Getting Started With Microdosing: A Step-by-step Plan
Since larger groups of people have gained experience with microdosing, the experts, researchers and seasoned microdosers have come up with similar guidelines. We’ve gathered them and now gladly share them with you.
As far as we are concerned, James Fadiman‘s protocol is the best basis for a first microdosing experiment. It assumes a 3-day cycle, which you follow for 4 to 8 weeks. Try this microdosing schedule for at least a month to experience if that works for you. If that’s the case you can continue your microdosing program according to this plan, introducing 2 to 4 weeks of break in the meantime.
Fadiman’s microdosing protocol:
CYCLE: Continue this cycle for 1 to 2 months
RESET: 2 to 4 weeks rest.
Note: The Fadiman’s protocol is not a must, but a guideline. Other options are for example: 2 fixed days of a week or microdosing every second day. Read more about all protocols here.
In order to be able to microdose as accurately as possible, it is advisable to work with dried substances. Since mushrooms, truffles and San Pedro cactus are not available in a dried form (which is illegal in most countries), you can prepare them yourself for your own use. For more information check: magic mushrooms, magic truffles, San Pedro cactus.
Since late 2019 there are ready-to-use microdosing truffles on the market. These truffles are vacuum packed in portions of 6 x 1 gram. You don’t need a scale, capsules or even to dry the truffles: simply store it in your refrigerator and take between 0,5 – 2 portions (depending on your sweet spot).
Preferably take the lightest possible dose in the morning before 10AM. This way you can determine whether you’ll want to increase the dose in the future. To find the ideal dose, take enough time to feel the presence of the substance, but not enough to make it interfere with your daily routine. If you take the microdose on an empty stomach, it will work quicker. If you decide to take it after breakfast, it will take a little longer for the effect to occur. Many people experience an increased energy level, so it is advisable to start in the morning and enjoy a more energetic day. Should you decide to take you microdose in the middle of the day, you might have some difficulties falling asleep when it’s time for bed..
Recommended Doses for Microdosing for Each Substance
With microdosing, it’s best to deal with dried substances rather than fresh products. As long as a mushroom is fresh, it is very difficult to maintain a consistent strength with every dose you take. This applies slightly less to truffles, because the density is many times higher. See this link: difference between magic truffles vs. magic mushrooms.
Although iboga root bark/tincture is also sometimes microdosed, we only share this informatively. Iboga has such different properties and a number of direct physical effects and therefore do not recommend microdosing with this substance.
Note: Processing these plants is prohibited in the Netherlands and other countries.
When you’ve already found the right substance and divided it into doses, you can start your microdosing routine. Preferably choose a day off to take your first dose. Make sure you don’t have any obligations on that day, and go for example for a nice walk in nature. As long as you haven’t found your sweet spot, it’s advisable not to drive a car or use other motorized devices.
The most important step, when working with microdosing, is to find the ideal dose, which is called a “sweet spot”. In order to find it, the rule is that during microdosing you should be able to function normally during your daily activities and social interactions. Fadiman talks about a sub-perceptual micro dosage, which means that you shouldn’t experience visual disturbances. There’s a misconception that you shouldn’t feel anything from a microdose. You can certainly feel the effect, although not too strong, because then you would focus too much on this direct effect (instead of directing your attention to your daily activities). The goal is to find the ideal dose within 4 first times of microdosing.
If you are curious to experience the power of your substance and get a good sense of what it ‘feels’ like, you can choose to start with the highest microdose (as indicated in the dosing chart) on a day off.. From there, you can decrease the dose until you’ve reached your sweet spot.
Here are some indicators for your sweet spot:
If the dose turned out to be somewhat too strong and you don’t feel fine, here are some tips from our team:
- Do some breathing exercises (look for the ‘4-7-8 breath’ on Youtube).
- Do not swim against the current, but surrender.
- Relax, meditate, walk, listen to your favorite music.
- Herbal tea or valerian herbs can also have a calming effect.
