What is Microdosing?

Definition of microdosing

While multiple definitions of microdosing psychedelics exist, Microdosing Institute provides a general all encompassing definition:

Microdosing is the practice of semi-regularly consuming a very small amount of a psychedelic substance, usually 5–10% of a recreational dose, with the intention of improving one’s quality of life.

Why do people microdose?

The most commonly cited benefits among users*: 

  • Enhanced mood, reduced depression symptoms;
  • Enhanced focus;
  • Enhanced creativity and/or curiosity;
  • Enhanced productivity, motivation or confidence;
  • Enhanced energy and/or alertness;
  • Enhanced empathy, sociability or communication skills;
  • Enhanced sight, smell, hearing, athletic performance or sleep;
  • Reduced stress; and
  • Reduced anxiety, including social anxiety.

People decide to microdose for a variety of reasons. The most commonly cited motivations among users*:

  • To improve mood and/or overall life satisfaction;
  • To enhance creativity;
  • To find relief from negative feelings, e.g. depression, anxiety;
  • To overcome bad habits and unhealthy behaviors;
  • And, to treat ADHD symptoms.

*According to data from 6753 people who reported microdosing at least once in the last 12 months (2019). 

Source: Petranker R, Anderson T, Maier LJ, Barratt MJ, Ferris JA, Winstock AR. Microdosing psychedelics: Subjective benefits and challenges, substance testing behavior, and the relevance of intention. J Psychopharmacol. 2022 Jan;36(1):85-96. doi: 10.1177/0269881120953994. Epub 2020 Oct 8. PMID: 33591231.

Psychedelics used for microdosing

The most commonly used psychedelic substances for microdosing are natural psilocybin (magic mushrooms, magic truffles), lsd, lsd analogues, and mescaline (San Pedro and peyote cacti). 

Other psychedelics that are known to be effective in microdose quantities include Banisteriopsis caapi (one of the ingredients in ayahuasca), Peganum harmala, Amanita muscaria mushrooms, cannabis, iboga root, DMT, ketamine, kanna, and Salvia divinorum.

It’s very important to note that most of these substances are illegal to possess, consume, buy or sell. Always inform yourself on the legality of the substance in your country or state, and ensure that all of the necessary safety precautions are taken before beginning to microdose, such as testing the substance for potency, consulting a medical professional (if you have a physical or mental health condition, or take medications), and educate yourself on the best microdosing practices.

Dose ranges

For the most commonly microdosed substances, the dose ranges are as follows:

  • LSD: 5-12 micrograms
  • Psilocybin mushrooms: 0.1 – 0.4 grams of dried mushrooms

It’s relevant to not that we have reports from individuals who take as little a 1 microgram of LSD and .01 grams of cubensis mushrooms and report the same basic benefits.

People described as “high-functioning autistic” report that only at doses 4 to 5 times higher than the suggested range, do they have the same benefits.

Protocols

The three best known protocols for a microdosing cycle are as follows:

  • The “Fadiman” protocol: taking a microdose once every three days.
  • The Microdosing Institute protocol: microdose every other day.
  • The Stamets protocol: take a microdose for four days in a row, then pause for 3 days. This protocol was proposed by mycologist Paul Stamets along with the Stamets Stack; a microdosing formula that consists of 3 ingredients: 0.05 – 0.2 grams of psilocybin mushrooms + 500-1000 mg lion’s mane + 25 – 50 mg niacin (vitamin B3).

Regardless of which protocol one chooses, a typical microdosing cycle ends after 4 – 8 weeks, and experts recommend taking a pause of 2 – 4 weeks before beginning a new cycle.

Dosing is typically done before 10.00AM. This is particularly relevant for substances that work on our dopamine receptors such as LSD (analogues) and mescaline.

Microdosing in the evening or before bed is preferred by some people who microdose with psilocybin mushrooms, psilocybin truffles or amanita mushrooms. They report that it helps them sleep better, have vivid dreams, and they report waking up feeling well-rested and vital.

How to microdose?

To get the best results, it’s important to follow a dosing schedule over an extended period, taking into account personal factors like intention, mindset, setting, and expectations.

A note on sourcing

Please DO NOT ASK US about how or where to find substances. We are not able to offer information about how to obtain psychedelics, which are not yet legal in most countries.