What is it? What are the benefits?
Microdosing magic mushrooms has received increased attention over the last few years. Although the evidence is anecdotal, users are reporting benefits such as increased focus, energy, creativity, spirituality and social skills.
We have written on the basics of microdosing before (see: Microdosing 101: The Basics). But, in general, microdosing means taking a sub-perceptual dose of a substance. In case of magic mushrooms, this means taking a dose that does not give any direct psychedelic effects. Instead, a small dose should offer you subtle benefits in the way you experience your day.
This guide focuses on microdosing substances that contain psilocybin, such as magic mushrooms or magic truffles. (We will use the terms mushrooms and truffles interchangeably, unless otherwise noted.) For more information in general click here, and for information on microdosing LSD click here.
Taking a microdose means taking a sub perceptual dose. But what does that mean exactly? And what is the amount we’re talking about? In general, a microdose is anything less than 1/10th of a normal dose. Although it can usually range from between 1/20th to 1/10th of a full (normal) dose. When microdosing there is a thin line between taking the right amount, and taking a bit too much. The latter means experiences psychedelic effects, or feeling overwhelmed – something that we want to avoid.
So what is a normal dose for microdosing magic mushrooms? Unfortunately, no clear answer exists, because it depends on several factors. First, the specific user, their “tolerance,” preferences, and objectives when microdosing. Second, there are other factors, such as the type of mushroom and their potency.
In general, a full dose seem to be between 10-50 grams of fresh mushrooms, or 1-5 grams of dried mushrooms. When talking about magic truffles (or sclerotia) this seems to be 5-15 grams of fresh weight. For microdosing, this would mean between 0.5-5 grams of fresh mushrooms, or 0.05-0.25 grams of dried mushrooms ( 1/20th to 1/10th of a normal dose ). For magic truffles, assuming 5-15 grams of fresh weight, this would be 0.25-1.5 grams of fresh weight.
When it comes to microdosing magic mushrooms there are a few issues that need to be addressed. First, mushrooms and truffles grow naturally. This means that the active substance can differ significantly. Not just from strain to strain (that is: some variants are more powerful than others), but also from mushroom to mushroom. This means that mushrooms from the same strain can be more or less potent. Even different parts of a single mushroom can have different concentrations of psilocybin. So mushrooms X might have 0.5% psilocybin, while mushroom Y has 1% psilocybin as an active substance.
The issue when it comes to microdosing becomes pretty obvious. How can you guarantee uniform doses to experiment with, when the active substances differ that much? If you don’t have consistent dosages, then one day you a dose that’s too strong, and the next day you’ll have one that’s too weak.
Well, it’s difficult to completely resolve this, but there are a few pointers that can help.
First, make sure you are consistently using the same variety, or strain, of mushrooms. Don’t switch between different strains, in order to have similar results and to remove variance.
Second, I would highly recommend drying and grinding mushrooms or truffles into a uniform powder, and to take proper measurements (see below).
So, as we’ve seen, the key to microdosing magic mushrooms is having consistent dosages. Especially if you want to experiment over a longer period of time, you want to make sure you nail the dosage size. If you want to do this properly, I would recommend getting three tools. 1) An accurate scale (for small amounts, think accurate up to 0.001 grams). 2) A food dehydrator ( a cheap one is fine). 3) Some sort of grinder (cheap coffee grinders work well in my experience).
After getting a batch of magic mushrooms or truffles, the first step would be to record the fresh weight. Write this down somewhere. I would also recommend using larger batches, so you can use microdoses from the same batch when experimenting. Personally, I like to get enough so I can microdose for a few months on a single batch.
The second step is to start the drying process, so you can store the mushrooms for a long period of time. My recommendation would be to get a cheap food dehydrator, since this is the easiest and most convenient way to dry them. Simply cut the mushrooms into smaller pieces – so they are easier to dry – and put them in the dehydrator on the lowest temperature setting. Although there are conflicting views on the effects of heat on psilocybin, drying the mushrooms at 40 degrees Celsius (around 100 Fahrenheit) should not be an issue. Within 24 hours the magic mushrooms or truffles should be completely dry. Mushrooms will look shriveled and will be completely dry to the touch. For truffles there will be less of a change since they contain less water to begin with.
There are several other ways to dry the mushrooms as well. One option would be to use your oven. Set it to the lowest temperature setting (around 100-150 Fahrenheit – 40-65 degrees Celsius), open the oven door a little (5-10 cm) and leave the mushrooms in there for 8-10 hours until they are completely dry. Another way is put them on a paper/carton and let a regular fan blow on them. This would not be my choice however, because it takes a long time to dry them. (24+ hours, maybe days depending on your situation). You can also try to sun dry the mushrooms. If you do this you want to make sure that the climate conditions / the intensity of the sun is good enough. Overall, a food dehydrator is easiest and will be the best choice for most users. Even if you only make a few batches a year, it’s worth the small investment.
As a third step, you will want to measure the dry weight so you know how the fresh and dried weights compare.
