of my mentor’s guidance, and the microdosing. I’m not sure if that makes total sense, it’s pretty difficult for me to convey in words. 

Other than that, I find myself really focused and driven- more than ever in my life. Again, another force at play is that I recently turned 27 years old, and the concept of “saturn return” is widely known. It’s a intense year for me, and my life and my priorities are really falling into place. I feel, however, that microdosing is really tightening everything up, it has allowed me to really channel my energy into pursing my passion and remaining in almost a permanent flow state. I think that pursuing your passion and microdosing go hand in hand, you get that light, clarity, focus, and flow that are normally generated by chasing your dreams anyways. But combining the psilocybin with this transformative time in my life has made me feel absolutely unstoppable.

The other thing is that microdosing is like a relationship, and is constantly growing and evolving. Despite these powerful, deep, instantaneous realizations (particularly on a dose day), psilocybin is also working on a much deeper aspect of my inner psyche, and my relationship with the outer world. I am more than ever having little “aha” moments, which I intuitively attribute to a degree to microdosing. As I integrate lessons and realizations, there are always other portals unlocking to an even greater more expanded consciousness. 

 

Q: Did you ever have to work while on a dose day? It’s something I’ve been interested in doing for a while but am not finding I have a spare day to myself.

A- I’ve definitely touched on this to this throughout the article, but I’ll answer it specifically. In short, yes. In following Dr. Fadiman’s protocol I would dose on whichever day dose day was and go about my day completely as normal. That is truly the key to mircodosing- it shouldn’t interfere in any way because the dose is sub-perceptual.

I do suggest trying to find a day-off for your very first dose, just because it may give you peace of mind- but know that either way this first dose should be extremely small. As I mentioned earlier- I did my first dose at 0.1 grams, and felt absolutely nothing. The next dose day (3 days later), I increased to 0.15 and then 3 days later hit my “sweet spot” at 0.2, where I still currently dose at. Even at 0.2, there are absolutely no effects associated with a typical “trip” dose (no hallucinations, etc). Just clarity, focus, flow state, energy… basically I’m myself having a really good day. 

The other thing is that to embody the benefits of a microdosing protocol, it shouldn’t be a one-off experience. Because the dose is sub-perceptual, the work is done over a period of time, and truly it helps reshape your mental processes, the way you look at the world. But it does this slowly. You aren’t going to figure it all out on your first microdose (actually, *spoiler alert* you’re never going to figure “it” out… ever), but the key is sticking to a regiment and going about life as usual. Fadiman’s study using psilocybin for problem-solving lasted 10 weeks, and many people suggest 10 weeks is a good commitment as a self-experiment as well. 

 

Q- I think *insert person* would really benefit from microdosing, how can I get them to start?

A- You’re not going to like this answer… but: you can’t. I have experienced many things in life that I think other people need to try, but the reality is that everyone finds things at the exact time when they need to. We are all along our individual paths, and one of the most important factors in growth is that you decide to take the steps in that direction. How annoyed are you when people who “know better” try and tell you what to do? It doesn’t matter that the information might be coming from a place of love- people need to make mistakes and learn from them to find their place in the world, and to grow at their own pace.


This one is very difficult for me, especially with things like diet and exercise. I want the people I love most to take care of their bodies, to eat organic and not drink tap water… I want them to be healthy. I think this actually comes from a semi-selfish place of wanting the people we love to be around so that we can have them in our lives, but either way: everyone is on their own journey. A great personal example would be alcohol; my parents told me from a young age that alcohol was poison, but I had to experience it, go through it, and come out the other end, by myself to truly implement a lifestyle change. Same goes for incorporating a habit (like microdosing), the best thing you can do to inspire change in anyone is to just Be. 

 

“Be the change,” is so unfathomably powerful. There is an ancient story that goes something along the lines of a man going up to the enlightened guru and asking him a question; the guru denies him the answer, and this process repeats itself over and over, with more and more persistence fro the man, until finally he gives up. It is at this point that the guru sits the man down, and gives him the answer. “Why didn’t you just tell me from the start,” asks the man, and in short, the guru responds that when people ask for advice, rarely are they ready to implement change; someone should be begging you for the answer, and only at that point should you share with them, because then you know they are truly ready to walk the path. I wouldn’t necessarily take that advice literally- but as a metaphor it’s powerful to realize that dishing out advice willy nilly is rarely going to produce the wanted outcome. In fact, more often than not, it creates resistance within the person because they will feel judged, and a subconscious reaction to being judged is to justify ones behaviours- which might actually cement-in their behaviour even more. 

