Microdosing has gained some serious traction in the news recently as a hack used by high profile entrepreneurs and innovators to boost their cognitive abilities and work output. Although high doses of psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms catalyse hallucinogenic voyages, much lower “sub-perceptual” doses may lead to heightened creative thinking, problem solving, and mood.
Psychedelics as a whole have received little scientific research over the last few decades due to their highly prohibited status. However, studies that have been conducted on psilocybin mushrooms have yielded some extremely interesting results.
The trip associated with taking mushrooms is now believed to be due to the brain becoming hyperconnected, resulting in a sensory overload. It has also been shown that the neurological changes caused by mushrooms can last up to a year in individuals, with people stating that taking shrooms was one of the most profound experiences of their life.
However, psychedelic trips don’t appeal to everybody, and doing so frequently may be highly impractical and possibly detrimental. This is where microdosing can be effective. Some of the benefits of taking mushrooms can be obtained, without being plunged into an altered state of consciousness.
THE BENEFITS OF MICRODOSING
Although no solid research exists on microdosing, anecdotal data has been collected. Dr. James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, has collected data from many microdosers out there, and formulated a summary of the effects, optimal dosages, and scheduling.
Although the individual experiences of users vary, many people report similar outcomes after microdosing. There is no certainty, but based on other reports, the following sensations are likely:
• Users commonly report increased creativity during the mornings, especially when engaging in work and creative projects. Reports state how easy it is to get into a workflow, making the work process much more enjoyable and productive.
• During the afternoon hours, more energy than usual is reported, which can also lead to increased stamina and strength when working out during this time. Users also cite improved levels of focus and coordination.
• When it comes to the evening, users report improved emotional states that stimulate stronger bonds with friends and the alleviation of depressive symptoms. People have also reported feelings of being more emotionally open and aware. Being more grateful and in awe of life are also states commonly expressed when microdosing.
WHAT MAKES A MICRODOSE?
A microdose is just as it sounds. It’s a dose so small that the effects of the substance cannot really be felt; they are merely sub-perceptual, operating below the threshold of their more potent effects. The dosage can vary according to the individual, and can be worked out via self-experimentation. Factors such as bodyweight and individual sensitivity should be considered.
A microdose of psilocybin mushrooms is reported to be between 0.2–0.5g. Dr. Fadiman has stated that people taking a dose this low often function a little better than normal, having received no report of such small doses leading to social disruption.
HOW TO MICRODOSE
Dr. Fadiman advises individuals to take a microdose every 4th day in a 10-week cycle. For example, take a microdose on Sunday, observe the residual effects on Monday, then take Tuesday off. Take another microdose on Wednesday, observe the effects of Thursday, then take Friday and Saturday off.
Take notes as you go through this process, documenting the effects your feel, what feels different in your normal daily routine, and how you performed. It’s also worth documenting how you feel on a particular dose in order to find your personal sweet spot. It’s recommended to simply follow your normal routine when microdosing.
THE FUTURE OF MICRODOSING
The reports collected by Dr. Fadiman have displayed about 99% positive microdosing experiences, with a minority reporting an uncomfortable level of emotional release. The practice of microdosing clearly holds something special. Hopefully, as drug laws become more lenient and lobbying efforts increase, microdosing can be studied in greater depth to obtain a clearer picture of exactly what is going on.