What is microdosing?

Microdosing is the therapeutic intake of psychedelics in small quantities. This is being used more and more, for example with magic mushrooms, truffles and cannabis. The principle is that you don't get high, but that you do experience a positive effect. Many people see it as a way to deal with certain complaints and disorders.

How does microdosing work?

Psychedelic drugs can cause violent effects. Mushrooms, LSD or truffles have a mind-expanding effect, you get high. You can feel euphoric, cheerful or relaxed, but you can also see things that are not there. This is the hallucinatory effect of these drugs. This is what happens when you take the normal amounts.

If you use the technique of microdosing, then you only take a very small amount, about 1/10 of the normal amount. It comes down to the fact that you don't take a psychedelic drug to trip, but as a kind of dietary supplement. You will therefore not suffer from the mind-altering effect, but will continue to function in your normal way. You can work, study and do your daily activities as usual. You will remain in control and nobody will notice anything special about you. Yet the drug does do something to you, unnoticeable and with subtle effects. You will feel it yourself, but more in the background. Microdosing certainly has effects and these can help you in your daily life.

The effects of microdosing

Microdosing is used to improve health. The effects can be felt mostly mentally. Research has shown that microdosing psychedelic drugs can cause positive changes in the brain.

In 2013, this was studied in mice. The microdosing of psilocybin (the mind-altering substance in magic mushrooms) promoted the formation of new neurons in the brain. This process called neurogenesis improves your cognitive skills and can have a positive effect on your mood.

The Royal Society Interface also did a study with microdosing psilocybin, which showed that it could stimulate creativity. Another study showed that users who microdosed performed better in the areas of creativity, personality and mental health. The scientists indicated that these kinds of results should spur further research into microdosing.

The most commonly cited effects of microdosing are:

  • More creativity
  • Greater problem-solving ability
  • Better concentration
  • Greater self-awareness
  • More positive mood
  • More energy
  • Feeling more connected with people
  • Being in the now
  • Clear thinking

Microdosing can therefore have a major positive impact on your life. For your work or study, for your hobbies or in your relationships with people. People indicate that it helps them in their functioning. For example, you may notice the following benefits:

  • More empathy for other people
  • Clear ideas that arise spontaneously
  • Being able to visualize better
  • Good concentration, even when there are more disturbances around you
  • Feeling stronger motivation
  • Being able to complete projects better (less procrastination)
  • Feeling less inhibited and anxious

Examples of microdosing

Quantity

To take a microdose of a substance, you use ten times less than normal. For dried mushrooms applies that you normally take 2 grams for a trip, if you microdose you take 0.2 grams. For magic truffles applies the same, although these are fresh. A microdose of truffles usually comes down to 0,7 to 1 gram.

Frequency

Microdosing usually does not cause any negative effects, but it is not recommended to do it every day. This is mainly to prevent habituation. In the long run your body would become insensitive to the substances. That is why most people use the microdosing protocol of James Fadiman. You take a dose on the first day, rest for two or three days and then take another dose. This looks like this:

  • Day 1
    Microdosing: Take your microdose (if it's your first time, keep a notebook of the effects you notice. You can then easily check what it does for you). How much you take is up to you. You have to find your own ideal microdosing quantity. It is a good idea to take your first dose on a day off. Make sure you don't have to go anywhere or have no obligations. This way you can calmly feel the effect. Of course you do not know exactly how you will react.
  • Day 2
    Transition day: On this day you take nothing. You give your body the time to process the dose and you can observe what it does to you. You can also assume that the microdosing of the day before will still have an effect on the second day.
  • Day 3
    Normal day: also today you take nothing. This is to prevent tolerance.
  • Day 4
    Microdosing: You take another microdose and experience the effects.

So during a week you take 2 microdoses. You could follow this protocol for about 4 to 8 weeks to see what the effect of microdosing does to you. After 4 to 8 weeks you should take some time off. This will help you to see how you feel without it, but also to prevent you from getting too used to the substances. If everything goes well, you can continue microdosing after a week of rest.

Which psychedelics can you microdose?

In fact you can microdosage all psychedelic substances. All these substances contain a substance which makes you trip when you take them in larger quantities. LSD for example contains Lysergic acid di-ethylamide and magic mushrooms contain psilocybin. In contrast to hard drugs, psychedelic substances are not addictive. They also do not have the harmful effects on your health that hard drugs have.

Suitable for microdosing:

  • LSD
  • Shrooms and truffles
  • Peyote (contains mescaline)
  • Iboga (contains ibogaine)
  • Cannabis (THC)