 

Be the change, live your best life, and when people seek out help: be there waiting with open arms. 

 

Also, psychedelic drugs like anything else can be misused, and abused. Pushing someone else to take psychedelics is pretty reckless, because most people who are in need of “help” probably aren’t ready to dive into their inner self as a solo-mission. The biggest part of psychedelic growth comes from integrating the lessons learnt, and for most people this would be overwhelming, confusing, and scary. I recently interviewed Dr. Cole Marta, the head researcher in the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy studies to treat PTSD (HERE), and the key to the success of these studies is the guidance of a professional. I am all for self-experimentation because I believe it is your right as a human being to explore your life, but what is right for you at one stage of your life does not extend itself to everyone around you. 

 

Q- How do I get psilocybin or LSD?

A- Common brah, I can’t help you with this… but I included the question because I do have something to say about acquiring psychedelics, having psychedelics experiences, and life in general. I don’t believe we find mystical experiences, I believe they find us. It may sounds woowoo, but I genuinely think that the experiences we are meant to have will find us in perfect divine timing. When we force things, we are going against the flow of life, and that resistance equates misery. If you want a certain experience, make your intention known (with the universe) and open yourself up to it. This may include clearing space (cutting ties from things and people not serving your highest good), in the same way that you would clear out your garage before bringing a new car home to park in it. Do good, tell the truth, and trust that what is meant to find you, will.

Also, because these substances are illegal, you will never truly know their quality unless you’re picking mushrooms yourself (and even then). Understand that like any drugs (included the ones you buy on shelves at the store, pharmaceutical or holistic) they can be, and often are, tainted with other substances. Only seek out psychedelics from a genuinely trust-worthy source, don’t be a dumb dumb.

 

Q- How do you measure it?

A- I use psilocybin and so I use a small scale that I ordered from Amazon. The scale is very sensitive and for small quantities, so it’s perfect. 

Funny story: before I bought this scale, I had acquired mushrooms and was preparing my self for a macro-dose, but didn’t yet have a scale. So I brought my bag of approx. 25 dried grams of psilocybin to my local health store and tried weighing it in the scale sitting in the produce section with no success (it was too big). So I went to the fish shop across the way and asked them if they could use their scale to divvy-up my bag into 2.5 gram quantities, they said sure, and everyone died of laughter whilst I went about my business. This was fine for a larger dose (although I don’t recommend it…), but when it comes to a microdose you really need a small, sensitive scale. 

For LSD, you can dissolve the tab in a set quantity of water, and then divide the millilitres of water by the total milligrams in the tab to know how many ml’s of water you should drink per dose.  I don’t recommend cutting a tab into 10’s (or whatever) because you don’t know how evenly the LSD is spread out across the tab, nor will you likely cut it evenly. 

 

Q- What kind of mushrooms would be good for microdosing in Australia?

A- I am no expert in this field. As I mentioned in the question above, I rely heavily on setting an intention for an experience, and then trusting that by surrounding myself with the right, trust worthy people, that the right experience will come. When I started microdosing, I didn’t even know the strain of mushroom I was taking, it was information that didn’t really matter to me because A) I trusted the source that was supplying my psilocybin, and B) a microdose is highly individual, so no matter which strain it was, it would be up to me to tailor the right quantity for my body.

I don’t think any one strain is better than another, so long as your mushrooms are well sourced and reliable. Tailoring the particular mushroom to your own body (finding your “sweet spot”) is something only you can do. 

I personally take Psilocybe Cubensis (the most common type) but to learn more on different strains, click HERE.

 

Final Note:

I hope this article helped shed some light on a subject that is still very much entangled with the taboo from the War On Drugs. Microdosing has had a powerful and profound impact on my life, and my wish for you is that you make educated, empowered decisions along your journey. What do you want out of this life, and how will you get there in the most loving, and compassionate way?

I would love to hear about your personal experiences, or any follow-up questions in the comment section below.


