Microdosing with an extract from the B. caapi vine (full name: Banisteriopsis caapi) works differently than with other psychedelics. With this substance you microdose every day for a month.
Please note: although caapi is an ingredient in ayahuasca, microdosing with caapi does not equal microdosing with ayahuasca. To microdose ayahuasca, next to Banisteriopsis caapi, you would additionally need Chacruna or Mimosa hostilis. Mimosa hostilis is a tree from Brazil, where it is known as jurema preta. The bark of the roots contains the visionary tryptamine DMT. It is also sometimes combined with Peganum harmala (instead of Banisteriopsis caapi) for an ayahuasca brew that is easier to prepare.
However, in the research we’ve conducted, we have discovered that when it comes to microdosing, the amount of MAO-inhibiting B. caapi is so low that the DMT containing Mimosa hostilis or Chacruna is not (or hardly) activated.
This observation is fully endorsed by Peru-based Western shaman and writer Alan Shoemaker. He states that a potent extract of the B. caapi itself is very suitable for microdosing.
How Ayahuasca Works (in Ceremonial Doses)
The effect of ayahuasca is based on two ingredients. These are DMT (the actual psychedelic with affinity for the 5HT-2A receptor), and the MAO inhibitor (Monoamine oxidase inhibitor). If you only take DMT, then MAO (a group of proteins that break down serotonin) will break it down, probably because it structurally resembles serotonin. Taking only DMT has therefore no effect if you do this orally. It works when injected or vaporized, but only for a very short period of time (~10-15min), after which MAO breaks down the DMT.
This is why a MAO inhibitor is taken in ayahuasca. It stops the proteins that break down DMT, so that an effective amount of DMT can also reach the brain via oral intake.
However if you microdose a MAO inhibitor (MAOI), it doesn’t work sufficiently enough and DMT is still being broken down. On the other hand, if you take a full dose of MAOI and a microdose of DMT, the psychoactive effect of MAOI will be much greater than the effect of DMT. As a result, you will be actually mainly taking MAOI, instead of microdosing.
Microdosing B. caapi Vine
The easiest way to microdose B. caapi Vine is by using a ready-to-use tincture. It can be purchased, by customers from the European Union, in our partner shop:
- 1 ml is an equivalent of an average MAO inhibitor dose for a trip with ayahuasca
- One bottle contains 10 ml of tincture
- 4 to 8 drops of tincture are sufficient as a microdose
In principle you can microdose B. caapi vine in the same way as other substances:
- Start by taking 5 drops on a day when you don’t have much to do. You should feel something after an hour. If not, take a little more next time.
- Keep a journal and take notes on how you feel. Do it on the microdosing day, as well as on non-microdosing days. That will make it easier to implement the new insights to your daily life.
- You can apply the Fadiman’s protocol: microdosing once in three days. There’s hardly any entheogen in B. caapi vine, so you can also experiment with microdosing more intuitively.
In combination with DMT or psilocybin, B. caapi is used to deepen and extend a psychedelic trip. When used alone, it works as a MAO inhibitor that is effective for a short duration of time, approximately up to 24 hours. Use it maximum once a day to see how you feel and to find your sweet spot – the amount of drops that make you feel like ‘yourself on a good day’.
Effects of Microdosing With B. Caapi Vine Extract
Anecdotal experiences of microdosing B. caapi have not yet been analyzed and reviewed, so there’s not much statistical data. That’s why it’s not fully clear which effects can specifically be expected.
However, science knows fairly well how B. caapi works. It helps the brain to release dopamine and acts as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Thus in the hippocampus and other parts of the brain neurogenesis arises and new nerve cells and neurological connections emerge. This makes B. caapi a natural antidepressant, contributes to a feeling of well-being and reduces anxiety and tension.
Furthermore, experiences show that B. caapi has healing and purifying properties, with a positive effect on the digestive tract and the eradication of parasites.
Shamans and curanderos/as believe that B. caapi does the same thing on an energetical and spiritual level: it can be thoroughly purifying, healing, rebalancing. It can also suppress hunger, stimulate and act as a hunting aid by improving the sight. It enables them in their role to provide guidance in the community and increases empathy towards all living beings and natures. In their regard it is one of the most sacred, protective and nourishing teacher plants.
B. caapi contains MAO-inhibiting compounds. This means that it can be dangerous if you take it in higher dosages in combination with certain foods or psychoactive substances (such as medicines, see below), which are normally not harmful. Data and guidelines that are available based on the high doses and apply to a lesser extent to microdosing. However, we always recommend to read more about it, as there’s still too little research on possible risks of microdosing.
MAO inhibiting plants/extracts include, among others:
- Banisteriopsis caapi
- Syrian rue (Peganum harmala)
Microdosing B. caapi extract is not recommended when you use antidepressants and/or other medicines. Wait at least 3 weeks after using Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) before starting with any MAO inhibitor. These include:
- Antidepressants such as the herb kanna (Sceletium tortuosum)
- Pills such as paroxetine (Seroxat), citalopram (Cipramil), fluvoxamine (Fevarin) and sertraline (Zoloft)
- A waiting period of 6 weeks applies for fluoxetine (Prozac)
Below you will find a list of substances that should NOT be taken 12 hours before and 12 hours after taking a high dose of MAO inhibitor. Again, this applies less to microdosing, nevertheless, we would like to draw your attention to this information.
Very dangerous in a high dose:
- Sleeping pills
- Migraine medications
- Allergy medications
- Cold remedies
- Amphetamine (speed)
- MDMA (XTC)
- Mescaline cacti (peyote and san pedro)
- Ephedra/ephedrine (e.g. products such as Ephedra Super caps, Super stacker, Ultra Boost)
Products which can cause headaches and/or nausea:
- Dairy products (milk, yogurt, (sour) cream)
- All cheeses (with the exception of: cottage cheese, cream cheese)
- Dry and fermented sausages (bologna, salami, pepperoni, corned beef, and liver)
- Non-fresh meat, fish and eggs
- Sour herring and dried salt fish
- Meat extracts
- Yeast extracts/brewed yeast (Marmite)
- Fruits (bananas, avocados, figs, raisins, red plums, pineapple, raspberries)
- Nuts (peanuts)
- Fava beans and pods (lima, fava beans, lentils, snow peas, and soybeans)
- Soy sauce
- LSA (morning glory and baby hawaiian woodrose seeds)
- MDA related herbs (nutmeg, calamus)
- Caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, guarana, energy drinks)
- St John’s wort
- Nasal sprays (Vicks Sinex, Prevalin, or Otrivin)
- other MAO inhibitors
There is a very valuable Facebook group that specifically focuses on microdosing with the B. caapi vine: Ayahuasca Microdosing Pure Vine only. Please join if you feel like connecting with other people in this group of interest, exchanging experiences and asking questions.
Our Microdosing community also has a private Facebook group with more than 5000 microdosers and a high level of engagement, which will also be of value during your microdosing journey. You’re most welcome to join!