At this point, the mushrooms will be storable for a very long period of time (months, if not years). Make sure you put them in an airtight container with a sealable lid, and store the container in a dark place. As a precaution you can also put in some desiccant packs (such as silica gel) in the container. This will absorb any moisture that might still be left in the container. Of course, if you’re confident that the mushrooms are completely dry and the container is moisture free (and will be), this is not be necessary.
One final step that I recommend is to grind the mushrooms to a uniform powder. As mentioned, the active substances will differ from mushroom to mushroom. So in order to have a batch of uniform potency, it is best to grind all the mushroom and store them in this way.
An easy way to do this, is to get a (cheap) coffee grinder (that you use exclusively for this purpose). The dried mushrooms or truffles will be ground up in no time. If you take this step, make sure you measure again after this step. Probably the weight of the powder won’t be the same as the weight of the dried mushrooms (some of it will get stuck in the grinder).
Now to the important step: measuring the right doses. Here all the measurements we’ve taken earlier will come into play. Let’s say you started off with 20 grams of fresh mushrooms. After drying, you are probably left with about 2 grams (most mushrooms are 90% water). If you want to take a microdose that is 1/10th, you need take 0.2 grams of the powder (or dried mushroom) every time.
Something that I have discovered that is very useful, is to buy empty gelatine capsules, and to fill these with the microdoses that you will take. There are a few benefits to this. First, you can prepare the batch in a single time and there’s no need to measure every time you take a microdose. Second, for the majority of people, swallowing a capsule with the powdered, dried mushroom is way easier to consume than to actually eat a dried mushroom. So my advice would be to get some capsules (they’re extremely cheap, you can find 1000 for less than $10) and a scientific “spatula” for filling the capsules.
This way, if you prepare a big batch at once, you will be set for the coming months. More importantly: taking a microdose is as easy as swallowing a single capsule.
I’ve found that this is the easiest way for me to prepare microdoses. Especially because I like to have consistent doses, and because I don’t want to measure every time I microdose. Different strokes for different folks of course, but this would be my recommended method. If you’re just starting out, give this method a shot and change what you want later on.
Done with the preparation? See some pointers for self-experimentation here.
At this point, you might be thinking: “very interesting, but where do I get mushrooms in the first place?” Well, depending on where you live, you might be able to buy them legally. Unfortunately, in most places worldwide this is not possible. And without resorting to illegal activities, the only option will be to grow the mushrooms yourself. This in itself is not too difficult, but I personally don’t have a lot of experience in this.
Psilocybin resistance is easily build up in the human body. This means that you cannot take the substance every day, since even a small dose builds up resistance. Thus you won’t feel any of the effects, or severely reduced effects, the second day. In general, users that microdose recommend following a 3-day schedule.
Day 1: The day when you take the microdose, the day that you will feel the effects. Important note: it is best to take the microdose fairly soon after you wake up. Since the effects, however minimal they are, will last for a long period, so it might be hard to fall asleep at night. Taking a microdose first thing in the morning solves this issue.
Day 2: Don’t take a microdose. You might still feel some differences from the “normal you” due to carryover effects.
Day 3: Rest day. You should feel completely “normal” at this point. If not, consider taking an extra rest day.
Day 4: The start of a new cycle. You should be able to take a microdose this day without diminishing effects from day 1.
Important to keep in mind when trying out this schedule is that you want to continue to live your regular life. Work, studies, sports, social life, sleep; it is important to stick to the same schedule. (Although you might want to try your first microdose on the weekend, and not when you’re at work, just out of safety.)
Why keep the same schedule? Because microdosing is not about experiencing psychedelics, but about subtly improving our lives.
This is also why it is important to “benchmark.” For a complete cycle, write or record short notes about you feel. How is your mood? How productive was your day? How social or friendly were you? Now start the microdosing schedule. Are there any differences you can notice or feel? Record them. Are you more productive or creative? Write it down. Are you more social, friendly or outgoing? Take a note. Depending on how you feel, you might also want to record other things that you are feeling.
Users looking to gain benefits from microdosing will find it interesting to investigate the notes after a few cycles. This way you can check if there are benefits that you experience consistently when microdosing magic mushrooms. If you don’t experience any benefits, you can also decide if you want to continue microdosing or not. Some experienced users recommend writing a short report about your notes, the things you experienced, and feedback that you received from other people. Not only is this a good summary to see how the experiment went, it will also benefit other users if you share it.
So now what?
The potential benefits of microdosing magic mushrooms are great in theory. However, as with all psychedelics, they are also deeply personal. Effects that I, or someone else may feel, you might not experience. The things that you notice, might not be the same things that I notice. Some users might notice improvements in creativity, productivity, and overall mood. Other users might not.
This is why it is important that if you’re interested in microdosing magic mushrooms, you develop your own journey and your own understanding. This guide will help you get started, but in the end it is about self-experimentation. If, after a few cycles of microdosing, you see improvements in your life, great! If not, then maybe microdosing is not for you. At least you gave it a shot, and tried something new with an open mind.
Whatever your conclusion is, please share the results of your experiment. This way you can improve our understanding of microdosing, and you might be able to help others.