how to microdose

Getting Started—How to Microdose

After learning about the benefits of microdosingresearching the subject thoroughly  and deciding on the microdosing substance and protocol for your first experiment, it’s time to get hands-on! Continue reading for our practical guidelines on how to microdose safely, consciously, and effectively. 

If you feel that you’d like to learn more about the risks, safety, substances or just want to find out if microdosing might be the right pathway for youhave a look at our 2.5-hour video course EXPLORE MICRODOSING.

Both the course and the practical guide below are based on our own experiences and those of our 6000+ member community, scientific findings, and thousands of anecdotal reports from microdosers all over the world.  

First things first: When is microdosing not recommended?

  • If you are younger than 18 years old
    If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • In case of a mental or physical condition and/or illness
  • If you have color blindness
  • In extreme cases of external situations in your life that are beyond your control (for instance: grief)
  • In combination with alcohol or other drugs
  • In combination with lithium carbonate
  • In combination with Tramadol
  • In combination with lithium carbonate
  • When in the process of tapering off from antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication

These ‘How to microdose’ guidelines follow the Fadiman Protocol, but you can adjust these according to your desired protocol.

The Fadiman Protocol (also known as the Beginners Protocol) is the most well-known microdosing schedule. It’s named after Dr. James Fadiman, who created this protocol with the primary aim to observe the effects of microdosing on yourself by clearly distinguishing between microdosing days and non-microdosing days. James Fadiman’s protocol is an excellent basis for a first microdosing experiment. It assumes a 3-day cycle, which you follow for four to eight weeks.

MICRODOSING PROTOCOL: 

  • DAY 1: 1st microdosing day
  • DAY 2: transition day
  • DAY 3: normal day
  • DAY 4: 2nd microdosing day

CYCLE: Continue this cycle for four to eight weeks
RESET: Two to four weeks rest

How to microdose

Step 1—preparing the microdose

The first step is very important in learning how to microdose: accurately measuring the dose. To do this, we recommend to work with dried or liquid substances. Because the sale of sacred earth medicines such as psilocybin mushrooms or truffles and San Pedro cactus are illegal in most countries, you may have to find a reliable underground source* or cultivate them yourself for personal use.

When measuring your first microdose, make sure to use an electric scale that measures up to two decimals. We recommend starting with the smallest dose and gradually increasing the dose each microdosing day if you feel you need more to find your sweet spot. It’s preferable to microdose with dried substances rather than fresh products, because it’s very difficult to maintain a consistent potency with each dose.

In the Netherlands it’s possible to purchase fresh ready-to-use microdosing truffles that are vacuum-sealed in portions of 6×1 gram. There is no need for a scale, capsules, or even drying the truffles. Simply store them in the fridge and take between 0,5 and 2 portions (depending on your sweet spot).

Although iboga root bark/tincture is sometimes microdosed, we only share this information for educational purposes. Because iboga has such different properties and variety of direct physical effects, we don’t recommend microdosing with this substance.

Recommended doses for microdosing for each substance

  • Dried magic truffles: 0.2–1.0 gram
  • Fresh microdosing truffles: 0.5–2.0 gram (0,5–2 portions of XP Truffles)
  • Dried magic mushrooms: 0.10.3 gram
  • Dried San Pedro cactus: 5.0–1.5 gram
  • LSD: 5.0–15.0 microgram (important: apply volumetric dosing to obtain this level of precision)
  • 1cP-LSD or 1P-LSD: 5.0–15.0 microgram
  • Dried iboga: 0.3–0.5 gram
  • LSA: 0.1–0.5 milligram (1/3–1 Hawaiian baby wood rose seed or 5-15 morning glory seeds
  • Ayahuasca: please refer to the B. Caapi vine page
NOTE: Microdosing with fresh magic mushrooms, iboga, DMT and other psychedelic substances is uncommon, or best dosing practices haven’t been established yet. Therefore, no dosis is mentioned. 
how to microdose
Fresh XP-Truffles (6x1gram) available at Microdose.nl

Step 2—taking the first microdose

DAY 1: The first microdosing day

We strongly advice to getting started with microdosing on a day without any obligations (work, family, social). It’s best to take your microdose before 10AM in the morning on an empty stomach. This way, it will take effect much quicker. 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.

What if the microdose is too strong?

If the dose makes you feel as if it’s somewhat too strong, you may experience for instance a lack of focus, some confusion, restlessness, or a headache. Please know that you are physically safe at all times, and you will not ‘trip’ from the dose that you’ve taken.  Here are some tips from our team:

  • Don’t swim against the current, but surrender
  • Do some breathing exercises (e.g.,  the 4-7-8 breath exercise
  • Relax and meditate
  • Take a walk
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Herbal tea or valerian herb 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 on the next microdosing day.

What to do in case of an unpleasant physical reaction?

If you experience an unpleasant physical reaction to microdosing, such as headache, nausea, or fatigue, it’s essential that you investigate this.

  • First, determine if this is purely a physical reaction to the substance
    • Your dose may be too high
    • Another substance may be better for you
  • Take the time and space to connect with the feeling. Without judgment, focus on it and sit with it. Often there is another cause than directly related to the dose or substance; microdosing has a persistent tendency to point out areas where you need to some (inner) work to do. 
  • What is this sensation trying to tell you? What does it require from you? This self-examination is worthwhile because there can be many causes for abdominal pain, headaches, or other physical reactions.

