Seeing as how there is a lack of scientific studies, and since so much depends on anecdotal experiences, there is only one way to find out if microdosing is something for you: self-experimentation. When experimenting with microdosing you should follow a few guidelines that help to solve common problems. Now before we start, I want to stress that I am in no way encouraging you to try these substances, and that it might be illegal in your country. Continue at your own risk…
Issues with Microdosing
With that being said, there are a few issues that need to be addressed when experimenting with microdosing psychedelics:
1. Dose size
3. Results and influencing factors
First, with a normal dose it is easy to see the results and the exact effects. Within the hour you will know how you feel. However, with a microdose the idea is to be able to participate in everyday life, and in fact, to enjoy it a bit more than that. So the psychedelic effects should be absolutely minimized, which requires strict dose size.
Second, the dosages should be consistent. For both LSD and psilocybin this poses problems. The former because the substance can be spread unevenly amongst a blotter paper, so it becomes extremely important to have tabs that are of equal strength (something that might be difficult to get in microdose form, unless you know a LSD scientist!). For magic mushrooms, or psilocybin, the issue is that the active substance(s) might be different for each mushrooms. That is, different parts of the mushroom, or different mushrooms, might contain a higher or lower active ingredients.
(One way to solve this issue for psilocybin is to dry the mushrooms, and ground it into a uniform powder. If you’re doing this you should also take care to check what a normal dose is, and consider that dried weight can be significantly lower than fresh. This means that you should take care to measure the fresh as well as dried weight: what is the difference? Take this into account when calculating your starting microdose.)
Finally, because the goal is to measure the effects a microdose has on you it becomes important to record all this information and more. What is the exact dosage size? When was the last time you used this substance? But also more generic questions: what is your mood? Are you well rested, or tired? Are you properly hydrated and well-fed? Any changes in these (and many other) factors will change specific effects. Meaning that the effect of a microdoses might less or more profound or noticeable.
So how to solve these issues?
Most important, if you want to achieve the best results, is to take a scientific mindset in the beginning. Measure the dosages accurately, record how you are feeling, go about your day normally, and summarize in the evening: did anything feel different today? What effects (if any) did you notice? Did the dosage size bother you? Should you increase or decrease it next time? Et cetera..
Likewise, my recommendation would be to start at extremely low dosages when starting experimenting with microdosing. Especially if you’re planning any activities or work during that day, you don’t want to be surprised from a stronger-than-expected trip. Hence, I would recommend to start with 1/20th or 1/10th (at the strongest) of a normal dose. Again, it is not easy to give exact numbers, but for LSD this could mean 10-20ug, and for psilocybin this could mean .25g (or more when taking truffles).
Another thing to consider is that when taking these sub-perceptual doses it is important to avoid sitting around and waiting for the effects to appear. Most likely they will not be that profound, and waiting for them to become noticeable is sort of counterproductive. Instead, take the dose, and go about your day. Follow a similar routine that you always follow, do the things that you normally do, and don’t skip any activities because of the microdose that you took. For me, the point is not to actively record what is happening during the day, but only at the end of it. This way you can reflect and see if things were different this day, if they were better or not.
After this, if you feel the effects were not noticeable at all, or you didn’t feel any different form a normal day, slightly increase the dose next time. If the effects were too noticeable, or too disturbing or distracting, lower the dose next time.
Since resistance to these substances can be easily build up, it is important to follow a specific schedule when taking these microdoses and not taking it several days in a row. The specific length of a break you should take will depend on the size of the dose. In general however, a lot of people seem to recommend a three day schedule when microdosing:
Day 1: take a microdose
Day 2: don’t take, but you might experience some after-effects from day 1
Day 3: don’t take, rest day
Day 4: take a microdose
While this schedule works fine, I think there are a few caveats that should be placed here. First, if you don’t have any experiences with psychedelics I would recommend considering taking more rest days in between. Why? For the most part because it might be difficult to tell the extent of the effects, and you might be feeling a little anxious or nervous using these substances. So easing into it might be better. Second, and this I would advice even experienced users, if you have a regular weekly schedule with work and other obligations I would recommend using microdoses only on the weekend in the beginning. Again, it might be a bit too cautious, but starting out you don’t want to experience a slightly stronger trip than expected when you’re at work. Better to start off in the weekend and get the dosage and experiences right, before using it in everyday life.
This schedule is of course open to change and interpretation. Some people like to take more time off in between the doses, and that’s totally fine. You should do what works for you and your obligations in life.
So to summarize: make sure you get the dose size and consistency right, record your “results” in a scientific manner to see what effects you’re noticing, and stick to a schedule in the beginning. In the end, I feel that microdosing is much more personal than just taking normal doses. The effort that you put into it in the beginning will really determine the results and benefits you get out from it.