Obligatory Disclaimer: 

This article is for information and harm reduction purposes only. Note that psilocybin and LSD are deemed Schedule I substances under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and are illegal in most countries. The publisher and author of this article do not condone the purchase, possession, sale, or consumption of any illegal substances.

Also, those who are pre-disposed to psychosis should never try psychedelics, even in microdoses.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO DIVE DEEPER

BOOKS:

1. The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys, by James Fadiman Ph.D.

2. Changing Our Minds: Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy, by Don Lattin.

3. The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, by Aldous Huxley.

4. A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, by Eyelet Waldman.

 

PODCASTS:

  1. The MAPS Podcast in general: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-maps-podcast/id1217974024 
  2. Dr. James Fadiman on psilocybin and problem solving: http://www.maps.org/news/podcast-episodes/6862-episode-1-scientific-problem-solving-with-psychedelics-james-fadiman

  3. Dr. James Fadiman as a guest on the Tim Ferriss Show explores risks, micro-dosing, ibogaine, and more: https://tim.blog/2015/03/21/james-fadiman/
  4. How to Get Smart About Microdosing, With Ayelet Waldman & Paul Austin: https://lifehacker.com/all-about-microdosing-with-ayelet-waldman-and-paul-aus-1798506409

 

BROAD WEBSITES:

  1. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelics (MAPS) http://www.maps.org
  2. Zendo Project: Psychedelic Harm Reduction http://www.zendoproject.org 
  3. How Silicon Valley rediscovered LSD https://www.ft.com/content/0a5a4404-7c8e-11e7-ab01-a13271d1ee9c 
  4. Reddit on Micro-dosing (buckle in, this is the ultimate rabbit hole) https://www.reddit.com/r/microdosing/
  5. Psychedelic Science Conference http://psychedelicscience.org/

 

VIDEOS:

Psychedelic Science 2017 is highlighted in a new short documentary film featuring interviews from researchers, advocates, and attendees from the international six-day gathering.

James Fadiman, PhD, and Sophia Korb, PhD Microdosing: The Phenomenon, Research Results, and Startling Surprises, from the 2017 Psychedelic Science Conference.

Amanda Feilding: From Taboo to Treatment - The Evolution of Psychedelic, from the Medicine 2017 Psychedelic Science Conference.

Panel with Michael Levine, Sasha Frost, Bryce Montgomery, and Don Lattin, moderated by Brad Burge. Rebranding Psychedelics 2017 Psychedelic Science Conference.

 

ARTICLES/ JOURNALS: 

1. Defending Perceptual Diversity in America: Entheogens as Legitimate Contributors to Learning, Health, and Empathy by Brendan Bombaci

2. Drugs & Mysticism: An Analysis of the Relationship between Psychedelic Drugs and Mystical Consciousness by Walter Norman Pahnke. Ph.D. Thesis, Harvard University. (“The Good Friday Experiment”) 

4. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/how-doctors-treat-mental-illness-with-psychedelic-drugs-w470673 

5. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/what-psychedelics-really-do-to-your-brain-w471265

6. Scientific breakdown of impact of psilocybin/ LSD has on the brain and body. https://thethirdwave.co/microdosing/mushrooms/

10. Dr. Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment- a 34 Year Follow-up Study http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v09n4/09410con.html#DOBLIN

11. Pahnke's "Good Friday Experiment”: A Long-Term Follow-Up http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/doblin.htm

12. Study investigating psylocibin impact on healthy volunteers https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3281871/

13. The Trip Treatment https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment

14. Magic Mushrooms Might Be The Safest Drug Out There https://lifehacker.com/magic-mushrooms-might-be-the-safest-recreational-drug-o-1795518000

15. Global Drug Survey https://www.globaldrugsurvey.com

16. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/23/study-hallucinogenic-mushrooms-safest-recreational-drug-lsd 

17. http://csp.org/HopkinsPsilocybin2014.pdf

18. A Psilocybin time-line https://www.erowid.org/plants/mushrooms/mushrooms_timeline.php

19. A Conversation with Albert Hofmann https://www.maps.org/news-letters/v08n3/08330hof.html

20. Hofmann microdoses for decades and lives until 102 https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/psychedelic-microdosing-research_us_569525afe4b09dbb4bac9db8