In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the practice of microdosing with psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in certain species of mushrooms. Microdosing involves consuming sub-perceptual doses of psychedelics, such as psilocybin, with the aim of experiencing subtle cognitive enhancements, heightened awareness and sensitivity, all while avoiding the hallucinogenic effects commonly associated with higher doses. Two prominent figures in the realm of microdosing, James Fadiman and Paul Stamets, have developed their own distinct protocols for this practice, each with its own set of guidelines and principles. In this article, we delve into the concept of microdosing with psilocybin and provide a summarized breakdown of the Fadiman and Stamets microdose protocols.
The Concept of Microdosing Psilocybin
Microdosing with psilocybin involves consuming very low doses of the psychedelic compound on a regular schedule, typically every few days, over an extended period of time. The goal is not to experience the profound altered states of consciousness that come with a full dose of psilocybin, but rather to harness potential subtle benefits that comes with the heightened awareness. Advocates of microdosing believe that it could have positive effects on mental well-being and cognitive function - if one goes about this process consciously.
I personally only recommend microdosing when you are truly willing to connect with yourself. Plan in time during the microdosing period to sit with yourself to observe, feel and express. Even though microdosing is often "sold" as a mood and creativity enhancer, it's more so a tool to gain deeper awareness and connection to self. This could come with enhanced mood and creativity, but also deeper awareness of the emotions and thoughts that we have tried to suppress.
It's therefore important to approach microdosing with a conscious intention, and to find someone you can reach out to when you feel like you need support.
The Fadiman Protocol
The Fadiman protocol was popularized by Dr. James Fadiman, a psychologist and author known for his research on psychedelics. This protocol suggests taking a very small dose of psilocybin every third day. The dosages are usually around 10% of what would be considered a "typical" recreational dose. For example, if a recreational dose is around 3.5 grams of dried mushrooms, a microdose according to the Fadiman protocol might be around 0.35 grams.
The key principles of the Fadiman protocol include:
1. Dosage Frequency
Microdosing is done every three days to prevent the development of tolerance. This allows for consistent effects without the need to increase the dose over time.
2. Observation and Introspection
Microdosers are encouraged to maintain a journal to track their experiences and reflect on any changes in mood, energy, creativity, or focus.
3. Subtle Effects
The Fadiman protocol focuses on experiencing subtle changes in perception and mood without the hallucinogenic effects that come with higher doses of psilocybin.
The Stamets Protocol
Paul Stamets, a mycologist and advocate for the use of fungi in various applications, has proposed his own approach to microdosing with psilocybin. The Stamets protocol involves a more varied dosing schedule.
The key principles of the Stamets protocol include:
1. Four Days On, Three Days Off
Stamets recommends a dosing schedule where microdosing occurs for four consecutive days, followed by a three-day break.
2. Increasing Dosage
The protocol suggests starting with a low dose on the first day and gradually increasing the dose for the next three days. This is thought to potentially build a tolerance to the compound.
3. Comprehensive Approach
In addition to psilocybin, Stamets' protocol includes a range of other supplements and activities, such as lion's mane mushroom and niacin supplementation, as well as cognitive and physical exercises.
Another option to microdose is purely intuitive. Even though protocols give us structure and framework, and have been tried and tested - if you wish to enhance your own intuition, don't be afraid to play around with dosages and days that feel good to you.
Timeframe of Microdosing
Many of you have asked me what is a good timeframe for microdosing. And the answer I would give is to start with 2 to 3 months. This way you have time to observe and play with dosages. Then take a break for another 3 months, and again observe. As with any plant medicine it's not the goal to keep taking them, the goal is to use them as guidance to connect with yourself, learn from that and then keep connecting to yourself, without any medicines.
While microdosing holds promise, it's essential to approach this practice with mindfulness and responsibility. It is important for individuals to conduct thorough research and considering their own physical and mental health before embarking on such a regimen. It is also important to note that the legality of psilocybin varies widely around the world, so individuals should be aware of the legal implications in their respective regions.
If you're looking for guidance before, during or after your microdosing journey, you're welcome to send us a message.