A nine-step guide to a sensible microdosing. - Deepstash
A nine-step guide to a sensible microdosing.

A nine-step guide to a sensible microdosing.

Curated from: aeon.co

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Just what is microdosing?

Just what is microdosing?

According to the Journal of Psychopharmacology: a microdose is ‘1 per cent of the pharmacologically active dose [of any drug], up to a maximum of 100 µg [micrograms]’.

In psychedelic microdosing communities, it is 5-10 % of a standard or ‘trippy’ dose of a psychedelic.

Dosing amounts for a proper psychedelic trip:  

In Microdosing

  • 0.2-0.5 grams of magic mushrooms and 
  • 5-20 micrograms of LSD.

(Note that most controlled research studies use psilocybin, the psychoactive molecule in magic mushrooms).

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Objective

Objective

  • Semantics aside, microdosing psychedelics means merely consuming very small amounts of the substance, usually 5-10 % of the standard hallucinatory dose.
  • Contrary to the popular belief, the aim of microdosing is to obtain whatever psychological and neurological benefits the psychedelic may bestow, but at a level that is perceptually unnoticeable to the consumer.
  • if the microdosing occurs on a regular schedule over a period of several weeks to several months, many believe that microdosing can yield benefits equal to what one may gain from a full-dose psychedelic trip.

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  • Somewhat like taking a traditional antidepressant, microdosing psychedelics requires adhering to a predetermined dosing regimen, and remaining persistent with it even if benefits are not immediately noticeable.
  • Microdosing psychedelics, however, does not occur daily but once every couple of days, or perhaps once a week or even every couple of weeks.

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Effects of microdosing

Effects of microdosing

In 2022, a comprehensive review of microdosing was published in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. It found that microdoses of psychedelics often have subtle but noticeable effects on perception and mental states.

Key Findings:

  • Microdoses commonly cause changes in perception, such as altered mental states and visual distortions.
  • People may also experience physical sensations, such as heightened awareness and feelings of bliss.
  • Microdosing may result in a sense of unity with the world around them.

Check out the comprehensive January 2024 findings here ➡ Review 

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Guidelines for initiating a sensible microdosing programme:

Guidelines for initiating a sensible microdosing programme:

1. Complete a physical and mental health assessment.

Consulting a primary care physician for a checkup can help you evaluate your physical health and uncover any risk factors that psychedelics may exacerbate.

A mental health professional can help you evaluate your transient and persistent mental states and any cognitive, emotional and behavioral risk factors susceptible to psychedelic microdosing.

Online self-assessment tool here ➡ Link

Consider two major attributes when assessing microdosing risks:

  1. hallucinogenic effects and
  2. prolonged exposure to psychedelics.

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Hallucinogenic effects: 

  • Psychedelics can induce hallucinatory experiences, ranging from pleasant to terrifying.
  • While they're considered integral to consciousness-expansion, they can trigger psychosis or mania, especially in predisposed individuals.
  • Clinical trials exclude those with psychotic or manic histories, though modern trials haven't documented such episodes, indicating lower risk in controlled settings.

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Prolonged and repeated exposure:

  • Repeated exposure to psychedelics, even in microdoses, poses psychological risks, evidenced by reports of negative mental health effects.
  • Concerns also arise regarding potential cardiovascular side-effects, particularly the risk of valvular heart disease (VHD) due to psychedelics' impact on serotonin receptors.
  • While current evidence lacks definitive conclusions, caution is advised until further research clarifies the safety of microdosing on both mental and cardiovascular health.

For a more comprehensive review of risk factors and adverse effects ➡ article

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2. Select a substance for microdosing

2. Select a substance for microdosing

Deciding which substance to use for microdosing can be overwhelming, but some options are more popular and safer than others.

  • LSD and magic mushrooms (psilocybin) are the most commonly used substances for microdosing.
  • Studies have shown that they have a better safety profile and are more widely available than other psychedelics.
  • If you choose LSD or magic mushrooms, you can find more information and connect with others who are also using these substances.

Other psychedelics can also be microdosed, but these may have a higher risk and are not as well-studied.

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TUNDE AIDEYAN

Pro tip: Check out the 2022 systematic review for more information on microdosing with LSD and magic mushrooms.

TUNDE AIDEYAN

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3. Determine how much to microdose

3. Determine how much to microdose

Choosing the right amount to microdose is important for a successful experience. Here are some tips to help you determine how much you should take:

  1. Start with a very small amount, ideally between 1-2% of the standard dose for a sub-perceptual experience.
  2. If you want a mild shift in mental states without a full trip, stick to the 5-10% standard.
  3. For a light but real psychedelic trip and elevated consciousness, try 15-20%.
  4. Reflect on your experience with full doses of psychedelics to guide your decision.

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4. Procuring your psychedelics

4. Procuring your psychedelics

Procuring psychedelics is typically done via underground methods, so use caution and rely on personal connections rather than social media.

Some tips on how to obtain psychedelics for microdosing:

  • Know the laws: Make sure you are aware of the laws regarding psychedelics in your area before attempting to procure them.
  • Use personal connections: Reach out to trusted sources in your network to obtain psychedelics rather than relying on risky methods.
  • Consider legal options: In some places, psychedelics may be decriminalized for specific uses, so consider growing your own psychedelic mushrooms there.