If the dose feels too weak, don’t top up with an extra dose, but increase your dose a little bit on the next microdosing day.
Journal about your observations, feelings and insights daily (even if only a few keywords). Your collected insights are more important than you’d think. It will help you to make your observations more tangible and translate them into actions and decisions as you move forward.
The day following microdosing is a transition day, when you don’t take a dose. This day is just as important as the previous one. The microdosing substance will be active in the brain and body for two days. Again, write briefly in your journal about the subtle differences that you’ve noticed. First: feel, experience and observe. Stay away from judging and overthinking. Only when you’ve put this on paper and gave room to your reflections, you can carefully allow your rational mind to speak again.
This day is also a non-microdosing day and it’s called the “normal day”. The reason for not dosing on this day is to avoid tolerance and to be able to distinguish the difference from the other two days.
DAY 4: Microdosing Day
On the 4th day you take the next dose. Consider whether you want to take more, less or the same amount of the active ingredient. It is essential that you find your “sweet spot”. If you want to get more from this experience, before you take the microdose, think of an intention or a question. What would you want to work on that day or what would you like to pay more attention to? For more information, go to the page How to maximize your results while microdosing.
Work With a Journal
Especially during your first microdosing experiment it is very useful to keep a journal. By checking in with yourself on a daily basis and taking short notes, you can quickly see what changes are taking place.
Take a look at the list of “areas of attention” below.
At the end of each day, grade your day on each of these topics. Do this also on days when you’re not taking a microdose. Then take notes of what else you have noticed, and the insights you have gained.
Reflecting repeatedly on these areas makes you even more aware of this inner journey. Step into the role of the observer for a moment. Make sure you take notes of the insights you gain along the way, such as interesting thoughts and inspirations. And if you feel the need to continue writing, do so! That helps to integrate all your insights into more concrete ways to improve your life.
Below is a list of topics and journal questions that have proven effective for many people in our community. You can adopt these and possibly add other habits or qualities that you would like to ‘track down’ in yourself.
General Work & Study
*These ratings can be reversed (for example, less stress = higher rating).
Daily Journal Questions:
IMPORTANT: When is Microdosing Not Recommended?
Do Not Microdose Daily
We do not recommend microdosing every day. Microdosing is a powerful tool. Again and again, microdosers report back to us that “less is more”. The microdoses of LSD and psilocybin remain active in our body for 48 hours. If you microdose daily, your body and mind will probably get used to a larger quantity of the substance which makes it into more of a habit (in the same way as taking caffeine or nicotine is a habit for many people). You will end up taking more than you need to reach the same effect.
Also, you wouldn’t be able to monitor accurately how your behavior such as your productivity, creativity and mood is affected by the substance. According to Fadiman’s data, the tolerance shouldn’t occur when you adhere to any of the known microdosing protocols.
Fadiman also advises to stop after 8 to 10 weeks for at least a month, to prevent psychological habituation. This is also for safety reasons, as no research into the long-term effects of microdosing has been done yet.
Read more about the risks of microdosing.
What to Do in Case of an Unpleasant Physical Reaction?
If you have an unpleasant physical reaction to microdosing, such as headache, nausea or feeling tired, it’s important to investigate this.
Firstly, you will want to investigate whether this is purely a physical reaction to the substance: your dose may be a notch too high, or it might be that another substance suits you better.
However, many people who’ve experienced these reactions, found that there is another cause. Microdosing has a persistent tendency to indicate where you have some work to do. Take the time to go to this feeling in a quiet moment. Focus on it. Without judgement, just sit with it.
Ask what this feeling wants to tell you, what it needs from you. This self-examination is worthwhile because there can be so many causes for abdominal pain, headaches or other physical reactions.
To become more aware of yourself, of what lives within you, and then to take the action that creates a life in which, step by step, you can be an ever more authentic version of yourself is the ground beneath and the deeper purpose of microdosing.
Recognize, Allow, Investigate and Nurture.