In either case, you learn to become more aware of yourself, of what lives within you, and how to take action. This awareness process allows you to create a life in which you gradually become more authentic. This process is the foundation and ultimate goal of microdosing!

The chance is very slim, but….

  • If you experience a lot of discomfort (for example, an allergic reaction) or your physical health is in danger, stop microdosing. The reaction will go away on its own. 
  • If necessary, contact your doctor or seek medical care. Know that they have a duty of confidentiality, so you will never be judged or sentenced here for using a non-legal substance.
  • Please also inform us – this way we can better educate future microdosers. 

Learn how to microdose 🧭 Our video course

Our hands-on, self-guided video course guides you step-by-step through your microdosing journey. In just 2-4 hours, you'll go through all the important aspects: from preparation and practicalities, to result tracking, optimization, and integration.

Step 3—keeping a (microdosing) journal

Especially during your first microdosing experiment, daily journaling about your observation, feelings, and insights is invaluable from the first day of microdosing

(even if only a few keywords). By checking in with yourself on a daily basis and taking short notes, you can quickly see what changes are taking place. Your collected insights are more important than you might initially realize. Overall, journaling will help you  make your observations more concrete and tangible and translate them clear action points and decisions for your life as you move forward.

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. At the end of each day (transition and normal days included!) rate these variables on a scale from 1 to 10. Then take notes of what else you have noticed and the insights you have gained.

Daily self-assessment:

*These ratings can be reversed (for example, less stress = higher rating).

Mood

  • Awareness of positive emotions
  • Awareness of (and dealing with) negative emotions*
  • Relationships and social interactions
  • Self-love and taking care of yourself
  • Stress*

Physical

  • Energy level
  • Sleep
  • Sports and exercise
  • Nutrition and eating habits
  • Pain*

Work & study

  • Focus
  • Productivity
  • Creativity
  • Flow

Daily journal questions:

  • What have you noticed, in the positive sense, today?
  • What thoughts, feelings and emotions did you perceive in yourself?
  • Did something occur to you today, internally or in your actions, that was different from you would normally expect?

Reflecting repeatedly on these areas makes you even more aware of this inner journey. So 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 exciting 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.

Step 4—creating subtle awareness

DAY 2 : Transition day

Ono the day after a microdosing you don’t take a dose — this is called a transition day. These days are just as crucial as microdosing days. The microdosing substance will be present in the brain and body for two days. Be conscious on these days about what you are feeling, experiencing, and thinking, but try not to judge or overthink. Instead, briefly write in your journal about the subtle differences that you notice. Putting your reflection on paper gives your subconscious mind an opportunity to speak.  

how to micro dose

Step 5—resetting the body

DAY 3: Normal day

Day 3 is also a non-microdosing day and is considered a normal day because the substance is not active in your system anymore. By building in normal days into your microdosing routine, you avoid tolerance of the substance (requiring more each time achieve the same effect) and to create clear distinctions between the microdosing and transition days.  

Step 6—finding the sweet spot

DAY 4: Second microdosing day

On day four, you take the second microdose. Consider taking more, less, or the same amount of the active ingredient as on the first day. The most important step when working with microdosing is determining your ideal dose, called the “sweet spot”. The rule is, you should be able to function normally during your daily activities and social interactions while microdosing. When you feel a slight presence of the substance but not so much that it interferes with your daily routine, you’ve found your ideal dose or “sweet spot”.

Dr. James Fadiman talks about a sub-perceptual dosage, which means there should be no  visual disturbances. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t notice any difference at all! You can certainly feel the effect, although not overpowering in a way that it would require too much direct focus (instead of directing your attention to your daily activities).   

The goal is to find the ideal dose within the first four times of microdosing. If you want 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 gradually decrease the dose until you’ve found your sweet spot.

Here are some indicators found your sweet spot:

  • During your day, you forgot that you took a microdose.
  • You feel as if you’re looking through the magnifying glass: you have a sense of wonder and effortlessness as you go about your day.
  • At the end of your day, you reflect and think: ‘This was a really good day’.

In any case, take your time to become aware of the presence of the substance in your system. We recommend taking a nice walk in nature on your first microdosing day to connect with yourself. Until you’ve found your sweet spot, it’s advisable not to drive a car or use other motorized devices!

How to micro dose

Step 7—creating balance

DAY 4–30

Microdosing is a powerful tool, and we don’t recommend microdosing every day. In this case, “less is more”. LSD and psilocybin remain active in the body for about 48 hours. If you microdose on a daily basis, your body develops tolerance and microdosing will become a habit in the same way that drinking coffee can become a habit.

This way, you won’t be able to accurately monitor how the substance affects your behavior such as productivity, creativity, and mood. According to Dr. James Fadiman’s data, the tolerance shouldn’t occur if you adhere to any of the known microdosing protocols.

To prevent psychological habituation, he also advises taking a break of at least a month after each microdosing cycle. This is also done for safety reasons because there has been no research into the long-term effects and risks of microdosing. Read more about the risks of microdosing.

For more guidance at any stage of your microdosing journey, go to our guidance page—we offer 1:1 guidance, coaching, a community-founded online course, and more. 

Want to learn how to microdose?
Get FREE access to the first class of our video course EXPLORE MICRODOSING

By leaving my email address, I consent to Microdosing Institute sending me personalized emails including but not limited to educational content, events, and promotions.