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5. Testing Your Psychedelics

5. Testing Your Psychedelics

Why is testing important?

  • Recreational drugs like cocaine and MDMA are often laced with fentanyl and other dangerous adulterants, leading to an increase in overdose cases in the US.
  • While fungi and plant-based drugs are less likely to be contaminated with fentanyl, they can still be laced with other harmful substances.

This makes it crucial to test any drugs acquired in powder, pill, or liquid form.

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How to test?

  • Using fentanyl test strips is a simple and inexpensive way to detect the presence of fentanyl in street drugs. However, they cannot measure potency or confirm the authenticity of the drug.
  • Drug-specific testing is a more accurate option, but it can be costly. Kits for detecting MDMA and LSD, for example, can range from $20 to $120.
  • We recommend purchasing testing kits from trusted sources, such as Dancesafe.org or DrugsData, an independent laboratory based in Sarameto.

Personal Note: Search online for similar resources in your country or region which best suit your needs. 

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6. Storing Your Psychedelics

6. Storing Your Psychedelics

Storing psychedelics is important while microdosing for a few weeks or months as they can lose potency if not kept properly.

Tips for storing psychedelics:

  • Use airtight containers.
  • Place in cool, dry, and dark environment.
  • For long-term storage, keep LSD and magic mushroom in fridge or freezer.

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7. Designing a Microdosing Protocol

7. Designing a Microdosing Protocol

  • The best way to discover which microdosing protocol suits you best is simply by trying them out.
  • We recommend starting with Fadiman’s Protocol (one day of microdosing followed by two days off) or, if that doesn’t fit your schedule, the Two-days-a-week Protocol. 
  • ‘Stamets stack protocol’ microdoses of: 

  dried psychedelic mushrooms

+ Lion’s Mane

+ Vitamin B3 

on a dosing schedule of 4-5 days on and 2-3 days off. This cycle is repeated for 4-6 weeks, followed by a break of 2-6 weeks.

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  • The important thing is to become aware of the contrast between an ordinary and a microdosing day. 
  • To properly investigate what microdosing can do for you, we recommend writing your observations down in a journal or tracking them via an app.
  • After your first cycle, or if you experience adverse effects, you can decide to switch to another microdosing protocol.

At least a month of microdosing may be necessary to obtain any potential benefits.

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JAMES FADIMAN

By going slow, you give yourself a chance to really know, to really observe what is different, why it’s different, and how you can best take advantage of it.

The day you’re completely off is great as a reset day, kind of like clearing the mind/body palate. Then you’re fresh and ready to undertake the experiment again.

JAMES FADIMAN

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8. Carefully measuring and dividing microdoses

8. Carefully measuring and dividing microdoses

Neuroscientist Carl Hart suggests four critical factors to consider: dose, route, set, and setting. To enjoy microdosing, the individual should measure small amounts accurately.

  • Psychedelic plants and fungi can be weighed with milligram scales.
  • Microdosing is usually 1/10th to 1/20th of a standard dose.
  • LSD, a liquid sold on tiny squares, is nearly impossible to determine its potency.
  • A square of LSD = 1 recreational dose (100 micrograms).
  • To divide LSD blotters, cut it into 9 equal squares.

However, this slightly exceeds the recommended 1/10th to 1/20th amount. Beginners try smaller squares!

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9. Microdosing: Tracking Microdoses and Effects

9. Microdosing: Tracking Microdoses and Effects

If you're new to psychedelics or microdosing, tracking your experience on the first day of microdosing is crucial. This will help you distinguish between hype and reality.

While some may experience phenomenal outcomes, the effects are typically more subtle.

  • Record any negative or positive reactions on the first day of microdosing.
  • Journal and track other data points throughout your microdosing cycle.
  • Use tools like psychometric measures to monitor your experience.

Remember: The goal is to be mindful of how you respond to the microdose – manage it effectively on a regular basis.

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When microdosing is not recommended

When microdosing is not recommended

According to the article here's a list of conditions in which microdosing is not recommended:

  1. Individuals with psychotic disorders or a family history of them.
  2. People with severe personality disorders.
  3. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  4. Anyone who is taking medication that might interact negatively with psychedelics.
  5. People who have recently had a heart attack or stroke.
  6. Those with uncontrolled hypertension.
  7. Individuals with severe liver or kidney dysfunction.
  8. Anyone with a history of mania or hypomania.
  9. People with a history of epilepsy or other seizure disorders.

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TUNDE AIDEYAN

I believe that microdosing can have positive effects on cognition, mental health and happiness, and can be extremely useful for many when used correctly.

Psychedelic experiences are esoteric phenomena that humanity grapples with mercurially, as an individual does with complicated emotions like fear and love.

The question is: what is the role of microdosing in the context of today?

TUNDE AIDEYAN

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IDEAS CURATED BY

yuyutsu

Absurdist. Failed musician. Successful pessimist. Gamer.

CURATOR'S NOTE

How to use small doses of psychedelics to lift your mood, enhance your focus, and fire your creativity.

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