Microdosing and Macrodosing – Why Microdose?
Why do people microdose mushrooms and LSD? Microdosing is the practice of consuming low doses of psychedelics to experience the therapeutic effects without the hallucinogenic experience. Where consuming a macrodose used to be seen as recreational and carry a stigma attached to it, microdosing mushrooms has become popular among a wide variety of individuals. Even leaders of major companies have spoken about the benefits of microdosing and a number of people in Silicon Valley have turned to microdosing as a means to boost their career.
What is a Microdose?
A microdose is a small dose of a psychedelic substance. Microdosing is the process of regularly consuming a small quantity to experience the therapeutic benefits without the hallucinogenic experience. Here we are explicitly discussing psilocybin, which is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. However, microdosing can also include other substances, such as LSD and even THC.
How Big is a Microdose?
A microdose is approximately 1/10th of a macrodose. A macrodose is one large enough for the consumer to experience the hallucinogenic impacts and changes in perception.
A macrodose is typically between 2 to 4 grams of dried mushrooms. One may assume this means a microdose is 0.2 – 0.4 grams (or 200 – 400 mg), but that isn’t necessarily the case. Microdosing products, like predosed capsules, often are measuring the dose of psilocybin, not dried mushrooms. As a result, a microdose may be less than this for some people.
For many people, 100 mg is a good starting place when it comes to microdosing psilocybin. It’s always recommended to start with a smaller dose and increase slowly to determine each person’s best dose.
Microdosing has been shown to provide people with both short-term and long-term benefits, such as increased creativity, focus, energy, openness and connection.
Many people appear to microdose for one of two reasons;
- Increase the frequency and intensity of desirable feelings such as euphoria, creativity, focus and empathy.
- Decrease the frequency of undesired experiences, typically associated with mental health, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD and OCD.
Microdose vs Macrodose
With a microdose, the user doesn’t experience the hallucinogenic effects associated with psychedelics. This could be desirable for several reasons.
Some reasons people prefer to microdose
- Those who have not used psychedelics previously may be nervous or unsure about the hallucinogenic experience since it can change a person’s perception of reality and even lead to ego dissolution. Ego dissolution, or ‘ego death,’ is the experience of complete loss of self-identity. While this can be a valuable experience, it can also be overwhelming.
- A psychedelic experience takes several hours. Depending on the dose, it can take an hour or more for the experience to set in, a few hours to peak, and then several more hours to come down. Therefore, when consuming a macrodose of psychedelics, it’s recommended to set aside an entire day for the experience.
- Microdosing can easily become part of a person’s regular health routine. Once a person has determined the best dose for themselves, they can easily follow a regular microdosing schedule, such as every three days.
- You can microdose before work. Many people use microdosing for focus and creativity to improve performance at work. It doesn’t tend to cause a problem because the dose is so low. That being said, ensure you know your workplace policies. Also, determine the best microdose for you prior to consuming before work (i.e. your first dose should always be on a day with no other obligations or important presentations).
Macrodosing – Reasons People Macrodose
Even though a macrodose of psychedelics is often referred to as a recreational dose, recreation is not the only purpose for consuming this dose. The use of the word recreational assumes that the sole purpose is for fun. While euphoria, creativity, and an enjoyable social experience can be the primary purpose of a psychedelic experience, it’s not the only purpose.
Most people use a macrodose of psychedelics for healing and therapeutic purposes, such as managing symptoms of depression and anxiety, treatment of addictions, end-of-life care, traumatic brain injury, PTSD and more.
At the end of 2020, some doctors and mental health professionals got permission from Health Canada to provide psilocybin treatment for end of life care. Momentum continues to build toward the use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes such as treatment-resistant depression.
Many professionals recommend consuming a macrodose in a therapeutic setting. This is because of the importance of intention setting and integration of the psychedelic experience.
Setting intentions ensures a person takes the time to think about what they want to get out of the experience and helps to guide their focus for the experience. Integration focuses on effectively managing the feelings that come up during the experience. Integration helps the person to make meaning of the experience and provides support on how to incorporate the learning opportunities into their life in a meaningful way. Integration is often done through therapy but can also include a journaling practice. Overall, preparation is crucial when macrodosing.
Some choose to use microdosing as an introduction to the psychedelic experience and may choose to try a macrodose after gaining some more knowledge about psychedelics. Microdosing first and then building up to a macrodose can help a person familiarize themselves with the experience and gain insight into their goals and intentions.
Whether or not you start a new microdosing routine or try a macrodose for the first time, please use responsibly. Take the time to determine the best dose for you by starting small and on a day with no other obligations, prepare the environment ahead of time, and never use alone.
Looking to begin microdosing but don’t know how to start? Gummies can be a simple way of consuming shrooms without measuring doses yourself. If you decide microdosing is for you, many have had success with the James Fadiman schedule. Worried about how to consume mushrooms? Here are 4 ways of consuming magic mushrooms (both for macro and microdosing).
Learn More About Magic Mushrooms
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Consider speaking to your doctor or mental health professional before choosing to consume any new product for medical purposes. If you’re reading this for information on microdosing and depression, read more on psychedelics and the winter blues.