How to Microdose
Last week, we covered shrooms and the anecdotal benefits of microdosing psychedelics. This week in our monthly installment of Make it Nice we’re going to explain, per the research that’s out there, how to microdose safely.
Before we dive in, we want to caveat that microdosing is not for everyone. Most people that try microdosing have had struggles with mood disorders or are trying to change their perspective on life, a problem, or just curiosity. If you are having serious struggles with mental health, always (always) go to your doctor.
This article is for those who are thinking of microdosing and are familiar with the concept. For you, we want to make sure you don’t hurt yourself.
If you’re curious about psilocybin but want it to be legal, you may not be waiting very long. Big pharma is gunning to launch a shroom pill for the masses. Compass Pathways has set itself up to be the first legal provider off psilocybin; they even received “breakthrough therapy designation” from the FDA, allowing them to conduct clinical trials across the country. Many question the company’s motives, intentions and ethics due to their attempts to edge out existing research and innovation with patents. Turns out cannabis isn’t the only plant that produces chemicals pharmaceutical companies are trying to mass market.
Is Your Source Safe?
Mushrooms are scary insofar as mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from each other. How do you know if what you’re buying actually has psilocybin? Remember, mushrooms can be poisonous or make you sick, make sure if you are trying shrooms that they are from a trusted source. There are no drug testing kits for shrooms so it’s difficult to tell if what you bought actually has psilocybin.
For LSD, good news here: there is a way to test if your LSD is safe. You can get a test kit and see if what you got is actually LSD.
First things first, you’re going to need an accurate scale.
For shrooms, you’re dealing with an agricultural product so it won’t be as precisely dosed as properly formulated LSD or substances made in a lab. The caps and stems of a shroom have different levels of psilocybin, different mushroom varieties will also vary in levels of the chemical. The whole mushroom will have between .37-1.30% psilocybin with higher concentrations being found in the caps than the stems. Size can also impact potency, with small caps and stems being more potent than larger mushrooms.
What we’re saying is this: you’ll have a hard time figuring out dosage at first, but you can get there by weighing your shrooms and taking it slow.
Start by measuring your shrooms on a scale and pulverizing them (we recommend using a coffee grinder for this but if you do, you’ll need to wait 30 minutes for the shroom dust to settle before moving on to the next step.)
Afterwards, divide your dust into even piles, we recommend starting at .1mg for a microdose and build to a total of .2mg pending how you feel (the average trip dose is 3.5mg for scale).
Once you’ve tested your LSD, you’re aiming for 6-20 micrograms (μg). It may be already in liquid form, in which case, ask your supplier for the exact dose so you can calculate your microdose. If you have a tab of LSD, this would be between 1/16th and 1/5th of a single tab. Ask whoever provided you the tab for the exact ratio so you can then do the math. You have two options:
Cutting: you chop up the tab.
Volumetric: you put the tab in some Evian and take measured doses of that.
Volumetric has been cited as the better option as the tab may not be evenly laid out (I.e. even if you exacto knife it, it may have concentrated to one corner). To turn your LSD tab into liquid, just drop your tab into water (Fiji, Smart Water, Brita, whatever) and leave it a day in a cool dry place. To understand dosing and concentrations...
How to Schedule Your LSD or Psilocybin Microdose
Following Dr. James Fadiman’s dosing:
Important things to note when microdosing:
Set your intention
Be aware of your mood, thoughts, and approach to conflict and situations, many recommend to keep a journal for each day (much like Ayalet Waldman)
Never ever microdose everyday. This is a potent substance, your body will build a tolerance, at high doses there is the potential for heart risk and you don’t want to normalize such a strong chemical. Also, it won’t work as well.
If you microdose for a month, think about taking time off in between cycles, this isn’t your morning coffee.
Remember, this isn’t for everyone. Always be careful and respect the fact that you are using incredibly powerful substances. Some great reads on psychedelics are Ayalet Waldman’s A Really Good Day, Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind, and The Psychedelic’s Explorers Guide by Dr. James Fadiman.
Thanks for being nice,
~ Nice Paper ~